Cadillac Cts Models & History 2004

Test Drive: 2004 Cadillac CTS Story and photos by Greg Wilson New 3.6 litre V6 adds more vroom Only a year after introducing the new CTS performance sedan with a standard 220 horsepower 3.2 litre V6 engine, Cadillac is offering a new, optional 255 horsepower 3.6 litre V6 engine with variable valve timing – and will soon introduce a 400 horsepower CTS-V performance version of the CTS. It’s an aggressive move by Cadillac to penetrate the highly competitive entry luxury sedan market, now dominated by European and Japanese entry-level models like the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, Lexus IS300 and Infiniti G35. Click image to enlarge The CTS’ new 3.6 litre V6, with twin overhead cams, four valves per cylinder and variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust valves, provides increased torque over a broader range and improved fuel consumption. The new engine offers 255 horsepower at 6200 rpm and 252 lb-ft of torque at 3200 rpm – that compares to the 3.2 litre V6 with 220 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 220 lb.-ft. of torque at 3400 rpm. Though bigger and more powerful, the 3.6 offers the same fuel consumption as the 3.2: 12.9 l/100 km (22 mpg) in the city and 8.4 l/100 km (34 mpg) on the highway. Interestingly, the 3.6 litre engine uses 87 octane unleaded regular gas while the 3.2 litre V6 uses 91 octane unleaded premium. Acceleration from a standing start is abrupt, and it’s possible to squeal the rear tires on dry pavement even with the traction control on. Low speed throttle responsiveness is immediate, and passing performance is also impressive. On the freeway, the engine hums along at just 2,100 rpm at a steady 100 km/h, and 2,500 at 120 km/h. I found freeway cruising comfortable and quiet. The powertrain is notably free of noise and vibration with the exception of a slight humming sound from the drivetrain at highway speeds. I didn’t test the standard 3.2 litre V6 engine, but it’s worth noting that it has been upgraded for 2004 with a stronger block, aluminum head, and electronic throttle to improve fuel economy, emissions, and driveability. The GM Hydra-Matic 5-speed automatic transmission was smooth and responsive, and allows the driver to manually choose a Winter mode to start off in a higher gear on slippery surfaces; and a Sport mode to alter shift timing for more performance. It also features a first for GM: engine braking in all five gears when descending a hill or braking into a corner. The 5-speed automatic doesn’t offer a manual mode, which is odd because the CTS 3.6 is not available with the manual 5-speed transmission. It would be nice if Cadillac offered the manual tranny as an option, but with few luxury buyers opting for manuals, it’s likely there wouldn’t be many takers anyway. The CTS has standard four wheel disc brakes with ABS and “Panic Brake Assist” – and with the Sport Package you get “high performance” brake linings which offer improved fade resistance. Competitors Competitors for the 2004 Cadillac CTS 3.6 ($45,425) include the Lincoln LS V6 ($43,750), BMW 330i ($46,900), Mercedes-Benz C320 ($49,750), Lexus IS300 ($39,395), Infiniti G35 ($39,400), the all-wheel-drive Audi A4 3.0 ($45,490) and Jaguar X-Type ($48,195), and the front-drive Acura TL Type S ($41,800), Saab 9-3 Vector ($43,500), Volvo S60 T5 ($46,495). Except for the Infiniti G35 and Acura TL Type S, the CTS has the edge in horsepower and is roomier than most of its competitors. It’s not as much fun to drive as cars like the 3-Series and IS300, but its handling is competent and ride very comfortable. The CTS’ interior appearance and finish is not top-class, but fully loaded with options, the CTS is a better value than many of its German and British competitors. The Cadillac CTS is built in Lansing, Michigan. Verdict Improved low and mid-range throttle response from a new, optional 3.6 litre V6 engine adds to the CTS’ generally balanced handling characteristics, but interior quality is still not up to the standards of its leading competitors. Technical Data: 2004 Cadillac CTS 3.6 Base price $39,200 Freight $1,050 A/C tax $100 Options $8,110 (Sport Package, Power Team package, power front passenger seat, driver and passenger lumbar adjustment, split folding rear seatbacks, premium sunroof) Price as tested $48,460 Type 4-door, 5 passenger, mid-size luxury sedan Layout longitudinal front engine/rear-wheel-drive Engine 3.6 litre V6, variable valve timing, DOHC, 24 valves Horsepower 255 @ 6200 rpm Torque 252 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm Transmission 5-speed automatic Fuel type 87 octane unleaded regular Tires Goodyear Eagle RS-A P225/50VR-17 all season Curb weight 1676 kg (3694 lb.) Wheelbase 2880 mm (113.4 in.) Length 4829 mm (190.1 in.) Width 1793 mm (70.6 in.) Height 1440 mm (56.7 in.) Cargo area 362 litres (12.8 cu. ft.) Passenger Volume 2775 litres (98 cu. ft.) Fuel consumption City: 13.4 l/100 km (21 mpg) Hwy: 7.8 l/100 km (36 mpg) Warranty 4 yrs/80,000 km Greg Wilson is a Vancouver-based automotive journalist and editor of CanadianDriver