Vehicle Type: Mid-size Performance Sedan / Coupe / Wagon
History/Description: Packed with a 556-horsepower engine, track-validated chassis upgrades and engineering tweaks from the motorsport world, the second-generation Cadillac CTS-V is an American luxury performance model that aimed to bring the brand’s high-performance presence and motorsports campaign to the global scene with a healthy dose of firepower.
Competing with machines like the BMW M3, Lexus IS-F and various Mercedes-Benz AMG products, the CTS-V offered a sedan body style from 2009, with coupe and wagon variants launching from 2011. In the used market, with all the variations, there’s a CTS-V that’ll be just right for all of your “go really, really fast” needs.
All of that in a model that’s peaceful enough to be driven on the daily, if you like. The CTS-V is an easygoing machine that can be driven gently, should prove road-trip ready, and packs a leather and wood-trimmed dashboard, suede seats and high-class materials that seem to say ‘classy cruiser’, not ‘holy hell, this thing is twisted-quick’.
Engines / Trim: All second-generation CTS-V models are powered by a supercharged 6.2L V8, known internally as the ‘LSA’. Based on GM’s legendary small-block V8 architecture, it features an intercooled supercharger, aluminum-alloy cylinder heads and numerous targeted upgrades for durability in a motorsports setting, as well as a considerable power output advantage over the competition. A six-speed transmission is available on all units in the driver’s choice of manual or automatic.
All units also got Brembo brakes, Magnetic Ride Control, and various track-validated chassis upgrades. Luxury feature content included Bose audio, a back-up camera, memory seating, navigation, keyless engine start and plenty more. In all, here’s a machine that backs owners up for weekend lapping, a peaceful Sunday afternoon cruise, or anything in between, with minimal compromise.
What Owners Like: Typical CTS-V owners rave about the immense power, everyday comfort, high-performance bang-for-the-buck factor and all-around everyday usability of the model. Highway cruising mileage is also appreciably manageable, given the power output. In all the CTS-V is said to be something of a luxurious and comfortable rocket thruster on wheels.
What Owners Dislike: Complaints include a driveline that somewhat lacks polish and refinement, a smaller-than-expected cabin, limited at-hand storage for smaller items, and excessive fuel consumption.
Here’s a look at some CTS-V owner reviews.
Common Issues: Given the number of proven technologies and components at work beneath its skin, the V might be the most reliable version of this generation of CTS available.
Once shoppers have short-listed a few models to test drive, it’s advisable to obtain the VIN number of the vehicle in question, and check with the seller and your local GM dealer to see if the model has ever been in for a replacement supercharger, or if it qualifies for one. Well-documented issues with the supercharger on certain CTS-V models saw dealers replacing defective blowers suffering from a bad bearing. A rattling sound at idle with the hood open is a telltale sign of trouble—so be sure to listen for it.
Apparently, because of this supercharger issue, the warranty for the supercharger was extended for all cars. Here’s some more reading. If buying a CTS-V that’s still under warranty and has never had any supercharger work done, listen regularly for signs of trouble, and have your local dealer service department document any that you notice, in order to support a potential warranty claim.
Here’s some more reading on the extended supercharger warranty.