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John Diether
Automotive Editor - August 19, 2015

2016 Cadillac CTS OVERVIEW

Cadillac's well-regarded midsize sedan, the CTS is capable of delivering athletic performance on the weekends and silky smoothness when all you want to do is cruise. Add to that it's flamboyant American style, and you have the quintessential Cadillac for modern times.

What's New for 2016

The CTS receives a new V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, plus updates to its CUE infotainment interface. Instrumentation has been revised, and a rearview camera is now standard on all models.

Choosing Your Cadillac CTS

Until a few years ago, the CTS was known as the entry-level Cadillac, but that spot has been filled by the compact ATS. The current CTS ranks firmly in midsize luxury class, where it competes with stalwarts like the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

The base 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder packs a lot of grunt for its size: 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Last year's optional 3.6-liter V6 has been replaced by an all-new V6 (also measuring 3.6 liters) with 335 horsepower, up from 321 previously. Cadillac reports that the engine's fuel-saving technology boosts efficiency by 9 percent. Both the 2-liter and 3.6-liter come exclusively with a new eight-speed automatic transmission. As before, all-wheel drive is available in place of the standard rear-drive setup.

Last year's twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 continues as the top engine. Output remains at a mighty 420 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. The turbo V6 comes exclusively with rear-wheel drive and a carryover eight-speed automatic.

Cadillac offers the CTS in no less than six trim levels:


Comes with the 2-liter engine and your choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. Standard features include Brembo front brakes, 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, remote start, paddle shifters, Bluetooth, and power front seats with driver memory. The 11-speaker Bose surround-sound system features satellite and HD radio. Cadillac's infotainment control interface, known as CUE, is also standard. The optional Seating package rounds things out with genuine leather upholstery (in place of the standard leatherette), heated and ventilated front seats, a split-folding rear seat, a heated power-adjustable steering wheel, LED ambient lighting, and auto-dimming side mirrors. Individual options include a navigation system, a panoramic sunroof, and a 13-speaker Bose system.


Gets the Seating package as standard and the V6 engine as an option. Safety gets a boost with the standard Driver Awareness package, which adds automatic wipers and high beams, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, and forward collision alert. The Luxury also carries adaptive xenon headlamps and expanded passenger seat controls. The Standard model's options carry over with the addition of 18-inch wheels.


: Carries the Luxury's equipment and options, plus an adaptive suspension, an automated parking system, and a head-up display. You also get interior enhancements such as a illuminated door handles and sill plates, a household-style power outlet, tri-zone automatic climate control, heated rear seats, and rear sun shades. You can add the Driver Assist package with adaptive cruise control and active collision mitigation; and the Performance Seat and Cluster package, which tacks on 20-way front sport seats, alloy pedals, and configurable gauges.


Bundles together nearly everything that's available on the lower trims, and then adds an extended leather interior and a more sophisticated theft-deterrent system. The V6 engine and all-wheel drive remain optional.


Packs the turbocharged V6 engine and other performance upgrades such as sport-tuned steering and suspension systems, a heavy-duty cooling system, a limited-slip rear differential, summer performance tires, and a Track driving mode. The self-parking system is also part of the deal. Otherwise, the Vsport is equipped like the Luxury, except navigation and the upgraded Bose system are standard rather than optional.

Vsport Premium

Combines the Premium trim level's extra equipment with the Vsport's performance upgrades. Options for both Vsport models include 19-inch wheels, high-performance brake pads, and carbon fiber interior trim.

CarsDirect Tip

Don't be scared off by the notion of a four-cylinder engine in a midsize Cadillac. The 2-liter is mighty for its size, and most buyers actually prefer it to the more powerful (and expensive) V6. We especially like the Performance trim level, which adds some excitement without requiring you to spring for the full-blown Vsport treatment, thrilling as it is.

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