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2019 Cadillac CTS Review

The 2019 Cadillac CTS ranks in the bottom third of the luxury midsize car class. Its muscular performance is outweighed by its subpar predicted reliability rating, cramped rear seats, and firm ride.

7.6

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 7.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.8
Safety: 9.2
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the 2019 Cadillac CTS a Good Used Car?

Despite its ranking, the 2019 CTS is a good used luxury midsize car. It has comfortable seats, composed handling, and robust engine options, especially in the range-topping Cadillac CTS-V. Also, this sedan’s ownership costs are slightly below average for the class. However, this vehicle has several shortcomings, such as a small trunk, tight rear seats, subpar fuel economy, and a stiff ride. The CTS also suffers from a below-average predicted reliability rating.

If you like the CTS or CTS-V, then you might want to consider the smaller 2019 Cadillac ATS or ATS-V, which are likely to be a bit more affordable. You might also consider the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, which delivers a cushioned ride and comes in several body styles.

Compare the CTS, ATS, and E-Class »

Why You Can Trust Us

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about this vehicle in our comprehensive CTS review. It combines concrete data like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions with 44 professional Cadillac CTS reviews.

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. We care about cars, but we care more about providing useful consumer advice. To ensure our impartiality, an independent party handles our advertising, and our editorial team doesn’t accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much is the 2019 Cadillac CTS?

Based on listings for the 2019 Cadillac CTS, the average list price is $31,611. Prices range from $31,611 to $76,957 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2019 Cadillac CTS Cost to Own?

The 2019 CTS’ five-year costs for gas, insurance, taxes, fees, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $32,235, or $6,447 per year. That’s slightly below average for the class.

2018 vs. 2019 Cadillac CTS: What's the Difference?

Cadillac made no major changes to the 2019 CTS sedan, making it a nearly identical vehicle to the 2018 Cadillac CTS.

Compare the 2018 and 2019 CTS »

The Cadillac CTS sedan was last redesigned for 2014. It's worth noting that the wagon and coupe body styles from the previous generation continued production alongside the redesigned sedan for a couple of model years.

Here are key changes for the Cadillac CTS over the past few years:

  • 2015: wagon body type discontinued; Wi-Fi hot spot made standard
  • 2016: V6 engine received 14-horsepower boost; eight-speed automatic transmission added; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto became available; infotainment system upgraded; CTS-V coupe discontinued and sedan reintroduced
  • 2017: revamped trim lineup; updated exterior styling; Teen Driver made standard
  • 2018: no major changes
  • 2019: no major changes; final model year of production, replaced by 2020 CT5

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2016 CTS, 2017 CTS, and 2018 CTS reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Reliable Is the 2019 Cadillac CTS?

The 2019 CTS has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five.

Read more about CTS reliability »

2019 Cadillac CTS Recalls

There are no major recalls for the 2019 Cadillac CTS at this time.

See more information on Cadillac CTS safety recalls »

Which Used Cadillac CTS Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Cadillac CTS sedan comes in six trim levels: base, Luxury, Premium Luxury, V-Sport, V-Sport Premium Luxury, and the high-performance CTS-V. The base trim is richly equipped, but shoppers after more driver assistance features should consider the Luxury trim. To get the V6 engine, you’ll have to find a properly equipped Luxury or any Premium Luxury model. The twin-turbo V6 only comes with the V-Sport models, and the V8 can only be had in the CTS-V.

  • Cadillac CTS: The entry-level CTS comes with a 268-horsepower turbo-four engine. Standard equipment includes the CUE infotainment system, an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an 11-speaker Bose stereo, satellite radio, a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot, wireless device charging, two USB ports, and Bluetooth. Also standard are remote start, proximity keyless entry, synthetic leather upholstery, eight-way power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, and Teen Driver.
  • Cadillac CTS Luxury: The Cadillac CTS Luxury adds a navigation system, a 13-speaker Bose stereo, a sunroof, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, and genuine leather upholstery. Also standard is a suite of driver assistance features, including a following distance indicator, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, lane change alert, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision alert, a safety alert seat, automatic high-beam headlights, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Some Luxury models may feature a 335-horsepower V6 engine. A V-Sport package is available too, outfitting the Cadillac with a sport-tuned suspension, Magnetic Ride Control, performance brakes, and larger alloy wheels.

  • Cadillac CTS Premium Luxury: In addition to the V6 engine mentioned above, the Premium Luxury gains Magnetic Ride Control, a surround-view parking camera system, active park assist, a head-up display, a rear camera mirror, tri-zone automatic climate control, and heated rear outboard seats. Some models may come with 20-way power-adjustable front sport seats, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, or the V-Sport package.
  • Cadillac CTS V-Sport: The Cadillac CTS V-Sport comes with a 420-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine. It adds a performance-tuned suspension, upgraded Brembo brakes, a limited-slip differential, and a park assist system. Otherwise, it’s equipped similarly to the Luxury, minus the sunroof.
  • Cadillac CTS V-Sport Premium Luxury: As the name suggests, this Cadillac pairs the V-Sport’s twin-turbocharged engine with the Premium Luxury’s equipment.
  • Cadillac CTS-V: The CTS-V is the performance-oriented model in the lineup. It comes with an earth-shattering 640-horsepower supercharged V8 engine. Like the V-Sport, the Cadillac CTS-V gains performance enhancements such as Brembo brakes, launch control, and sportier styling.

