Cadillac CTS Review
The 2013 Cadillac CTS ranks 4 out of 20 Upscale Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 66 published reviews and test drives of the Cadillac CTS, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
Auto critics say the 2013 Cadillac CTS offers a high-quality cabin that’s packed with features, but other cars in the class are either more nimble or more comfortable.
The 2013 Cadillac CTS comes with a choice of two V6 engines, though most reviewers suggest avoiding the base 3.0-liter engine and opting for the larger 3.6-liter V6, which offers more power and similar fuel economy. A six-speed automatic transmission comes standard, and test drivers say that it’s refined and well-matched to the CTS’ engine. If you need even more power, the high-performance Cadillac CTS-V comes with a powerful, supercharged V8 engine and an upgraded suspension. The CTS is available as a coupe, sedan or the CTS Sport Wagon, which is reviewed separately. All-wheel drive is optional. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 18/27 mpg city/highway, which is bit low for the class. While reviewers appreciate the CTS’ precise steering and ample power with the optional 3.6-liter V6, a few say that the CTS is neither as nimble as sport sedans like the BMW 3-Series, nor as comfort-tuned as cars like the Lexus ES 350.
Inside, reviewers say that the 2013 CTS is a mix of highs and lows. While they’re impressed with the CTS’ high-quality interior materials and attractive design, a few test drivers note that the seats are stiff, and that rearward visibility isn’t as good as it could be. They also say that the CTS has a small trunk opening, which can make it difficult to load bulky objects. One reviewer writes that while the navigation screen has a large, attractive display, it can also be difficult to use. Despite these concerns, reviewers say the 2013 CTS has a great-sounding stereo, and that its other controls are intuitive. The CTS also comes with more standard features than many cars in its class. Leather, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control and Bluetooth are all standard equipment on the base 2013 CTS Luxury.
- "Base prices are reasonable for the class, but they quickly escalate as you move up the roster and/or add costly options and packages. Still, CTS is a top-notch premium-midsize car that should not be overlooked." -- Consumer Guide
- "In more recent years, though, the CTS has been left relying on those red, white and blue virtues while its many competitors have been updated and overhauled, essentially moving the luxury standard upward." -- Edmunds
- "Smart styling, lots of high-tech features, a refined driving experience and impressive powertrains give the broad model lineup strong appeal." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "The CTS checks most of the boxes it needs to in the luxury sport sedan segment with its distinctive design, upscale interior and refined 3.6-liter V-6 drivetrain. That said, discerning handling enthusiasts will get more enjoyment from the more expensive BMW 5 Series." -- Cars.com (2012)
Other Cars to Consider
If you like the CTS’ long list of standard features, the Acura TL is worth your consideration. Although not everyone likes its exterior styling, test drivers say that the TL’s balanced performance and spacious, comfortable interior make it a solid pick within the class.
The Audi A4 gets better fuel economy than the CTS, and reviewers love the A4’s composed handling. While the A4 doesn’t come with as many standard features, it earns high marks for its well-built cabin and high-quality materials.
Details: 2013 Cadillac CTS
The 2013 Cadillac CTS sedan and coupe come with a V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional on both models. Three trims are offered on the CTS: Luxury, Performance and Premium. The high-performance CTS-V sedan and coupe come with a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine, which is paired with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. For 2013, the CTS gets an updated grille and the previously mid-level Luxury trim becomes the base model. As a result, the 2013 CTS comes with more standard features than the 2012 model. The Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon and CTS-V Sport Wagon are reviewed separately. Since the CTS hasn’t changed much, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2012 and 2013 model years.
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