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2018 Cadillac CTS-V

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2018 Base 4dr Sedan Price:   -  From $86,495
Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

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The Cadillac CTS-V has built its reputation on world-beating performance, and the 2018 model continues to carry the torch. This is the chariot of choice for discerning executives who don't want a blue and white roundel or three-pointed star on the hood of their super sedan.

What's New for 2018

2018 is an evolutionary rather than revolutionary year for the CTS-V, and changes are mainly relegated to a handful of new comfort and convenience options. This includes Apple Watch integration for the myCadillac mobile app, which will offer Apple Watch users the ability to execute certain orders right from their wrist. These commands include remote locking/unlocking of the doors, remote start/stop, and vehicle locate, should an owner forget where they parked. Also new is an automatic heated steering wheel.

Two additional USB ports in the rear as well as three new color choices round out the 2018 changes.

The Glacier Metallic Edition is also new and will be briefly available. It offers an exclusive shade of Glacier Metallic paint and will come with all options but the Advanced Security Package. There will only be 115 units built to commemorate Cadillac's 115 year anniversary, and each example will cost $103,885 (including destination charge and Gas Guzzler tax). To make the math work, all special editions will have been built in 2017 – 1902, not 1903, was when Cadillac first hung its shingle.

Cadillac CTS-V

Choosing Your Cadillac CTS-V

Cadillac CTS-V

The heart of the CTS-V is a 6.2-liter V8 making 640 horsepower and 630 pounds-feet of torque, which is enough power to allow the baddest Cadillac in the business to hit 60 miles per hour from a standstill in 3.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 200 miles an hour. An eight-speed automatic transmission routs power to the rear wheels, and paddle shifters give the driver the option of shifting for themselves. All this is augmented by a highly tuned chassis, electronic limited-slip differential and magnetic shocks that provide excellent ride and handling characteristics. With its balanced mix of power and luxury, this performance sedan by Cadillac is as much at ease making mincemeat of sinuous mountain roads as it is cruising down the highway.

To put a base CTS-V in their driveway, buyers will need to pony up $88,490. This price includes a $995 destination charge and a $1000 Gas Guzzler tax, the latter due to EPA fuel economy ratings of 14 miles per gallon city, 21 highway and 17 combined.

Since the CTS-V already sits at the head of the table within the CTS family, there are no additional sub-trims and options are limited. Buyers will primarily outfit their CTS-Vs with a combination of three main packages: the Luxury Package, the Advanced Security Package, and the Carbon Fiber Package.

The $2,500 Luxury Package includes tri-zone climate control, a power rear-window sunshade, manual rear-passenger window sunshades, heated rear seats, split-folding rear seats, and a 110-volt power outlet. It also includes the Rear Camera Mirror, a full-time exterior camera offering an unencumbered view of what is behind the vehicle via an LCD display mounted where a traditional rear view mirror would otherwise be (the standard mirror also functions as such). Cadillac claims this technology increases rear visibility by about 300 percent, a figure we're inclined to believe based on experience with it in other vehicles from General Motors.

The $600 Advanced Security Package adds an elevated level of security to the CTS-V, thanks to a steering column lock, an alarm with its own dedicated power source, locking lug nuts, and laminated rear glass for superior shatter resistance. To equip the CTS-V with this melange of security features, buyers must also order the Luxury Package.

Cadillac CTS-V

For buyers interested in style and performance, the $6,250 Carbon Fiber Package is available. This package bedecks the CTS-V with a carbon fiber rear diffuser, front splitter, hood vent and spoiler. Both the spoiler and front splitter are also more aggressive than those found on the standard CTS-V, and increase aerodynamic downforce.

Standalone options include red or gold Brembo brake calipers for $595 and a $1,295 carbon fiber engine cover that, oddly enough, is not included in the carbon fiber package. A $1,600 Performance Data Recorder is available, which records and provides feedback about indicators such as braking points, lap times and cornering speeds so drivers can critique and improve their on-track skills. 16-way Recaro seats with suede inserts are also on the menu for those looking for better-bolstered, track-ready thrones.

