America’s answer to German luxury sportscars: 2023 Cadillac CTS-V

The primary CTS lacks excitement but offers a comfortable cabin with upscale trim and spacious legroom. The CTS-V falls between the two, leaning closer to the impressive Blackwing than the lackluster base car.

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2023 Cadillac CTS-V on road

Amidst the SUV craze, traditional four-door sedans, especially from American brands, are becoming rare. Only a few domestic sedans remain; two are from Cadillac, including the 2023 CTS. This midsize luxury sedan stands strong, refusing to fade quietly into the background.

While the CTS may not outshine the BMW 5 Series and Audi A6 benchmarks, it offers a compelling American option in the luxury sedan market. Equipped with two powerful engines, precise handling, and the advanced Super Cruise semi-automated driving system, the CTS stands out. Super Cruise’s intuitive capabilities, especially in heavy traffic, make it a standout feature, potentially sealing the deal for commuters.

2023 Cadillac CTS-V tail light

What’s new in the 2023 Cadillac CTS-V

2023 Cadillac CTS-V front angle

In 2023, the Cadillac CTS-V and CTS-V Blackwing remain unchanged except for a few new exterior color options. The CTS-V Blackwing now features a Blackwing badge on the trunk lid and comes with a standard rear pedestrian alert system. Additionally, there’s an exclusive 120-unit 120th Anniversary Collector’s Edition available for the CTS-V Blackwing.

A throwback to history and interesting facts about Cadillac CTS

1st  Cadillac CTS

The CTS sedan debuted in January 2002 as a 2003 model, utilizing GM’s new rear-wheel drive Sigma platform and featuring a fully independent suspension. Initially powered by a 3.2 L LA3 V6 generating 220 hp, it received an upgraded 3.6 L DOHC V6 with variable valve timing as an option in 2004, producing 255 hp.

1st Cadillac CTS-V

In the same year, GM introduced the CTS-V, a high-performance version designed to rival luxury performance sedans like the BMW M3/M5, Audi S4/S6, and Mercedes-Benz C and E-class AMGs.

2nd gen Cadillac CTS

The second-generation CTS introduced as a broader and more extended version, offered a base model with a 3.6 L LY7 V6 engine producing 263 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque, carried over from the previous generation. A new engine option was introduced—a 3.6 L direct-injection V6 VVT engine generating 304 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque.

Cadillac CTS Coupe

At the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, General Motors revealed a coupe concept of the CTS alongside the new CTS-V performance sedan.

2nd gen Cadillac CTS-V

The second-generation CTS-V is built on the GM Sigma II platform, which it shares with the rear-wheel-drive base model of the Cadillac CTS from 2008 to the present. Most of the bodywork is identical between the two models. The 2009 CTS-V earned a spot on Car and Driver’s 10 Best Cars list.

3rd gen Cadillac CTS

On March 26, 2013, Cadillac introduced the third generation of the CTS. The 2014 CTS featured the 2.0L turbocharged I4 and 3.6L V6 from the ATS and a new twin-turbocharged V6 producing 420 hp. A new trim, Vsport, bridged the gap between the 3.6L V6 and the high-performance CTS-V.

3rd Gen Cadillac CTS-V

The third-generation CTS-V boasted a 6.2L, 640 bhp at 6400 rpm, and 630 lb-ft of torque at 3600 rpm LT4 supercharged gasoline V8 engine, making it the most powerful Cadillac ever produced at that time. This model was called the “four-door Corvette” due to its supercharged V8 engine.

Comparison between trims

Performance and Engine of 2023 Cadillac CTS-V

2023 Cadillac CTS-V on road front

Although the CTS V-Series provides a satisfying driving experience, it doesn’t set records. Accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds is decent but not exceptional; competitors like the Mercedes E 450 are quicker. However, the V-Series impresses with its solid handling and steering. While it may not amaze on the test track, its lack of body roll instills confidence for nimble cornering in real-world driving.

The major drawback lies in the brake pedal, which feels overly sensitive initially and takes time to master for smooth braking. Potential buyers might be deterred after a test drive due to this issue.

The engine of the 2023 Cadillac CTS-V

2023 Cadillac CTS-V engine V6

The standard CTS-V has a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine generating 360 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque, mated to a ten-speed automatic gearbox. Although it has a smaller displacement and less power than the previous 3.6-liter unit, the new engine performs admirably.

It accelerates swiftly, demonstrating the vigor expected from the V badge. Minimal turbo lag and well-matched gear ratios keep the engine in its optimal performance range on the road. The steering-mounted paddles allow precise control, responding promptly to driver inputs.

However, when pushed to its limits, the gearbox has limitations.

