It is actually pretty hard to take pictures of the Cadillac CTS-V.
Sure, it does look good. But it is almost impossible to capture how strong its visual personality is.
In all the years I have test driven cars, I have never had such strong reactions from strangers.
People giving me the thumbs up. Driving alongside on the freeway to stare at the car.
Talking to me at traffic lights. Neighbors wanted to talk about the car. Etc...
( I previously had the pleasure to drive the CTS-V wagon years ago )
It was quite amazing. Since, to me, this looks a lot like the regular CTS sedan. Which looks very nice but doesn't really stand out that much in a crowd.
The changes to the V model are subtle but actually, give the car a totally new visual personality.
My test car came with a "carbon fiber package". Which is probably the most noticeable "V" modic=fication. With a spoiler, skirts and hood vent.
(The base CTS-V is even more subtle looking)
Another "crazy" option is the $1295 Carbon Fiber engine cover.
From every angle, the CTS-V looks great. Strong and powerful. And it never "tries too hard" like some of its German competition. This is a very classy car.
The CTS-V has a very nice interior as well.
It is mostly the same as the regular CTS (which shows how nice that interior is, to begin with)
And it is not really out of place in such an expensive car.
A base CTS is (was) around $47 000. And the interior still looks great for this $106 000 model.
Everything is super solid and nicely finished. Nothing looks or feels cheap.
the metal trim on the console and doors is one of the nicest I have seen anywhere.
My test car had the $2300 Recaro seats option.
While they do an amazing job at maintaining you where you're supposed to be in hard driving, they are always quite firm.
Which is expected in a car with 640HP.
But the standard seats might just do the job for most people. While being more comfortable.
With the Recaro option, you also have to say goodbye to the ventilated seat feature. Which is too bad (Especially at this price)
The back seat is fine. More comparable to a 5 series than a 3 series.
Again, everything back there is high quality.
The truck was actually larger than I thought.
The drive can, of course, be pretty brutal if you choose the Track mode.
With the screen, you can actually pick your settings for steering, ride, etc..
Which is great.
In Tour mode, the car is always very comfortable. The steering is a tiny bit light but super precise.
This basically can drive like a Camaro track mode or a smooth CT6. (almost...)
The engine sounds wonderful. A muted, very refined growl is always there to remind you of the tremendous power under the hood.
And the car is super quiet when cruising.
But acceleration can be quite ferocious. And even scary for passengers if you don't warn them.
Of course, you are not getting this car for its amazing gas mileage.
The CTS-V is rated at 14/21MPG.
I was actually not able to reach 14 in the city, no matter how I tried.
It is more like 12MPG. And more like 10 if you don't really watch it.
On the freeway, I got around 25/26, which was better than expected.
The CTS-V is a very expensive car. (The most expensive I have driven)
So it is hard to recommend without driving its German competition.
I always was against Cadillac making super sporty cars to "chase the Germans".
But after driving this for a week, I am glad they did.
It is actually much cheaper than its competition. And a wonderfully fun car to drive every day.
No matter where you go. (The sound it makes alone... )
You always feel you are driving something very, very special. And probably the last (or second to last) of a dying breed.
For those who can afford it, I can't imagine they would be disappointed.
For the rest of us, there is the used car market. Where a similar 2-year-old model for under $70 000.
Or the regular CTS!
Even without the V8, the regular CTS sedan is a great car.
It was what I originally asked for from Cadillac. But they had told me the "regular" CTS was already not available in the press fleet anymore. So I ended up with this amazing if almost insane, model.