Cadillac CTS Saloon review
The CTS is the right-hand-drive car Cadillac is using to introduce itself to Europe. A model said to have been developed with our tastes in mind, rather than America's, it's billed as a 5-Series rival for 3-Series money - with a similarly sporty bent. Cadillac has traditionally been all about luxury, but nowadays the ethos has shifted towards raciness, reflected in the square, edgy, distinctive lines. It's a very sharp-looking car, though the interior is less stand-out, and even if it is constructed from better-quality plastics than the American norm, they're still no match for Audi or BMW. There are niggles too; the seats are too high, the steering wheel is too big and it lacks reach adjustment. And while front space is extensive, the rear is not as big as those exterior dimensions suggest. Equipment levels are extensive though, in both Elegance and Sports Luxury trims.
Just two engines (both mated to a standard auto gearbox), and UK sales will be impaired by the fact that neither is a diesel. The smaller V6 is a 215bhp 2.8-litre, but the larger 257bhp 3.6-litre looks the better bet, zapping to 60mph in just 7.0 seconds while returning marginally better economy - though both hover around the 24mpg mark. Still, they're characterful units with ample pace but, while the chassis is able, it lacks the sporty edge promised by the styling. Good, but no 5-Series, although the pay-off is an impressive ride quality, particularly over rougher roads. Here, the Cadillac's luxury roots shine through. But the CTS' biggest trump card is those ultra-low prices, which may help it prove attractive to some - if a tiny dealer network is no hindrance. Currently, sales and service outlets barely reach double figures, which is seriously impacting on sales.