“It’s definitely a specialty version of the vehicle,” Bihl commented.
For practical driving, a turbocharged four-cylinder motor provides 272 horsepower and a gutsy 295 pound-feet of torque. Torque is a measure of engine power that tells you how quickly a car jumps from a standstill. The next step for CTS is a V6 that puts out 321 horsepower, but generates less torque than the turbocharged four-cylinder, at 275 pounf-feet.
At Woodworth in Andover, Bihl sees demand for the two primary engines split evenly. Drivers who are concerned about fuel conservation usually go for the four-cylinder, he said. Its government fuel-economy rating, at 20 miles per gallon city and 30 mpg highway, is slightly better than the rating of the V6.
“For the average person, you get the performance you need from either the four-cylinder or the V6 to pull out of Boston traffic,” said Bihl. My evaluation model, equipped with the smaller engine, moved with more gusto than you get from many larger, less economical engines. The motor’s robust torque enabled it to accelerate away from surrounding vehicles with authority.
The CTS also offers a choice of all-wheel drive, an extra-cost upgrade from its standard, rear-drive configuration. Four-wheel traction is a popular option, noted Bihl. But Woodworth also sells a good number of rear-drive models, he said.
“There are people who feel that they don’t need all-wheel drive. And they like the performance of rear-wheel drive,” Bihl said.
In the end, the one aspect of the Cadillac CTS that seems to attract buyers most consistently is its retention of traditional values, intermixed with the spirit of contemporary motoring.
“Cadillac is making big investments in it. They’re being very aggressive with it,” said Bihl. “They’re competing well with the European models.”