tCE 2008 CTS Review

November 20th, 2007  |  Published in CTS, News, Reviews  |  17 Comments

Part 1 – Overall impressions
Part 2 – Interior and Storage
Part 3 – Electronics and Entertainment – Part 1
Part 3 – Electronics and Entertainment – Part 2
Part 4 – Ride and Drive
Image Gallery

tCE 08 CTS ReviewCadillac graciously loaned one of their new 2008 CTS’ to the Caddy Edge so we could get a look at their latest and offer up our review.

Most of us are quite familiar with the original CTS, which introduced the driving public to the new Art & Science face of Cadillac. Facet-ed sheet metal inspired by a mix of stealth fighters and Cadillacs of the past (including nods to stacked headlights and tailfins). Interior design was equally edgy if not quite as successful with inspiration taken from desktop computers and possessing some of the highest quality plastics GM had ever offered – though not quite up to other companies’ level.

Developed on the Nurburgring in Germany – the CTS was a credible competitor to sports sedans from the established import luxury players. As such, it attracted a huge and loyal following unlike anything from a domestic luxury brand in decades.

Now, we’re 5 years later and follow-ons to the CTS like the XLR roadster, STS, latest Escalade, and more have carried Cadillac into the public consciousness as a legitimate and equal player in many segments to the likes of BMW, Mercedes, and Audi.

Can the sequel come close to matching the original? Can it address the complaints without losing the edge that made the original such a success?

After spending some days behind the wheel – the answer is an unqualified ‘yes’.

Just to start, the particular CTS I drove was equipped with:

3.6l Direct Injection V-6 (304hp)
6-speed automatic transmission
All-wheel drive
Ultraview sunroof
Nav system with 40GB hard drive, XM, XM Traffic Nav, etc.
Thunder Gray with Light Titanium interior
18″ wheels with all-season tires
Limited service spare tire
Sport brakes

Now, let’s talk about the styling for a moment. I have been worried that the essential flair of the original CTS would be lost in a bid to add more curves to the design.

I shouldn’t have worried.

tCE CTS Front Quarter

You really get a feel for this car, much like the original CTS, when washing it. The angular lines and planar surfaces (especially the trunk lid, and front and rear windscreens) are all there en force. However, the muscular fenders, sharper front end, etc. all serve to update the design nicely and telegraph in no uncertain terms that this is a serious sport-luxury sedan.

Gaps above the 18″ Michelin Pilots are almost unbelievably small – practically show-car small. Nice.

tCE CTS front lightpipe

The ‘light-pipe’ running lights are just as cool as I had hoped, highlighting the outside of the headlights and the inner edge of the taillights very nicely.

tCE CTS Interior

The most radical upgrade has to be the interior. Where the original CTS was accused, rightfully so, of trying a bit too hard to be ‘tech-y’ inside – the new car is simply exactly what it should be. Swooping lines, expensive/soft-touch materials, metallic finishes, understated wood trim all come together in an excellent theme that just works.

Next up, interior room, seating, and storage…

Responses

  1. the Caddy Edge » Blog Archive » tCE 2008 CTS Review - interior and storage - the Cadillac Enthusiasts Source, news, rumors, forum, image gallery says:

    December 14th, 2007at December 14, 2007 - 10:20 pm(#)

    […] Part 1 – Overall impressions Part 2 – Interior and Storage Part 3 – Electronics and Entertainment Part 4 – Ride and Drive Image Gallery […]

  2. the Caddy Edge » Blog Archive » tCE 2008 CTS Review - electronics and entertainment - the Cadillac Enthusiasts Source, news, rumors, forum, image gallery says:

    December 14th, 2007at December 14, 2007 - 10:22 pm(#)

    […] Part 1 – Overall impressions Part 2 – Interior and Storage Part 3 – Electronics and Entertainment Part 4 – Ride and Drive Image Gallery […]

  3. the Caddy Edge » Blog Archive » tCE 2008 CTS Review - ride and drive - the Cadillac Enthusiasts Source, news, rumors, forum, image gallery says:

    December 14th, 2007at December 14, 2007 - 10:23 pm(#)

    […] Part 1 – Overall impressions Part 2 – Interior and Storage Part 3 – Electronics and Entertainment Part 4 – Ride and Drive Image Gallery […]

