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.
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2016 Cadillac CTS Overview
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 Last year's optional 3.6-liter V6 has been replaced by an all-new V6 (also measuring 3.6 liters) with 335 horsepower, up from 321 previously.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:
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.
2016 Cadillac CTS Review
Cadillac has been pressing hard to better compete with high-end models from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi. In 2014, Cadillac’s midsize sedan, the CTS, underwent a full redesign aimed directly at the midsize offerings from the big three in the segment. Since its debut, Cadillac has lightly tweaked the CTS here and there, and these tweaks help make the 2016 example of the CTS the best to date.
Pricing and Equipment
As a midsize luxury sedan, we expect a pretty hefty starting price tag, and the 2016 Cadillac CTS delivers just that. Its base trim level, called Standard, starts $46,555. This model comes very well equipped with:
- Automatic stop/start
- Cadillac CUE infotainment system
- Leatherette upholstery
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- Power sunroof
Buyers can get additional premium and performance features from the CTS by opting for its higher-end trim levels. These include the Luxury, Performance, Premium, Vsport, and Vsport Premium trims. Respectively, these trims start out at $52,280, $57,280, $61,680, $60,950, and $70,950.
The 2016 CTS's six-cylinder engines deliver plenty of pop to compete against its German rivals. The sedan is also quite the handler while also delivering plenty of comfort.
- Magnetic ride control knows when to stiffen up and when to absorb impacts.
- Twin-turbo V6 engine's 420 horsepower is plenty.
- Base V6 engine is pretty competent, too.
Pass on the base 2-liter four-cylinder engine, which is noisy and has an odd power band. Just go straight for the V6 engines.
Cadillac has worked hard to perfect its interiors, and the CTS is its best result yet. It fixes all of the rough edges in early examples of Cadillac’s Art & Science design language, and delivers a clean and futuristic look.
- Screens galore give the cabin a futuristic look.
- High-end materials and perfected lines fuse art and science perfectly.
Cadillac’s CUE system still struggles in terms of usability. Swiping through the endless screens is distracting and aggravating. Cadillac needs to fix it.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
While we know Cadillac has been working hard at making its interiors more upscale and clean, we never expected the level the CTS is at. The sedan’s cabin is a beautiful place to spend a lot of time, thanks to its premium materials, beautiful lines, and loads of premium features.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
A turbo four-cylinder engine is a pretty common offering in the luxury segment these days, but Cadillac’s version seems subpar. Its power is fine at 268 horses, but its noise is pretty intrusive despite Cadillac offering it with a noise-cancellation feature.
The Bottom Line
Though the CTS is not the perfect luxury car, it is a great alternative to the typical German offerings. It has a range of engines that are more than able to compete with Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi, and its cabin is right up there with the best of the best.