Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Z-06

Edmunds Compares CTS with Others

42 posts in this topic

TOUGH CROWD

By Josh Jacquot, Senior Road Test Editor Email | Blog

Date posted: 11-04-2007

Linkity

BMW's 335i has dominated our recent comparison tests like Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell would dominate Paul "Pee-wee Herman" Reubens in a face-punching contest. Its reign over counterparts from Infiniti, Lexus and Mercedes-Benz is as well documented on this site as the Iceman's rage-fueled rise to fame was on pay-per-view.

But every great performance must come to an end.

This is exactly why we gathered this group of sport sedans. That is, to find out if the 2008 Cadillac CTS, 2007 Infiniti G35 Sport, 2008 Lexus IS 350 or 2008 Mercedes-Benz C350 Sport can topple the Bavarian champ — the 2007 BMW 335i. In the spirit of the segment, each car in the test is outfitted with sport package hardware — usually a stiffer suspension and bigger wheels and tires — and an automatic transmission.

Still, each car has its own personality, as each manufacturer's interpretation of sport, luxury and utility varies widely. So, too, does each car's as-tested price. However, the $11,000 spread that covers the field does so in almost direct proportion to each contender's feature and luxury content.

We've weighted scoring according to the priorities of the sport sedan buyer, giving equal measure to price and performance, followed by feature content and our 31-point evaluation.

5th Place: 2008 Mercedes-Benz C350 Sport

The fact that the new C-Class finishes last in this test is a testament to the fierce competition in this segment and the tiny differences in performance. Here's a car that costs less than the class average ($41,935, as tested), makes handling numbers on par with the best in the test and has a superb interface for its high-end audio and navigation systems. Plus it's built, well, like a Mercedes.

It's easy, however, to see where it falls short. It was best at nothing — bringing home 1st place in exactly zero categories. Perhaps the most costly miss is its powertrain performance. The Benz's 3.5-liter V6 is rated at 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, making it the least powerful car in the test. Seven forward gears offer plenty of leverage on the road, but its acceleration still suffers. It hit 60 mph in a lazy (for this crowd) 5.9 seconds and stopped the quarter-mile clock in 14.3 seconds at 97.7 mph — the second-slowest car here. The trade-off for this lack of performance is the highest observed fuel economy in the test — a combined city/highway average of 20.6 mpg.

This isn't a particularly spacious car, with 88.2 cubic feet of passenger volume, although rear-seat room has increased some with 33.4 inches of legroom and 36.9 inches of headroom. Standard feature content, too, is a C-Class weak point. Mercedes either makes buyers pay extra or simply doesn't offer many of the features its competitors make available. Steering-wheel shift paddles, for example, aren't available on the C-Class until next year's advanced agility package becomes available. And let's face it; short of bumping output by 50 hp, nothing is going to make this car as agile as its competitors. Adaptive headlamps, a limited-slip differential and keyless start are also conspicuously unavailable.

The C350 Sport's unique appeal depends on what appears to be good build quality (a reaction to surprisingly poor quality ratings for this car in its previous iteration) and a stellar multimedia package (a $2,950 option) that combines a premium audio system with hard-drive music storage and a brilliant navigation system with an impressively easy-to-use interface.

The bottom line is that there's nothing wrong with the 2007 Mercedes-Benz C350 Sport. It's a high-quality — if dispassionate — execution of the sport sedan genre. It's antiseptic in its rendering of performance numbers and utterly lacks the flamboyance of the Infiniti and BMW. And that's precisely the problem. It drives well, but there's nothing here that makes us want to get behind the wheel for more.

4th Place: 2008 Lexus IS 350

The 2008 Lexus IS 350 is the reason we put words between every car's performance numbers. It's fast thanks to a 3.5-liter V6 rated at 306 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque and a six-speed slushbox. It gets to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, does the quarter-mile in 13.8 seconds at 101 mph and makes handling numbers that are within spitting distance of the best in the test. These dynamics shouldn't equal a 4th-place performance. Here's where those words come in handy.

