$24,965 - $60,841

2016 Cadillac CTS Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Cadillac CTS was new.


Performance: 9.2

A few critics say the 2016 Cadillac CTS’ standard four-cylinder engine isn’t as refined as those of rivals, and it earns lower fuel economy estimates. However, test drivers are thrilled with the outstanding power output of the CTS-V’s supercharged V8 engine. Reviewers also praise the Cadillac CTS for its poised handling and comfortable ride quality, and they add that the CTS-V offers some of the sharpest driving dynamics among its competitors.

  • “If you went just by those numbers alone, the coming CTS-V outshines the competitors in almost every category. If you go by all the parameters that make a car a success, the CTS-V might win there, too." -- AutoWeek
  • "As should be the case with its monster of an engine and body structure stiff as an English lord's upper lip, the CTS-V's acceleration and handling are the equal of or better than any of its European rivals." -- Edmunds
  • "Extreme performance sedans like the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V are often so focused on performing on a track that they make a commute or quick drive to the grocery store a lesson in discomfort. Not the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V. It's gone so far to please daily drivers that some buyers might prefer more visceral delight from this 640-horsepower track star - just to break up the mundanity." -- Cars.com

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Cadillac CTS comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 268 horsepower. New for 2016 is a 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 335 horsepower. A 420-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 engine is also available. The high-performance Cadillac CTS-V comes with a 640-horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine. Each engine option is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The base CTS gets an EPA-estimated 21/31 mpg city/highway, which is less than the estimates of many four-cylinder rivals such as the Audi A6 2.0T and BMW 528i.

A few test drivers describe the base CTS’ engine as unpolished, and they report that its fuel economy is unimpressive. They recommend opting for one of the CTS’ available V6 engines. Auto writers praise the CTS-V for its outstanding power delivery and blistering acceleration. Still, some test drivers say the CTS-V’s eight-speed automatic transmission doesn’t perform as well as competitors’ dual-clutch transmissions.

  • "Like many of its competitors, the 2016 CTS comes standard with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It's not a great way to start, admittedly, as this 2.0-liter mill trails the pack in terms of both refinement and fuel economy. Better to set your sights on one of the two V6 engines that Cadillac offers for 2016." -- Edmunds
  • "Yow! This car has 640 hp all right, and it felt like we were putting every single one of them down to the pavement right then and there. The rear end wandered around a little with all that power, almost scarily, as we briefly contemplated being known forever as, ‘Oh yeah, that idiot who wiped out the first CTS-V.’ But a little counter steering -- without lifting -- and some barely noticeable assist from the active traction control kept it in line and off we whooshed, down the onramp at what felt like about Warp Factor 6. This is no ordinary domestic performance sedan." -- AutoWeek
  • "Coming up the hill to Road America's front straight is a gut-dropping experience, and even with that elevation I was able to touch just north of 150 mph. That speed in that location requires quite a bit of effort, and of course a lot of braking on the other end. Two turns later, on a bit of open road, I was reaching 130 without effort - that's a showcase for the car's true speed." -- Cars.com
  • "If there's one Achilles' heel, or mild blister, it's the Caddy's eight-speed gearbox: far superior to the previous dawdling six-speed yet less crisp than the latest dual-clutch boxes found on some competitors." -- Automobile Magazine

Handling and Braking

Automotive journalist agree that the 2016 Cadillac CTS has exemplary handling for a midsize sedan, noting its composure and limited body roll through turns. They add that the performance-oriented CTS-V is even more nimble. Reviewers also praise the CTS for its comfortable ride on the highway and over road imperfections. The CTS is available with adaptive suspension that adjusts the car’s ride and handling characteristics. Three modes – Tour, Sport and Track – are available. The 2016 Cadillac CTS comes standard with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available.

  • "The ride is extremely comfortable even on rather rough roads, and the exhaust that rip-roars when the car is in Track mode goes mostly silent when in Tour. But then a turn approaches and the CTS-V reacts like an extension of your arms through the steering wheel, and you snap back to the realization that you're piloting something special." -- Cars.com
  • "The steering was as precise as a sedan this big will likely get, and the body roll control was likewise solid." -- AutoWeek
  • "Through turns, the CTS provides uncommon levels of composure and tactility. If you ever find yourself driving one on a racetrack, don't be afraid to toss it into a corner -- it'll shrink around you like all great sport sedans, and you'll enjoy arguably the best steering feel and body control in this segment. Yes, this Caddy is sharp, yet it still maintains its composure over bumps, especially when fitted with the adaptive suspension. The CTS is also ideal for highway cruising, thanks to its smooth ride and fairly quiet cabin." -- Edmunds
  • "Street or track, those modes indeed make the CTS-V a hurricane-force breeze to drive, with steering and suspension as sensitive to conditions as a veteran meteorologist." -- Automobile Magazine

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