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Avg. Price Paid:$8,377 - $14,602
Original MSRP: $29,925 - $51,425
MPG: 17 City / 27 Hwy
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2007 Cadillac CTS Performance

This performance review was written when the 2007 Cadillac CTS was new.

Most reviewers agree that the 2007 Cadillac CTS offers good performance for its class, even if it's not quite as refined as some of its competitors. According to Edmunds, "The CTS is a true sport sedan, with a tightly controlled ride and sharp steering."

Despite accolades, most reviewers find the base 2.8 liter V6 engine to be lacking, but see the optional 3.6 liter engines as offering true enthusiast performance. Automobile Magazine says "although the larger engine lives up the CTS' performance potential, the new entry-level choice is merely adequate for average drivers." No matter the engine, however, most reviewers were pleasantly surprised by the handling of the CTS. "Cadillac traditionalists will be surprised, [the] CTS maneuvers well," reports Forbes.

Acceleration and Power

The CTS has two available engines. The 210-horsepower, 2.8-liter six-cylinder engine makes 194 lb-ft of torque. The 255-horsepower 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine makes 252 lb-ft of torque. Both the 2.8 and 3.6 come standard with Aisin six-speed manual transmissions, with an optional five-speed automatic transmission. New Car Test Drive says, "We can highly recommend both the automatic and manual transmissions, so choosing between them is a matter of preference." The special edition CTS-V has a 400-horsepower V8 (manual transmission only) that makes 395 lb.-ft of torque. Of the CTS-V, MSN feels that "it handles and stops like a world-class sports-luxury sedan."

The 2.8-liter six-cylinder was not the reviewer favorite, mainly for a lack of comparative power, though most think it adequate. Kelley Blue Book writes that it "provides adequate acceleration for the casual driver" though it "lacks the refinement and power expected by most enthusiast drivers." MSN notes its "decent performance" but observes an absence of "stirring acceleration." The 2.8-liter six-cylinder engine delivers good fuel economy for the class, with an EPA estimated 16 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway.

Many reviewers found the power of the 3.6-liter the better option. With more low-end torque, Kelley Blue Book recommends the 3.6-liter V6 as "the better choice for the enthusiast driver." Adds the San Francisco Chronicle, "Though it still isn't the most powerful six-cylinder sport sedan in its class ... the CTS with the 3.6-liter engine and six-speed manual somehow seems sportier." Some reviewers think the 3.6-liter is simply a better fit. About.com says "it's more expensive than the 2.8 Liter V6, but better mated to the car." The 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine has good fuel economy for the class, with an EPA estimated 16 miles per gallon in the city and 25 miles per gallon on the highway.

On the standard manual versions, shifting generally got high marks. New Car Test Drive notes, "the manual is remarkable for its smooth shifting and easygoing clutch," though About.com feels the CTS shifter is finicky: "It takes touch and concentration to shift from first to second on the run ... It's the kind of quirk that you could adjust to in time." And MSN agrees, noting "it generally shifts OK, but also is a bit notchy." Cars.com calls the optional automatic shifting "excellent" and "quick-shifting."

For an even more impressive performance, many auto writers recommend the CTS-V's V8 engine, which New Car Test Drive calls "a great hot rod." Edmunds says its "high-powered" engine delivers "hard-core performance." Critics noted the irony of the traditionally stoic Cadillac being fitted with such an engine. "The CTS-V is the perfect reincarnation of '60s muscle cars," writes Automobile Magazine. "It takes a midsize sedan and fits it with massive power." About.com notices, "It's the kind of power and acceleration that really throws you back in your seat, and tempts you with the possibility of wild power slides and triple-digit speeds." The V8 engine has decent fuel economy for the class, with an EPA estimated 14 miles per gallon on the city and 22 miles per gallon on the highway.

As mentioned above, the CTS-V comes with only a six-speed manual transmission, which Kelley Blue Book writes, "feels absolutely superb." Though MSN says, "it should be offered with at least an optional automatic transmission, which wouldn't affect acceleration much."

Handling and Braking

Most reviewers think the 2007 Cadillac CTS mixes the comfort and spirited drive that define a sports sedan. New Car Test Drive writes "the Cadillac CTS drives wonderfully around town, no muss, and no fuss." Carz Unlimited was impressed with the handling, experiencing a "tightly controlled ride." And Kelley Blue Book adds, "The CTS loves hugging the road -- just try to peel the tires from the asphalt and it maintains a commendable effort to stay put."

Steering also got high marks. Cars.com writes "steering is on the sporty side" while MSN calls it "quite good." Kelley Blue Book adds, "The heavily-weighted steering wheel takes only the slightest movement to turn the car. Pulling a bit harder engages the variable assist to carry out your directional commands."

Interior noise and vibration levels are kept to a minimum. MSN notes, "a quiet interior and a taut-but-supple ride that isn't punishing when roads become rough." And Automotive.com says the 2007 Cadillac CTS excels at "treating all riders to a fairly quiet experience and isolating them from what lies beneath."

Though most reviews of the 2007 CTS's driving experience were favorable, some critics couldn't shake Cadillac's former conservative self. This could suggest an issue with the vehicle's size. Automobile Magazine says, "Body roll is far more noticeable here than in some other more-athletic sedans, as this car is better suited to highway driving than curve carving." With the CTS weighing as much as 300 pounds more than the competition, the Riverside Press-Enterprise notes that "the car does transmit a certain heavy feel through the steering wheel."

Critics were very pleased with the special-edition CTS-V, which has enhanced steering, added structural rigidity and modified aerodynamics. MSN writes, "it handles and stops like a world-class sports-luxury sedan."

The base model's four-wheel independent suspension, says The Auto Channel, "is tuned for high performance driving. It's just stiff enough." Of the 3.6-liter trim's stiffer sports-tuned suspension, About.com said it helps "keep the tires on the road through the curves." New Car Test Drive observes, "The suspension is nicely damped so the ride is very comfortable, erasing the bumps. Still, the suspension is there when you need it in rippling, twisty curves." And Road and Track goes as far as saying the suspension is "right up there with the best Japanese and German sports sedans."

Auto writers were impressed with the four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. Automobile Magazine calls them "excellent" and Road and Track writes, "the CTS feels solid and surefooted, especially under braking." And New Car Test Drive notices, "The brakes resist fade, even after a number of laps on a test track." Electronic brake assist also comes standard. The CTS-V edition features four-piston Brembo brakes.

Review Last Updated: 2/5/09

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