Not one editor who scored this test was able to find the kind of personal connection with the Lexus that they felt behind the wheel of the top-scoring cars. Its awkward, synthetic steering, soft brake pedal and slow-responding transmission kept us from maximizing the Lexus' man-machine interface. Synthesizing the IS 350's abilities with one's own limits was near impossible, and it earned less confidence in its abilities than any other car in the test. And it's not because the IS is slow — far from it actually, as the IS's accelerative surge will tear your head off — but it just doesn't encourage the at-the-limit driving that we think should be a part of every true sport sedan's abilities. If this doesn't matter to you, then you should consider it more highly.

At $47,815, the Lexus IS 350 is the most expensive car in the test and, for the most part, it backs up that cost with a long list of features and luxury amenities. Keyless start and shift paddles that turn with the wheel are standard equipment. Our test car was optioned with $11,145 in equipment, including park assist, Lexus' pre-collision system and radar cruise control, the sport package and the $3,990 navigation system and premium audio package.

The IS's driving position as well as its front and rear seat comfort are lacking relative to others in the test. It offers 88.3 cubic feet of passenger volume, but rear seat legroom is only 30.6 inches, while headroom is 36.7 inches. Its navigation and audio system interface and secondary controls are also less intuitive to use than its competitors. It received high marks for build quality, scoring 2nd to the Mercedes.

In only three model years, the Lexus has become the old man of the sport sedan class. Partly, this is due to the rapid advances of its competition — both the Cadillac's and the Benz's navigation and audio systems are more refined (and cost less) — and to its balance of luxury and sport, which keeps it from connecting with the driver as powerfully as its competition does. Put simply, the Lexus is a fast, well-built sedan that lacks the spirit or value of its more engaging counterparts.

3rd Place: 2008 Cadillac CTS

The 2008 Cadillac CTS might just be the best car in the GM stable. In fact, remove the insane Z06 Corvette from the equation and nothing else from the General comes so close to hitting its design target. It's good. But the question remains: How well will the Caddy fare on the world stage?

Well. Very well.

Three-point-six liters of direct-injected V6 motivate the CTS's 3,990 pounds. It's the heaviest, longest, widest and tallest car in the test, which is both good and bad. When it comes to outright interior space, only the Infiniti comes close. There are 98.0 cubic feet of interior passenger volume, and rear-seat legroom is 35.9 inches while rear headroom is 37.2 inches. But with about the same power as the others, the extra pork makes it slower. The benchmark 60 mph comes up in 6.3 seconds and the quarter-mile crawls past in 14.8 seconds at 95 mph.

But when it comes to turning and stopping, the big Caddy has almost as much hustle as its smaller, lighter competition. It recorded the shortest 60-0 stopping distance of the group at 109 feet and tied the Infiniti for the highest lateral grip at 0.89g. It was the only car that didn't exceed 68 mph in the slalom, but its 67.2-mph pass makes it no slouch.

Inside, the CTS is the best-appointed car in the test. Not only have its interior quality and materials leapt ahead of the C-Class and G35, but its design is as striking as it is functional. From the leather-swathed details to the brilliantly capable and easy-to-use navigation and audio system, this is simply a nice car to be inside.

And it drives well, too. Our test car, equipped with the FE-3 Performance Package, not only makes the numbers but also proves genuinely engaging to drive. Drop a few gears before bending the CTS into a turn and it matches revs for every downshift. And when the turn arrives, there's a combination of grip and balance that moves the CTS well beyond the Lexus and Benz on the fun-to-drive meter. It's this combination of on-the-road poise, interior spaciousness and world-class entertainment and navigation options that earn this car 3rd place. At $44,715, its cost — like its finishing position — is right in the middle of the group.

2nd Place: 2007 BMW 335i

Known for its unrivaled ability to mix sports car performance with luxury car comfort, BMW's 335i presents the best overall compromise of speed and comfort in the sport sedan segment. But it comes at a price. At $38,900 the 335i has the highest base price in this test. Add in the Premium Package, Sport Package, automatic transmission and several other options and our test car gets a price tag of $46,650, second only to the ludicrously optioned Lexus.

