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Thread: 2017 CTS Review

  1. #1
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    Cadillac XLR

    2013 Graphite Metallic XTS Platinum

    Default 2017 CTS Review

    I returned my XT5 loaner this afternoon and was given a base four-banger turbocharged CTS until the work is completed on my car next week. This section has been dead for two years, so it's time to add something!

    The first thing that comes to mind might shed some light as to why Cadillac's sedan sales are so dismal: price. The only options on this car are leather seating surfaces, navigation embedded within CUE, and the UltraView sunroof, all for the princely sum of $54k! For that much, there are a lot of other cars you can buy that offer a whole lot more. This vehicle would be better priced around $35k max.

    I checked the dealer's sales page and this car has been sitting on the lot since last Fall, judging by the colored leaves on the trees. The hood is in terrible shape; it looks like someone let bird poop sit for too long and the clear coat is missing in places. Pretty sorry to see for what is essentially a brand-new car. The paint needs serious correction.

    The handling is very good; with upgraded suspension and magnetic ride control it would be even better. The seating is very low to the road surface - reminiscent of the XLR. I sat in the rear and the first thing I noticed was the back of my calves were pressed against the rear wall the seat cushion mounts to (but three inches behind.) It's like the floor pan was designed very low to drop the center of gravity.

    The engine is probably very fuel-conscious, but wimpy after driving the standard 3.6 V6 or XLR's V8. The exterior styling is attractive with the vertical headlights making a nice statement. The rear end is rounded, as all Cadillacs have become, decreasing the boldness of the Art & Science theme that makes the XLR such a standout fourteen years after it's debut. (This just goes to prove good looks are timeless.)

    Visibility is excellent - much improved over the XT5 I had picked up two days ago. Fit and finish is good, and the car is quiet at highway speeds, though louder than the XT5 -even with its 20" wheels. Several driving modes are offered, (Sport, Tour, and Track) but don't mean much at this trim level with a minimalist engine and bare-bones suspension.

    The interior has Cadillac's standard hard cowhide seating leather, with generous portions of stitched pleather on the dash and tops of the doors at the bottom of the windows. It looks good for what it is, but constantly reminds you of what it isn't.

    The Start-Stop feature is more pronounced with this engine over the 3.6 implementation on the XT5. The ignition is instant as soon as you remove your foot from the brake to press the accelerator, but this engine and I have trust issues when a car is coming and I'm making a turn from a stop sign.

    The eight-speaker Bose entertainment system is the worst I have ever heard them put out, --even with Bose AudioPilot engaged and multiple settings configured. Stereo separation sounds like the speakers are facing the wrong way and the bass is too strong even at low settings with the mid and treble maxed out. If there's a sweet spot with this system, I have yet to find it.

    As with the XT5, CUE is much more responsive over previous editions with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integrated. The car has 4G wireless with inductive charging.

    Unlike the CT6 or XT5, this version of CUE (like mine) has the motorized faceplate that raises to reveal a handy hidden compartment to store your iPod or phone while connected to the internal USB port to feed CUE's media library. My car has a conveniently-lit blue-glowing USB port, this CTS has a little light in the compartment. It's a small thing, but the glowing port makes it easier to plug into the port. This is the kind of penny-pinching while asking a premium price Cadillac needs to re-evaluate.

    The interior ambient lighting (an included option) was no more than lighted foot wells and an LED near the door handles, with light pipes under door and dash trim pieces that barely glow. I hope other CTS owners (the XT6 was identical) don't ever see an XTS lit up at night as the exterior door handles and interior lighting slowly comes on in stages and reduces to a subtle (adjustable) glow inside. This looks very cool and new passengers never fail to comment on it. Lighting is one of Cadillac's strong styling points and should be emphasized in all trim levels. Implementation is not expensive.

    Over-priced, externally attractive, with minimal features in this trim level, I'm convinced with today's Cadillacs, one needs to opt for a Premium or Platinum trim level to enjoy true Cadillac comfort and luxury.

    Unfortunately, I predict this vehicle will still be sitting on the lot this Fall.
    Last edited by ccclarke; 08-01-2017 at 05:48 AM.

