Cadillac CTS (2017). One month in. Management Fleet

The Management Fleet Cadillac CTS gets booked in for its 10K service. But does James have the patience to see it through…?

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 10,465
Kilometres this month 3,487
Costs this month $223
L/100km this month 8.5

Shock of all shocks, I’m not what you’d call the most patient when it comes to car services. Too many times in my native UK I’ve been sitting in the dealership waiting area, drinking scolding hot – and god awful – coffee from very thin plastic cups and pondering whether to read a year-old, dog-eared copy of Cosmopolitan to see if my man really does cherish our time together, or watch an edited version of Toy Story 3 playing on a loop alongside a dozen doe-eyed six year olds. Either way, time generally ticks away much slower than my sanity ever does.

I can’t honestly say then that I’m looking forward to the next hour of my life as I pull into Liberty Automobiles to book our long term Cadillac CTS in for a 10,000km service. Rather stupidly, I let this slip to both Liberty’s senior service advisor Alfredo Orbiso and sales manager Salim Kareem. “Not a problem”, he says, “the CTS will go through our 1-Hour service booth, but if you’re in a hurry, we could arrange a car for you…”

Sounds promising. While I’m tempted to ask if there’s a Corvette ZR1 free for a day or two, I also remember that, for three days every week at least, I’m supposed to be a professional member of the motoring media, and should really take this opportunity to see how one of the biggest manufacturers in the region caters to customer demands. Besides, actually watching your car get serviced? You never know, it could be interesting…

Liberty’s 1-hour 10K service is a pretty straightforward procedure. First up, Alfredo and his crew – head-torches affixed – lift the bonnet on the CTS to check fluid levels, battery life, and various other V6-related maladies that befuddle my feeble excuse for mechanical knowledge (mercifully there’s a handy checklist nearby that I can follow). Next up, the CTS is mounted on a lift and raised about five feet in the air so the crew can check tyre tread, wheel alignment, brake pad fade and the condition of the discs, all before lifting the saloon to its highest height to change the oil, check the transmission fluid, and make sure all bolts and mounts are thoroughly taut. Interestingly – well I think so, anyway – the driver and passenger sides are dealt with independently with two separate check sheets, to make sure no loose bolts or faulty filters slip through the net.  

Clearly, as I stand on the side-lines doing little more than staying out of the way, the team decide I’m not pulling my weight, and Alfredo instructs me to press “that button there” to bring the CTS back to the ground. Sod Toy Story, I could spend all day doing that.

Clearly Alfredo’s boys are either well-greased at the 1-hour service booth – most of them have been doing this for five years or more – or the sight of me attempting to shoot images around them encourages them to get me out of the workshop as quickly as possible. Either way, the service is done within 45 minutes, and save 15 per cent brake pad wear “that you might want to keep an eye on”, there’s no serious issues. All that’s left is a quick ‘test drive by Quality Control – twice around the block – and a spruce in Liberty Automobiles’ designated valeting area. While I’m waiting for the final bill o’health, I grab a quick cup of coffee in the waiting area. Turns out it’s pretty good.

  • Technical specifications available on page 2

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