Aggressive driving can challenge the shorter ratios, causing the engine to lose power before the computer can select the next appropriate gear. In manual mode, there’s a risk of hitting the rev limiter if not careful, disrupting the smoothness necessary for optimal performance. While a modern version of the ATS-V’s manual transmission could have addressed this issue, the trend away from manuals, including at Cadillac, means this option is no longer prevalent in the market.

MPG for the 2023 Cadillac CTS-V

The CTS-V prioritizes performance over fuel efficiency, with EPA estimates of 18-27 mpg for RWD models and 18-26 mpg for AWD models. In comparison, competitors like the BMW M340i offer better mileage at 23-36 mpg. The RWD CTS-V covers 357 miles in mixed driving conditions with its 17-gallon fuel tank. When choosing the CTS-V, performance takes precedence over frugality.

A comfort drive?

2023 Cadillac CTS-V side angle wheels

The CTS-V offers a firm yet comfortable ride, handling patchy highways well while feeling jittery on rough sections. The front seats are adjustable and plush, ensuring a pleasant seating position with ample support. The rear seats are also well-designed.

The dual-zone climate control system works efficiently, activating seat heating and cooling upon entry for immediate comfort. However, when the set and outside ambient temperatures are close, the vents operate quietly.

Interior noise, surprisingly high for a Cadillac, is noticeable. The V6 engine produces a spirited sound at full throttle, but it can be overly loud for city driving.

Exterior of 2023 Cadillac CTS-V

2023 Cadillac CTS-V front

Following Cadillac’s modern design approach, the CTS-V showcases striking features, including narrow LED headlights, vertical LED daytime running lights, and a blacked-out grille that conveys its sporty demeanor. The front bumper is redesigned for a more athletic look, complemented by gloss black-treated side sills.

2023 Cadillac CTS-V back

At the rear, quad trapezoidal exhaust tips and a body-colored rear diffuser add to its aggressive stance.

2023 Cadillac CTS-V side

Vertically mounted LED taillights accentuate the car’s width, and it rides on 19-inch wheels wrapped in 245/40 profile Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, completing its bold appearance.

Interior of 2023 Cadillac CTS-V

2023 Cadillac CTS-V interior

The CTS’s growth spurt has significantly improved its interior, offering more space and comfort for rear-seat passengers than the old ATS-V.

2023 Cadillac CTS-V interior luxury trim

Material quality has also increased, although it doesn’t match the competition. While the interior feels good, the design appears somewhat ordinary, lacking the excitement expected from a high-performance Cadillac.

2023 Cadillac CTS-V black trim

Despite having leather, carbon accents, and an impressive touchscreen infotainment system, the overall design feels closer to a Chevrolet Malibu than a high-performance Cadillac. Nonetheless, it marks a notable improvement.

Infotainment and Tech

2023 Cadillac CTS-V infotainment

The CTS comes packed with expected luxury car tech. Adaptive cruise control can be abrupt, but other driver aids perform well. The infotainment and navigation systems are impressive, offering a user-friendly experience. While not as extensive as some German rivals, the CTS’s tech is well-organized and easy to navigate. It includes standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and multiple USB ports for fast charging.

Verdict on 2023 Cadillac CTS-V

Overall, the CTS-V is a competent sports sedan that delivers pretty much everything you want but without the sense of theater and refinement that rival sedans are capable of.- Edmunds

A sporty car should offer a multidimensional experience, and the Caddy is such a machine – superbly accomplished in everyday driving and an excellent corner carver at the same time.- Carbuzz


2023 Cadillac CTS-V front lights

The CTS lineup presents a stark contrast: the entry-level model feels forgettable, while the range-topping Blackwing is exceptional.

The primary CTS lacks excitement but offers a comfortable cabin with upscale trim and spacious legroom. The CTS-V falls between the two, leaning closer to the impressive Blackwing than the lackluster base car. Cadillac’s responsive infotainment system and a high-quality 15-speaker audio system add to its appeal. However, the interior’s appearance feels somewhat plain, and a cheap-looking fake window on the C-pillar mars the sharp exterior design.

2023 Cadillac CTS-V badge

However, the CTS-V falls short in refinement and build quality compared to its competitors. The ride is rougher, interior materials aren’t as luxurious, and cabin/trunk space is limited. Despite its shortcomings, the CTS-V comes at a significantly lower price point than rivals like the Genesis G80. Whether it fits your lifestyle depends on your specific needs and preferences.

Attributes of the 2023 Cadillac CTS-V


What are the notable drawbacks of the Cadillac CTS-V?

The CTS-V has limited rear visibility, and rear headroom and trunk space can be tight. It lacks the luxurious feel and build quality of its competitors, which might affect the overall driving experience for those seeking top-tier luxury.

Is the Cadillac CTS-V worth considering despite its limitations?

The decision to choose the CTS-V depends on individual preferences. While it offers a compelling blend of performance and features, potential buyers should weigh its advantages against its limitations, ensuring it aligns with their specific needs and expectations.

Written by: TAZ

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