Cadillac CTS (2004 – 2008) Review

Cadillac CTS (2004 – 2008) At A Glance


+Good value. Plenty of kit in a roomy cabin. Enjoyable rear-drive road manners.

-Not everyone will like its distinctive looks. Hot CTS-V model not as satisfying as a Monaro VXR.

On average it achieves 107% of the official MPG figure

What does ‘Cadillac' mean to you? A vast V8, V12 or V16 from the 1930's? A befinned behemoth from the 1950s? A Ghostbusters ambulance? An Eldorado pimpmobile? A long, black hearse? A Seville, unsuccessfully imported from the mid 1970s to mid 80s, then again in the 1990s? Unfortunately, Cadillac's brand values as one of America's finest cars have been diluted by some terrible dross, but you can't blame General Motors for wanting to re-establish its best name as its best car.

That wasn't going to happen if they continued to build them the same old American way. So Cadillac's fresh new cars are built in a fresh new factory at Lancing, Michigan, to quality standards that, in the latest JD Power surveys, even beat Lexus.

The CTS now being imported to the UK with right-hand-drive has been on the market in the USA since 2003. It was already a good car, but GM wanted to refine it and be absolutely sure of getting all the bugs out before introducing it to more critical Europeans. The CTS we are getting now has new chain-cam 3.6 and 2.8 litre V6 engines, a slick 5-speed autobox, rear wheel drive, and the sort of road-handling no one believes possible of any American car until they drive it.

They're good value, too. Starting at £25k for the 215bhp 2.8 and rising to just £30k for comprehensively equipped 257bhp 3.6 which is bound to be the best seller and is the subject of this test.

Its looks are a bit of an acquired taste, especially that chunky front which also adorns the latest US presidential limousine, and the rather brash boot. But the side view is fine and at least the car is distinctive and carries a certain amount of prestige. Nothing else looks anything like it.Cadillac is only looking at limited numbers for the UK market, so buy one and, until the end of the year at least, you'll have a car that looks very special but very few people know what it is.

Real MPG average for a Cadillac CTS (2004 – 2008)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

23–25 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

Buying a used, cheap luxury car

"I have a choice between a used Cadillac CTS and a used Mercedes-Benz S-Class - not sure whice is the best car of the 2. Both priced are around £4000, both luxury cars, fully loaded. I'm retired looking for a comfortable and reliable car. The 2001 S-Class has 86,000 miles and the 2006 Cadillac has 68,000."
A 2001 Mercedes-Benz S-Class is highly likely to be a rust bucket with numerous electrical problems. That's why they're cheap.
Answered by Honest John

Is £16,500 a fair price for a 'brand new' Cadillac CTS?

"I have been offered a 'brand new' Cadillac CTS 3.6 for £16,500. The car appears to be brand new, unmarked, with some transit packaging still in place, with 120 miles on the clock and a new battery. On checking the VIN with Cadillac it was built in April 2006 and is a pre facelift car. Would you consider the price fair and is it worth taking a chance, or should I buy a later car (say 2007/8) for under £10k? I do know a little about Cadillacs as I have been driving a 2000 Seville STS for the past 9 years. Your advice would be appreciated."
That seems a fairly decent price to us if it only has 120 miles on, and you're certainly getting plenty of car for your money. Cadillacs depreciate heavily though, so you'll need to take this into account, but if it's coming to you 'as new' as it were, that seems an okay deal. Make sure the car is in good condition though, as although it's only done a few miles it is more than four years old.
Answered by David Ross
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