2013 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe (960)


This week we’re looking at the 2013 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe. I think we all know a car is an extension of ourselves. I suspect that is why we have such a love affair with them. And yes we can love more than one at the same time even if it is inanimate, but that is an entirely different conversation.

Since I believe we consider the car an extension of ourselves this CTS-V is the perfect car to make you feel good about yourself. For me it’s like putting on the Ritz or a Tuxedo. It fits just right and the seat hugs you like a wanton woman. Want’n to make you feel comfortable and secure. The hugging Seats are an option but would be on my list to have. And as to feeling secure – I’m not sure that is totally a good thing because you tend to have false confidence. Like a seat belt or air bags don’t negate the need for you to be a good or careful driver.

The CTS-V is youthful yet elegantly sophisticated at the same time. It should be on the cover of GQ for that look of boundless energy. Really cool. If it sounds like this is a favorite of mine, you would be right. I often sing its praises because it has impressed me so much. Please don’t get me wrong, I believe the ladies will appreciate this car too. But it is a high performance car that I think appeals more to men.

I was telling some friends about how much I liked the car and their comment was that the sharp edges are not to their liking. And for me that is exactly what I like so much about it. I love the edginess look and it is one of the distinguishing features that sets it apart from most other cars on the road these days. It is a rebel ‘with’ a cause. It is right for all reasons for me it is right for all seasons. It is really a special automobile for me.

At the end of the day CTS-V is simply an imposing presence on the road or even while it is sitting still – anywhere – in style.

General Information: 

Parts from the US / Canada 65%.  It is assembled in Lansing, MI, USA. Classification is Midsize. Cars from Cadillac: ATS, CTS, CTS Sport Wagon, DTS, Escalade, Escalade EXT, Escalade Hybrid, SRX, STS, XTS.

Opinions and Observations:

Some may be put off by the rumors that Cadillac’s are made in China. Although they weren’t in the past, the Chinese have an insatiable appetite for big engine luxury cars. They have imposed a huge 20% import tax in a move to get GM to build them in China where no added tax would be added.

So, General Motors announced recently that it will start building the Cadillac XTS, CTS and ATX in China in an attempt to keep up with the demand there for luxury consumption by that nation’s nominally Marxist elite. It seems that Communist Party prince-lings and their crony capitalist clients just can’t get enough Caddies, not to mention the BMWs, Ferraris and Lamborghinis.

Hey, does that mean they will dump the Unions? Can they do it here in America so they can compete with the rest of the world.

Handling & Performance:

Well, what’s not to love about how well this car handles. It is very special with a supercharged V8. I had a Rice Rocket motorcycle pull alongside while testing the CTS-V in a past year, and he motioned to me to roll down the window. I did and he said “that is some kind of car”. Apparently he had been negotiating the curves of the mountain road we were traveling following close behind. I emphasize “Behind” because it handles so well the curves were no match for the car that was equal to the challenge.


Little things like an analog clock and special leather appointments with classy stitching that adds to the subtle warmth of the car’s interior. And to cap it off, the steering wheel is suede covered and that was the very first thing I noticed. It is particularly welcomed when I come out in the below freezing mornings of the high desert of California and climb into the car. The first greeting is the feeling of suede on your hands instead of a cold steering wheel. That is unique, I think. There may be others who have suede wrapped steering wheels but I have never seen one. And I have driven most every car made since I started driving in the late 1950s.

The design is aero dynamic and even the door handles are removed. Remember when we removed door handles way before the industry copied us? That was one way to personalize our cars, like lowering and then later the hot ticket was putting them on a ‘rake’. Now cars come stock that way.

The seats have adjustments to side and bottom cushions to fit your body perfectly. Neat. Corvette was the first car I tested in the 1990s that had the seat hugging feature. It really does make you a part of the car.

Fit and Finish:



Not for the faint of heart.

Conveniences and comfort:

One of my favorite features is the keyless start that is gaining popularity. Never having to take the key out of your pocket or purse is truly one of the best conveniences of today’s cars. It has a remote start but in California it is not so important, but of course if you live in Michigan or other deep freeze parts of the world this is cool.

Another special feature is the side blind spot alert system for significant added safety. I came to rely on this and when I got into the next test vehicle without it I felt the real impact of the feature. Sometimes it’s the absence of a thing that makes it so obvious.

Consumer Recommendation:

Wow there is a huge field of competition. Cut this out, hang it on the wall and get the darts out.

Recognized Competition:

Cadillac CTS $63,000, Acura RL $52,000, Acura TL $43,000, Acura TSX $31,000, Audi A4 $35,000, Audi A5 $39,000, Audi A6 $50,000, BMW 3-Series $45,000, BMW 5-Series $62,000, BMW M3 $60,000, BMW M5 $83,000, Buick Regal $33,000, Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 $54,000, Chrysler 300 SRT8 $48,000, Dodge Charger SRT8 $45,000, Hyundai Azera $32,000, Hyundai Genesis R-Spec $47,000, Inviniti G Coupe $46,000, Infiniti G Sedan $42,000, Infiniti M $61,000, Jaguar XK Series $85,000, Lexus ES 350 $36,000, Lexus GS 450h $59,000, Lexus IS F $62,000, Lincoln MKZ $35,000, Mercedes-Benz C-Class $61,000, Volkswagen CC $38,000, Volkswagen Passat $33,000, Volvo S60 $43,000, Volvo S80 $43,000.

Good News:

Spectacular performance, wonderfully elegant – a work of art.

Bad News:

For many the price will take this off the list.

Standard Equipment:

6.2 liter 556 horsepower supercharged V8 engine, 6-speed auto transmission, limited slip differential, dual stainless steel exhaust, 19” painted aluminum wheels, performance tires and Brembo brakes, electronic parking brake, stability control with traction control, tire pressure monitor, leather seating with sued fabric inserts, front bucket power 8-way driver seat, heated front seats with power lumbar adjustment, memory seat adjuster, rear split folding seat, navigation system with Bose surround sound, 40 GB HDD and XM nav-traffic service for 3 months, Bluetooth phone connect, suede leather wrapped steering wheel, tap shift manual shift control, dual zone climate control, power tilt and telescopic steering column, rain sensing wipers, heated power mirrors, audible theft deterrent, headlight washer, fog lights, keyless start and entry system, remote start, rear parking assist, rear vision camera, front and side and side curtain airbags, side blind zone alert, power door locks and theft deterrent system.

Gas Stats:

$3.95 / Gal avg.  Feb. 5, 2013


For more information.

12 City and 18 Highway MPG


MSRP $63,215.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com

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