Nuts & Bolts: 2010 Cadillac CTS-V sedan

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bottom line: Customers more interested in miles per gallon than smiles per mile should stay away from this one. The CTS-V comes with a $1,300 gas-guzzler tax at purchase. It gets 12 miles per gallon in the city and 18 mpg on the highway. And it prefers premium "for best performance."

Ride, acceleration, handling: On the highway, it gets superior marks in all three. Ride remains great in the city. But acceleration becomes a grumbling affair in stop-and-go traffic. And handling becomes clumsy. This car prefers long-distance driving.

Body style, layout: The compact, front-engine CTS-V is built on GM's rear-wheel drive Sigma platform. Other CTS models are offered with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive. The CTS-V is available as a coupe or sedan.

Engine/transmissions: The CTS-V has a supercharged, 16-valve, 6.2-liter V-8 engine that develops 556 hp at 6,100 rpm and 551 ft-lbs of torque at 3,800 rpm. The standard transmission is a six-speed manual. A six-speed automatic that can be shifted manually is available.

Capacities: There are seats for five people. Maximum cargo space is 14 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 18 gallons.

Mileage: See "Bottom Line" note above.

Amenities: Loaded with every conceivable electronic communications and entertainment device.

Joy factor: Superior. To drive this one, especially on the highway, is to love it.

Safety: Standard equipment includes front and rear ventilated disc brakes, four-wheel antilock brake protection, emergency brake assistance (to more quickly, precisely apply brake pressure in emergency stops), electronic stability and traction control, OnStar emergency communications, front dashboard airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front and rear head airbags.

Price: The base price on the rear-drive 2010 CTS-V sports sedan is $60,720. Dealer's invoice price is $56,773. Price as tested is $68,445 including $5,600 in options (Recaro high-performance seats with leather covering, midnight sapele wood trim accents, suede-covered steering wheel, optional six-speed automatic transmission) plus an $825 destination charge.

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