Review 2009 Cadillac CTS-V: 0-60 in 3.9 sec. certainly not green but fun–by James Raia


After a year's hiatus for a redesign, the CTS-V returns in 2009 to the Cadillac stable as a powerful midsize sedan. It's all high-performance and hi-tech and luxury options en masse for the well-heeled brand with the big tradition. There's a lot at stake for the new Cadillac, particularly since one of its sibling has claimed recent car-of-the-year honors.

The new CTS-V includes GM's Magnetic Ride Control suspension that monitors road conditions and adjusts the suspension as needed. Standard equipment is varied and so are the more than $10,000 in available options, Recaro seats to a navigation system, steering-linked headlamps to Alcantara (suede-like) micro- wrapped shift lever and steering wheel.

2009 Cadillac CTS-V-12.preview

The Ratings

Acceleration (10)
Impressive numbers, for sure: 6.2-liter V8 with 556 horsepower and manufacturer claim of 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds. If you like power and speed in a luxury sedan, what's not to like? It doesn't get much better than this.

Braking/Steering/Handling (8)
Smooth, smooth, smooth. Like Cadillac's interior design, negotiating the road has always been among Cadillac's strong suits. No difference with the CTS. Bravo.

Cargo Room (4)
For a sedan in this category, the trunk should have a bigger opening. Storage space isn't bad in trunk, glovebox and side cabinets, but it seems all could have been more spaciously designed.

Controls (8)
Your daddy's caddy or current versions, dials, gauges and controls have always been a Cadillac trademark. The CTS-V follows the tradition with large, centrally located and handsome features. Navigation system is top-of-the-line with particularly strong screen visibility.

Details (8)
The luxurious grand available upholstery and trims is top-of-the-line and nearly defines the elegance of a mini-version of the four-star hotel room.


Front Seats (8)
Comfortable, supportive
and well-positioned for a comfortable ride. No issues with a 6-foot, 185-pound driver, including impressive leg and head room.

Fuel Economy (2)
With all due respect to the immense power of the car, it's still difficult to accept 12 mpg in the city. As such, the $2,600 gas-guzzler tax is the car's major downfall.

Quietness (7)
Considering its power, the Cadillac scores well. But the engine growls at high speeds and accelerating isn't noise free.

Rear Seats (7)
Same as the front seats with the exception of not as much leg or head room.

Ride Quality (6)
For its size and weight and other luxury characteristics, the overall ride quality doesn't quite match the upscale other attributes. The CTS does fine, but it's more stiff than comfortably in control on the highway, like a thoroughbred with a quirky streak.

Total (68 out of 100 )

Class — Midsize sedan.


Primary competition — Infiniti G37, Infiniti M, Jaguar XF, Lexus ES 350, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Volvo V70.

Standard equipment/option packages — Visit:

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price — $57,920.

Price As Driven — $67,140.

Mileage Estimates —
12 mpg (city), 18 mpg (hwy).

Warranty — Bumper to Bumper, 4 years/50 miles, Powertrain, 5 years/100,000 miles; Corrosion, 6 years/100,00 miles; Roadside Assistance, 5 years/100,000 miles.

The final words — Consumers purchasing vehicles in the $55-70,000 price range can likely afford the gas-guzzler tax and may not be concerned about 12 mpg while driving around town. The new CTS-V and “going green” are not of the automotive world. But once getting past that, the new CTS is a fine vehicle for a driver who spends a lot on time on the open road and wants to do it in roomy style.

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James James, a journalist since 1976, is co-author of Tour de France For
Dummies. He owns several websites, contributes to many print and online
publications and is also the editor of A long-distance runner for nearly 30 years, Raia also rides his bike — to nearby coffeehouses. E-mail: