Showing posts with label Cadillac. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cadillac. Show all posts

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Cadillac CTS-V, Jeep Grand Cherokee named 2011 Internet Car and Truck of the Year

The Internet Car and Truck of the Year voting jury has just announced its pair of winners for 2011, and top honors go to both the Cadillac CTS-V and Jeep Grand Cherokee. For 2011, the CTS-V is offered in a trio of body styles, all of which boast a 556-horsepower supercharged V8 and seriously good driving dynamics. Likewise, the 2011 Grand Cherokee remains one of the best off-road vehicles in its class, and points the way forward for the "new Chrysler."

In addition to the vehicles picked by the Internet Car and Truck of the Year jurors, the motoring public was able to cast its vote for the "Average Joe" awards. Unlike the professional jury, the public voters named the 2011 Ford Mustang GT as Car of the Year, its new 5.0-liter V8 and reworked suspension geometry making it more of a true sports car than a stereotypical muscle car. However, both the "Internet Pros" and "Average Joes" saw eye to eye on the Truck of the Year award, with the Grand Cherokee taking the cake from both segments of voters.

Vehicles aside, the ICTOY jury also honored recently deceased and legendary automotive journalist Jerry Flint with the 2010 Journalist of the Year award. Flint, who died on August 7th of this year, covered the automotive beat for over 50 years, and was once named one of the 100 most prominent business reporters of the 20th century.

[Source: Internet Car and Truck of the Year]


Jerry Flint Posthumously Honored as Internet Automotive Journalist of the Year

Boston (Dec. 1, 2010) - The Internet Car and Truck of the Year website has announced the winners from the Internet Pros and Average Joes votes for their favorite new cars and trucks. Domestic brands swept all four categories.

The winners, announced from the New England International Auto Show today, are:

Internet Pros:
Car of the Year: 2011 Cadillac CTS-V
Truck of the Year: 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

Average Joes:
Car of the Year: 2011 Ford Mustang GT
Truck of the Year: 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee

The Internet Pros are comprised of a select team of 15 online writers from some of the leading automotive Internet sites, while the Average Joes consisted of thousands of votes from the motoring public. Complete biographies of the jury members are available at

So while the Internet Pros and Average Joes agree on the Truck of the Year (for the second year in a row) they have slightly differing opinions when it comes to their favorite car. The Pros like their speed in the form of a luxury sports car with the Cadillac CTS-V while the Average Joes voted for classic American muscle with the Ford Mustang GT (with only a 1 percent margin of victory over the Cadillac CTS-V). However, both groups demonstrated their respect for the vastly improved Jeep Grand Cherokee by wide margins.

Internet Automotive Journalist of the Year

The Internet Automotive Journalist of the Year award was given to Jerry Flint for his long body of work in automotive journalism, most recently as a columnist for Forbes – both in print and online. It will be presented to his widow, automotive journalist Kate McLeod, at the Dec. 9 International Motor Press Association meeting in New York City.

A prolific award winner, including the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism in 2003, for his Forbes "Backseat Driver column," Flint was not afraid to point out when the Emperor was wearing no clothing. That insight, and his grasp of the automotive industry, earned accolades that included his naming by Business News Reporter as one of the 100 most prominent business reporters of the 20th Century.

The 2010 Automotive Journalist of the Year was John Neff, editor of Autoblog.

The Internet Car and Truck of the Year awards were created by Keith Griffin, the Guide to Used Cars for, a writer for, and the National Hyundai Examiner for, as well as a print automotive journalist and vice president of the New England Motor Press Association.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Review: 2010 Cadillac CTS Sportwagon

2010 Cadillac CTS Sportwagon

In Europe, the humble station wagon holds a big-time slice of the family driver demographic, partly because ridiculous petrol prices make big SUVs and crossovers far too uneconomical. Americans, on the other hand, have a fundamental problem with the station wagon. We're not sure if the wagon is uncool because it was our parents' preferred family vehicle or if the aesthetics of it are just too boxy for our fashion forward culture. The only subset of the American public who has consistently called for more wagons are automotive enthusiasts, though even we seldom seem to vote for the Griswald Family Truckster with our pocketbooks.

