If I didn’t drive a Cadillac I’d drive a…

My last few automobiles have been Cadillacs.  My next vehicle is likely to be a Cadillac — preferably something from the V-Series.  I like the formality and elegance of Cadillacs.  I like the performance and luxury.  I have reached a point in my life that I can afford to have nicer things, so I prefer to drive a nicer vehicle, and Cadillac offers the right mix.  If I were NOT to drive a Cadillac as my next vehicle however, what might I purchase?

1. Saturn Sky Redline

First of all, I am a Corvette fan.  But I have really been smitten by the value equation of the Saturn Sky Redline.  Although now out of production, starting at US$28K new, you could purchase a quick roadster.

Along with the boost in horsepower and torque, the Sky Red Line featured a long list of standard equipment including:

  • Stabilitrak electronic stability control
  • Traction control
  • Close-ratio five-speed manual transmission with self-adjusting clutch
  • Four-wheel ABS disc brakes
  • Limited slip differential
  • Performance-tuned suspension with coil-over Bilstein monotube shocks
  • Air conditioning
  • Power locks, windows and mirrors
  • OnStar with one year of Safe & Sound service

I was so ready for Cadillac to get one of these Kappa platform cars!  In 2-seat convertibles, a used Porsche Boxster S tends to be VERY inexpensive.  I never have gotten used to the idea of that platform packaging with NO engine access though.  I also like the looks of the BMW Z4.  I would likely look for a used Corvette at the same time as a used Sky Redline, and take the one I found first.

2. Chevrolet Camaro 2SS

The recently redesigned Camaro is a great vehicle choice car for a 2-door 2+2.  Rear wheel drive, V8 making excellent power, tight suspension, great looks, great price.

2010 Camaro LT with RS appearance package

Starting at $23K, the Camaro V6 is a persuasive package as well.  It uses the same LLT 3.6L V6 as the current Cadillac CTS Premium or Performance editions, making 304 hp.  That is as much or more than some recent V8s made.  Two V8s are offered, one with an automatic transmission, and a slightly different engine with the manual transmission.    The full boat 2SS variant starts at $33K.  The Camaro team has hit the range I wish Cadillac would hold the CTS — about $10K difference across the model range from least expensive to most expensive.

Honorable mention in this configuration goes to the previous Pontiac GTO.  I never really liked the looks of the GTO, but the package is sweet with a Zeta RWD chassis, LS engine.

3. BMW 335i Sedan (used)

For a 4-seat, 4-passenger sedan I would look at a used BMW 335i.  Now the M3 is the V-Series equivalent for BMW, but in the 3-Series range the current 335i with a 300 hp turbo 3L V6 makes a very nice value versus the more expensive M3 with 414 hp V8.  I would feel terrible if I spent the more money for the M3 and could have had the Camaro V8 and cash back.  On the other hand if I had to have 4 doors, the price of the M3 would move it out of my range of consideration.

BMW 335i

A new BMW 335i Sedan starts at US$40,600.  That would likely make even the 335i more than I would want to spend.  The 1-Series seems unattractive to me, so no joy there.  I see used 335i’s for under $30K, so they rapidly come down in price from new.  By comparison the BMW M3 Sedan new starts at US$55,400; definitely out of my target budget range.

But if you can overcome the funding issue, the BMW 3-series has good acceleration, good cornering, and good looks in a tight package.

For the CaddyInfo Cadillac Forum Readers — If you didn’t drive a Cadillac what would you drive?