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Cadillac CTS (2005 - 2008)

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Introductionword count: 123

The Cadillac CTS might look exotic and otherworldly but it's actually a very savvy used buy, sharing common parts with other General Motors products. As such, you get tried and tested mechanicals with a welcome dose of exclusivity. Go for the 2.8-litre car and you'll even have affordable running costs. On the face of it, recommending a used Cadillac to a British buyer who would normally look at an Audi A6 or a BMW 5 Series would appear to be an act of the grossest folly. Like baseball, rootbeer and Adam Sandler, Cadillacs have never translated comfortably to a British sensibility but the CTS is different, sharing many underbody parts with more common General Motors tackle. Here's how to snag a used one.

Modelsword count: 11

Models Covered: (4 dr saloon 2.8, 3.6 petrol [Elegance, Sport Luxury])

Historyword count: 172

Just as we inflicted our ideas on the Americans, now it's their turn. The Vauxhall Omega will be remembered as a decent police car and a very good motorway hack for sales reps but as a private buy it never really cut the mustard, arriving at a time when everybody was after a premium badge. It was exported to the US and badged the Cadillac Catera. It bombed. On sale from 1997-2001, it never caught the imagination of the American public. It's successor, the CTS (Catera Touring Sedan) was a very different proposition, with bold, angular styling and a whole lot more attitude. Introduced in the US in 2003, it didn't arrive in the UK until late 2005, by which time initial teething troubles had been firmly ironed out. Sales were slow in the UK, primarily due to the fact that the Cadillac dealer network was minuscule rather than any fundamental shortcoming of the car. A revised model was shown at the 2007 North American Auto Show which included a diesel-engined model.

What You Getword count: 366

The CTS has a lot of convincing to do to win over sceptical used buyers. The styling is a good first step and the Americans have managed to work in a trick or two. With its short overhangs, stubby bonnet and wedge profile, the CTS looks about the same size as something like a BMW 3 Series or a Mercedes C Class. Break out the tape measure and a different story becomes apparent. The tale of the tape shows that it is in fact larger than a BMW 5 Series in most significant proportions. This had us scratching our heads for a while but goes to explain why Cadillac was so confident that this car could make inroads into the executive car market, offering, as it does, a little extra. While the styling isn't what you might call pretty, it's definitely distinctive. Those front wings look as if they could pare steak, so definite are the crease lines, and the bluff front grille and smeared back headlamps are about as far from Boss Hogg's chosen form of transport as it's possible to get. When this car arrived, the sort of buyer who avoided the usual BMW/Audi/Mercedes triumvirate in favour of something different like a Saab, a Lexus or a Jaguar suddenly had something else to consider. The interior is where many sales are often won and lost and it's a case of 'good for a Cadillac'. The gimmicky features and chintzy trim of the old Seville STS model were consigned to history, the CTS featuring neater lines, higher quality materials and a more logical layout. All things are relative, however, and by the standards of the class best, it still left a bit to be desired. The excellent thumb wheel control on one side of the steering wheel for example, is countered by four buttons marked 1,2,3 and 4 on the other. I still have no idea what they do. The cabin quality feels - at best - what you'd expect from a well-built mainstream saloon like a Peugeot 407 or a Ford Mondeo. Still, the same could be said for some Saabs and Jaguars, so perhaps the Caddy isn't too far off the mark there.

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Category: Luxury Saloons and Estates

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This is an excerpt from our full review.
To access the full content library please contact us on 0330 0020 227 or click here

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