Cadillac is all too aware of America's disdain for the wagon, as evidenced by the fact that General Motors' luxury brand has never built a squat two box for the U.S. market. That changes for 2010 as the Wreath and Crest begins production of its 2010 Cadillac CTS Sportwagon. This Caddy begins life with hot-to-trot sheetmetal and the underpinnings of the excellent CTS sedan, but does it have the chutzpah to change our less than flattering opinions about the station wagon? We gave the CTS Sportwagon some time in the Autoblog Garage to see if the first-ever U.S.-market Caddy wagon has the goods to make Americans stop their loathing and get to loading.

When Cadillac set out to build a wagon version of the popular CTS sedan, the goal was to export a considerable volume overseas where wagons are welcomed with open arms. A new 2.9-liter diesel powertrain was rumored to be the engine of choice for our European allies, giving car buyers the oil burners they expect across the pond. By the time the production CTS Sportwagon was ready for prime time, though, General Motors was prepping for bankruptcy and its Europe-based Opel brand was on the auction block. Gas prices had also dropped considerably here in the States, making the prospect of an expensive diesel engine in the U.S. market even more unlikely.

After months of careful planning, GM's plan to build many CTS Sportwagons for overseas markets is looking as hazy as the Southern California skyline. The Caddy wagon may now have to survive mainly by its success or failure in North America, and GM is clearly hoping that high style with a dash of functionality will win the day.

At first glance, the CTS Sportwagon is a real eye-catcher. It's bold, form-over-function sheetmetal catches the eye, then details like three-foot-long tail lights and 19-inch wheels help keep onlookers fixed on the prize. Cadillac has astutely dialed back its chrome quotient over the past couple years, and the CTS Sportwagon manages to stand out without mimicking a pimp's dental work.

What makes the CTS Sportwagon really look special is its raked roofline, which gives it an athletic appearance. Cadillac will tell you that the 58-cubic-feet of cargo capacity with the rear seats folded flat are within one foot of the much taller SRX, but we'd argue that the smallish rear hatch opening and steeply raked roofline makes that space far less usable. For example, we couldn't fit a kid's bike in the back (with the rear seat up) without removing the handle bars. We're talking about a six-year-old's bike, but the low roofline of the CTS Sportwagon doesn't abide by awkward-shaped objects.

The Sportwagon does have some strong utilitarian points, though, including a power liftgate that adjusts its opening height at the touch of a button (to accommodate short drivers or low garage clearances) and an ingenious cargo management system that allows owners to corral their groceries in a manner that prevents them from sliding all over the place. There is also a cargo door on the rear floor that reveals a recessed area with a rubber floormat to secure more valuable items from public view.

But any shortcomings the CTS Sportwagon has out back is more than made up for with a brilliantly laid out cabin that mirrors that of the CTS sedan. Cadillac designers have included soft touch materials throughout accented by the brand's well-regarded cut-and-sew stitching. The seats in the CTS are terrific, with firm foam to keep backsides happy even on long drives, along with lateral bolstering suitable for a luxury vehicle that just happens to have some moves. The Caddy's center stack doubles as an infotainment command center, with an available ginormous pop-up navigation screen that is easy to use, along with terrifically executed MP3 player integration that works without the need to hit a bunch of buttons.

Of course, the minute we discovered that we could simply call On-Star and tell them where we wanted to go and they'd map out our destination for us, we got lazy and stopped entering info into the navigation system ourselves. Using On-Star is safer and arguably easier, as you interact with an actual human being who can help determine exactly where you need to go, even if you're traveling at 70 mph. That said, not everyone is interested in interacting with an actual human being – or adding another monthly fee to their stack of bills – and will be perfectly happy with Cadillac's nav system that forgoes joysticks, knobs and other crazy controllers for simple onscreen executions.