Traditionally, the 335i's acceleration is staggering, and while this car's 5.0-second run to 60 mph isn't as quick as we've recorded in past tests, it's still 0.3 second quicker than the Lexus. Its advantage diminishes to only 0.2 second by the end of the quarter-mile, which comes in 13.6 seconds at 103 mph. It also pulls 0.86g around the skid pad, slaloms at 68.9 mph and stops from 60 mph in 112 feet. Combined, this is the best overall dynamic performance in the test.

Under the Bimmer's hood lies the reason for all the go-fast. The 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-6 is rated at 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, and it has the most flexible engine performance here. Once it's coupled to the remarkably tractable six-speed automatic transmission, which is as at home on the racetrack as it is on Rodeo Drive, this powertrain becomes the one to beat.

The 335i also brings home the most recommended ratings, which means we would suggest it to a friend over any other car in the test. It even won our lengthy 31-point evaluation, which appraises everything from control feel to cupholder design. It's moderately spacious at 93.0 cubic feet of passenger volume, and there are 34.6 inches of rear-seat legroom and 37.5 inches of rear headroom.

Still, there are some obvious oversights. As the quickest-accelerating car in the group, the 335i stands to benefit the most from a mechanical limited-slip differential — a feature it notably lacks despite the car's high cost. And for this kind of money, it should have a navigation system. But once you check that box on the order sheet, the price of the BMW rises perilously close to the $50,000 mark.

But behind the wheel, the 335i is the most intuitive and easy-to-drive car here — not to mention the fastest. It's also the most comfortable. And that's a tough combination to beat.

1st Place: 2007 Infiniti G35 Sport

Put simply, the 2007 Infiniti G35 wins this test because it's outstanding to drive and it gives you the most car for your money. Its $36,800 as-tested price is the lowest in the test. But the real value is what it gives you, because the G35 has the most standard features of any car here and combines this accomplishment with all-around performance second only to the 335i.

All G35 Sport models come standard with shift paddles, a limited-slip differential and keyless start. And for an additional $2,650 our test car featured XM Satellite Radio and the Premium Package, which includes niceties like a power sunroof, a Bose premium audio system and memory settings for the driver seat, steering wheel and side mirrors, plus a mountain of other goodies. This is the most spacious car in this test with 99.0 cubic feet of passenger volume, rear-seat legroom measures 34.7 inches and rear-seat headroom is 37.7 inches.

The G35's power plant is the same 3.5-liter V6 used in virtually every other Nissan and Infiniti product, but it feels most at home here, under the hood of this stellar sedan. In G35 trim, the VQ35 cranks out 306 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque through the best automatic transmission in the class. The G's five-speed tranny not only responds quickest to the throttle, but also has the sharpest, most aggressive gearchanges (with rev-matched downshifts) of any automatic we've ever driven. And it feels as comfortable while blasting between gears with hard-hitting precision at full throttle as it does swapping cogs with a simple switch and slide in commuter traffic.

The G35 is the most stiffly sprung and heavily damped car here. As a result, its ride is busy and its responses walk a fine line between quick and simply nervous. But driven with a purpose, the Infiniti is the most capable car in this test when it comes to handling. Our track numbers confirm this with a best-in-test performance on the skid pad with a 0.89g mark and in the slalom with a 69.4-mph mark.

And when it comes to getting down the road, the G35 is right in the mix. The 60-mph mark disappears in 5.5 seconds and the quarter-mile is gone in 13.9 seconds at 102 mph. It scrubs off 60 mph in just 111 feet, second only to the CTS with its sticky Michelin tires.

If there is a soft spot in the G's armor, it's inside the cabin, where the design and materials aren't always as elegant as other examples in the segment. Our test car was a high-mileage unit and it showed wear on the shift knob and kick panels. Overall, however, these are small nits to pick for a car that delivers in every other area for thousands of dollars less.

The Verdict

With few exceptions, the performance of these five sport sedans is covered by mere tenths of a second or a few miles per hour. The BMW's acceleration, as usual, is striking, while the Cadillac lags behind considerably. Handling numbers, however, are a virtual wash among all the contenders.

This leaves the decision-making to more subjective means and personal taste, which is ultimately what most buyers rely upon in any case. The fact is, all five of these sedans are excellent cars. And it's not hard to find reasons to buy any of them.

We simply find the Infiniti's combination of engaging driving character, high feature content and low cost to be the most appealing. Plus, all great performances must come to an end sometime. Just ask The Iceman.

