2006 Cadillac CTS (570)

Overview:

This week we’re looking at the very popular 2006 Cadillac CTS. And although GM is losing money they are still the worlds largest auto maker. And the experience can be seen in cars like this CTS.

They are doing some wonderful things and are still the leader in innovation – an expensive process. They are positioning themselves to launch at least 5 new models of fuel cell cars in about 5 years which is way ahead of the estimate just 2 years ago when I drove the High Wire hydrogen powered fuel cell car for the future. I suppose an “Anti Gravity Hover Car” like those in Star Wars will be on the scene sooner than many can imagine also. So, quietly GM is forging forward while companies like Toyota advertise they are “Moving Forward”.  

In the meantime cars like this CTS will have to do. And they do great. It is an all around great luxury car that still carries the image of the standard by which all other cars are judged. That image is likely the reason why this is the most sought after car in the Far East – Japan and China.

General Info:

Parts – USA

Assembly – Lansing, Michigan, USA

Class:  Mid-Size

Cars: CTS, DeVille, DTS, Escalade, SRX, STS, XLR.

Handling & Performance:

The Crest Test is my course of choice along with another secret course through the San Gabriel Mountains. These provide a great real world place to see how these cars perform and it is consistent across all brands. This CTS is among the best of the best. Previously I tested the Nissan 350Z and felt it is excellent on the two courses but for a large sedan this CTS will impress even the most performance conscious drivers.

Styling:

Speaking of Star Wars – Cadillac has crafted a design over the past several years that is truly modern and space age. Yes, they have broken through their own barriers. To me the Star Wars character I think of when looking at the Cadillac line is Darth Vadar, especially when it is painted Black.

Fit and Finish:

Outstanding. I especially like the real wood steering wheel / leather combo.

Cost:

You may appreciate, as I did, the options to enhance and upgrade from the standard fare. Included was a DVD navigation system with XM Satellite radio, which also provided the Nav system with Traffic information. It plasters markers on the map to show where traffic problems are. Cost of enhanced Nav audio etc. – a mere $3,000.

Conveniences:

You just gotta love XM radio. I particularly like the music by decade feature. Another is that the monitor displays the Title and Artist, which is very cool. It eliminates arguments about the recording. The other, soon to be broadly used, is the OnStar system. I find it very helpful. It gives a great peace of mind that there is someone to help from most any driving location you find yourself. I was recently in a remote desert location in Southern California and low on fuel. Yes, we were lost. We had taken the wrong turn and with good conversation, la-la land was right around the next mountain. OnStar to the rescue. They gave us “Playback” directions, advised where the closest gas station was and “is there anything else I can do for you today”?

Consumer Recommendation:

This is a car that suits very well the younger executive on the way up. And it is priced right for that ride. If you have the option available get Run Flat tires – do that. It’s not that you can’t change a tire it is a fact that tires only go flat when you can least afford them to. It is sure to happen when you are late for an appointment or the all to familiar – running late – trip to the airport.

The Competition:

Cadillac CTS $31-51,000, Saab 9-5 $36-40,000, Lexus IS 300 $30-31,000, Jaguar X-Type $30-31,000, Infiniti M $41-50,000, Mercedes Benz E-Class $50-82,000, BMW 3-Series $31-45,000, Chrysler 300 $24-40,000, Lincoln LS $39,285, Volvo S60 $30-38,000, Audi A4 $28-45,000, Acura TL $33-36,000.

Good News:

F a a a s t, fun, but elegant at the same time. Unexpected fuel economy for a performance luxury sedan.

Bad News:

I found none.

Standard Equipment:

3.6 liter V6 engine, 6-speed manual trans, 4-wheel abs disc brakes, 16” alloy wheels, all speed traction control, leather wrapped steering wheel with controls, leather seating, power driver seat, power windows, power heated mirrors, cruise control, computer info system, rear seat pass thru to trunk, audio system with CD and 7 speakers, XM satellite radio, dual front air bags with head curtain side bags, rear window defogger, fog lights, auto on / off headlights, rear child security locks, theft deterrent system, remote keyless entry, OnStar.

Gas Stats:

17 City and 26 Highway MPG

Pricing:

MSRP $33,160.

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