While the CTS Sportwagon is impressive inside, it certainly isn't perfect. Lack of driver legroom is the largest issue. That command center of the center stack is so wide that it intrudes upon the driver's right knee space. It's almost impossible for an average-sized driver to find an ideal driving position unless the seat is moved uncomfortably far away from the steering wheel. Cadillac could partially alleviate the pain of this encroachment by adding some cushy padding to the sides of the stack, as what's currently there doesn't give enough to coddle our caps. Another more minor annoyance is that the car's high beltline narrows the view outside and makes the cabin feel isolated.

As a luxury wagon, Cadillac delivers the style and comfort that customers expect. But since Cadillac has decided to go the extra mile and call its newest ride a Sportwagon, we expect an engaging driving experience as well. To examine the SW's performance chops, we first look at hardware. Our tester came equipped with a direct injected 3.6-liter V6 engine capable of 304 horsepower and 273 lb-ft mated to a slick-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. Our rear-wheel drive Sportwagon also came equipped with 19-inch alloys covered with super sticky ContiSport Contact 3 summer radials, GM's taut FE3 suspension package and a moonroof, bringing its MSRP to $53,455. All-wheel drive is available at extra cost, but our tester's pricetag is otherwise representative of a fully loaded example.

On paper, the CTS Sportwagon sounds like a competent performer, and the specs are confirmed when judged from behind the wheel. When tooling around town, the 3.6-liter V6 is very responsive, with ample power available across the range. When in auto mode, a quick stab at the pedal results in a slight delay before acceleration, but head over to sport mode and you'll find that the go pedal is markedly more responsive. GM says the CTS Sportwagon will hit 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, which isn't exactly burning up the pavement but more than adequate in a two ton luxury tourer. We achieved 21 mpg while largely tooling around town in the CTS Sportwagon; a mid-pack figure that is in line with its expected 18/25 fuel economy numbers.

The sedan version of the Cadillac CTS really comes alive on the open road, but we had our reservations that the wagon's extra 200 lbs would hamper performance. We didn't worry for long. The Sportwagon has the same 191.6 inch length and 113.4 inch wheelbase as the sedan, and its hardware hasn't been dumbed down for wagon duty. Our tester's FE3 suspension held this Caddy tight in and out of curves, with minimal body roll and plenty of confidence that the ContiSport grip wasn't about to go ghost.

In our estimation, the only downside to selecting the FE3 suspension package is that it doesn't soak up bumps in the road quite as efficiently as we'd like, though we'd trade the added layer of plushness for handling any day of the week – and that's here in Michigan, where most of the road surfaces are just potholes holding hands. The Sportwagon's rack-and-pinion steering feels a bit light in stop-and-go traffic, but get its veins pumping and feedback and precision increases with speed. Interestingly, there was quite a bit of brake pedal travel on our tester, a condition that happens occasionally with aggressively driven media vehicles. We still had no problem bringing the two-ton wagon to a quick stop when the need arose, but we'd be curious to see if a fresh-from-the-line example would still show the same pedal characteristics.

It isn't hard to figure out what enthusiasts want out of an entry-level luxury vehicle. Bold, attention-grabbing styling, plenty of power and the latest tech advances are all part of the docket, and the Cadillac CTS Sportwagon delivers on all fronts. The CTS Sportwagon may well be the best looking vehicle in the Cadillac lineup, and it helps that it is also blessed with the soul of its brilliant sedan stablemate. In all, the Cadillac CTS Sportwagon offers plenty to love at a price that starts at $40,655 (including $825 for in destination charges). Add a capable, 304 hp 3.6-liter V6 and the added cargo capacity that comes with a 21st century station wagon, and the CTS Sportwagon may actually be the kind of wagon that wins over the finicky American consumer – it did the trick with us.

[Source: Autoblog]

Friday, 7 August 2009

First Drive: 2010 Cadillac SRX 2.8T

2010 Cadillac SRX 2.8T

Last month, we sampled the 2010 Cadillac SRX in naturally aspirated, 265-horsepower guise, and after a week behind the wheel we are convinced General Motors' luxury brand finally has a competitive crossover to take on the segment-defining Lexus RX. Along with Cadillac's unique angular styling and a full complement of amenities, the SRX surprised us with an edgy chassis that wasn't afraid to cut the rug when pulled onto the dance floor.