See 2019 Cadillac CTS trims and specs »

What Does Cadillac's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Cadillac offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles four years old or less and with fewer than 50,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Qualifying vehicles see the original new-car limited warranty extended to six years or 100,000 miles. Cadillac CPO models must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read Cadillac’s warranty page carefully.

Cadillac’s CPO program is OK, according to our analysis, but several luxury carmakers offer better programs. These include Lexus, Infiniti, Audi, and Acura.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the CTS?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 CTS a perfect five-star overall safety rating, with five stars in all three crash tests.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2019 CTS the highest rating of Good in four crash tests, the second-lowest rating of Marginal in the driver-side small overlap front test, and the lowest rating of Poor for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead.

The IIHS uses a different scale to evaluate front crash prevention features. Models without low-speed automatic emergency braking received the lowest rating of Basic, while those with it earned the highest rating of Superior.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Teen Driver (lets you do things like set speed and audio volume limits for secondary drivers)
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Forward collision warning
  • Forward and reverse automatic emergency braking
  • Parallel and perpendicular park assist
  • Rear camera mirror
  • Surround-view parking camera system
  • Lane change alert
  • Lane keep assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Head-up display
  • Safety alert seat
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Adaptive headlights
  • Following distance indicator

See CTS safety scores »

2019 Cadillac CTS Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2019 Cadillac CTS or 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class?

If you’re looking for the most driving enjoyment, you’ll want the Cadillac CTS. Otherwise, the 2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is a better choice in the luxury midsize car class. The Mercedes opts more for comfort over agility, as it provides a silkier ride than the Cadillac. However, the performance-oriented Mercedes-AMG models go toe-to-toe with the Cadillac CTS V-Sport and CTS-V for sheer power. Also, the E-Class comes in a wide range of body styles, including a sedan, wagon, convertible, and coupe.

Which Is Better: 2019 Cadillac CTS or 2019 BMW 5 Series?

The 2019 BMW 5 Series is a fantastic vehicle, and it surpasses the Cadillac in several areas. The 5 Series ranks among the most athletic sedans in its segment, and the high-performance M5 competes closely with the Cadillac CTS-V. On top of that, the 5 Series sedan has a lavish cabin, plenty of trunk space, and a good predicted reliability rating.

Compare the CTS, E-Class, and 5 Series »

2019 CTS Performance

How Does the 2019 Cadillac CTS Drive?

The base turbo-four engine does its job getting this vehicle up to high speeds without complaint, but it’s not the punchiest option. Both available V6s feel brawnier and help deliver swifter acceleration. The V8 powering the high-performance Cadillac CTS-V delivers otherworldly performance. The standard eight-speed automatic transmission works well.

The CTS has responsive steering and controlled body lean, helping it feel confident around corners. Certain wheel or tire combinations can stiffen the ride, but the available Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension helps offset that.

  • Base engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 268 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque
  • Available engines:
    • 3.6-liter V6 with 335 horsepower and 285 pound-feet of torque
    • 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 420 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque (V-Sport)
    • 6.2-liter supercharged V8 with 640 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque (CTS-V)
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic
Does the 2019 Cadillac CTS Get Good Gas Mileage?

Even this Cadillac sedan’s best fuel economy estimates are below average for the luxury midsize car class. For instance, the base 2019 BMW 5 Series with its turbo-four engine gets moderately better mpg ratings.

  • Turbo-four, RWD: 22/30 mpg city/highway
  • V6, RWD: 19/29 mpg
  • V6, AWD: 18/26 mpg
  • V-Sport V6, RWD: 16/24 mpg
  • CTS-V V8, RWD: 14/21 mpg

Read more about CTS performance »

2019 CTS Interior

How Many People Does the 2019 CTS Seat?

This four-door sedan seats five people in two rows. The front seats are roomy and remain comfortable even after several hours. Space in the rear is tighter, with limited leg- and headroom. The cabin has some premium materials and soft-touch surfaces, especially with the semi-aniline leather or wood accents in higher trims, but you’ll find more opulence in rival vehicles from Audi or Mercedes.

Standard seating features:

  • Synthetic leather upholstery
  • Eight-way power-adjustable front seats

Available seating features:

  • Genuine leather upholstery
  • 16-way power-adjustable Recaro front seats
  • 20-way power-adjustable front seats
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Heated rear seats
  • Heated steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2019 Cadillac CTS?

The 2019 CTS has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the rear outboard seats and an upper tether for the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this LATCH system the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use, noting that the lower anchors are set deeply in the seats and require a lot of force to attach.

2019 Cadillac CTS Features

The CUE infotainment system has a responsive touch screen, but it’s overly sensitive, and the lack of physical controls can make it hard to operate some functions.

  • Standard infotainment features: the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system, an 8-inch touch screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, wireless device charging, satellite radio, an 11-speaker Bose stereo, Bluetooth, and two USB ports
  • Available infotainment features: a 12.3-inch digital driver display, navigation, and a 13-speaker Bose stereo
  • Additional standard features: push-button start, remote start, proximity keyless entry, and dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Other available features: tri-zone automatic climate control, a sunroof, and a performance data and video recorder

See 2019 Cadillac CTS specs »

Read more about CTS interior »

2019 Cadillac CTS Dimensions

Cadillac CTS Cargo Space

This Cadillac sedan has a 13.7-cubic-foot trunk, which is small for a luxury midsize car.

2019 Cadillac CTS Length and Weight
  • Length: 16 feet, 4 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,652 to 4,016 pounds

Where Was the 2019 Cadillac CTS Built?

General Motors built the 2019 Cadillac CTS in Michigan.

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