• Sep 27, 2007
click above image for new live shots of the 2008 Cadillac CTS

While Damon was lucky enough to get an early shot at driving the brand-new 2008 Cadillac CTS on Laguna Seca last month, the rest of us had to wait until GM showed off its 2008 collection at the Milford Proving ground this week. We'll be bring you more First Drives from the GM event in the coming days, but let's start with our favorite GM product for 2008, the Cadillac CTS.

Customers in North America get to choose from two variants of the 3.6L V6 available in the CTS, one with port fuel injection and the other with direct injection (both models have variable valve timing). All four of the cars on-hand at Milford had the direct injected engine sending its 304 HP to either all four wheels or the rear axle only. The effort that Cadillac engineers and technicians put into designing and developing the CTS was certainly not in vain. That much should be evident by anyone who takes the new CTS for a test drive. Our latest driving impressions of Caddy's new sport sedan, including VIDEO, can be found after the jump.



click any image below to enlarge


GM set up a special course on the Milford Proving Ground's Vehicle Dynamics Test Area and Ride and Handling Loop that allowed us to evaluate the cars under a variety of conditions and road surfaces. After settling into the incredibly comfortable and supportive seat of the CTS, a press of the start button brings the engine to life. At idle the engine is almost Lexus silent, but underway it makes its presence felt with a solid push in the back and a deliciously precise mechanical sound as the revs climb. The 3.6L is as smooth as silk and pulls strongly throughout its rev range. One of the beauties of the direct injection system is that in addition to boosting output from 263 to 304 hp, fuel economy also climbs by 1 mpg and hydrocarbon emissions dip by twenty-five percent. Magic bullet, anyone?



General Motors has made it known repeatedly that it has spent a lot of development time on the treacherous Nordschleife at the Nurburgring in Germany with the CTS and other cars. The older North Loop is an old racetrack with lots of bumps and surface changes, and if the suspension can't articulate enough to keep the wheels in contact with the pavement, you can easily end up in the forest. The Milford Ride and Handling loop has some pretty nasty surfaces too, and the 'Ring time pays off in spades here. Hustling over some railroad tracks, sine waves, and assorted other rough stuff, the CTS body never shivered at all and stayed under control at all times. It never felt floaty or harsh, just perfectly balanced.



The Milford Loop has one particular sweeping right hand corner with some small amplitude, medium frequency bumps all the way through that can really unsettle lesser cars. The CTS just powered through, never feeling like it was going to let go at either end. This is the way a real world car needs to handle, able to absorb anything the road offers up without pounding the occupants into submission. The all-wheel-drive version felt just as responsive as the rear drive model, and would probably make a wonderful choice for drivers in more northerly regions. Our all too brief ride definitely yields a big yet tentative thumbs up so far. Of course, a more conclusive assessment will have to wait until we can spend more real world seat time with the CTS that includes kids in the back seat and stop and go traffic. So far, however, all the signs are good.


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  • 25 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      make it into a baby wagon (think A4 Avant); available with the V-series in a manual ... after that, I'd buy it.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I saw an septo-octo genarian and his wife tooling around in a cream coloured one the other day. Yup, another GM homerun.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Always a great joke especially from a denarian. I don't think septo is correct (probably septua) But still, funny as hell. Everyone on here giving kudos must be septuagenarian and above, no doubt.

        Don't forget to go over to the recent 2010 Buick LaCrosse blog and do the same joke. That one is always a killer.
        • 7 Years Ago
        My mother will be 87 this December, and she is younger AT HEART than half the 40 year olds on this blog. Not every oldster is some querolous old man who wears his fedora in the car, or a woman who rinses her hair in Mrs Stewart's Blueing.

        She sold me her CTS so she could take delivery of her 3.5 litre Chrysler convertible.
        • 7 Years Ago
        My 85 year old mother wanted to see/and buy the new CTS, so we jumped on my Harley (she sold hers seven years ago) and went to the local dealer. Since the only car they had in stock was an automatic, she bought the XLR. Thank God I was able to convince her not to wear the halter top.
      • 7 Years Ago
      "a press of the start button brings the engine to life."

      In the video, it sure looks like you're twisting a key in the ignition. Is there a start button not shown? Please clarify. If it's a conventional ignition lock, why is it still on the steering column?

      Please tell me that's not a step-on parking brake.

      All in all, big improvement over the first generation.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I believe I read in AutoWeek that early production would have a foot brake, but that Cadillac listened to consumers and was going to change the footbrake for (i think) an button-actuated electromechanical one in a few months. (Still not as good as a handbrake, mind you.)
        • 7 Years Ago
        Keyless ignition is an option. there is a stub permenently attached to an ignition cylinder, similar to a mazda miata setup, keep the key fob in your pocket, sit down and start the car. very nice. feels more natural than the push button. IMO. and yes it is a foot brake. cant have it all i guesse.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Thanks to both of you.