CarsDirect Tip

The enthusiast should splurge for the Performance Data Recorder and Recaro seats. The PDR will be invaluable in providing driving feedback for those looking to channel their inner race car driver, and the bolstered Recaros will better keep drivers in place as they strive to wring out all 640 horsepower.

Get your price on a Cadillac CTS-V »

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Automotive Editor
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Expert Review

Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Automotive Editor

When people think of performance sedans, their minds naturally jump the the Germans: the BMW M5, the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG, or the Audi RS 7. Often missing from that list is the Cadillac CTS-V, which has long been the American competitor to those titans. This is disappointing, because the 2018 Cadillac CTS-V is an incredible vehicle. The big luxury sedan is extremely fast in a straight line, sharp in the corners, while remaining comfortable and luxurious at a price significantly less than its rivals.

Best Value

We would actually keep our CTS-V pretty simple. It comes as well equipped as any car that costs nearly $90,000 should. The $6,250 required for some Carbon Fiber trim is a bit steep, and the performance trade offs require you be going way faster than you should on a public road, even if the CTS-V is very capable of those speeds. The $2,500 luxury package doesn't include anything that excites us, and we wouldn't want to pay $500 for some red brakes either. The Performance Data and Video Recorder is cool, but we just don't see ourselves using it very often.

In fact, there is only one option that we would spend our money on: the 16-way adjustable Recaro seats to hold us snugly in the corners. With that singular option, the CTS-V remains a great value, staying well below the $100,000 mark that its German rivals often surpass.

  • Model: 2018 Cadillac CTS-V
  • Engine: 6.2-liter supercharged V8
  • Output: 640 hp / 630 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy: 14 City / 21 Hwy
  • Options: 16-way Recaro performance seats ($2,300)
  • Base Price: $88,490 (including a $995 destination charge and a $1,000 gas guzzler tax)
  • Best Value Price: $90,790


Cadillac CTS-V

The Cadillac CTS-V is an absolute monster. The CTS-V has 640 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque on tap courtesy of a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine (sourced from the Corvette Z06) sent through an eight-speed automatic transmission. This powerplant allows this Cadillac to hit 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, and keep on going all the way to a claimed top speed of 200 mph. That's insanely fast, and while the E63 AMG, and RS7 may have a slightly quicker sprint due to their all-wheel-drive setups, neither can match the Caddy's top speed. This top speed detail may seem frivolous in the states, but it invites an argument to be made that the American CTS-V is a better Autobahn blaster than any of the offerings from Audi, BMW, or Mercedes. Cadillac is actually beating the Germans at their own game.

The Cadillac doesn't just offer straight-line speed – it's nimble in the corners too. The CTS-V gets stiffened with extra chassis and shock-tower bracing, which combine with the same super-sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sports tires found on most exotics. The combination allows the CTS-V to achieve almost 1g of lateral grip in the corners, which is enough to make your face feel like it's about to slide off. Thanks to its standard magnetic dampers, the Caddy is also capable offering a comfortable and compliant ride, making it perfectly reasonable for daily driving – if you're able to afford feeding it that is. The CTS-V gets just 14 miles per gallon city, qualifying it for a $1,000 gas guzzler tax.


The Cadillac CTS starts off as a good looking vehicle that stands out from the rest of the pack, following the standard Cadillac design language. The CTS-V turns the aggression up a few notches, by blacking out the trim, replacing the normal hood with one made of muscled carbon fiber, and adding some aerodynamic tweaks here and there to increase downforce. The effect works well, making the V stand out from the rest of the CTS crowd nicely. Many of its rivals look quite conservative by comparison, so it's nice to see a luxury car visually blended with a muscle car.

Inside, the CTS-V is properly luxurious, with active noise cancellation and most of the luxury trimmings of a fully loaded CTS. Cadillac designers somehow managed to sneak this one past the General Motors bean counters, as the interior is full of premium materials that help justify the price tag. The 20-way adjustable luxury seats can be replaced with 16-way Recaro performance seats, and a Luxury Package is available to add features like tri-zone climate control and rear seat heaters. The primary annoyances of the CTS remain in the V, with a rear cabin that's a bit cramped for a mid-size sedan and a small trunk.

