Cadillac CTS (2017). End of Term. Management Fleet

Our time with The Management Fleet Cadillac CTS comes to an end with our thoughts on the drive, the engine, the ride quality, and the…[sigh]… Rear Automatic Braking.

Engine Power Torque 0-100kph Top speed Weight Basic price
V6, 3649cc 330bhp @ 6800rpm 386Nm (285lb ft) @ 5300rpm 6.1 secs 230kph 1704kg (194bhp/ton) $57,200
Driver's Log
Date acquired March 2017
Total kilometres 12,397
Kilometres this month 1,932
Costs this month $0
L/100km this month 8.4

I dearly wish I knew how to turn it off. I’ve looked through myriad sub-menus, the online manual, and rage-quit Google several times, but I still cannot work out how to turn off Rear Automatic Braking on our long term Cadillac CTS.

Imagine the setting. You’ve just pulled into your underground parking lot, perhaps theatrically mopping your brow with the back of your hand after an exhausting 9-5. All you want to do is collapse on the sofa, binge-watch 13 Reasons Why, and dive into the tikka biryani that’s on your passenger seat. Unfortunately, if you reverse into your parking bay, you’ll need to factor a further 10 minutes into this plan when the Rear Automatic Braking spots a potential ‘hazard’ and slams on the anchors, causing the whole cabin to jolt warning lights and bleeps asunder, upsetting said curry into the passenger foot well.

Don’t get me wrong, as a system designed to avoid you reverse t-boning passing cars and motorists, it’s very clever. But the sensitivity of the system will leave neither your chiropractor nor your local take-out merchants particularly impressed.

I’ll also admit to being on the fence with regards the Rear Camera Mirror. The setup uses a lens mounted just below the rear badge, which projects an image onto the rear-view mirror. It’s very clever, improving the field of vision by up to 300 per cent wider, says General Motors, and proves particularly helpful if something on the rear bench – be it a passenger, a large dog or overly ambitious amounts of groceries – is blocking your view. The issue though comes when the sun begins to drop in the sky, at which point the glare makes it difficult to see anything.

That’s not how I’d like to end our tenure with our 2017 Cadillac CTS, however. In terms of refinement after all, the CTS is a hit, offering as it does a combination of the comfortable black leather seats, plenty of head and legroom, and the intuitive CUE infotainment interface. Just bear in mind the haptic-‘sliding’ controls take a bit of getting use to and can be a little inconsistent with first-time users.

While fuel consumption has taken a knock – our best efforts have returned 8.2L/100km while our earlier 2-litre turbocharged test model was returning upwards of 7.4L/100km – the comparative immediacy of the 330bhp 3.6-litre V6 has made the CTS feel considerably more nimble in city traffic, and even on the rare occasion we’ve taken the Caddy for a blast through the mountains (the metal paddles for that eight-speed automatic gearbox needed a work-out at some point).

Granted the initial pick-up is a tad on the lethargic side, but once the V6 CTS gets into its stride, there’s a strong bank of torque that runs up to 5300rpm, and keeps the Cadillac moving with a healthy head of steam. Acceleration will never be as sharp as the lighter ATS nor as lunatic as its V-Series equivalent, but the rate of momentum still packs a respectable wallop out of the gates. Handling admittedly could be a little crisper based on previous experience with the new BMW 5 Series and the Mercedes E-Class, but the direct steering is still pleasingly responsive, more in-line with that found on a Jaguar XF with additional beef through the column.

There’s an agility through the corners too, an offshoot of the new, more rigid and lightweight aluminium chassis, and even despite the 1704kg kerb weight. Fortunately this hasn’t dented the well-composed ride comfort either, though we do question whether the rear seats needed to be mounted as vertically as they were. For longer journeys, you’ll probably prefer travelling in the front. 

So, comfortable, agile, refined and a V6 packing decent punch. All things to remember when you’re scraping masala out of the footwell carpets.

  • Technical specifications available on page 2

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