2019 Cadillac CTS Sedan

2019 Cadillac CTS Sedan
2019 Cadillac CTS Sedan Rear View Driving
2019 Cadillac CTS Sedan Dashboard Shown

2019 Cadillac CTS Sedan Review

by Jay Traugott

Some like to think that the era of the great American sedan is coming to an end, and the rise of the ever-practical but uninspiring SUV is going to continue growing from strength to strength until we're all driving high-riding crossovers. Despite the overwhelming odds, some refuse to give up; Cadillac is one of the few automakers still pushing the luxury sedan agenda in a serious way. The current Cadillac CTS has been with us since 2014 in its current form and is due for replacement next year, but still represents everything Cadillac is working towards as a brand: sporty handling, executive levels of comfort, and a rich feature list. New owners get to choose between a small turbo four-cylinder, a smooth naturally aspirated V6 or a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6. Despite its age and somewhat stiff ride, the Cadillac CTS still offers German-rivaling performance.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 7 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 6 /10
  • Reliability 7 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2019 Cadillac CTS Sedan Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2018 CTS Sedan?

No changes have been made for 2019, and the CTS carries over the features from 2018. The CTS is due for replacement by the new CT5 in 2020.

Pros and Cons

  • Entertaining handling
  • Twin-turbo V6 in V-Sport is highly entertaining
  • It flies under the radar
  • Impressive infotainment
  • Feature-rich
  • The four-cylinder turbo engine is unrefined
  • Cramped rear seating
  • Less cargo space than class-leaders
  • The new CT5 is out next year

What's the Price of the 2019 Cadillac CTS Sedan?

The base model of the CTS range is called the Standard and will set you back $46,995 in RWD guise. The Luxury model goes for an asking price of $53,690 in 2.0T guise with the V6 commanding an asking price of $55,690, while the Premium Luxury costs $61,190, and the V-Sport $62,690. The top of the line V-Sport Premium Luxury costs $72,790. The Standard model is priced well below German rivals such as the BMW 5 Series which goes for $53,400. All prices exclude tax, licensing, registration, and destination fees of $995, and all-wheel-drive is an optional extra to the value of $2,995.

Best Deals on 2019 Cadillac CTS Sedan

2019 Cadillac CTS Sedan Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
3.6L V6 Flex-fuel (FFV)
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
Premium Luxury
3.6L V6 Flex-fuel (FFV)
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.6L Turbo V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
V-Sport Premium Luxury
3.6L Turbo V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
See All 2019 Cadillac CTS Sedan Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

Cadillac has spent a lot of money on getting the handling of the CTS on par with its rivals, and have managed to create a midrange sport sedan that doesn't feel numb and disconnected like so many others. Instead, it provides an enthralling drive that can be entertaining when the occasion arises, but also comfortable when the daily commute demands it.

There are a few factors that have contributed to the excellent handling characteristics of the CTS. Firstly, the Alpha platform that the CTS shares with the ATS and XTS is a well-balanced piece of engineering which gives the CTS a solid base to work from. Steering is heavy for everyday driving but works well when the car is being pushed into corners, and the CTS provides sharp and direct turn-in. During hard cornering the CTS manages to remain flat and well balanced. You'll soon forget that you're driving a 3,600-pound car. For those who appreciate the handling characteristics of their vehicles, the optional magnetic damping system is a must, and turns the CTS into a class-leading handler, and also helps soften up the standard ride which some drivers may find too stiff.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Cadillac CTS Sedan A Good car?

The CTS has served as Cadillac's premium midsize sedan offering since 2003 and was at the forefront of Cadillac's efforts to re-skin their image from old and dumpy to new and cutting edge. The sharp styling and that bold grille has become a staple of modern Cadillac design and carries on in the new CT5. The interior of the 2019 CTS is a comfortable place to be in for front passengers but can get a bit cramped in the rear. However, Cadillac has tried to compensate for this by decking the cabin out with the choice of every material they could think of. In certain configurations, this can make the interior look cluttered, but the wide range of choice is appreciated.

In terms of safety, the Caddy doesn't overwhelm but gets the job done. The CTS comes with a decent list of standard features and the infotainment system, although slightly fussy and aging, does a good job of getting the right info to the front passengers. The highlight of the CTS is the way it drives. A taut chassis and well-sorted suspension make the CTS feel truly sporty and fun to drive. The turbocharged four-cylinder is a bit gruff but delivers robust performance, the 3.6 V6 is smooth but lags behind the competition. The star of the show is the twin-turbo V6 which transforms the CTS into a proper muscle sedan that can take it to the big Germans with ease. All in all, the CTS provides competent, but not class-leading performance, and at the end of its lifespan still remains a good buy with the potential for great deals to be found.

What Cadillac CTS Sedan Model Should I Buy?

The CTS is an often overlooked option in the premium midsize sedan market despite offering great handling, a good list of features and handsome looks. Pricing varies significantly between the base model and the V-Sport at the top and will set you back at least $46,995. A good compromise between the two extremes would be the 3.6 twin-turbo V-Sport, which comes with the best engine and suspension setup and includes a lot of extra performance, safety and comfort features such as a limited-slip differential, Magnetic ride control, a unique grille, 18-inch wheels wrapped in summer sport tires and automatic parking assistance . Its styling gives no hint at the massive power that lies under the hood, and that makes the CTS V-Sport one of the best sleeper cars on the market today.

Check out other Cadillac CTS Styles

2019 Cadillac CTS Sedan Comparisons

Cadillac XTS Cadillac
BMW 5 Series Sedan BMW

2019 Cadillac CTS Sedan vs Cadillac XTS

The XTS is a full-size luxury sedan that slots in between the CTS and CT6. The XTS starts at $46,895 and in base trim is equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 304 hp and 264 lb-ft, much less than the same capacity engine found in the CTS. The XTS is not available in 2.0 turbo spec. The XTS also gets a turbocharged V6, but once again produces less power than the CTS V-Sport. The XTS makes use of a six-speed auto transmission whereas the CTS uses an eight-speed version. The less powerful 3.6-liter XTS also uses more fuel than the equivalent engine in the CTS, getting 17/26/20 mpg city/highway/combined. The XTS does offer more interior and cargo space but weighs a considerable 200 lbs more than the CTS, depending on the configuration. In base trim, the CTS comes with more standard features, but the XTS is a new model with improved refinement. A difficult choice then - and one defined by the occupants. If you're the driver, get the CTS, if you're the passenger, make it the XTS.

See Cadillac XTS Review

2019 Cadillac CTS Sedan vs BMW 5 Series Sedan

The BMW 5 Series starts off at a high $53,400 for the base 530i sedan which is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo inline four-cylinder which produces 248 hp and 258 lb-ft, considerably less than the CTS. The 5 Series also makes use of an eight-speed auto box and sends its power to the rear wheels (AWD available). The BMW is lighter on fuel in base trim, returning 24/34/27 mpg city/highway/combined. The BMW can't match the CTS for interior space but does offer more trunk space. BMW has a better interior and a superior infotainment system, as well as more interior volume and a higher feature count that the CTS can't match. The 5 Series is the better driver's car, too, although the CTS comes close. Unfortunately, the CTS just feels last-gen compared to a newer 5 Series, which is why the BMW is the recommended pick.

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