The Cadillac CTS, the marque’s entry-level offering, is virtually unchanged for 2007, save for two additions: OnStar now receives the “Directions & Connections Package”, which features turn-by-turn driving directions, and XM Satellite Radio is available as an option on the 2.8-litre model, and as standard equipment on the 3.6-litre and CTS-V, with three free months of service and waived activation fee.

The CTS comes in three models: a 2.8-litre V6, 3.6-litre V6, and the CTS-V with 6.0-litre V8. Both CTS models come with a six-speed manual transmission that can be optioned to a five-speed automatic, while the CTS-V comes strictly with a heavy-duty six-speed manual.

The 2.8-litre model includes fog lights, heated power mirrors, 16-inch aluminum wheels, automatic dual-zone electronic climate control, cruise control, five-language driver information centre, puddle lights, auto-dimming mirror with compass and OnStar system, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, power express up/down on the front windows and express down on the rear, “leatherette” heated seats with eight-way power driver’s seat, rear seat pass-through, CD player with seven speakers, four-wheel vented brake discs with ABS, wiper-activated headlights, and traction control.

The 3.6-litre adds the larger engine and a real leather interior.

The CTS-V comes in a single trim line, and features fog lights, Xenon headlights with high-pressure washers, heated mirrors, 18-inch aluminum wheels, automatic dual-zone climate control, cruise, garage door opener, tire pressure monitoring system, auto-dimming rearview mirror, leather-wrapped wheel, heated leather seats with eight-way power front seats, driver’s position memory, six-CD stereo, voice-activated DVD-based navigation system, four-wheel Brembo brakes with four-piston calipers, speed-sensitive variable-assist steering, performance-tuned suspension, keyless entry and OnStar. Upper and lower mesh grilles, a unique aero rocker design and a specific rear fascia identify the special V-series model.

Prices rise slightly in 2007 – the base 2.8 goes up by $225, the 3.6 by $525 – but the CTS is a great way to get into the Cadillac family. The 2.8 doesn’t offer the horsepower of its 3.6-litre sibling, but it’s still plenty of fun to drive, with sharp handling, a tight, responsive suspension and the pleasure of rowing through the gears on the six-speed. The powerful CTS-V is pretty much a bargain compared to its competitors, and may be one of GM’s best deals for the dollar. Cadillac went through some rough times a few years ago, but this stable puts it back in its rightful place.

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