I recently had the pleasure of test-driving a 2017 Cadillac CTS. The CTS-V sitting in the showroom was tempting (pictured above with those massive brakes and 600-something horsepower), but I knew I would feel much guiltier taking a car I had no intention of buying out for a spin with a salesperson in tow if it was a $100k, 2000 made per year car as opposed to a $50k car.
Our salesperson was an older gentleman, over 70. I want to say 81, but now that I think about it, that seems kind of extreme. This was just something he did while “retired” though, so 81 might be correct. Super pleasant and very knowledgeable about the car.
The car had some very cool bells and whistles that I hadn’t seen before. The entire center console was touch sensitive — volume was controlled by a touch slider, seat heating and cooling was a force touch button with haptic feedback — and it all lifted up on a hinge to reveal a small storage area.
Another neat feature was the left part of my seat vibrating as a car entered into my blind spot (while I had it in reverse; I’m told it would do the same if I had my turn signal on in that direction).
All very cool features that I wouldn’t mind having on my next car, but that I could also do without. Things have a tendency to go wrong in cars, and if a car has more things it has more things that can go wrong. The first thing that flashed into my head was an image of the center console stuck in the up position for whatever reason (probably because the salesperson struggled to get it to close because he was hitting the wrong touch sensitive spot). Also annoying would be if it was stuck in the down position — all of a sudden whatever you have stowed away behind there might as well be in Fort Knox.
But, you have to strike a balance and take some bad with the good. Both of our cars have push button start with “keyless” entry, and I’d opt for that feature every time, even though the key fob battery life is shorter and I occasionally have issues when I have multiple sets of keys in my pocket.
Back to the car — this car was comfortable. The 2.0 turbo puts out about 270hp or so. There was considerable turbo lag when mashing at low RPMs it while the trans was in a high gear (I expected the trans to shift but it didn’t), so I suspect it’s a traditional turbo and not a twin-scroll or variable geometry or anything fancy like that. I briefly switched the drive mode into Sport and the trans into manual, and the shifts themselves were quick and crisp, with downshifts being accompanied by a nice blip of the revs. The response time (time between me pushing the paddle and the car shifting gears) was not so quick nor crisp — I’d guesstimate half a second. I don’t know if that’s considered quick or not these days, but it felt like I was waiting around.
All of the switch gear and interior materials felt top-notch. The interior smelled nice. All makes seem to have a different new car smell, and this car smelled decidedly upscale. Nothing offensive, but wafts of high quality leather. The gauges were clear with a large LCD screen between two mechanical gauges. The center caps on the needles looked machined which I liked quite a bit.
My wife and kid were loving it in the back.
As a family sedan, I give this car a two thumbs up. Comfortable, quiet, smooth. I guess it’s exactly what you’d expect a Cadillac to be, but modern with a fairly tight suspension and a solid powertrain.