2010 Cadillac CTS Review and Prices

Last Updated: Aug 5, 2011

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2010 Cadillac CTS Buying Advice

The 2010 Cadillac CTS is the best car for you if you consider Cadillac’s midsize car a legit alternative to BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi, and if you remember tailfins.

Comparison to those prestige Europeans is more apt than ever thanks to the model-year 2010 addition of two-door coupe and four-door wagon companions for the CTS sedan. That gives the 2010 Cadillac CTS lineup the same three body styles offered by its top import competitors. The difference is Cadillac styling, with shapes that shout an audacious American is in the house and whisper that if you look closely, you might see some tailfins.

Should you buy a 2009 Cadillac CTS or wait for the 2010 Cadillac CTS? If you’re a sedan fan, no real reason to wait: the CTS sedan won’t change for 2010 and will in fact continue to be the only body style available in high-performance CTS-V form. If you’re thinking of a brash luxury coupe or a debonair premium wagon, however, wait for the full 2010 Cadillac CTS lineup to hit showrooms.

2010 Cadillac CTS Changes back to top

Styling: The 2010 Cadillac CTS Coupe and 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon stem from the basic bodywork introduced with the redesigned 2009 Cadillac CTS sedan. It’s a softer evolution of the chiseled-wedge styling of the 2003-2007 first-generation CTS. The 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon simply extends the sedan’s roofline rearward, but then adds an intriguing touch with X-Acto blade-inspired tail lamps that begin at bumper level and taper to the top of the roof, creating finlike blades.
From the windshield forward, the 2010 Cadillac CTS Coupe shares sheet metal with the sedan and wagon. From there back, it gets drastic with a lowered roofline that’s positively sinister, a radically angled fastback rear window, and a squared-off rump with tail lamps planed into finlike edges. The overall effect is subtle as a hatchet. All three body styles share one chassis wheelbase -- the basic structure from the front axle to the rear axle.
The bodies of the sedan and Sport Wagon are virtually the same length overall, but the Coupe’s abbreviated tail slices its body length by some 4.6 inches. Size wise, the Cadillac CTS is about as big as the BMW 5-Series, Audi A6, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class models but is generally priced to compete with the smaller BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes C-Class lines.    

Mechanical: To be competitive with the top imports, the 2010 Cadillac CTS features advanced engines, six-speed manual and automatic transmissions, and a choice of rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (AWD). The entry-level engine is a dual-overhead-cam 3.6-liter V-6 with 263 horsepower in base models and 304 horsepower in Direct Injection models, so named for their more-sophisticated fuel-injection system. The Cadillac CTS-V sedan has a Corvette-derived 556-horsepower supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 and is among the fastest four-door cars in the world. A CTS-V Coupe is a strong future possibility, but not a CTS-V Sport Wagon. AWD is available on the sedan and wagon and may eventually be offered on the coupe.

Features: Not much to be added to an already broad array of standard and optional equipment. The 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon of course has rear seatbacks that fold to create a flat cargo floor; they’re an option in place of a central rear-seat pass-through opening on the 2010 Cadillac sedan and one that may be available on the Coupe. A tilt/telescope steering wheel with audio and climate controls is standard, as is Bluetooth phone connectivity. Options include a navigation system with real-time traffic, a USB iPod port, a 40-gigabyte audio hard drive, and keyless access with remote ignition that starts the car and activates the climate-control system from up to 200 feet away.

2010 Cadillac CTS Prices back to top

Including Cadillac’s mandatory destination fee of about $775, starting price of the 2010 Cadillac CTS sedan should be just under $36,000 for the base model and around $38,000 for the Direction Injection version. The 2010 Cadillac CTS Coupe and 2010 Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon likely will carry a premium of roughly $2,000 over their sedan counterparts. To get AWD, add about $3,200 to the base models and about $2,000 to the Direct Injection versions. The CTS-V sedan is rear-drive only and starts around $60,000. Popular Cadillac CTS options are grouped into “luxury,” “premium,” and “performance” packages that variously include leather upholstery, wood cabin trim, steering-linked xenon headlights with washers, sport suspension, 18-inch alloy wheels (versus standard 17s), power sunroof, memory power front seats, and heated and cooled front seats. 

2010 Cadillac CTS Fuel Economy back to top

EPA mileage estimates for 2010 models were not released in time for this report, but ratings for the 2010 Cadillac CTS should mirror those of 2009. Base models were rated at 16/25 mpg (city/highway) with manual transmission, 18/26 with automatic, and 17/25 with AWD. Direction Injection models were rated 16/25 with manual, 18/26 with automatic, 17/26 with AWD. Figures for the CTS-V were not available. The V-6 CTSs use regular-grade fuel, the CTS-V requires premium

2010 Cadillac CTS Release Date back to top

Reacting to its financial crisis, General Motors juggled the releases of several new models, so on-sale dates for the 2010 Cadillac CTS are subject to change. However, look for the 2010 Cadillac CTS sedan, Coupe, and Sport Wagon in showrooms starting in spring 2009. The Sport Wagon, incidentally, will get a special marketing push in Europe as Cadillac attempts to assert itself with upscale buyers who consider wagons both prestigious and practical. European CTS Sport Wagons will be offered with a diesel engine, a future possibility for U.S. versions.

2010 Cadillac CTS Competition back to top

Audi A4: Audi continues its successful assault on the premium-car market with a terrific model-year 2009 redesign of its best-selling car, the A4. It comes as a sedan, convertible, or wagon with turbo four-cylinder and V-6 engines in the $33,000-$50,000 range and as CTS-V-rivaling V-8 versions at around $60,000. Audi’s quattro AWD, suave styling, and class-topping interior design are highlights. Look to the larger, more-expensive Audi A5 for an alternative to the 2010 Cadillac CTS Coupe.   

BMW 3-Series: The tightest interior dimensions of any car here, but unrivaled for pure driving pleasure. BMW’s top-selling cars got freshened exterior styling, cabin upgrades, and a diesel-engine option for model-year 2009, prelude to a full redesign slated for model-year 2011. Six-cylinder rear- and all-wheel-drive coupes, sedans, and wagons range in price from $36,000-$50,000. The high-performance V-8 M3 coupe, sedan, and convertible reach for $60,000.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class: Save the red-hot 451-horsepower C63 sedan, these compact-class Mercedes offer the most conservative driving manners in this grouping. And they satisfy on almost every level. C-Class sedans and wagons are available in rear- and all-wheel-drive V-6 and V-8 models priced at $33,000-$38,000. The C63 nudges $55,000. Look to Mercedes’ similar CLK line for rear-wheel-drive coupe and convertible variants priced from about $47,000 with a V-6 to $135,000 (yes, $135,000) for the limited-edition 500-horsepower CLK63 Black Series coupe.