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James Flammang
Contributing Editor - July 27, 2015

Expert Rating

4.9 (Excellent)
14 City / 21 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

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2016 Cadillac CTS-V OVERVIEW

A new, even more potent powertrain goes under the brawny hood of the super-performing, aggressively-styled CTS-V sedan, billed as “all new” in its third generation. The midsize CTS was the model that originally launched Cadillac’s V-Series. Few cars come even close to the CTS-V in standing-start acceleration: now 0-60 mph in a claimed 3.7 seconds. Truly track-capable, this luxury rear-wheel-drive sport sedan mixes urbane road manners with what Cadillac accurately calls “unprecedented” performance. Cadillac notes that the functionally-designed exterior contributes to such performance factors as lift reduction and improved aerodynamics.

What's New for 2016

For its third generation, Cadillac’s CTS-V gains a new, more powerful 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine, whipping up an eye-opening 640 horsepower. A carbon fiber hood is standard; additional carbon fiber components are optional. Features include Brembo high-performance braking; touring, sport and track driving modes; and Cadillac CUE connectivity, including Apple CarPlay. GM’s Gen 3 Magnetic Ride Control is claimed to provide 40-percent faster damping response.

Cadillac CTS-V Front Quarter

Choosing Your Cadillac CTS-V

Cadillac CTS-V Seats

Once you’ve decided to go all out with a CTS-V, sticker-priced near $84,000, there’s not too much else to choose, other than determining whether to pay extra for a sunroof, Recaro seats, and the available Carbon Fiber package. The new supercharged 6.2-liter V8 generates 640 horsepower at 6400 rpm, and 630 pound-feet of torque. Equipped with paddle shifters, the eight-speed automatic transmission includes launch control and Performance Algorithm Shifting. A manual transmission is no longer available. Fuel-economy estimates are not yet available, but with a big supercharged V8 engine on tap, no CTS-V ranks as thrifty. The 2015 model was estimated at a mere 12 mpg city/19 mpg highway with automatic.

Brembo brakes and a carbon fiber hood are standard. So are pushbutton start, a performance suspension, sport alloy pedals, quad exhaust, and 19-inch forged aluminum wheels. Heated and ventilated 20-way front seats are trimmed in semi-aniline leather and sueded microfiber inserts. Driving modes are selectable: touring, street, or track. A curbview camera is standard, and the Parking Assist system guides with parallel and perpendicular parking modes.

Cadillac CTS-V Interior

Bose 13-speaker surround-sound audio includes active noise cancellation. The CUE system incorporates navigation, Bluetooth connectivity and natural voice recognition. Interior elements are handcrafts. In addition to a 12.3-inch instrument-cluster display, the driver can view a head-up display in the windshield. OnStar 4G LTE connectivity includes a built-in wi-fi hotspot. Standard features also include a Siri Eyes Free and text-to-voice system and wireless inductive cellphone charging. A performance data recorder is available.

Also on the modest option list, a $5,500 Carbon Fiber package includes a more aggressive front splitter, hood vent trim and rear diffuser, as well as composite rocker extensions and a taller carbon fiber rear spoiler. Available race-inspired, 16-way Recaro performance front seats ($2,300) are trimmed in Mulan leather.

CarsDirect Tip

Anybody old enough to recall Cadillac’s century-old reputation as the American luxury leader, and the choice of affluent senior citizens, is in for a rude awakening behind the wheel of a CTS-V. Few luxury-oriented sedans deliver such a visceral experience, while providing the benefits of a host of comfort and convenience features.

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