  4. Duane Waddington says:

    March 2nd, 2008at March 2, 2008 - 12:16 pm(#)

    I have had my 2008 CTS for almost three months and can comment on how it compares to my past Cadillac’s, a 2003 and a 2006 CTS.
    On the plus side the direct injection engine and the all wheel drive are as good or better than expected. On the negative side interior storage space has been shrunk to the point it has become next to useless especially the center council. Personalization of setting such as mirror interaction has been decreased far to much if the car is used by more than one driver, keyless entrance will not adjust the seating etc. unless the unlock button is pushed on the fob which means the keyless system still requires manual intervention.
    Option packages are designed to make you pay far more than you should. Example being most common options require the purchase of a set of wheels and you never really see how you are credited in the end, another example is the sight and sound package which includes wood trim, wheels, lighting and a six disk player however if you also want to plug in your I Pod another audio package is required which deletes the six disk player but I could not see were I got a credit for the deletion. Keep a sharp eye on the option packages and deletions.
    Bottom line is, if my 2006 CTS had direct injection and all wheel drive it I would consider it better value for the dollar.

  5. Jeremy says:

    March 7th, 2008at March 7, 2008 - 10:33 am(#)

    In all actuality you lose the 6cd changer to plug in your ipod, yes, however you get a 40 gig hard drive… 40 GIGS! you can upload 6 cds many many times over and they stay in your car so you can enjoy your cds at home. between that, your ipod, and xm radio do you need to shuffle through an old fasioned changer? really? As far as the memory seating yes, you have to press a button for it to recall, is America that lazy? I do not know who gave you your packaging information, if you want an upgraded wheel you get that, along with HID Adaptive lights, limited slip rear end, fog lights, and a sportier suspension for 1800 dollars. a small price to pay however if you did not want that you do not have to pay for it. sounds like you just wanted to complain, most likely for paying the premium this car is bringing, remember you just bought the finest American automobile ever produced.

  6. Jack Lawson says:

    April 3rd, 2008at April 3, 2008 - 2:25 am(#)

    The accounts you have written about the 2008 CTS somehow has enlightened me better than all the owners manuals provided with the CTS. However, they both leave me unsure regarding the ipod menues and playlist appearing on the nav screen. My ipod plays very well and I can control the ipod from the ipod but no menues or control for the ipod appear on the nac screen. From what I read in your account and the owners manual the menues, playlist etc should be on the nav screen. I have called two different Cadillac service departments and they can’t answer the question, infact they both told me if I find out for sure would I call them back and advise them of exactly how it works. Do you know? Thanks

  7. CEAdmin says:

    April 3rd, 2008at April 3, 2008 - 7:48 am(#)

    Jack,

    Let me check with my Cadillac contact and see if we can get some details on how to get to playlists through the touch screen (I remember doing it, but don’t remember how it was done – it’s been 4 months or so since I had the car in my hands for testing).

    I’ll let you know.

  8. Jeremy says:

    May 8th, 2008at May 8, 2008 - 7:29 am(#)

    Jack, your ipod should just plug in and appear on your nav screen, this does require the cord that has both the usb cable and regular cable to be plugged in, if you only have the one wire plugged in it will not come up in your nav screen. these wires should come from your dealer. The only problem I have seen is with the i phone however it just requires a setting on the phone to be changed.

  9. greg berlin says:

    March 30th, 2009at March 30, 2009 - 7:33 am(#)

    enjoy your ride all thease people have too many problems i dont!!
    just do it!GREG BERLIN RENO NV.

  10. West Texas says:

    December 18th, 2009at December 18, 2009 - 2:03 pm(#)

    I have had terriblw wind noise and the CD player itself has had to be repaired. In addition, I also have tried an iphone to no avial. Have owened it for 3 weeks and it has been in the shop for 1 week and 2 days, so far. Hope this all gets repaired becuase I really love the car otherwise.

