The 2012 Cadillac CTS is a far cry from my grandfather’s Caddy. Back then, the Deville’s unexciting 4.0 L V8 got the job done. Nowadays, the Cadillac CTS in Luxury Performance trim features a 3.6 L V6 that puts out 318 hp and 275 lbs./ft. of torque to all four wheels, courtesy of the AWD system.
A slightly less powerful 3.0 L V6 is also available with AWD, as well as a 6.2 L V8 if you wanted the balls-to-the-wall performance of the CTS-V. The mid level V6 offers respectable performance that would probably be more noticeable if it were only feeding the rear wheels. Regardless, it still has plenty of power to get it going. What is worth noting is the six-speed automatic with paddle shifters that works seamlessly to deliver exactly the level of performance you foot demands.
What really stands out is the European inspired handling. It’s no secret that Cadillac has taken the Germans to task in creating a competitive world class luxury car. This car handles as well as any Mercedes or BMW in its class. The firm suspension offers a taut feel that keeps you in control for fast, tight turns and light lane changes. It also still offers the steady, smooth ride of the traditional Cadillacs of old.
Throughout the years, Cadillacs have always had a very distinctive style that is hard to confuse with any other car. The lines of the car blend beautifully, from the edgy, upswept headlights to the slight V-shaped rear. The tasteful chrome additions and impressive front grill remind you what quintessential North American luxury is really about.
The interior is definitely a step above your typical sedan. Throughout the cabin, everything is simple but sophisticated, and you can operate the controls with ease.
But alhough it features high end luxuries like Recaro seats, the interior can tend to look and feel ‘plasticy’, like many other North American cars.
However, for the price, skimping on brushed aluminum interior components can be understandable. The only other shortcomings are the lack of legroom in the back seats and poor rear window visibility.
My grandfather bought his Cadillac when it was just a North American luxury car. Since that time, Cadillac has worked hard to create a world class luxury vehicle. It has a performance that can contend with any luxury car maker on the market, and the only drawback is the quality of the interior, which is still very respectable.
Ultimately, what the 2012 Cadillac CTS demonstrates is that some things really do get better with age.