2004 Cadillac CTS-V (499)


This week I tested the 2004 Cadillac CTS-V. If 400 horsepower doesn’t impress you, you have to be on life support. I will guarantee you’ll be impressed. But will you want to own this hot rod if all you want is a cool looking car you can sit back and relax as you get where you’re going. For many it is the destination that’s important and not the journey.

So if the journey is the thing for you, believe me, the CTS-V will keep you on your toes, if not on the edge of your seat.

Anyway, I enjoyed the ride, but wonder a lot if I would want it as a daily driver, if for no other reason than I had trouble keeping it within the speed limit. Did someone say the speed laws raised the limit to 100 mph?

Another observation is that this car draws attention to itself by virtue of the futuristic design. The bad news is the dreaded Storm Troopers also do a double take. You know those are the tough guys on the “Dark Side” with Vadar. Driving today is still a battle of good over evil. You decide which side are the bad guys.

A problem I had with the car is that it is too classy to feel the engine lopping as if it had a big cam. Smooth AND fast is better. I wonder why they didn’t put the NorthStar engine in this model.

And although the fuel consumption can be pretty good, if you don’t have a lead foot, you may want to consider learning to ride a horse. If fuel prices continue to rise, that may once again be an option. I wondered what I was going to do with my stock in that buggy whip company!

General Info:

Parts –  n/a

Assembly – Lansing, Michigan, USA

Class:  – Mid Size

Cars: – CTS / V, Deville, Escalade, Seville, SRX, STS and XLR.

Handling & Performance:

Awesome. Simply awesome. This thing has so much horsepower and torque that you only need three of the six gears. Start in first going up hill and go to 3 and then 4th gear. When you’re on level streets or down hill you can start in 2nd and then 4th and finally 6th. It’s like having two gearboxes.

0-60 mph is impressive at 4.6 seconds. When I did that test it brought back memories of the Corvette powered Model “A” sedan I owned in my youth. It made the cover of Hot Rod Magazine… that was when the earth was still cooling. The performance was as impressive then as it is “UN-impressive today. 110 mph in the quarter in 13.25 seconds, ‘eeehah! Like anything in technology, today’s good performers are better than yesterday’s best performers.


Imposing. In a single word, imposing says it all. The presence on the road is elegant at the same time. Star Wars is this generation and Darth Vadar would drive this car… in Black, of course. The sharp lines are unique and draw a picture of the road to the future. Bravo GM. Someone ought to take the designers out for lunch… in Switzerland for a few weeks… wives and kids included. These guys are good.

Cadillac is back! Cadillac has always been world-class and GM is bent on reviving that image. Word is this car is selling like hotcakes in winter, and is especially popular with Chinese Jet Setters.

You’ll notice a slight difference in the front end from the CTS Sedan. The V model includes an additional mesh grill below the bumper to provide not only a unique front appearance, it permits more airflow to the engine compartment.

Fit and Finish:



Good. Nice size trunk with pass through. OnStar safety system – you gotta love this feature. XM radio is great for those who want a great selection of tunes and more.


Not so good. A little pricey and I think they should do a little better because the competition offers a lot too.

Consumer Recommendation:

The uniqueness of styling, great electronics and spectacular performance will endear this car to many in the fast lane. This is a contender and has to be on your test drive list in class.

The Competition:

Cadillac CTS V $49,300, Chrysler 300M $29-33,000, BMW 3 Series $28-44,000, Volvo S60 $27-37,000, Lincoln LS $32-43,000, Audi A-4 $26-44,000, Saab 9-5 $35-40,000, Lexus IS 300 $29-31,000, Jaguar X-Type $29-34,000, Acura TL $33-35,000, Mercedes Benz E-Class $48-79,000, Infiniti I35 $30,600.

Good News:

Impressive performance with decent fuel economy.

Bad News:

A little pricey for the competition.

Standard Equipment:

5.7 liter 400 horsepower V8 engine, 6 speed manual trans, 4-wheel 4-piston Brembo brakes with 14” vented rotors, 18” alloy wheels with run flat tires, Traction control, dual exhaust, leather with sued fabric inserts, power front seats, multi driver memory, heated seats, split folding rear seat, power heated mirrors, cruise control, power windows, audio system with 7 speakers and CD player, XM satellite radio, front and side airbags, fog lights, auto headlights, auto door locks, alarm system, remote keyless entry and 1 year OnStar system service.

Gas Stats:

16 City and 25 Highway MPG.


MSRP $49,300.

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