  11. the Caddy Edge » Blog Archive » - the Cadillac Enthusiasts Source, news, rumors, forum, image gallery says:

    June 6th, 2010at June 6, 2010 - 3:32 pm(#)

    […] 2008 CTS […]

  12. the Caddy Edge » Blog Archive » 2010 CTS Sport Wagon – Overview - the Cadillac Enthusiasts Source, news, rumors, forum, image gallery says:

    June 10th, 2010at June 10, 2010 - 10:15 am(#)

    […] [photopress:IMG_2509.jpg,thumb,alignleft]Inside, you find the same well-executed interior we found in the 2008 sedan we tested a while back. Behind the second-row seats you’ll find the hallmark of any hatch-backed vehicle, a cargo hold that accepts bulkier cargo than you could shoe-horn into any sedan, even with fold-down seats. It is here that you begin to see some of the trade offs of a ‘sport’ wagon vs. the boxier wagons like you’d see from brands like Volvo – the steeply raked rear glass does slice a chunk of available space out of the cargo hold as a trade-off for a sportier profile. Additionally, you have the option for that hatch to be power-operated, like on all the other Cadillac haulers we’ve driven. Still sounding like an over-the-top luxury, after a few uses, we can’t imagine living with a hatch that can’t be opened with the press of a button. The CTS also has the same adjustable opening setting as the SRX – allowing those with low-ceiling parking areas to set the hatch to only open to a safe height…a nice perk that will undoubtedly save more than a few insurance claims. […]

  13. the Caddy Edge » Blog Archive » test - the Cadillac Enthusiasts Source, news, rumors, forum, image gallery says:

    June 18th, 2010at June 18, 2010 - 10:37 am(#)

    […] 2008 CTS […]

  14. the Caddy Edge » Blog Archive » tCE 2008 CTS Review - electronics and entertainment - part 2 - the Cadillac Enthusiasts Source, news, rumors, forum, image gallery says:

    June 18th, 2010at June 18, 2010 - 11:38 am(#)

    […] « tCE 2008 CTS Review Motor Trend names 2008 CTS ‘Car of the Year’ » […]

  15. the Caddy Edge » Blog Archive » 2010 CTS Sport Wagon - Overview - the Cadillac Enthusiasts Source, news, rumors, forum, image gallery says:

    June 21st, 2010at June 21, 2010 - 6:24 am(#)

    […] Inside, you find the same well-executed interior we found in the 2008 sedan we tested a while back. Behind the second-row seats you’ll find the hallmark of any hatch-backed vehicle, a cargo hold that accepts bulkier cargo than you could shoe-horn into any sedan, even with fold-down seats. It is here that you begin to see some of the trade offs of a ‘sport’ wagon vs. the boxier wagons like you’d see from brands like Volvo – the steeply raked rear glass does eliminate a chunk of available space out of the cargo hold as a trade-off for a sportier profile. You also have the option for the hatch to be power-operated, like on all the other Cadillac haulers we’ve driven. Still sounding like an over-the-top luxury, after a few uses, we can’t imagine living with a hatch that can’t be opened with the press of a button. The CTS also has the same adjustable opening setting as the SRX – allowing those frequenting low-ceiling parking areas to set the hatch to only open to a safe height…a nice perk that will undoubtedly save more than a few insurance claims. […]

  16. the Caddy Edge » Blog Archive » 2011 CTS Coupe - More than the sum… - the Cadillac Enthusiasts Source, news, rumors, forum, image gallery says:

    December 5th, 2010at December 5, 2010 - 12:04 pm(#)

    […] Let’s do us both a favor…be sure to review both the tCE reviews of the CTS (2008 model reviewed) as well as the Sport Wagon and the CTS-V Sedan might be a nice read as well – though not required to understand where we start from here. These will get us both through the repetitive nature of the things that we like about the CTS family (‘portfolio’ if you want to be pretentious like the Cadillac.com site). […]

  17. the Caddy Edge » Blog Archive » 2011 CTS Coupe - More than the sum… - the Cadillac Enthusiasts Source, news, rumors, forum, image gallery says:

    December 5th, 2010at December 5, 2010 - 4:19 pm(#)

    […] Let’s do us both a favor…be sure to re-read both the tCE reviews of the CTS (2008 model reviewed) as well as the Sport Wagon and the CTS-V Sedan might be a nice read as well – though not required to understand where we start from here. These will get us both through the repetitive nature of the things that we like about the CTS family (‘portfolio’ if you want to be pretentious like the Cadillac.com site). […]


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