        My Lincoln LS has an electric parking brake. It's become a favorite feature of mine.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I got to check one out in the flesh yesterday. The dealer has 5 of them in stock, well 4 now since a couple was buying one when I arrived.

      I must say that pictures don't do this car justice. It is gorgeous inside and out. The team responsible for the car has really outdone themselves. The car presents very well and it sounds like it drives even better.

      GM homerun? Let's hope so.
        • 7 Years Ago
        A San Diego dealer had 1 in stock 2 weeks ago. Wouldn't let me drive it, but I did the walk around and sit in. Very tasty. Likely a little beyond my price range (esp. loaded with the DI and sport suspension), but all that's needed is a sweet GMAC deal.
      • 7 Years Ago
      You need to drive one. I drove a base model with the FE1 and automatic. It presents well both in exterior and interior finish. Pictures due not do it justice. BMW like ride quality. Very nice and sporty even in the base model with 17'' rims. It merits a second look and consideration for anyone in the Sport Sedan market. It does NOT have run flat tires and has a spare tire as an option. Not so with the new BMW's. In the real world you need a spare. I have requested the dealer to call me when a direct injection model comes in. i may just have to order a Sport Model. BMW M3 owner gets a CTS Caddy? Maybe so. Hats off to GM and the race program at Cadillac. A job well done.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I hope it looks better in person, because I'm not a fan of the pictures.

      I think the grille is over-sized and way too blingy. And I am so freakin' sick of these stupid fender vents that are showing up on everything. I think Range Rover started the current fad and like lemmings all the designers have to jump on board.

      The side profile wouldn't be bad if that fender vent didn't stick out like a zit on the face of a teenager. The rear clip is decent.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It definitely is better in person. I've seen a lot on the road here in Lansing (where they build them), and it really does stand out. The view of it from the rear is stunning with the powerfully bulged rear fenders and the tapered rear to the taillights. This sleek sculpting of the body is something you really can't see well in pictures as things look kind of flat in the photos. It is an excellent looking car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I sure like this car, but at 4000lbs+ and a price over the G35, I can't see why I'd choose the CTS
      • 7 Years Ago
      Did you guys feel the flat spot circa 3000-4000rpm like the Edmund guys?
      http://media.gm.com/us/powertrain/en/product_services/2008/HPT%20Library/HFV6/2008_36L_VVT_DI_LLT_STS.pdf

      Maybe GM should shorten the axle ratios?
      CTS FE1-3.42, FE2-3.73, FE3-3.91
      STS 3.73 & 3.91 for the 'Performance Handling Package' (oversized tires)
      http://media.gm.com/us/powertrain/en/product_services/2008/HPT%20Library/HFV6/2008_36L_LY7_CTS.pdf
      • 7 Years Ago
      Talked to a friend at the local caddy dealership here in GA, they got 4 and sold 3 by the end of the week and they are keeping 4th for all the people coming in looking for them.

      I really really wan't one but my budget keeps screaming no :(
      • 7 Years Ago
      I could have driven it if I wanted to but didn't have the time.

      The one I sat in was completely loaded. AWD, sunroofs, keyless ignition, everything.

      It was in the mid $40s, not cheap, but my sister paid about that for her new G35 AWD.

      If you can live without the toys they are a bit more affordable.

      The V is supposed to have the same powertrain the ZO6 has.
      • 7 Years Ago
      man, i really hope i like this car. Hated the last one (would probably place it close to last in its class) but I have hope for this one.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Apparently they worked very hard to eliminate this...

      "GM insiders know they have a minor NVH problem with the new 3.6L DI V6 fitted to the new Cadillac CTS and revised STS. And frustratingly, they know it's a problem that can't be fixed; it's a design fault, admits one senior engineer." Motor Trend

        • 7 Years Ago
        "The Motor Trend of Old was a completely differently animal, that is before the influx of Toyota Advertising money that keeps it afloat" Moon River

        I guess you missed Cadillac's 7 page insert, the HUMMER ad the Buick Enclave ad, two page Pontiac GXP ad, the three page American Revolution ad, one page SAAB ad versus the ONE, ONE page Toyota ad the October issue of Motor Trend!

        FIFTEEN pages of GM ads versus ONE page.

        Who's paying the bill over at MT again? Oh that's right Toyota is... and you'd have to be on the Moon to believe that one!
        • 7 Years Ago
        That is total bullsh** and GM should sue Motor Trend, a total lie. I have learned not to trust MT they are as off base as the renouned (not)Consumer Reports, rarely right on anything. The Motor Trend of Old was a completely differently animal, that is before the influx of Toyota Advertising money that keeps it afloat.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It's not a design fault, it's a characteristic of a DI engine. The piezoelectric injectors go "click" every time they go on and off (think of a mini version of pressing the ignition button on your gas grill, it's piezoelectric too), GM has worked hard to mask this with sound insulation, but it's inherent.

        My understanding is they did a good job.

        And it's not really a NVH problem, just a "N" problem.
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