Although the Cadillac CTS is relatively young, it has been regarded as one of Cadillac’s most popular models. In the two generations that this mid-size luxury car has been through, Cadillac has made numerous improvements to it, producing a top choice for an American-made luxury sedan. It was first introduced as a rear-wheel drive, manual transmission car, the first Cadillac manual since 1988. It replaced the Cadillac Catera in the car manufacturer’s lineup, and it was expected to live up to its predecessor’s success. The 2009 CTS-V, the high-performance version of the CTS, bagged a spot in Car and Driver’s Ten Best Cars list. Cadillac's entry-level model has seen improvement over the years as a much more capable car all the way around.
The Cadillac CTS was the first Cadillac to be offered with a manual transmission since the 1988 Cimarron. In 2002, the same year it was introduced, it was nominated for the North American Car of the Year Award. It boasted of a 3.2-liter V6 engine that produced 220 hp, which was eventually upgraded to a 3.6-liter DOHC V6 engine that produced 255 hp in 2004. This year also saw the birth of the CTS-V, the performance counterpart of the CTS. It had sport suspension, bigger brakes, bigger tires, wire-mesh grill, and rear and front spoilers.
2005-2007: Significant performance upgrades
In 2005, a 2.8-liter dual overhead cam engine replaced the first engine that was originally installed on the CTS. When the CTS was first released, owners had an option between a 5L40-E automatic transmission or a five-speed Getrag 260 manual transmission. On the same year, the Getrag 260 manual transmission was changed to an Aisin AY-6 six-speed manual, which Cadillac saw as more compatible with the CTS. By the end of 2007, the base engine of the CTS became a 2.8-Liter V6 that produced 210 hp linked to a five-speed automatic transmission. The optional six-speed manual was still available.
2008-present: Improved interior and technology
The latest version of the Cadillac CTS that is seen today is its most powerful—it comes with a standard 3.0-liter V6 that generates 270 hp, while the 3.6-liter V6 that runs on 318 hp is still available. There are luxury options available, such as leather seating and a premium audio system. A hard-drive-based navigation system that can store digital music files is also one of its modern features. The present CTS model has both a roomy cabin and excellent handling. Its plush interior design and its upgraded powertrains have sealed the place of the Cadillac CTS as one of the top luxury sport sedans in the automobile world.