The manufacturers provided Edmunds these vehicles for the purposes of evaluation.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this is a fair review of the CTS, they seem to say if the car was a little faster/lighter it would be perfect. To beat M-B and Lexus is quite the achivement in such a tough class.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great, now since we're comparing based on price, compare a 45k CTS to a 45k 5-er, 45k E-class, and 45k Infinity M.

you know... the cars the CTS is actually the same size as.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great, now since we're comparing based on price, compare a 45k CTS to a 45k 5-er, 45k E-class, and 45k Infinity M.

you know... the cars the CTS is actually the same size as.

And they whine about the $11K price seperating the cars and give nod to the cheap thing.

Since when did a car with non elegant cabin, doubtable build quality, and inside showing wear (only after a few thousand miles) won a comparison of Entry Level Luxury Sedans. Didn't the Caddy make the cut because of having the very same problems in the previous iteration?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great, now since we're comparing based on price, compare a 45k CTS to a 45k 5-er, 45k E-class, and 45k Infinity M.

you know... the cars the CTS is actually the same size as.

Will you friggin' let this go...?????????????????

People are NOT going to compare CTS to the more expensive 5-series and E-Class. It's generally natural for people to compare by price-range.....you know that. And if you think they will compare it to the 5-er, read Road & Track's sidebar on the $61K 535i versus the CTS (and G35 Sport)......they said, and I agree, that the BMW felt worth the money over the two other cars....felt more premium, more expensive, and even outperformed the other two.

I test-drove a CTS yesterday.....and was very genuinely impressed. However, even I see it as direct competition to the 3-series, G35, C-class, et al. Would I choose the new CTS over a 335i, well I can't say that.....it would be a close choice.....but the Bimmer IS the only competitor that I would potentially choose over the Caddy.....(maybe the new A4, but I haven't obviously been in that car yet.)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree with this test with the exception of the G35.

I've never gotten this car.

I haven't driven the new one....but was in the previous generation quite a bit (even had one as a rental) and I didn't see what all the buzz was about. The new one is fairly androgenous in design, and I find the interior cheap-looking for the class....even if materials and fit-and-finish appear to be of high quality....it just doesn't have the sparkle I expect for a luxury car.

To me....the G35 has always been the "cheap" alternative for those that couldn't afford the 3-series or CTS, etc.

The CTS I drove yesterday was a 3.6DI with the middle-level FE2 suspension. To me, it felt similar in chassis feel to my '07 Sport (stiffest option outside of a V-series.) That makes me excited about an FE3 CTS because I've always wanted just a tad more firmness than what my CTS Sport offers.

The new engine was a GEM......and feels a whole class higher than the 3.6L in my '07. This is the first time I've driven a GM HF V6 that truly performs and revs with enthusiasm like a good import V6. And it's just as smooth! The only thing I didn't like was the LOUD engine noise when you get on the gas hard. The note was actually a nice-sounding growly note....but simply too loud. Why can't GM build an engine that will perform and rev without sounding like you are killing it..? GM.....spend some time in a Honda V6 or a BMW inline-6.....

Interior was beautiful.....but the seats seemed smaller/shorter than the seats in my '07....with not as much support.

I'm still not crazy about the exterior styling....and actually still like the '07 better. And I don't see a single wheel design that I like (including the FE3 18-inch wheels.)

The ONLY thing I could really complain about is the heavy weight of the new CTS. Even with 304 horsepower, the car simply doesn't feel as quick as it should. It's nice...and has a nice push in the back...but actually feels about on par with a 230-hp 328i....or my friend's A4 3.2V6. Makes sense. C&D got a CTS/6-speed 3.6DI from 0-60 in 5.9secs....and tested a 328i/6-speed at just 6.1secs.

Overall, this car should do great and I'm excited to see it here. The salesman said that the most action they were getting was from Lexus owners coming from across the street and picking up a CTS over an IS....

:-)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who can spot the typo?

Under all that American plastic is a direct-injection 3.6-liter V6 rated at 204 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque.

