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2013 Cadillac CTS Review

The used Cadillac CTS ranks near the top of its class, thanks to its muscular engine, strong safety ratings, and solid reliability.

Pros & Cons

  • Potent V6 and V8 engines
  • Easy-to-use features
  • Limited headroom in coupe model
  • Poor rear visibility




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 7.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.6
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Cadillac CTS Overview

Is the 2013 Cadillac CTS a Good Used Car?

A used 2013 Cadillac CTS is a fine option for those shopping for a luxury midsize car. It earns high marks for safety and reliability, and it’s available in sporty coupe, sedan, and wagon body styles. There’s a variant for just about everyone. That said, the CTS’ driving dynamics fall short of rivals like the Lexus GS and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. If ride quality is a top concern, give these models a look first.

Used 2013 Cadillac CTS Performance and Interior

The Cadillac CTS is available with three engine options. A 3.0-liter V6 (270 horsepower) is standard on CTS sedan and wagon models. A 3.6-liter V6 (318 horsepower) is standard with coupes and is available with sedans and wagons. Both engines come with a six-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is available. The 3.0-liter engine offers decent acceleration and passing power, but it feels much pokier than the larger V6 while offering no fuel economy advantage. Both yield about 18 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

A 556-horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter V8  powers the CTS-V (available as a wagon, coupe, or sedan). A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and an automatic is available. Rear-wheel drive comes standard. The V8 rockets the CTS-V up to speed with breakneck pace, though fuel economy sinks to just 12/18 mpg.

The steering is responsive and the brakes provide robust stopping power. Even so, the CTS feels less composed around corners than many rivals. Cadillac offers the CTS with a number of suspension options. The standard setup is firm but comfortable on uneven pavement. Stiffer setups are available, including an adaptive suspension for CTS-V models. Each yields sharper handling at the expense of ride comfort.

Read more about CTS performance »

The Cadillac CTS coupe seats four, while the CTS sedan and wagon seat five. The front seats are comfy and offer ample head- and legroom in sedan and wagon models. The rear seats in these models are fairly spacious as well. However, the coupe’s low roof cuts out a large chunk of headroom in both rows, making the two-door a squeeze for tall drivers and passengers. All models have two sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. The CTS coupe and sedan offer 10.5 and 13.6 cubic feet of trunk space, respectively. The CTS wagon has 25.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats, expanding to 58 cubic feet with the seats folded flat. Rear visibility is poor in all body styles due to the thick roof pillars.

Inside, the CTS boasts soft, padded surfaces and clean-cut styling, though the cabin doesn’t feel as luxurious as some of its class competitors. Base models have a thin LCD screen that displays the radio functions. Higher trim levels feature a touch screen that rises from the dashboard, which also functions as the navigation system. The dashboard’s button layout can be overwhelming at first, but it’s very easy to use once you get the hang of it.

Read more about CTS interior »

Used 2013 Cadillac CTS Prices

The price of a used 2013 Cadillac CTS sedan starts at about $17,100. Prices can climb much higher for CTS-V models. The vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location also affect pricing.

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We Did the Research for You: 80 Reviews Analyzed

This overview includes fuel economy estimates, reliability ratings, crash test scores, and much more. We've also researched 80 Cadillac CTS reviews to help you decide if the 2013 CTS is the right car for you.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Cadillac CTS?

The CTS has great reliability, earning a score of 4.5 out of five in JD Power’s reliability ratings.

Read more about reliability »

How Safe Is the CTS?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Cadillac CTS sedan a 2013 Top Safety Pick. It received scores of Good (the highest offered) in all four areas tested. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the CTS sedan and wagon a perfect five-star rating in overall, front, and side crash tests, as well as four stars in rollover crash testing. The CTS coupe did not undergo testing.

Cadillac offers the 2013 CTS with an available rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and adaptive pivoting headlights. Blind spot monitoring is available on CTS coupe models only.

See CTS safety scores »

Is the 2013 CTS the Best Model Year to Buy?

If you’re looking for the best value, consider a used 2011 or 2012 CTS. These earlier models offer many of the same features as the 2013 CTS, but often at a much lower price. Cadillac made minimal changes to the CTS between the 2011 and 2013 model years. Notably, an all-new CTS sedan debuted for 2014.

Compare the 2011, 2012, and 2013 CTS »

Which Used Cadillac CTS Is Right for Me?

Cadillac offers the 2013 CTS in coupe, sedan, and sport wagon body styles. Features and trim levels will vary between these styles, so it’s best to double-check used models for the equipment that you want.

All CTS models come standard with Bluetooth, satellite radio, a CD player, keyless entry, cruise control, remote start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a power trunk lid. Available features include a navigation system with a pop-up touchscreen, a USB input, rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear parking sensors, adaptive headlights, RainSense wipers, leather seats, ventilated and heated seats (front), a sunroof, and an adaptive Magnetic Ride Control suspension.

You may want to shop for a certified pre-owned CTS. Cadillac CPO 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.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »
Read more about the Cadillac certified pre-owned program »

2013 Cadillac CTS and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Cadillac CTS or 2013 Cadillac ATS?

The new-for-2013 Cadillac ATS outclasses its bigger CTS sibling in a few key areas. The ATS delivers sharper handling, higher-quality cabin materials, more advanced safety features like forward collision warning, and superior fuel economy (up to 22/32 mpg). Unfortunately, it has just as many drawbacks. The ATS has poor reliability, a sleek but cumbersome infotainment system, and cramped rear seats. The CTS isn’t perfect, but it is the better pick of these Cadillac luxury sedans.

Which Is Better: 2013 Cadillac CTS or 2013 Cadillac XTS?

As an all-new model for 2013, the Cadillac XTS is a luxury large car that boasts a pillow-soft ride and vast seating space. It’s also available with a wider range of advanced safety features than the CTS. Even so, the luxury midsize CTS is the better buy. Its infotainment system feels lower-tech, but it’s far easier to use than the XTS’. The CTS rates much higher for reliability, and its zesty engine delivers a better driving experience.

Compare the CTS, ATS, and XTS »

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