Car Review: 2012 Cadillacâs CTS-V Coupe

Highlight: This dressed-up, performance oriented workhorse is equipped with a standard 6-speed manual transmission. And unlike the CTS-V sedan, the coupe sits two inches lower.

Test vehicle’s MSRP: $72,080 ($63,215 before options)

Seating Capacity:  4 occupants

Standard Safety Features: Brembo performance brakes; a segment first dual-depth front passenger air bag’’ front and side impact airbags; driver and front passenger airbags; front and rear curtain side airbags; a rearview camera; an electronic blind spot, alert system; and daytime running lights

Standard Equipment: 19-inch wheels; leather and suede seating surfaces; power memory front bucket seats; a power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel; a leather wrapped steering wheel; dual zone climate control system; a navigation system; rain sensing windshield wipers; high intensity discharge headlamps with adaptable forward lights; keyless remote system; rear parking assist system; a keyless starter; a remote vehicle start system; and maintenance is covered for 4 years or 50,000 miles

Standard Audio: a 10-speaker 5.1 Bose surround system with a 40GB hard drive with a 3-month subscription to XM satellite

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 100,000 miles

Bluetooth Compatibility: Yes

MP3 Capability: Yes

ipod Capability: Yes

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 6.2 liter, 8-cylinder/566-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage: 14-city/19-hwy

What’s New: Beside two new paint colors and the addition of an electronic blind spot detection system, which alert the driver of vehicles in the mirrors’ blind spot prior to changing into another lane, the CTS-V is pretty much the same as the 2011 model.

Pros: This well-equipped refreshed, modern day Cadillac Eldorado is a work of art. It embodies Cadillac’s heritage, while incorporating the latest technology.

As it relates to the stylish design, this high-powered Caddy eliminates door handles. In order to maintain the clean exterior appearance, Cadillac’s engineers have incorporated a touch pad operation to open the door.

Also to enhance the design theme, Cadillac’s engineers have integrated a rear spoiler into high-mounted stop lamp and they have designed a dual exhaust system with twin round tips that runs from the center as opposed to the sides of the vehicle.

And to compliment the standout design, the CTS-V coupe is available with a super powerful, fun-to-drive, 6-speed manual transmission (or a no cost automatic transmission), which further highlights what’s hiding behind the fierce looking wired-grille. Also this high-powered Cadillac can be outfitted with a variety of wheel choices,  an optional polished aluminum wheel or the satin graphite finish with the yellow brake calipers, which was on our vehicle.

Moreover, to handle all of the power oozing from underneath the hood and the center tailpipes, our CTS-V coupe was outfitted with Cadillac’s optional 14-way power-performance, ventilated driving seats, which provided excellent support with its pneumatic bolster controls in the seat cushions and backrests.

Cons: Well, for those in the market for a fuel-efficient coupe, this gas-guzzling pocket rocket shouldn’t be on the radar. During the week we spent behind the wheel of the CTS-V, the vehicle spent its fair share of time in front of the fuel pump.

Also beyond the fuel, the CTS-V rear angular design actually makes it a tight fit for most adults seeking more headroom. And due to design of the roof, there’s really no room for a sunroof that slides all the way back. Only a power tilted sunroof is available.

The Verdict: The CTS-V is definitely a head turner with its artful design. If you ever dreamt of what a four-door Corvette would look like, dream no more. This is GM’s version, except it has gone upscale, flaunting all of the luxury accoutrements expected in a Cadillac. Audi, BMW and Mercedes owners looking for a performance oriented American luxury vehicle will find that the Cadillac’s V-series will fit the bill, while doing a better job of offering a more compliant ride than its German competitors.   

Competition:  BMW M3, BMW M6 and Audi S5