Anyway, they didn't bash the CTS in any way, they just felt it was slow due to its size. The problem is that while it's sized to fight the 5-series, it is the entry level Caddy, so it competes with the smaller entry level cars. This is why Cadillac needs a smaller model.

I have to take some issue with the results. I understand that the G35 is sporty and represents value, but since when a cheap interior that doesn't feel special cut it in the luxury segment? The CTS is roomier has a far nicer interior, and is a balanced overall vehicle. The BMW baffles me how they can love that basic, and rather ugly looking interior, even if the materials are top notch.

One more thing, is that the G35's engine is as good as it gets, while the others offer more powerful drivetrains.

I have to laugh at the MB for finishing dead last when it's all new.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they would have been non subjective based on "quality", performance, style and ergonomics, I think G35 would have spend time third with BMW coming in first and CTS second. Since when after clamoring all along for need of quality did these rags come against not judging it?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will you friggin' let this go...?????????????????

People are NOT going to compare CTS to the more expensive 5-series and E-Class. It's generally natural for people to compare by price-range.....you know that. And if you think they will compare it to the 5-er, read Road & Track's sidebar on the $61K 535i versus the CTS (and G35 Sport)......they said, and I agree, that the BMW felt worth the money over the two other cars....felt more premium, more expensive, and even outperformed the other two.

I test-drove a CTS yesterday.....and was very genuinely impressed. However, even I see it as direct competition to the 3-series, G35, C-class, et al. Would I choose the new CTS over a 335i, well I can't say that.....it would be a close choice.....but the Bimmer IS the only competitor that I would potentially choose over the Caddy.....(maybe the new A4, but I haven't obviously been in that car yet.)

If I have 45k to spend, how is a 5-er or E-class not competition for my dollars?

Lets, see I can spend 45k on the CTS and check every box except AWD OR I can get the same size car over at the BMW dealer with 230hp, "leatherette", no Nav, no sunroof OR I can get a Civic sized car that gets all the same equipment as the CTS except still has "leatherette", and no better gas mileage.

Usually when you pay more, you get more. That's why people buy a ES over an Camry. Between Cadillac and BMW 5-er, you can pay the same as the Cadillac and get less... or with the 3-er you can pay the same as the Cadillac and get less equipment and room but get to 60, 1.3 seconds faster while having nearly the same handling.

In order to simply match the equipment and room as a completely loaded CTS AWD with DI, you'd have to spend $10,000 more at BMW for a 5-series.

The BMW simply isn't as good a deal.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:rolleyes:

And yet again, the new 'standard' from GM somehow gets relegated to barely average...

And, just like I've always said; it's all based on "subjective" :bs:

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think we'll see what happens in the sales numbers. The CTS has vastly improved on itself, already offering a great chassie, engine, handling, and reliability <dig at BMW there>. The G has simply redesigned itself to a slightly newer shape with nothing majorly new over the old one... and the interior *still* is questionable.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a great result... who could imagine ten years ago a Cadillac beating a Mercedes or Lexus? Keep in mind the cars in this comparo are the latest and greatest, with the TL, A4, 9-3, etc, not included, so third place overall is very strong, far above "average."

Basically it depends on your priorities...

Infiniti - value

BMW - performance

Cadillac - styling

Lexus - isolation

Mercedes - build quality

Since I'm pragmatic, I'd get the BMW as a "daily drive", since it's the perfect driving appliance - great dynamics, driving feel, ergonomics, visibility, etc. But if I wanted something original, glamorous, and breathtaking, something to pull up in front of a hotel in and make a statement, I'd get the Cadillac.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a great result... who could imagine ten years ago a Cadillac beating a Mercedes or Lexus? Keep in mind the cars in this comparo are the latest and greatest, with the TL, A4, 9-3, etc, not included, so third place overall is very strong, far above "average."

Basically it depends on your priorities...

Infiniti - value

BMW - performance

Cadillac - styling

Lexus - isolation

Mercedes - build quality

Since I'm pragmatic, I'd get the BMW as a "daily drive", since it's the perfect driving appliance - great dynamics, driving feel, ergonomics, visibility, etc. But if I wanted something original, glamorous, and breathtaking, something to pull up in front of a hotel in and make a statement, I'd get the Cadillac.

