From £26,990
Quite fun, but limited by a lack of a diesel engine, a compact cabin and ambitious pricing

Our Verdict

Cadillac CTS

Latest Cadillac offers a premium interior and decent driving dynamics, however for the price this four cylinder CTS can't compete with its German rivals in Europe

19 October 2010

What is it?

This is a car that you’re going to need to want badly, because its price takes it way above what you’d pay for an equivalent BMW 5-series Touring or Mercedes E-class wagon, and both are better cars.

Still, this is a CTS that can be had with right-hand drive, unlike the striking coupé, even if it can be obtained from only one dealer: Bauer Millett in Manchester.

What's it like?

It comes with a 307bhp, direct injection 3.6-litre V6 of unusual civility – it runs to 7000rpm with impressively smooth enthusiasm – but it’s hooked to an automatic that’s frequently slow-witted and initially turns absurdly frenetic in Sport mode until it has learnt your driving style. Couple this to a crudely over-responsive throttle and it becomes a challenge to drive smoothly.

Still, there’s enough power to tweak the back axle, which is fun, and the CTS handles quite decently, with more front-end bite than might be expected. A more mature choice would be the all-wheel-drive version, which costs little more and puts down its power with unflustered authority.

It’s comfortable, too. The ride is pliant, wind noise exceptionally low and the dash a mostly pleasing sight, its upper deck leather-covered and the lower reaches making extensive use of alloy-look plastic that is at least attractive.

The infotainment system is effective, too. But room in the rear is quite mean for such a large car, especially for a fifth occupant, and the boot, although neatly rectangular, is narrow and high-floored.

Should I buy one?

If this CTS wagon cost only a little more than they pay for it in the US – around £31k – it might win some buyers but, at this price and with one dealer, this car is going to be a rarer spot here than a Bugatti Veyron.

Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon 3.6 Sport Luxury

Price: £47,352; Top speed: 150mph; 0-62mph: 7.0sec; Economy: 27.2mpg (combined); CO2: 245g/km; Engine: V6, 3564cc, petrol; Power: 307bhp at 6400rpm; Torque: 276lb ft at 5200rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd auto

 

Join the debate

Comments
8

1 November 2010

Last time I checked (2009) the saloon version of this car was £29,995.

Are you sure you have got the price right?!

1 November 2010

It cost way more than 5 series Touring or E class wagon, is much inferior, has only one dealer, no diesels and Cadillac think they have a future in Britain? Either do the job properly and not half-arsed or get out for good.

1 November 2010

[quote thebaldgit]

It cost way more than 5 series Touring or E class wagon, is much inferior, has only one dealer, no diesels and Cadillac think they have a future in Britain? Either do the job properly and not half-arsed or get out for good.

[/quote]

+1...maybe GM are resigning themselves to only shifting a few, with insane mark-ups. Weird.

2 November 2010

[quote Quattro369]

Last time I checked (2009) the saloon version of this car was £29,995.

[/quote]And in the US this model starts at $38,000 USD which is by my admittedly poor arithmetic is about 23,000 GBP. Someone is making an awfully big profit! Even the top of the range Premium version is $50,000 US. Apart from that I love the look of it - unlikely to be mistaken for anything else!

2 November 2010

come on GM what are you playing at? numerous failed attempts to get this brand right with half hearted attempts! now i really like the way things are going with GM Europe but GM America just have not got a clue! people do not want Cadillac in the UK! when will they learn!

3 November 2010

Not that I would bet on the success of the plan, but some people seem to be lacking in the knowledge of how brands are launched.

Its virtually impossible to launch a brand with loads of dealer networks, a wide range of engines and bargain prices.

Its notable that Cadillac are now taking a very similar approach to Infiniti in the way that they are launching the brand.

A very small dealer network to get things started. Of course you have absolutely no economies of scale so the prices have to be higher here than in the home market. Exactly the same as Infiniti, which are also notably cheaper in the USA. Low sales are expected, just to get a foothold in the market, as sales appear, the chance to add maybe a couple more dealers in high density population areas becomes availible. Saes then grow even more. As sales grow, economies of scale become more apparent, prices can become more competitive. Starting then to appeal to a larger market. The next generation of cars is then on the horizon, which reflecting sales growth, are engineered for global markets in both left and right hand drive. Then comes the point that diesels can be added. (The cost of which is huge. Even if you have a fully ready diesel engine for the vehicle. It can still take around $100 Million to engineer it for the vehicle, so its no surprise that there arent any at the minute).

I can personally see the sense in what they are doing. Anyone who thinks that they can offer loads of dealers, low prices and diesels (when they don't have them in the home market) is simply being wildly unrealistic.

I personally wish them luck as I think the vehicles look fantastic, its a welcome styling approach when the euro bunch seem to look so bland and similar.

3 November 2010

at first glance from that camera angle it look liked a mark 1 astra gte

3 November 2010

[quote fhp11]

Not that I would bet on the success of the plan, but some people seem to be lacking in the knowledge of how brands are launched.

Its virtually impossible to launch a brand with loads of dealer networks, a wide range of engines and bargain prices.

Its notable that Cadillac are now taking a very similar approach to Infiniti in the way that they are launching the brand.

A very small dealer network to get things started. Of course you have absolutely no economies of scale so the prices have to be higher here than in the home market. Exactly the same as Infiniti, which are also notably cheaper in the USA. Low sales are expected, just to get a foothold in the market, as sales appear, the chance to add maybe a couple more dealers in high density population areas becomes availible. Saes then grow even more. As sales grow, economies of scale become more apparent, prices can become more competitive. Starting then to appeal to a larger market. The next generation of cars is then on the horizon, which reflecting sales growth, are engineered for global markets in both left and right hand drive. Then comes the point that diesels can be added. (The cost of which is huge. Even if you have a fully ready diesel engine for the vehicle. It can still take around $100 Million to engineer it for the vehicle, so its no surprise that there arent any at the minute).

I can personally see the sense in what they are doing. Anyone who thinks that they can offer loads of dealers, low prices and diesels (when they don't have them in the home market) is simply being wildly unrealistic.

I personally wish them luck as I think the vehicles look fantastic, its a welcome styling approach when the euro bunch seem to look so bland and similar.

[/quote]
Well said. I don't think many people understand the undertaking or the expesnse involved in not only re-launching a brand, but enticing business owners to open a franchise while promising them solid marketing, new products, and desirable mix of content.

However, exchange rates and tariffs aside, I can't understand why the CTS or CTS Wagon are SO much more than what they'd cost here in the United States. Its just odd. The only thing I can think of is that the dealer believes he can make a few extra dollars off each transaction, but I don't know what the franchise laws would say about that in the UK.

Greetings from New Jersey!

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