  2. #2
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    2006 Infrared XLR (Beauty); 2008 GT500 (Beast); 2007 Black XLR-V (Victor)

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    Yikes! Pretty damning indictment on that CTS.

    Cadillac sold 846 CTS's TOTAL in June. It also had a greater drop in overall sales for all models than any other GM division, in fact just about double any other division. In June they had a 124 day supply of CTS's, 103 day supply of ATS's, & 135 day supply of CT6's, when a 60-70 day range is generally considered healthy. I'm not sure Johan has this Titanic turning yet...

    http://media.gm.com/content/dam/Medi...-June-2017.pdf

    yep, I drive a hybrid - a V8 bred for high speed!

    2006 Infrared XLR
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  3. #3
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    Cadillac XLR

    2013 Graphite Metallic XTS Platinum

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    I think it will be six to eight years before any fruits of the current re-vitalization efforts at Cadillac are likely to appear. The Cadillac Confusion Tour reigns supreme at the moment, and it takes years to go from preliminary design proposals to cars gracing the dealer lots. The current sedan lineup is in total disarray, with something old and something new gracing the lots, with few styling cues to differentiate the sedan lineup from one another.

    The XTS is Cadillac's best-selling sedan, based on year-to-date sales. It's a nice car, but in five years, the changes to it have been minimal.

    Even the performance-oriented VSport is nothing more than a Premium or Platinum trim level with a turbo-charged 3.6 engine. The suspension components are the same as what I have on my car. With the addition of turbocharging, you pay thousands more. . . just to go a little faster on a suspension system is anything but sporty.

    Profitability on the XTS is very good; the chassis is shared with two other GM vehicles, so the development costs are spread and paid for. With sales this good, (and at around a thousand a month, which is nothing to brag about) they'll milk the XTS for another two model years with nothing but a face and butt lift to conform to the other cookie-cutter design cues found in Cadillac's sedans. The interior design cues of the XTS blow the ATS and CTS away. Like the ELR, the ATS and CTS center stack look like someone poured a bucket of cake batter down the center to harden at the bottom like the end of a lava flow. The XTS, XT5, and CT6 flow smoothly from vertical to horizontal that is much more visually pleasing. But the way the interior designers intentionally created the lines of the surfaces (including the grain of the wood) of the XTS to always join on the center axis is very appealing. The center axis theme is continued all the way to the rear of the car on the trunk lid and rear fascia surface -as in the XLR. The other models have all become rounded, like their Euro competitors. Even the taillights are rounded - the XTS are fin-like, and flat alongside the trunk lid as a tribute to the original design theme Cadillac is famous for. It's all comes down to a matter of personal taste, but I'm a fan. The vertical headlights (found on all modern Cadillacs) just looks badass and unique. You can always recognize a modern Cadillac at night -coming or going. Now GM is considering lighting along the lines of the Escala concept. My perception is they can't decide what they really want (sort of like the current congress) and it gives the impression of confusion.

    With the exception of the XTS, the ATS, CTS, and CT6 look virtually identical when viewed on the sales lot as long as you can't tell their relative length to one another. This is good for parts interchange where applicable, but cuts the uniqueness factor across the model lineup considerably.

    Keeping the four door, full-size XTS around to compete with the CT6 robs sales from one at the expense of the other. CT6 sales since it's introduction have not been impressive, partly for that reason. To support the CT6, the sooner the XTS is discontinued, the better.

    I'm scoping out a Platinum CT6 now, with the intention of buying a CPO coming off-lease down the road, letting someone else eat the massive initial depreciation common to all luxury cars. I'll never buy a new Cadillac again after getting soaked twice.

    JdN's recent announcement of the impending demise of the ATS and CTS has to hurt future sales as potential owners await their unofficial replacement(s) and deepens the depreciation for those buying now and in the near future. Bad idea; he should have waited until production was imminent. There will be some great deals to be had on both in the next couple of years.
    Last edited by ccclarke; 08-01-2017 at 05:51 AM.

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