I don't think the Mercedes even can be picked for its quality since every car besides the G35 has that down too. In fact...

Not only have its interior quality and materials leapt ahead of the C-Class and G35, but its design is as striking as it is functional.

I mean, the C-Class excels at nothing. The only reason to buy one is if you like the styling or if you just gotta have a Benz.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the Mercedes even can be picked for its quality since every car besides the G35 has that down too. In fact...

I mean, the C-Class excels at nothing. The only reason to buy one is if you like the styling or if you just gotta have a Benz.

"[The IS] received high marks for build quality, scoring 2nd to the Mercedes."

Mercedes usually has excellent build quality, though maybe not material quality. We had an '07 (last-gen) C280 for a week, and I was impressed by the solid door slam "thunk", the heavy, chunky door handles that don't giggle about, and the thick sheetmetal.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"[The IS] received high marks for build quality, scoring 2nd to the Mercedes."

Mercedes usually has excellent build quality, though maybe not material quality. We had an '07 (last-gen) C280 for a week, and I was impressed by the solid door slam "thunk", the heavy, chunky door handles that don't giggle about, and the thick sheetmetal.

Ah, didn't see that.

I still don't think MB went far enough with new C-Class.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On this rare occasion I do have to agree with empowah. The CTS finishing third is definitely not average. You have to remember that the A4, 9-3, TL, and MKZ weren't invited.

When is the last time a Cadillac beat a Mercedes AND Lexus AND had no backhanded compliments or snide remarks in the review. There is seriously nothing bad said about the CTS in this review. They say it's the roomiest car of the bunch and the extra size makes it a little slower. I have an old saying "It's not mean if it's true.", They gush over the interior and commend the handling and braking.

I still question how the G took first with the interior it has. The top two are definitely the CTS and 3-er.

Since I like "flare" and have had such a great experience with my CTS, I'd definitely take the Caddy. Just reading this article makes me wish I was driving my old CTS now.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Road and Track did a G35-CTS comparo, the Infiniti won, mostly based on price and out-performing the CTS in a few, objective areas.

For the record, I really really really like the new C-class. It may be the only car in this price range that I would consider instead of a CTS.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Road and Track did a G35-CTS comparo, the Infiniti won, mostly based on price and out-performing the CTS in a few, objective areas.

For the record, I really really really like the new C-class. It may be the only car in this price range that I would consider instead of a CTS.

Yeah, but I bet they didn't really knock the Infiniti for it's interior. <_<

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fact that the Cadillac held its own in such a distinguished crowd is saying something. The 'anything imported is better crowd' will still buy their favorite import, but at least the diehard domestic buyers can feel proud again. (Not that many of them gave a damn in the first place, I'd wager.) Personally, going sideways in a slalom was never a prerequisite for my considering a vehicle.

It's clear that GM has turned the corner. More and more, comparisons are having to resort to nitpickiness to find flaws in GM's newer offerings. Although it is unlikely Cadillac will ever own the luxury market like it did 35 years ago, it is becoming increasingly apparent with each new generation of Caddy that its future looks bright.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will you friggin' let this go...?????????????????

People are NOT going to compare CTS to the more expensive 5-series and E-Class. It's generally natural for people to compare by price-range.....you know that. And if you think they will compare it to the 5-er, read Road & Track's sidebar on the $61K 535i versus the CTS (and G35 Sport)......they said, and I agree, that the BMW felt worth the money over the two other cars....felt more premium, more expensive, and even outperformed the other two.

I test-drove a CTS yesterday.....and was very genuinely impressed. However, even I see it as direct competition to the 3-series, G35, C-class, et al. Would I choose the new CTS over a 335i, well I can't say that.....it would be a close choice.....but the Bimmer IS the only competitor that I would potentially choose over the Caddy.....(maybe the new A4, but I haven't obviously been in that car yet.)

The 5er better feel worth the money over the CTS and G35 if it costs $15k more. I think what will eventually happen is the CTS will become more premium and more expensive and compete with the 5er and E-Class. When the Alpha car comes, Cadillac will have a true 3er/C-Class/etc car in both size and price, and the CTS will truly compete with the 5er/E-Class/etc in both size and price. That appears to be the plan, anyways.

