CTS we can

It’s a Caddy that isn’t the size of a house; has the world gone mad?

By David Light

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sat 20 Nov 2010, 6:24 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:01 PM

Just when we thought everything was getting back to normal - the economy is straightening out, Dubai is slowly getting its traffic jams back and Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton is punching people for fun again, Cadillac go and bring out a reasonably sized car. It’s sheer madness I tell you.

Traditionally renowned for being boats for people that can’t afford to travel by cruise ship and don’t like the water anyway, Cadillac has always been the byword for big, comfortable, luxurious American road travel. The car of choice for the blue-rinse brigade in Florida, the sports star in Kentucky and the ‘Persons who Imploy Many Persistent Saleswomen’ in Harlem or The Bronx, Caddies provide that aspect of Americana that most people the world over want a slice of. They’re usually big, brash and oh so comfy to drive.

So what struck me as strange about the new CTS Coupe was that it was distinctly not like its forefathers at all. Here was a vehicle that, for all intents and purposes, looked (dare we say it) European. Its size was the first giveaway and when you get going the ride is most certainly not from the shores of our transatlantic cousins.

That’s not to say every aspect about the car was more salad nicoise than burger and fries. What the CTS coupe represents is an amalgamation of the best aspects of both motoring philosophies, which in turn has produced an excellent car.

For example, the engine is most certainly USA. A 3.6-litre direct injected V-6, that can produce 304 hp, is a big chunk of motor and one that provides a brilliant turn of speed. It’s smooth, relatively quiet when you want it to be and provides a decent roar if you put your foot down. Being a sports coupe the acceleration is decent and, combined with its smaller size, it holds the road better than any previous Cadillac.

The interior could also be called American. There’s the expected chunkiness of all the dials, the leather, the wood panelling and the compartments for just about anything. It’s supremely comfortable as a Cadillac should be and despite looking smaller from the outside, provides a lot of cabin space. However, I’d like to think there’s a European splash of inspiration in and around certain areas. The flow of the dashboard and central column, for example, has an ordered feel to it and is not as simplistic as many American cars. There are far more buttons than usual, which can only mean one thing: more equipment.

The CTS comes with many standard gadgets, but the best by far has to be the screen that rises from the central column to display the rear-view camera. Popping up like a monitor in a Bond villain’s lair, it never fails to impress and silently retracts as soon as you pop the car into drive.

Park the vehicle and get out and you’ll be struck by how unique this Cadillac is. The ride is superb, every corner is a dream (not something many people say about US models very often) and cruising is magnificent. Get up to speed and you’ll have a whale of a time overtaking everything with ease. Look at the car from afar and the styling may seem a little strange, but I promise you’ll fall in love with its odd angular lines in no time.

Overall, what we have here is the first really good hybrid car – American with a European twist.


More news from