2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe Review & Test Drive

Cadillac has injected the automotive market with a secret weapon in the form of the 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe. With its modern chic looks and sports-coupe performance to back it up, the CTS Coupe fills a gap that Cadillac has had for many years.

We had the opportunity to review the new Cadillac CTS Coupe, and during our test drives we encountered several positive comments from on-lookers along the way. Cadillac has created something stylish and enduring. The CTS Coupe is much more than just a CTS Sedan minus two doors. It is more of its own character having many characteristics that set it apart from anything else that Cadillac offers.

From the unique dual exhaust tips molded into the rear bumper to the electronic touchpad door handles, the CTS Coupe has long smooth flowing lines. When was the last time that you saw so many long uninterrupted lines on a luxury coupe?

The 2011 CTS Coupe not only manages to look like a classic Cadillac, but at times it drives like one. That can be a good or bad thing depending on which aspect you are talking about. Our CTS Coupe Performance with the 3.6-liter 304 horsepower V6 engine mated to a smooth 6-speed automatic transmission is a good performer. The downside to the coupe is that its suspension is a bit too bouncy at highway speeds. Although the suspension is firm enough to keep its staggered wheel/tire sizes planted on the road, it tends to give away too easy when pushed close to the limit. The choice to use staggered sized wheels/tires on the CTS Coupe is a major plus for Cadillac. Our test vehicle had big 19-inch wheels with 245/45 in the front and 275/40 in the rear. If you remember, the 4-door sedan version of the CTS gets the same width on all 4 corners.

Chasing the Germans is not an easy task. Cadillac has taken them up on the challenge and has done well so far. By putting the CTS-V Coupe into the equation you have a win by miles, literally. When it comes to the regular CTS Coupe with the standard 3.6-liter V6 in all coupe trim levels, it feels like it can hold its own if you can get over the fact that the 6-speed hydromatic auto takes a moment to find the proper gear at times. This may have been a programming issue that Cadillac may prove to solve but we found our test car stumbling a few times when going from very little throttle to full-throttle around the 50mph mark.

Gas mileage for our CTS Coupe was decent giving us slightly less MPGs (about 15mpg city and 24mpg highway) than the advertised 17mpg city and 26mph highway.

Outside of the CTS Coupe you will find a uniquely styled luxury sports coupe. There is no denying that what you see here is a Cadillac in sexy lined sheetmetal. One of the aspects of an awesomely designed vehicle is if it makes it to production without much change from the concept version. Cadillac held onto that concept design and it worked well, just ask my neighbors.

Copied over from the CTS sedan is a familiar interior up front. In the back, for obvious reasons, the two seats are specifically designed for the CTS Coupe. Although it may be a task for a guy over 6 feet tall, such as myself, to get in the back seat, it is still very useable and comfortable on short rides. The center divider with cup holders in the rear is also a nice touch.

I have always been a fan of the CTS interiors even though it has a pop-up toaster-style LCD touch-screen for navigation and radio controls. The idea that it is a touch screen makes the CTS feel valuable. Speaking of radio, our test CTS Coupe had an excellent Bose audio system with a built-in hard drive that allows us to pause and rewind live music broadcasts while storing your favorite tracks. The heated and cooled front seats are comfy but they could desperately use some extra side bolster support. The dashboard along with the instrument cluster is carried over from the CTS Sedan.

Our CTS Coupe came with the large power-tilt sunroof without the slide functionality. It is somewhat interesting that Cadillac offers such a sunroof that does not slide but only tilts. The CTS Coupe Premium adds the slide function while our Performance trim did not allow it. The touchpad electronic door handle is an interesting feature using proven technology from the Corvette. This eliminates any handles or keyholes from the two doors. The key can still be used to open the trunk via an upside-down keyhole between the tag and the chrome valance. Inside the trunk you will find a release cord to manually open the doors. In the unfortunate event that you are inside of the car during a failure of the electronic door handles, there is an emergency latch on the edge of the floorboard. Don’t worry, the engineers have thought about your personal safety.

The Cadillac CTS Coupe is a well constructed vehicle with a smooth and quiet ride.  This car has the looks to turn heads but will not completely deplete your bank account.  If you are in the market for a luxury sports coupe, the CTS is one you do not want to overlook in your car shopping adventure. The 2011 CTS Coupe starts at $38,165 and our CTS Coupe Performance test vehicle came in around $50,000.

Copyright: 2010 AutomotiveAddicts.com


Price: Base CTS Coupe $38,165 As-Tested CTS Coupe Performance estimated $50,000
Type: Midsize Coupe
Where Built: United States
EPA Class: Midsize Cars


Length: 189.3 in.
Width: 74.1 in.
Height: 56 in.
Wheel Base: 113.4 in.
Curb Weight: 3909 lbs.
Gross Weight: 4792 lbs.

Front Head Room: 36.9 in.
Front Hip Room: 54.5 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 56.1 in.
Rear Head Room: 34.6 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 50.9 in.
Rear Hip Room: 47.7 in.
Front Leg Room: 42.4 in.
Rear Leg Room: 35 in.
Luggage Capacity: 10.5 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 4

Performance Data

Number of Cylinders: 6
Engine Size: 3.6 liters
Engine Type: V6
Horsepower: 304 hp
Max Horsepower: 6400 rpm
Torque: 273 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 5200 rpm
Drive Type: RWD
Turning Circle: 35.9 ft.
0-60mph: 5.8 seconds

Fuel Data

Fuel Tank Capacity: 18 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway/Combined)
Automatic: 17 mpg / 26 mpg / mpg
Range in Miles:
Automatic: 306 mi. / 468 mi. / mi.