Well priced and well equipped, but running costs are high

What is it?

The less powerful version of Cadillac’s mid-sized executive offering. Like the brawnier 3.6, the 2.8 uses a V6 petrol engine and supplies drive to the rear wheels via a standard six-speed autobox, but it makes do with just 209bhp compared to the 3.6’s 308bhp.

On the plus side, the 2.8 gets the same ultra-generous standard specification, including an advanced touchscreen-controlled satnav and multimedia system.

The only big visual difference between the two cars is the fact the 2.8 gets non-chromed alloy wheels, which many will regard as a bonus.

What’s it like?

Despite giving away 100bhp to the 3.6-litre version, the CTS 2.8 feels like a better all-round package.

Largely this is down to the fact it comes without the standard sports suspension of the more powerful car, the softer springs yielding a dramatic improvement in ride quality.

It’s far from pillow soft, but the 2.8’s compliant springs and dampers will feel far closer to European buyer’s expectations of what a Cadillac should feel like than the over-hard 3.6.

The engine lacks the punch of it’s bigger-capacity sister, but it delivers peak torque at lower engine speeds and is more than strong enough to deliver wafty progress, and the softer chassis settings give the 2.8 a quieter cabin at cruising speeds than the 3.6.

The automatic gearbox works well enough under low-intensity use, but suffers from an excessively keen kickdown.

Disappointingly, the 2.8’s fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures are almost identical to those of the 3.8, and both are a magnitude worse than similarly-powerful European rivals, incurring highest-rate VED and company car tax.

So, should I buy one?

The 2.8-litre CTS makes a respectable case for itself, especially considering the saving it represents over the harsher-riding 3.8.

But the high running costs mean that the CTS will only become a really rational purchase with the introduction of the V6 diesel version.

Mike Duff

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julianphillips 20 August 2008

Re: Cadillac CTS 2.8 V6

I might be tempted. I think the styling looks great and it is a bit different from a run of the mill BMW or Merc. By the sounds of things it is great to drive (I've learnt that the faintest praise from Autocar tends to mean that a car is a bloody good drive!) and well kitted out. With the inevitable dealer discount, it looks good to me. However, I'd rather hang on for that 3 door coupe they had at the motor show, called the XLR or something.

PeteT 19 August 2008

Re: Cadillac CTS 2.8 V6

Even with a diesel engine, who in their right mind would spend their own cash (or anyone else's for that matter) on this car?

I'm sorry, but I just dont get it. Its just wrong.