The midsize luxury sedan segment is packed with great choices. To succeed, the 2018 Cadillac CTS can't just copy the more popular German or Japanese models. Instead, Cadillac has focused on giving buyers unmistakable design, sporty driving characteristics and modern in-car technology.
With suspension tuning done on fabled race circuits and highways around the world, the CTS definitely has the handling chops you might expect from a luxury sport sedan. The CTS could even claim to be the most engaging car in its class for driving along a curvy road. Particularly with the CTS V-Sport, you'll find that it turns in crisply and has loads of confidence-inspiring grip.
Under the hood is one of three engines. The turbocharged four-cylinder and non-turbo V6 are underwhelming for this class; they come up a little short in either refinement (the four-cylinder) or power (the V6). But with the CTS V-Sport, you'll feel the impressive pull from a 420-horsepower turbocharged V6.
The interior is much like the CTS exterior: crisply styled and well equipped. Standard technology includes Bose audio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, LED ambient lighting and remote start. The CTS' biggest downside, though, comes from that very same interior. Some may find the excessive use of reflective materials distracting, and the disconnected feel of the touch-actuated, buttonless infotainment system is generally displeasing to use.
Overall, the CTS holds its own in this class and should be a solid pick, especially if you're looking for a luxury sedan with a high sporting quotient.
The 2018 Cadillac CTS luxury sport sedan is in five trims: base, Luxury, Premium Luxury, V-Sport and V-Sport Premium Luxury.
The base trim comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine (268 hp, 295 pound-feet of torque), an eight-speed automatic transmission, 17-inch wheels, Brembo front brakes, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats, driver-seat memory settings, simulated leather upholstery and fixed rear seats with a trunk pass-through.
Technology features include OnStar telematics (with 4G data connectivity and Wi-Fi capability), wireless smartphone charging, Bluetooth, the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system (without navigation), an 8-inch touchscreen interface, voice controls, three USB inputs, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an 11-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with satellite radio.
For this base CTS, buyers can add a Seating package that includes leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, split-folding rear seatbacks, a power-adjustable and heated steering wheel, and LED interior ambient lighting.
Luxury offers the option of a 3.6-liter V6 (335 hp, 285 lb-ft) plus adaptive xenon headlights with auto high beams, a panoramic sunroof, a navigation system, a 13-speaker Bose sound system and a variety of driver safety aids (automatic wipers, lane departure warning and intervention, forward collision alert, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert). The optional seating package from the base CTS is included in the Luxury.
An optional V-Sport package (not to be confused with the V-Sport trim level) bundles 18-inch wheels, high-performance brakes and tires, and a sport-tuned suspension with adaptive dampers.
Premium Luxury fits the CTS with the adaptive suspension dampers, 18-inch wheels, a self-parking system (both parallel and perpendicular), three-zone automatic climate control, heated rear seats, a rear camera mirror, a head-up display, a top-down parking camera system, a power rear sunshade (rear side-window shades are manual), and illuminated door handles and front doorsill plates.
There's an optional Driver Assist package for the Premium Luxury trim that adds adaptive cruise control and a collision mitigation system with automatic braking. Other options include 20-way-adjustable front sport seats and a configurable digital gauge cluster.
The CTS V-Sport comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine (420 hp, 430 lb-ft) and starts with the Luxury trim level's standard features (minus the sunroof) and adds the self-parking system, 18-inch wheels with summer tires, upgraded brakes, a sport-tuned suspension and steering system, a driver-selectable Track mode for high-performance driving, an electronic limited-slip rear differential and an upgraded cooling system. All-wheel drive is not available.
At the top of the range is the CTS V-Sport Luxury that adds just about all of the standard and optional features of the Premium Luxury trim, including the sunroof.