As I mentioned early on, my current daily driver is a 2001 Cadillac DTS that I inherited from my Grandfather. My wife drove it for a few years while surviving the “old lady” jokes from her friends and coworkers, and I have enjoyed it despite the stigma of a big beige Caddy. While Cadillac is generally thought of as a brand for the elderly, they have added a number of high-performance models in the past few years in an attempt to entice younger buyers into the showroom.
Introduced in 2003, the mid-sized CTS was a breath of fresh air for the brand. The CTS-V high-performance variant was added the next year, featuring the 400 hp V8 engine and 6-speed manual transmission out of the Chevrolet Corvette. Needless to say, the idea of ripping gears in a ‘Vette-powered four-door luxo-sedan sounds like a lot of fun to me.
The CTS was redesigned in 2008 with a more aggressive look and a more powerful, 556 hp V8. I would prefer this model, but they are still too expensive (and will likely remain so) to be a legitimate choice. Starting this year, Cadillac will offer a coupe version as well as an extremely attractive wagon, the latter of which will likely be at the top of my list of potential purchases somewhere around 2017.
- Meets all of my criteria.
- Quality is high and it has an LS-series V8, so reliability and parts availability is good.
- I’ve been somewhat coddled by my time driving a Cadillac, so it would be nice to keep the heated seats and other niceties that come with driving a luxury car.
- Seriously, it’s a V8, 6-speed luxury car – what’s not to like?
- Prices are on the high side of my scale, and the relative rarity of the manual transmission cars means they are unlikely to drop soon.
- As with any other luxury brand, buying a used example can be an expensive proposition when it comes to repairs. Just because you got a good deal on a car that was $50k when it was new doesn’t mean the parts are any cheaper.
All things considered, this is neck-and-neck with the Pontiac G8 for my top choice. Given the choice of an automatic G8 and a stick shift CTS-V, I think my Pontiac faith might lose out to the fun of rowing my own gears in a Grandpa car.