2013 BMW M5 vs. 2012 Cadillac CTS-V - Comparison Test
Forced-induction fisticuffs, with combatants from America and Germany.
By Shaun Bailey
/ Photos by Brian Blades June 20, 2012
A quick scan of the data reveals that the M5 has smacked the CTS-V over the head and retaken the throne with a lap time that bettered the CTS-V’s by 1.43 seconds. A crushing blow for sure, and if you’ve already skipped ahead to evaluate the points, something might seem amiss since the point split between these two is less than one. It’s because of the subjective metrics where we rated the Cadillac higher primarily because it remains truer to the concept of a spirited sports sedan.
After the initial hot laps in the M5, we were unimpressed. It feels ponderous in tight corners and the chassis only provides a modicum of communication, but surprise, the very first lap time in the M5 demolished the CTS-V’s. Feeling fast is truly not the same as being fast. The best example of exactly how isolated the driver is from the road are the brakes. Massive calipers clamp on floating rotors when decelerating from 110 mph down the back straight, the ABS is fully invoked and there is nothing felt.
In My Opinion
On the track, the Cadillac CTS-V hits all the right notes—good power, livelier chassis and steering feel. That is until you look at the lap times and realize that the BMW M5 is much faster, and achieves that speed in a more civilized manner. This is even more evident on the road, where the M5’s ride is daily-commute friendly and the CTS-V beats you up a bit. My overall pick goes to the M5.
The M5 is the best-handling 7 Series BMW has ever made. Yeah, I know it’s a 5 Series, but it’s just so big, and soft, and comfortable and stomping fast. It’s high-performance luxury at its pinnacle, and for that reason I’ll take the CTS-V. It’s a sports sedan like the previous-generation BMW M5, where driver interaction and enjoyment take precedence over passenger comfort and isolation.
Associate Engineering Editor