The Surprising Result of Test Drives

Recently I have done weekend test drives of the Cadillac CTS-V, the Cadillac CTS Sport Wagon, the Cadillac Escalade ESV, and the Cadillac SRX 3L.  You can find all of my test drives under the ‘Test Drive‘ tag.

I have enjoyed each vehicle.  A part of testing each vehicle is trying to understand that individual design, what the Design Team had in mind, who the target audience for the vehicle is.    With the Cadillac CTS-V, I fit within the demographic that the team is targeting.   People who want maximum sport, with all the luxury appointments of a Cadillac.   That one was easy for me to ‘get’ and to understand.

The Cadillac Escalade ESV offers amazing space and storage ability, along with 3 rows of seating.  It is a terrific vehicle for when you need to tow, or carry a large family, or frequently carry large items.  It drives well, and is extremely well mannered regardless of size, but especially for a large vehicle.

The Cadillac Sport Wagon offers the feel of the sedan — lower weight, lower center of gravity, more sporty handling — while providing easy access storage space and utility.  The Cadillac Team has carefully engineered the cargo storage and seat configurations with actual uses of the Sport Wagon in mind.

The Cadillac SRX was a real surprise to me.  The inherent goodness of this vehicle is very high.  The package as a whole is delightful.   Integration of a digital display in the dash, along with thoughtful features like folding mirrors and predictive pathing on the back up camera display push this Cadillac very high on my list of desirable vehicles.  Before I drove one, I was pleased that the SRX was selling well for Cadillac, but would never consider it as a daily driver.  After driving one, I not only appreciate why they sell so well, but would consider purchasing one.

And therein lies the interesting side-effect of my test drives.  My palate is expanding.  I have come to appreciate an even wider variety of Cadillac designs and choices.  While I am fond of pointing out that “every Cadillac does not have to be a CTS-V”, now I feel that more than ever.

I have been shopping for a low-mile 2008 Cadillac STS-V as my next vehicle.   Now I plan to consider a low-mile 2009 Cadillac CTS Premium Model as well until the 2009 Cadillac CTS-V prices come down to my budget.  Before I valued the V-series packaging and absolute acceleration/braking/cornering; now I appreciate the balanced packaging of the current Cadillac line.

2 thoughts on “The Surprising Result of Test Drives

  1. Very interesting result of your testing Bruce. What does the Premium model offer? I think its a beautiful car, I love the rear lights. I think the styling has become more muscular and aggressive looking like it means business.

  2. For most 2010 Cadillac models, the order is Standard, Luxury or Performance, and Premium. The Standard model is the price leader, but gets you the basic goodness and some features.
    The Performance Model adds performance oriented features, such as better wheels / tires and the FE2 suspension, with an option for the FE3 suspension. The Luxury or Performance Models are also the ‘build your own’ choice, in that they open up a number of other available features so that one can select this feature or that feature based on individual taste and budget.
    The Premium Model is the all-in fully loaded example. It generally comes with the Luxury 1 and Luxury 2 packages, Navigation, and the Ultraview sunroof. In the case of the CTS it offers the adaptive HID lighting that steers with the front wheels, and ambient lighting of the interior. The main option left for the Premium Model is the Recaro Seats.

    Note however my mistake — this taxonomy of Performance/Premium for the CTS 3.6L started in 2010, and my budget will lead me to a 2009 model. In 2009 the CTS was split between 1SA and 1SB for the 3.6L, then RWD or AWD. The 1SB only means the 3.6L DI (Direct injected) however, then one has to shop for the fully loaded example, which was in 2009 called the CTS 1SB with

    CTS Premium Collection (PDQ):
    CTS Premium Collection, includes (Y40) Luxury Level One Package, (Y41) Luxury Level Two Package, (Y42) 18″ (45.7 cm) All-Season Tire Performance Package, (Y44) Seating Package, (UAV) Audio system with navigation, (C3U) UltraView sunroof, (B19) Wood Trim Package and (B20) Wood Trim Package
    Luxury Level One Package, includes (UA6) Theft-deterrent alarm system, (U2R) Audio system, (CE1) Rainsense wipers, (TSQ) Accent lighting, and (P62) 17″ x 8″ machined-faced wheels
    Luxury Level Two Package, includes (KB6) heated/ventilated front seats, (AM9) split-folding rear seat, (N38) power rake wheel and telescopic steering column, (UHA) EZ Key passive entry system (automatic transmission version with remote start.

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