The most economical Cadillac since 1984…

After debating the fuel economy of the 3.6L Cadillac SRX versus her competitors, I wondered what the most economical recent Cadillac was.  The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes comparative miles per gallon for a variety of models since 1984 at  Because the test model changes from time to time, the charts for all years are kept up to date to the current test specs.  The original window sticker values for each model using the test at the time are also available.

2012 Cadillac CTS

For the 2012 models, the Cadillac CTS 3.6L RWD Sedan or Coupe are the leaders, at 18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.  The DTS that ended production in 2011 on the current test would do 15/23, so no improvement there.  The SRX is heavier with the same drivetrain, so worse mileage than the CTS.  The 2008 XLR got a similar 15/24 mpg.  The 2010 Cadillac CTS with 3L V6 and manual transmission was 16/26; close, but no cigar.

The Escalade Hybrid comes to mind, and it does very well for a fullsize SUV at 20/23 mpg for the RWD model.  Still worse mileage than the CTS.

If one goes all the way back to 2003, the CTS had a 3.2L V6 and could be had with a manual transmission, but hit 17/24 mpg.  The 3L Catera? 16/23 mpg.

Diesel Seville?  Nope, under the current system a 1985 Cadillac Seville Diesel would be rated today at 17/26 mpg.   It was rated 19/28 mpg at the time.

To beat the current 318 hp CTS 3.6L we have to go all the way back to the 1984 model, 2L, 4-cylinder manual transmission Cadillac Cimarron.  On today’s test it would be rated 21/31 mpg.  Now, the difference in performance between a 2L Cimarron and a 3.6L CTS is beyond remarkable.  But the little-loved Cimarron was certainly economical.

If we include export models, the Cadillac BLS with 1.9L diesel was rated in the UK at 49.6mpg for imperial fuel mileage, urban combined.  An imperial gallon is 4.546L and  a US gallon is 3.785L, so that would appear to be around 41 mpg after conversion, but is not done to the same test method. It stands to reason that if we had EPA figures, the Cadillac BLS would be the most economical recent Cadillac.

In the absence of a home market BLS or other 1.9L Turbo-Diesel however, the current Cadillac CTS is in fact the most economical Cadillac sold in the US since the Cimarron.  We’ll see how the upcoming Cadillac ATS fares with its 2.5L 4-cylinder standard engine — it should be our new MPG leader.


QuickDrive: 2011 Cadillac DTS

Dropped my 2005 Cadillac CTS over to Crest Cadillac in Plano for a few minor items — replace the bulb for the front blinker, oil change, chase a squeak down.   I grabbed a coupon off their website before I arrived.  I know, I know — change a bulb?  But keep in mind the front lights are buried behind layers of trim secured with bayonet clips, so I’d rather just let the Dealer handle it.

The drop-off was quick and easy, and I was off in a rental / loaner 2011 Cadillac DTS 1SD in 20-30 minutes from when I arrived.

2011 Cadillac DTS

2011 Cadillac DTS 1SD

The DTS is a handsome car, probably on its last year of production in this 2011 model.  Front wheel drive, with a transverse Northstar V8 engine and loaded with options, it is an all-weather luxury sedan.

Ran by Sam’s Club for my normal weekend commodities.  After I got everything into the trunk it was clear that I needed more groceries.

Today's groceries don't come close to filling the trunk

Love the sunroof in the DTS.  It has a manual pull-cover, which is fine.  The roof can either open fully, or the rear of the roof will tilt up for just the right amount of fresh-air access.  I like the fully-open sun in my hair fresh air approach today, but I like to have options.

The Loaner appears to have nav but no nav disk; odd.  It has XM radio of course but the subscription is not turned on darn it.    Overall it is a very interesting Cadillac to have for the day or weekend or however it works out, and I totally get the continued allure of this model for DTS fans.

The 1SD as this example is the DTS Premium Collection, which is a fully loaded example.  Only the 1SE Platinum Edition would have more features. Those are 17×7″ Chrometech Aluminum wheels.

I am looking forward to enjoying the DTS for the rest of my weekend errands.


New Cadillac Flagship?

The upcoming Cadillac XTS will notionally replace both the Cadillac DTS and the Cadillac STS.    Certainly it seems a numeric replacement for the Cadillac DTS, as a FWD or AWD model with perhaps similar ride, handling and all-weather traction.

Replacement of the STS, originally intended to be Cadillac’s S-Class or BMW 7-Series Competitor by the upcoming XTS is more problematic.   Although the AWD variant of the XTS can be tuned to have some rear-wheel drive dynamics, it is difficult for such a vehicle to have the control, predictability, and performance of a true rear-wheel drive sedan.

Once more Bloomberg reports that GM CEO Ed Whitacre has charged the team to do a business case analysis for Cadillac to develop a new high-end rear-wheel drive flagship:

The company has also started work on a flagship sedan for Cadillac, two of the people said. Designers are looking at several prototypes that differ from the XTS concept car on display at the Detroit auto show in January, they said. If GM’s board approves funding for the luxury car, intended to compete with BMW AG’s 7 Series, it wouldn’t be built for several years, they said.

It is not clear if this model would impact development of the XTS itself; I hope Cadillac moves forward with the release of a hybrid power-trained XTS while considering development of a new model.   Production of the XTS really seems a no-brainer, building on the advantages and sales base of that platform and offering a high-end replacement for DTS buyers.    Meanwhile, penciling in a high-end sedan above the CTS works.  It would even make sense to plan a high-end variant of the next gen Alpha-platform CTS and make that the flagship.

There are still on-the-shelf technologies such as a hybrid power plant, Heads-up Display, lane departure warning, and blind-spot alert that are not available in the CTS family.  Moreover, the magnetic suspension used so well in the current CTS-V could be offered in a high-end sedan as standard equipment.

I am excited if Cadillac brings on a high-end sedan stable-mate or Flagship.  I hope that the Team does not take their eye off the ball however and send indecision to the showrooms instead of new models.  Bring the XTS along and continue to work the business case for a high end RWD flagship.