2007 Cadillac CTS-V Expert Review

You'll Like The 2007 Cadillac CTS-V If...

If your eyes gloss over with envy every time you see your neighbor's high-performance import, but your buying habits have always favored domestically-produced vehicles, the CTS-V will let you have your cake while your neighbor eats your dust.

You May Not Like The 2007 Cadillac CTS-V If...

If you're impressed by Lexus-like refinement and a nearly-silent V8 engine, you probably won't appreciate the CTS-V's muscle car-like loping idle, brutish six-speed manual transmission and rumbling exhaust note. The CTS-V does not offer an automatic transmission, either.

What's New

No major changes for 2007.

Interior Features

The CTS-V's interior mirrors the CTS sedan's, with a few major changes. The sport seats are more aggressive, but not so thickly bolstered as to restrain movement. Handsome suede-like inserts help hold the driver in place during spirited runs, and power-adjustable lumbar support is on both the driver's and front passenger's seats. In a nod to the car's enthusiast nature, Cadillac engineers have lowered the center console by four inches, facilitating easier gear shifting. The CTS-V's instrument cluster is clear and legible, with large gauges and digital readouts for speed, G-force and transmission temperature. The center stack, however, is not as meticulously configured. The navigation system, for instance, does not include touch-screen menus, but relies instead on an assortment of tiny buttons to operate the GPS, audio and CD functions. With no steering wheel-mounted controls for the audio system or climate control, operating these units requires the driver to remove his or her hands from the wheel.

Exterior Features

The sharp creases and wedge-shaped silhouette of the standard-version CTS are brought into sharper focus when the V treatment is applied. The changes begin up front, where a revised front bumper rides closer to the ground. A tasteful steel mesh covers the wide lower air intake and grille. To ensure that the CTS-V sticks to the road like a sport sedan should, Cadillac equips it with wide P245/45R18 V-rated Goodyear Eagle F1 run-flat tires mounted to seven-spoke, 18-inch wheels; 395 pound-feet of V8 torque demand each wheel be secured by no less than six lugs. The temptation to tack on gaudy plastic cladding and non-functional vents has been avoided, with the only embellishment being a tasteful set of "V" badges at the front fenders' trailing edges.

Driving Impressions

It's easy to forgive the CTS-V of its shortcomings, and hard to relinquish it after only an hour behind the wheel. On every point dear to the driving enthusiast, the CTS-V hits the bull's eye. The car's mind-boggling acceleration is enough to merit high praise, but the suspension's ability to manage such speeds and still deal with the toughest curves demands a medal of honor be awarded to Cadillac's engineering team. The somewhat rubbery six-speed manual doesn't slip easily from gear to gear, and there is no proper center-console hand brake, but who cares? The CTS-V's rear-wheel-drive platform performs beyond most drivers' expectations, remaining firmly planted in the turns and giving more than enough warning when a correction to the steering wheel is in order. When not being pressed, the CTS-V cruises effortlessly on the open road, its tachometer hovering around 2,000 rpm and its highway fuel economy approaching 25 miles per gallon.

Pricing Notes

The CTS-V has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $52,990, and with the few available options added, tops out around $56,000. A look at the Fair Purchase Price shows the actual price being paid by consumers to be just under MSRP. Be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price to see what consumers are currently paying for CTS-Vs in your area. The CTS-V's popularity helps it achieve a much higher resale value than its lesser CTS siblings. Over a five-year period, the CTS-V is expected to maintain a stronger resale value than the Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG, but fall just shy of the values expected of the BMW M3 and Audi S4.

Notable Equipment

Along with the 400-horsepower 6.0-liter LS2 V8 and Tremec six-speed manual transmission, the CTS-V features StabiliTrak stability control, 18-inch alloy wheels, four-wheel anti-lock Brembo disc brakes, Bi-Xenon HID headlamps, LED taillights, power heated side mirrors, front-seat side-impact airbags, front and rear-seat head-curtain airbags, Bose audio, GPS navigation, Head-Up Display (HUD), 10-way power seats with power adjustable lumbar, leather and faux-suede seating, express down/up power front windows, heated front seats and a one-year subscription to Cadillac's Virtual Advisor, which provides traffic reports, weather updates and stock quotes.

Notable Options

There's not much to the CTS-V's option list. Customers can select W-rated tires, add a carbon fiber appearance package and opt for a shock absorber upgrade kit.

Favorite Features

G-Force Meter
Appearing at the bottom of the tachometer as a digital readout, this feature displays the peak G-force figures as the driver negotiates a curve.

6.0-liter LS2 V8
Who wouldn't love this engine? It has enough horsepower and torque to cause whiplash, yet when treated more sedately, returns EPA highway fuel figures rivaling some V6s.

Under the Hood

Who would have thought a Corvette engine could ever compliment a Cadillac sedan? The 6.0-liter LS2 V8 certainly has answered the call, producing 400 horsepower, 395 pound-feet of torque and acceleration from zero to 60 miles per hour of just 4.6 seconds. The CTS-V has a reported top speed of 163 miles per hour, though the opportunity to confirm this figure never presented itself. Aluminum construction of the block and cylinder heads contributes to a weight-to-power ratio of just 9.6 pounds for every horsepower, and helps the CTS-V measure in at close to even front-to-rear weight distribution.

6.0-liter V8
400 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
395 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/24

Editors' Notes

While the CTS sedan has forever changed the way the world looks at Cadillac, the CTS-V goes more directly at the performance reputations of the European and Japanese luxury manufacturers. Beyond its menacing good looks and European-tuned chassis is the heart and soul of a red-blooded American performance machine: The V8 engine. And not just any V8, either, but a Corvette-derived 6.0-liter terror pumping out 400 horsepower that's delivered to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. In this price league some may find the CTS-V's loud exhaust note and rumbling engine to be lacking in sophistication and its fancy feature list somewhat slim. No matter, because the CTS-V is not a BMW clone - its unapologetic in-your-face attitude is uniquely American.

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Owner Reviews

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1 Reviews

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Owner reviews are verified by our team and cannot be altered or removed.

The Red Rocket - High performance engine and chrome-tipped dual exhausts.

I love the car and have owned it for 11 years. It is a performance vehicle with a 6.0 liter engine and 6 speed manual transmission. I have had very few problems, but keep up with the required maintenance and all work is done by dealership mechanics. It has leather seats, sport suspension, and is just a joy to drive. Any maintenance, other than standard check-ups, has been understandable and because of age and wear-and-tear.

- Nicholas P