I am sure the 335i is more fun to drive. Equal power, a lot less weight, a lot smaller dimensions... much more toss-able. Again, this is why the CTS should be moving into the 5er class. However, Cadillac can't abandon the 3er market (not have something at the same price), and the CTS is the closest thing they have to that right now. When the Alpha comes, the CTS will finally be able to truly compete with the 5er, and Cadillac will finally have a 3er competitor.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

young uns a couple years out of school and with their first real job which they are getting overpaid for might be fine with blowing their wad on a compact because they have never had a real car otherwise but cadillac buyers tradtionally have requested some size in their car along with style. performance is the new part of the equation for cadillac.

people have always forgiven sparse interior environments on their BMW's in exchange for top performance.

if I came into a bunch of dough and decided i wanted a lux car in this sort of price range, i might look at the BMW but I would probably need the size of a 5 series. the current 3 is too tough to wedge in and out of. The previous 3 was ok in that regard. But for my money, the extra commodious nature of the CTS more than offsets its discrepancy in performance. I'd also know and bet the Caddy is engineered for Michigan frost potholes and such the bimmer may be a bit underdesigned to take on a continual basis. I would guess I probably would like the CTS to shed a couple hundred pounds, sure, but the car has a lot of stuff in it and is comfortable. I've sat in recent 3 series and it simply does not feel accomodating. The dash is blah, the door panels are cheap. The 5 series just is too expensive.

the reviewers always come at it from a track racing perspective and i guess that's fine, but really it's annoying. Not every buyer is concerned with the incremental performance differences. especially if the cadillac is a better long distance cruiser or is more comfy and striking for a night on the town.

which brings me to the G8. i get the feeling the G8 has enough interior wow for me and would allow me to save some cash over all the cars compared here. I'd kind of like the G8 to have AWD available though.

Edited by regfootball
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As regards to the weight of General Motor vehicles in general has made me think and ponder why are the vehicles heavier compared to other car manufacturers.

Weight of an automobile is dependent on three major component classes

1. Driveline

2. Equipment and accessories

3. Structural Components

Driveline, again not too much different, as GM is using the same technology in case of DOHC, and pushrods are usually lighter than their OHC siblings, and as a matter of fact GM is known to have transmissions lighter than other manufacturers. Equipment wise the GM cars more or less match their competitors, so the weight will not be too much different from the others.

This brings to the final class, the structural components. Structural components usually make the bulk of the vehicular weight. Now we all know GM vehicles are almost on par to the other vehicles in their respective competing classes, when it comes to safety and have structural rigidity almost equal too. Which means the design strength of the structural components used in GM vechiles is almost on par with its competitors'. Now the strength can be achieved by high-yield material (steel and or aluminum) requiring less quantity (thus less weight) or low-yield material requiring more quantity (thus more weight). Many a times a high-yield materials with smaller quantity end up being more expensive than quantity of low-yield materials required to produce similar strength. Especially high-yield aluminum is much lighter and can achieve strength equivalent to steel, but the down side is it is much more expensive to use aluminum compared to low-yield steel. In GM press releases of regular vehicles, I have never seen GM talk about taking weight saving measures and achieving higher structural rigidity in the same breath, either by using high strength aluminum or high-yield steel in frames or structural components. They mention about the structure being rigid, but hardly allude to how they achieved it. Yes they do boast about weight saving measures in the Vette, and Hybrids and how painfully did they achieve saving the weights.

Hence, I think GM is using low-yield steel components, which are required in a greater quantity than a high-yield material to achieve the same structural rigidity, and thus keep the cost down.

The downside? The increase in the weight you see in current GM vehicles.

Edited by smallchevy
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, but I bet they didn't really knock the Infiniti for it's interior. <_<

ACtually they commented the CTS' interior and exterior were much more stylish, much like what you find here. They picked the G35 on the basis of being more of a drivers' car, but the point spread was very minimal. This was not an article that withheld again any praise deserved of the CTS. I think they said the G's interior was stark in comparison.

