The 2013 Cadillac CTS earns an above average Total Car Score for the Entry Luxury Sedans & Wagons segment.
The CTS, in all its various configurations, has been Cadillac’s standard-bearer for years, the car that defined the emergent brand’s sharp-edged “Art and Science” design scheme. This year the CTS will have to share showroom space with a couple of newcomers to the Cadillac fold, so it will be interesting to see how the CTS fares against some new in-house competition.
Because so much was invested in the launch of the new models, the CTS basically carries over from last year, with just a few equipment and trim changes marking the new year. The grille on all three models has a new finish, and there are three new exterior colors: Glacier Blue Metallic, Silver Coast Metallic and Summer Gold Metallic. Some formerly optional equipment for the Sports Sedan, including leather upholstery, heated front seats and an underhood appearance package, is now standard.
Automotive critics like the CTS, calling out the car’s responsive powertrain and taut suspension as among its highlights. Complaints about the car are aimed at its “brash” interior design (some felt it had just too much chrome) and its lack of interior space, particularly elbow room.
The second generation of the CTS made its debut some five years ago, so we’d bet an overhaul is in the works, though Cadillac won’t want to step on any momentum generated by the new models.
The 2013 Cadillac CTS is a family of vehicles: coupes, sedans and wagons offered with seating for up to five, two engine choices, rear- or all-wheel-drive powertrains and a number of trim levels. (The high-performance CTS-V is reviewed separately.)
The standard engine in the CTS Sport Sedan and CTS Sport Wagon is a 3.0-liter V6 engine that sends up to 270 horsepower and 223 pound-feet of torque (with the dual-exhaust system) through a six-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels. A 3.6-liter V6, good for 318 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque, is available as an option; and either engine can be hooked to an all-wheel-drive system.
The CTS Coupe is offered with just the 3.6-liter V6 but is available in both RWD and AWD forms.
The Coupe and Sport Sedan are available in three trim levels; the Sport Wagon four. All three models offer standard equipment that includes dual-zone automatic climate control, tilt/telescope steering column, Bluetooth connectivity and a Bose premium AM/FM/CD/MP3/satellite radio audio system.
Moving up through the various trim levels brings equipment that includes leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a backup camera, a navigation system, push-button start, a powered sunroof and wood interior trim.
Two option packages are common to all three CTS models. The Touring Package bundles 18- or 19-inch alloy wheels, a sport grille, Recaro performance seats (with optional suede inserts), alloy pedals, and a special wood interior trim package. The Performance Package adds to that a sport suspension, HID headlamps, foglamps, a limited-slip differential, and, for Coupe models, performance cooling and brake systems.
Despite the differences in engine size and the number of driven wheels, all CTS models have very similar fuel economy ratings per the EPA. The highest numbers -- 18 mpg city, 27 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined -- were achieved by a RWD CTS with the 3.0-liter V6. Most of the other 2013 Cadillac CTS models came very close, hitting 18/26/21 mpg.
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