But while the SRX has some moves, the direct injected 3.0-liter V6 isn't exactly Fred Astaire. It provides just enough motivation for daily driving, but for customers that need more – particularly for those who want to fully enjoy the SRX's underpinnings – Cadillac has decided to offer a second, more aggressive engine to the mix. But with 300 horsepower, the 2010 SRX 2.8T – the first production Cadillac in the US fitted with a turbocharger – aims to please buyers looking for more pop in the pedal... a bit more skip in their step. Does the boosted Caddy deliver?

While Cadillac has high expectations for the sporting performance of the SRX 2.8T, its sales goals are far more modest. Cadillac expects only 10% to 15% of SRX buyers to opt for the turbocharged version, and those that do will pay a premium for its increased capabilities. The 2.8T option will only be available in Performance and Premium trim, and all-wheel drive, moonroof and navigation are all standard.

The turbo'd SRX utilizes the same FE3 suspension found in uplevel 3.0-liter models, though it has its own Aisin-Warner six-speed automatic transmission. We'd estimate the 2.8T's extra power will yield a 0-60 time of 7.5 seconds; about a second faster than the 3.0-liter model. Even with the 2.8T's improved performance, Cadillac still expects similar fuel economy to the 17/23 numbers of the non-turbo 3.0-liter mill, with city/highway numbers of 16/23. Although final pricing hasn't been announced, Cadillac tells us the 2.8T will carry a $3,000 premium versus a similarly equipped 3.0-liter model, so the MSRP is likely to max-out around $53,000 if all the boxes are checked.

Normally, when we get an invite from The General to test one of its more subdued offerings, we're relegated to a test track normally used to evaluate suspension setup, NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) and general driveability. With the SRX 2.8T, we received a bit of a surprise. Instead, we were escorted to the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1's stomping grounds, affectionately referred to as the "Lutz 'Ring."

Bob Lutz' signature track takes cues from some of the world's most impressive circuits, combining hairpin turns, significant elevation changes, blind crests and aggressive straightaways into a course designed to test the mettle of GM's high performance offerings. A select group of test drivers are qualified to attack the track at full throttle, and the training regimen requires pilots to cut their teeth with a Pontiac Solstice before graduation to bigger game. If they come within a few tenths of John Heinricy's times, they get certified. Needless to say, not an easy task.

Evidence of the track's victims are peppered throughout the course, with long, thick skid marks exiting the cement surface and disappearing into the grass. Our track guide (and certified badass) Matt Satchell told us some of the markings were the result of ABS failures on test mules and other pre-preproduction issues, although we're sure that's only part of the story. Regardless, those black stripes gave us pause. We've tackled the Lutz 'Ring in Chevy's world-beating, 638-hp ZR1, but a luxury crossover? This was going to be interesting.

After Matt gave us a quick tour of the grounds, we settled in behind the wheel and headed out on the track with the gearbox set to automatic. No surprise, the extra 74 lb-ft of twist provided by the turbocharged 2.8-liter V6 was a revelation over the torque-challenged 3.0-liter mill. Turbo lag is minimal, and with 295 lb-ft available from 2,000 RPM, any mid-corner temerity (or stupidity) can be wallpapered over upon exit thanks to the SRX's newfound thrust.

And when the time came to attack those bends, we were greeted by the same dynamic chassis we enjoyed in the standard SRX. Although the crossover's relatively high center of gravity dolls out minimal body roll in both the tighter turns and high-speed sweepers, the suspension and chassis feel at home when driven aggressively. When we overstepped the boundaries of physics and the rear tires lost adhesion, the Haldex AWD system quickly regained traction before the stability control stepped in to govern our fun. Unfortunately, the SRX's thrones aren't bolstered enough for track duty, so staying firmly behind the wheel requires plenty of forearm exercise.

