Test Drive: 2016 Cadillac CTS-V Review

Jerry Reynolds | May 17, 2016
Test Drive: 2016 Cadillac CTS-V Review

When you think of a Cadillac, you may think of your Dad, or even your Granddad.

It’s time to put that aside, and I’ll prove it with the , a 4-door luxury sedan that tops out at 200-miles per hour and turns zero-to-sixty in just 3.7 seconds.

As an aside, I traded my 2014 Corvette with 1300 miles for a 2016 Z06 for one reason, and that was to get the 6.2-liter supercharged V8, which is the exact engine this Caddy has.

2016 Cadillac CTS-V

Looking under the carbon fiber hood of this speedster is like looking at a work of art.  This engine puts out 640-horses and has an amazing 630 pound-feet of torque.  It is mated to an 8-speed automatic with magnesium shift paddles.  Together, they make the rear-wheel drive CTS-V the most powerful Cadillac in its 112-year history.  A huge brace at the back of the engine compartment adds a ton of stability and enhances handling especially when maxing out the torque of this big V8.

This is another one of those cars that really turns heads.  It has distinctive lines and a beautiful set of 19” wheels.  Due to the heat of the big engine, there are vents on the hood, on both front fenders, and a lot of air comes in around the front fascia.  That air helps fuel the big supercharger.  The carbon fiber front air splitter and rear spoiler give this car a distinctive look also.  The daytime running lights run vertically from the top of the fender to the bottom of the bumper.  Another attention grabber is the size of the brake rotors, they are massive.

Moving to the interior, it is visually pleasing as soon as you open the door.  The two-tone Recaro high-performance seats look fantastic and have 16 different settings for your comfort.

The dash is colorful and easy to read. The customizable instrument cluster lets you configure the 12.3” high-definition display to one of three layouts. The Heads-Up display on the windshield lets you view your vehicle data and speed while keeping your eyes on the road.  The heated microfiber steering wheel feels great to the touch.  Carbon fiber on the dash and the door panels give the interior a sharp look.

The CTS-V center console has a fluid appearance and is quite useful. It has a leather sliding door to cover the cup holders.  Above that are the climate controls, and they sit under the 8” color touchscreen that operates all the apps.  You operate the Bose stereo, the navigation system, the Bluetooth system, Apple Carplay, 4G LTE Wi-Fi and real-time traffic, sports, and weather.  This is where the terrific rearview camera operates.  Everything on the touchscreen works great and is easy to operate.

You get pushbutton start, active keyless entry, and remote start, all standard equipment.

There is also a hidden compartment behind the screen that will let you hide valuables and it is also a wireless cell charger.  Near the gear shifter, there is a mode button to go between tour, sport, track, and snow/ice.  As fun as track mode is, sport is the setting I felt offered a great ride, terrific handling, and opened up the exhaust for that race car sound.

If you look up, you’ll see a huge panoramic moonroof that covers front and back seat.  While on the subject, the back seat is roomy enough, and it has a power rear window shade and manual side window shades.

A cool thing I love about this car is the new version of the magnetic ride control, which controls the suspension. The car adjusts itself every inch of the way, literally.  It evaluates the road every time it goes one inch and makes changes if needed for the best ride quality.

Also cool, if you look at the front end, you’ll see the front spoiler, which they call an air splitter, sits low to the ground and sticks out pretty far.  To keep the driver from knocking that off, Cadillac put two hidden cameras in the front.  When you get close to a curb, the camera in the dash comes on to show you how close you are to hitting the curb.

To enhance and improve the driving experience and your skills, the Performance Data Recorder offers four overlays, one for each mode, and lets drivers record their driving experience by capturing real-time video, audio and performance metrics. The front-view camera captures each curve and straightaway, and when parked, lets you watch and analyze your driving performance on the screen. You can also save the footage on an SD card to watch or share your performance later.

The standard Driver awareness package includes forward collision alert, lane keep assist, and rear cross-traffic alert.  You also get a 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and 6-year/70,000 mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance.

Fuel economy is rated at 14 in town, which is impossible if you drive like I do, but it is rated at 21 on the highway, which I exceeded due to the Active Fuel Management system, that cuts you down to 4 cylinders when cruising.

This is a driver’s machine that will excite you every single time you hit the start button. Base price on this car is $84,990 and equipped like this one, it tops out at $300 more than a hundred grand.  That’s a lot of money, but this is a lot of car. A loaded , or are two cars to which the CTS-V stacks up nicely.

Simply put, this car represents a luxury sedan that is track ready.

  • What I liked best:  Performance and looks
  • What I would change:  Nothing.        
  • MSRP: Base price $83,995 as equipped $100,330.
  • Fuel Economy: 14 City, 21 Highway, 17 Combined.
  • Fuel Tank: 19 gallons with filler on the passenger side.
  • Dimensions: 197.6” long/72.2”wide/57.2” high.
  • Weight: 4145 Pounds.
  • Miles When Tested: 720 miles.
  • Trailer Towing:  N/A
  • Final Assembly Point: Lansing, Michigan
  • 2016 CTS-V in a few words: An amazing combination of luxury and performance.
  • Warranty:  4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with free maintenance, 6-year/70,000 mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance
  • Manufacturer’s website:  

Photo Credit: Cadillac

Tags: 2016, cadillac, cts, v
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