First DriveIt's thirsty, expensive and a bit Wayne Rooney but despite the Cadillac's flaws, it is very hard not to like this charismatic motor
First DriveQuite fun, but limited by a lack of a diesel engine, a compact cabin and ambitious pricing
Cadillac’s last appearance in the UK was with the big front-wheel drive, V8 STS, which despite right-hand drive proved about as saleable as a pine tree on 26 December. It wasn’t bad, but it was overpriced and troubled by hidden shallows of a kind you don’t find in BMWs and Mercs. Cadillac withdrew, but now it’s back, with a new look, a new range and a new importer. The CTS – consider it the physical equivalent of a 4-series, were BMW to make such a thing – is the first new-wave Caddy to make it here, and it has its appeal. This is a saloon with edge. Edges all over the place in fact, its tightly creased wings and vertical headlights lending it a chiselled look all its own. It isn’t as big or bold as the Chrysler 300C, but never mind the size – consider the price, which ranges from £24,850 for the 215bhp 2.8 V6 to £29,850 for a loaded 257bhp 3.6 V6. You get a lot of metal for your money. What’s new is that this Cadillac looks athletic, its wheels sitting within a handspan of its bodywork, in contrast to the Broughams and DeVilles of the past. That’s no accident, because this rear-drive CTS, part-polished at the Nürburgring, is surprisingly deft. It points keenly into corners, its accurate steering making it satisfyingly easy to aim. Mostly it serves a generously cushioned, well-damped ride too. When propelled by the bigger motor it also launches forth with an impressively tidy burst of power. But there are disappointments. The interior looks cheap, the ride gets agitated on poor roads – and the leather interior twitters in concert – and the motor sounds coarse when stretched. Plus, the rear headrestraints are view-blockers, there’s too much road-noise and the brakes could be sharper. In the end, you feel like you’re driving a more modern and striking take on a Ford Scorpio, rather than a serious challenger to a Benz. But the comfortable CTS is not without charm. More, indeed, than the STS could muster.