The G really does have a great level of quality and finish. And if you're a minimalist and haven't recently stepped foot in the competition, the design might be perfect. I was very impressed with it at the last auto show. But that was before the new CTS and C-class came out. Can you beleive the CTS, a GM car, is now being regarded as the standard for one point of design? [not just one, but I'm talking specifically the interior]

This is not just any class of cars. This is a target that is constantly moving, the bar is always being set higher. This is a fast evolving, supreme class of cars, that really do evoke luxury and do thier marques justice in the price range they sit. Each manufacturer that doesn't have a winning set of full size class cars should just look at their own entry level cars and reproduce the exciting things from those in bigger more advanced cars.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree with this test with the exception of the G35.

I've never gotten this car.

I haven't driven the new one....but was in the previous generation quite a bit (even had one as a rental) and I didn't see what all the buzz was about. The new one is fairly androgenous in design, and I find the interior cheap-looking for the class....even if materials and fit-and-finish appear to be of high quality....it just doesn't have the sparkle I expect for a luxury car.

To me....the G35 has always been the "cheap" alternative for those that couldn't afford the 3-series or CTS, etc.

The CTS I drove yesterday was a 3.6DI with the middle-level FE2 suspension. To me, it felt similar in chassis feel to my '07 Sport (stiffest option outside of a V-series.) That makes me excited about an FE3 CTS because I've always wanted just a tad more firmness than what my CTS Sport offers.

The new engine was a GEM......and feels a whole class higher than the 3.6L in my '07. This is the first time I've driven a GM HF V6 that truly performs and revs with enthusiasm like a good import V6. And it's just as smooth! The only thing I didn't like was the LOUD engine noise when you get on the gas hard. The note was actually a nice-sounding growly note....but simply too loud. Why can't GM build an engine that will perform and rev without sounding like you are killing it..? GM.....spend some time in a Honda V6 or a BMW inline-6.....

Interior was beautiful.....but the seats seemed smaller/shorter than the seats in my '07....with not as much support.

I'm still not crazy about the exterior styling....and actually still like the '07 better. And I don't see a single wheel design that I like (including the FE3 18-inch wheels.)

The ONLY thing I could really complain about is the heavy weight of the new CTS. Even with 304 horsepower, the car simply doesn't feel as quick as it should. It's nice...and has a nice push in the back...but actually feels about on par with a 230-hp 328i....or my friend's A4 3.2V6. Makes sense. C&D got a CTS/6-speed 3.6DI from 0-60 in 5.9secs....and tested a 328i/6-speed at just 6.1secs.

Overall, this car should do great and I'm excited to see it here. The salesman said that the most action they were getting was from Lexus owners coming from across the street and picking up a CTS over an IS....

:-)

I really do like the G. It represents a screaming value as everyone knows, but as long as Infiniti skimps on the luxury and flash, they will always play second string. Back to it being an incredible performance value though, it's other attributes are that it looks refined and sophisticated, but just doesn't bring it with the salivating style that is necessary today. I think that may be what you're trying to say.....While it does still stick out because the original G was a car that stood out for its facial characteristics, so now this car follows on that legacy and is easy to spot....it's less bold and more conservative than any of its counterparts, except for maybe Lexus, whose general shape I almost prefer because of its slightly sportier character.

But a car that equals BMW's performance with great reliability and an outstanding price, well that's a recipe for success no matter what you call it. As long as the style is there.

On the CTS, it can compete with the 5-series, here's how. Give it a turbo DI, to make it one step above the regular high performance FE3 but one step below the screaming V-series. Take most of the suspension settings from the V, and give it a much less raw appearance on the outside, but definitely a distinct set of wheels that stand out [the new CTS lends itself incredibly well to modification, if GM plays its cards rights and releases the right package enhancements, they will only help the CTS brand] and boom you have a ~47k 390 hp sports sedans with a lot of appeal. But the lineup is so mixed up right now, who knows what kind of wrench that would throw in the product plan. I just think it would be an exciting addition to the CTS line. Hey, MB and BMW don't hold back from giving thier sedans power that exceeds or matches thier big brothers.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thegriffon and a few others have stated several times that this is the last CTS you'll see being compared to the 3-series, G35, C-Class and the IS. The next CTS (I'm guessing in 4-5 model years) will be larger and more expensive. The Cadillac BTS will slot in under the next CTS in price and size.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0