The Best and Worst Things

You may expect us to start gushing about the car's speed here, with good reason, but the best thing about the CTS-V is the price. While $90,000 is a lot of money to spend on a car, it's a downright bargain compared to other luxury super sport sedans. The Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG starts at $105,395, the BMW M5 starts at $103,595, and the Audi RS7 starts at $114,875, all before you start adding costly options and packages. When you start comparing fully loaded models, you can be looking at savings of almost $40,000.

The worst thing about the CTS-V is the safety. It does pretty well overall, but the IIHS rating of Marginal in the small-overlap front crash protection category is enough to prevent it from taking home any Top Safety Pick awards. Additionally, you can't equip it with automatic emergency braking, which is a pretty common feature at this price.

Right For? Wrong For?

Cadillac CTS-V

The Cadillac CTS-V is perfect for someone who finds the German supersport sedan options to be a bit stoic. The CTS-V looks bad to the bone, and it has plenty of character in the form of a big American V8. Not everyone wants to travel around incognito.

On the other hand, the CTS-V isn't for those who are looking to save the planet. The gas mileage is downright atrocious and a big V8 is anything but eco-friendly, but then again, the CTS-V doesn't exactly care. If you want fast acceleration and a clean conscience, buy a Tesla Model S instead.

The Bottom Line

It's really hard to beat the Germans in the luxury sedan game, but the 2018 Cadillac CTS-V makes a very compelling case. This Caddy is blisteringly fast, luxurious, and capable of providing a comfortable and competent ride in all situations. Best of all, it undercuts the price of the competition by a significant margin, while still providing every bit of the experience. Overall, the Cadillac CTS-V is a fantastic vehicle, and the world is a better place because of it.

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Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
6.2L V-8 / 640 HP / 630 ft.lbs.
8-spd sequential shift control auto w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
14 / 21 / 18 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
6.2L V-8 / 640 HP / 630 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
14 / 21 / 18 Mpg
Brembo 4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Fuel Tank
19.0 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Premium Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
13.7 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
97 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
197.6 "
Exterior Width
72.2 "
Exterior Height
57.2 "
Front Headroom
40.4 "
Rear Headroom
37.5 "
Front Legroom
45.7 "
Rear Legroom
35.4 "
Front Shoulder Room
56.9 "
Rear Shoulder Room
54.8 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
4,141 Lbs.
Wheel Base
115 "
Turning Radius
18.3 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
19.0 " Painted Aluminum / 19.0 " Polished W/painted Accents Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone / Monotone / Tri-coat Monotone / Metallic Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote Heated
Body-colored / Body-colored With Carbon Fibre Insert
Grille Moldings
Black W/chrome Surround / Black
Rear Spoiler
Dual Stainless Steel With Chrome Tailpipe Finish
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Simulated Suede/leather
Front Seat Type
Premium Bucket / Sport
Heated Front Seats
Driver And Front Passenger Heated-cushion, Heated-seatback
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
12-way (10-way Power) / (10-way Power)
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
12-way (10-way Power) / (10-way Power)
Front Armrests
12-way (10-way Power) / (10-way Power)
Rear Armrests
Center With Pass-thru
Rear Seats
Bench / 60-40 Bench
Radio & Infotainment
Siriusxm Am/fm/hd/satellite, Seek-scan
13 Bose Surround Sound
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Power Telescopic Tilt Sport
Climate Control
Automatic Air Conditioning
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Express Open/close
Rearview Mirror
Auto-dimming Day-night
One Touch Open Window
Front And Rear
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Driver And Passenger
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Rear Side-impact Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Departure
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Automatic Parking Assist Automated
Security Systems
Security System
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
48 Months / 50,000 Miles
Major Components Months
72 Months / 70,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance Months
72 Months / 70,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
72 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months

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Color: Black



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