All told, the new CTS balances traditional American luxury-car standards with contemporary expectations for crisp road handling, sporting performance and dramatic styling. Those newer expectations grow largely out of the European approach to luxury-car design, as seen in high-end sedans from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
In the Merrimack Valley, that balance between American tradition and European edginess attracts drivers from both sides of the divide, according to Kevin Bihl, Internet sales manager and head of the business development center for the Bill DeLuca family of dealerships. The group includes Woodworth Chevrolet Cadillac in Andover as well as DeLuca Chevrolet Buick GMC and DeLuca Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram in Haverhill.
At Woodworth, buyers of the CTS include Cadillac loyalists who stick with the brand, Bihl said. But the model also draws drivers of imported luxury cars, he said. That’s especially true since the larger, redesigned version arrived in the fall.
“We’re trading a lot more Audis, Mercedes and BMWs,” he explained. “When someone comes in driving one of those cars and hops into a CTS, they feel very satisfied with it.”
Bihl noted that trade-ins of European models for the CTS have become so prevalent that “if you looked at our used-car lot, you’d think we were an import dealer.”
He described the CTS as a key model for Cadillac, because of its popularity and the image it projects for the Cadillac brand. Cadillac sells the model in three body styles, with two-door coupe and station-wagon versions joining the four-door sedan. But Bihl said the CTS sedan is the most popular style by far.
The new 2014 version offers a choice of three engines. But few people buy models with the top-level, most expensive engine. It’s an ultra-powerful, twin-turbocharged six-cylinder that produces 420 horsepower. The motor powers speed-oriented, Vsport versions of the sedan, typically the choice only of committed performance drivers.