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2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe Review

 

2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe Review

By Glen Woodcock – Toronto Sun

 

CTS Coupe takes flight

 

The CTS Coupe has taken Cadillac’s controversial Art & Science styling to a whole new level – the same way the 1955 Eldorado took styling to a different level in the tailfin era. And just as Cadillac design in the fifties was inspired by the jet planes of that decade, the 21st century Cadillacs draw their inspiration from stealth aircraft.

 

When I was showing the car to one of my neighbours he commented that he’d never before seen a Caddy with a manual transmission. And right there was the indication that a new direction for the brand, which now stresses performance as well as luxury.

 

Search available options for the 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe.

 

Best thing about ordering the six-speed stick is that it knocks $1,700 off the base MSRP of $47,450.

 

Unlike the CTS sedan and sport wagon, the coupe is not available with the 3.0-litre V6. Instead, it gets a 3.6-litre engine as standard equipment, with the wicked CTS-V, and its 556-hp V8, tempting those who want even more giddy up.

 

The coupe doesn’t look like anything else on the road ? a real plus, these days ? and certainly carries an aggressive air, especially when seen from the rear (which is the view most will have if the driver chooses to put the 3.6L V6 through its paces). In testing by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada for its 2011 Canadian Car of the Year competition, the CTS Coupe (with automatic transmission) accelerated from 0-100 km/h in 7.3 seconds and from 80-120 in 5.5.

 

And it’s been a long time ? if ever ? since a Cadillac handled this well on the track. The brand’s forte used to be a ride that allowed you to float over the road, but our test car’s performance suspension, plus Stabilitrak, lets me charge through corners where normally I have to ease up on the throttle.

 

All-wheel drive is an option, and one I’d want if I were buying one of these. Sure, RWD may let the CTS handle a little better, especially on its summer-only performance tires, but in this country adding AWD is almost a necessity if you plan on driving the car year-round.

 

Several years ago General Motors declared it was going to become world class in the fit, finish and design of its interiors. That promise has been kept, and the CTS scores a bulls-eye with beautifully crafted leather/suede interiors and real wood accents ? quality that really is “the standard of the world.”

 

Unfortunately, other areas don’t live up to that old slogan. On a long road trip my passenger complained of a wind whistle in the right door assembly, and some of the car’s ergonomics need to be rethought. While the height of the centre arrest is perfect for the driver’s elbow, right hand resting on the automatic transmission’s shift lever, it’s too high when rowing through the gears manually. And if you like your takeout drinks in tall cups they’ll be in the way of your arm movements because the holders are placed behind, rather than in front of the stick.

 

I also don’t like manual transmissions that place reverse to the upper left of the shift pattern, where it can be confused with first gear.

 

Because it’s a coupe, the doors are enormous and although the rear seats are plush, getting in and out is a tight squeeze for adults. The rear seats do fold forward individually so you can carry longer objects than otherwise would fit in the 298-litre trunk.

 

A nice feature, that should be standard on all cars with an electronic parking brake, allows it to automatically disengage when you drive away.

 

To sum up, this is a great looking car you’ll enjoy being seen in and a great handling car you’ll enjoy driving. Welcome to the new world of Cadillac.