Monday, September 24, 2012

Cadillac... Redefined

Growing up outside the US I was used to seeing Fiats, Renaults, and Peugeots on the road.  Occasionally I would see a Buick here or there and once in a blue moon I would see the king of all American cars; a Cadillac which usually belonged to either a member of the American Embassy or a wealthy sheikh on vacation.  Either way, it was a rare site and just seeing one was a treat.  I never thought I would actually ride in one.

Fast forward a few years later, I moved to the USA and I was seeing Cadillac beauties all over the place and I finally got to ride in one when I was about 12 years old… it belonged to one of my dad’s friends.  Wow, it was plush, powerful and luxurious.  It was like sitting in a luxury living room!  This is the ultimate luxury car, I thought.  Soft and plush was the way to go back then if you wanted luxury, but how things have changed.

Not only did the definition of luxury sedans change, but Cadillac reinvented itself and was in my opinion the first American car to truly compete with the Europeans in the luxury sedan market.  Enter the Cadillac CTS; a mid-sized sedan that since its inception has won the hearts of many would-be Mercedes and BMW buyers.

But Cadillac didn’t stop there… it also wanted a piece of the AMG and M-Power market so what better way to entice power junkies than to give them exactly what they want and what the others won’t give them…. Monster horsepower coupled with a fast shifting manual transmission going to the rear wheels.  Enter the Cadillac CTS-V and “V” is for “Very Fast”!

A couple of weeks ago the guys at eCarOne gave me a 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan with a 6-Speed manual transmission.  At first, I was a bit hesitant to drive it and I really didn’t know what to expect.  I had never driven a Caddy before and I was thinking that it’s going to have power but that’s it… no feel and certainly no finesse.

Boy was I wrong!  Aside from the monster 550 HP and 550 lb-ft of torque, this car was truly a complete luxury sedan or dare I say sports sedan.  Forget about the sub 4-second zero to 60 and the 12-second quarter mile with 170+ mph top speed… forget about all that.  This car is beautiful to drive.  First, it has a mean exhaust roar but the cabin is so quiet that the exhaust does not annoy you in the least bit.  In fact, I had neighbors waving at me to slow down even though I was only going 25mph in second gear…. This baby is loud!

Oh, back to the driving experience…. As I was saying, this car is really complete.  The cabin is not only beautiful, but also well-built, quiet, and modern.  The steering wheel is a work of art, the suspension is very well balanced between comfort and handling and the brakes are nothing short of phenomenal.  Other likes include the very powerful audio system, the easy to manage navigation, and the ample cargo space… it’s a Caddy… it has to have a big trunk!

Of course, no car comes without a downside.  For me, the seats should have had a bit more side bolsters and definitely more knee support (i.e. the seats could have been a bit deeper).  Also, and expectedly so, the fuel consumption is not favorable… to put it mildly.  But then again, I don’t know many cars out there that can get you to 60mph in under 4 seconds that can also do 20 mpg!

I really enjoyed this car and I think it’s a keeper.  Go take a look yourself.

As always, thank you for reading and happy driving.

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