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Overall rating:  Product Rating: 4.0

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Reviews written: 4
View all reviews by kcrdo

An American Vision (updated)

by kcrdo:      Apr 23, 2002 - Updated Aug 28, 2002

Product Rating: 5.0 Recommended: Yes 

Pros: American, Distinctive styling, Superb overall performance, Unique interior, comfortable, well built
Cons: Foot parking brake, no lumbar adjustment, option packages, analog clock, wheels
The Bottom Line: I would recommend the CTS to anyone who loves to drive and wants new age style. It is time to buy American!

As I was shopping for a new vehicle, I test drove almost every car you could think of. Even some I could not afford. Just to see what just fit. The CTS blew them all away. It has distinctive styling that you cant find anywhere else in the market. The hard lines just flow very well on this car. It looks a lot more expensive than it actually is.

exterior styling:
Caddy drew inspiration from the 1960's caddy's and actually the F117 nighthawk stealth jet. The front looks aggressive, back has the popular wedge look to it with the old caddy traditional vertical tail lights. Unlike the Lincoln LS, the caddy did not copy any styling cues from any other automaker. It is trying to make its own name in that department. The daytime running lamps are actually the parking lights that are turned on really bright. It looks menacing when seen in the rear view mirror. I wish the wheels were bigger and also of a five spoke variety. They are not bad looking but dont add too much to the car.

The Drive
When you drive this vehicle it gives you a very solid substantial feel to it. It feels heavy but also light on its feet. Handling and steering is near perfect.
Acceleration is not like a Camaro but is still very quick.
I never feel like there is a lack of power at any speed. I feel it drives nicer than the Audi, BMW, Benz or Jaguar X-type I have driven. Over bumps it feels soft enough but not like the old caddy boat feeling. Probably the best overall ride of any American sedan.

I like the manual a lot. It is very easy to shift and the feel of the clutch is near perfect. Really a blast to drive. If you like sticks you definitely should get this one. Your hand will just fall into place because the shifter is perfectly located. I havent driven thousands of differnet sticks but this does rank on top of the ones I drove. Only issue is at 40-50 mph when you are cruising in 4th gear and suddenly want to pass someone, it definitely laggs around. Shift it into third and you will fly. I am not sure if this is necessary on most sticks.

The interior is well thought out and user friendly. Plenty of room for five people. All the materials look different from any other car I have been in. The materials give the interior a high-tech look. All the materials are soft to the touch quality pieces. Just like the exterior, the interior has a distinctive look to it. It is not just another interior that has a flat center console. The center console actually looks like a computer tower. The tower has a lot of gadgets and useful information. I wish there was a digital clock though. The instrument panel glows in red at night. The steering wheel has controls for stereo, cruise control, and can be programmed for the HVAC and traction control on/off.

Radio is very good. I got the stock system that sounds close to amazing, especially for a stock system. It comes with six speakers and one sub. The difference between the optional Bose and the stock is that the Bose had more highs. The Bose has 8 speakers.

The infotainment system as Caddy calls it has the radio, HVAC unit and information center all in the center of the dash. It monitors fuel level, mileage per gallon, doors ajar, oil life, etc but also offers a lot of personalization features like different door locking feature, auto exit seats, etc... The HVAC unit offers automatic operation for dual zones. It displays the outside temp. The rearview mirror has the ONSTAR unit in it.

A few complaints:

1. This is supposed to be a driver's car, why is the parking brake foot operated? It doesnt really affect automatic drivers, but to manual owners like myself it feels out of place.

2. It is cool I guess to have an analog clock, but they really should offer a digital clock on the radio. rear passengers cant see the analog clock in this car.

3. Wheels are not that sporty and big. The 17inchers on the Lincoln LS would look real nice on this car.

3. Absolutely no lumbar adjustment in this car. Not even manual adjustment. The seats feel nice to me, but I am sure people with lower back issues would appreciate more support.

4. This car should have dual exhaust.

5. The option packages on this car is insane. The consumer is almost punished with wanting options. If you want a sunroof, you have to pay $4000 for it because you have to move upto the luxury package. In my opinion you either get the base model or the fully equipped model. The in the middle models are the least value.

Model news
Next year the 3.2L will be replaced by a 3.6L that produces 30+ more horses. Also Gm is confirming a CTS V series that will have the vette ZO6 engine in it. 400hp American sedan! BMW watch out!! These new models will also feature a revised interior. The CTS will have standard six speed. Other reports have been saying possible AWD version after SRX comes out.

Now that I owned this car for a little while, I wanted to add a few things. Everywhere I drive I am getting looks. Definitely an eye catcher. I get heckled at, followed, asked questions. I come to my car and two three people are checking it out. No three series or five series ever has that done to it because they are mundane cars and dont have the styling risk of this one. I have no problems to date and absolutely love driving and looking at this car. One note is that oil changes can only be performed at caddy dealers and cost me $38.
One weird thing on this car is that there is only one key hole on the entire car. Usually there is one on the driverside, passengerside and another on the trunk. On this car there is only one on the driverside. if your battery dies you have pull a lever inside, behind the rear seat to pop the trunk. kinda weird.
Amount Paid (US$): 28700
Condition: New
Model Year: 2002
Model and Options: Base
Product Rating: 5.0
Recommended: Yes 
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