On our next go 'round, we slipped the SRX into Sport mode by bumping the shifter into its Manual setting, allowing us to pick our preferred ratio or let the transmission figure it out. In Sport, the SRX becomes slightly racier. Shifts are held longer, downshifts are more aggressive and the suspension reacts accordingly. We didn't notice any major differences with the steering or throttle, but the higher revs make the SRX easier to drive quickly.

After seven runs around the L-Ring, we left the Milford Proving Grounds to get a sense of how the SRX handles real-world conditions. On public roads, the SRX showed its civic side, staying comfortable and compliant across a myriad of surfaces in stereotypical Caddy fashion. Again, the extra oomph provided by the boosted six was more than welcome, and cracking the window let the 2.8's siren song into an otherwise quiet cabin. Although the force-fed V6's note is slightly more refined in the Cadillac than it is when installed in the (less-powerful) Saab 9-3 Turbo X, the added gruff of the exhaust urges you to push a little harder, something noticeably missing in the segment.

Even with its advanced capabilities, the SRX 2.8T has little business on a high performance test track, yet it never embarrassed itself (or us) around the circuit. When we reviewed the naturally aspirated SRX, we felt it was an aggressive powertrain away from being outstanding. With the addition of the 300 hp 2.8T to the SRX llneup, Cadillac's new crossover has taken its game to the next level. There are plenty of luxury crossovers with "me-too" styling and the driving feel of a Barcalounger, so it's refreshing to see Cadillac has taken the road less traveled with the SRX 2.8T.

[Source: Autoblog]

Monday, 3 August 2009

GM starts leasing Cadillac, Buick, GMC and Chevy models again

2010 Cadillac SRX

Understatement of the Year: It's been a rough 2009 for General Motors. The 101 year-old automaker lost billions of dollars in record time, its market share plummeted, and overall sales were down over 30%. Oh, and the General had to ask for billions in loans from the US government before ultimately going through bankruptcy. A bad year indeed.

The fact that GM went through these tumultuous times without a leasing program made matters even worse, but that's about to be rectified. GM is teaming up with US Bank on a pilot leasing program in Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Already underway and set to run through August 31, the program will only apply to certain vehicles. The 2009 Chevy Malibu and Traverse, along with the Cadillac CTS and 2010 Cadillac SRX are included, joining the Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia and Chevy Equinox.

While the program is regional for the time being, the launch of the SRX will be accompanied by a nation-wide lease program through US Bank. Mark LaNeve, GM's vice president of U.S. sales, feels the SRX lease will help launch the new luxury crossover. "Leases are an important part of the luxury market, so we decided that launching the all-new 2010 Cadillac SRX crossover with a national lease will add a lot of excitement."

[Source: GM]


GM Announces Lease Program - Provides an Additional Consumer Financing Option for New Vehicle Purchases

* U.S. Bank offers rates on select Cadillac, Buick, GMC and Chevrolet models
* Five-state pilot program covers eight models
* All new 2010 Cadillac SRX lease available nationally

Detroit – General Motors Company announced an expansion of leasing today with enhanced lease programs on select 2009 and 2010 Cadillac, Buick, GMC and Chevrolet models. The leases, offered by U.S. Bank, are part of a pilot program that includes select GM vehicles sold in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan and Ohio. In addition, a lease on the all-new Cadillac SRX will be offered by U.S. Bank nationally. The pilot is currently planned to run through August 31, 2009.

"GM and our dealers have done an incredible job without a leasing program throughout this difficult economic period, but we always knew that we would get back into leasing as it is important to a certain group of our customers," said Mark LaNeve, GM vice president of U.S. sales. "We have a number of products that offer a great opportunity for a lease option. Also, leases are an important part of the luxury market, so we decided that launching the all-new 2010 Cadillac SRX crossover with a national lease will add a lot of excitement."

"U.S. Bank has one of the largest auto loan and lease programs in the nation. We have supported the auto industry for more than 50 years, and this is an example of our continued commitment to the industry," said Tom Wirth, who leads indirect lending at U.S. Bank.

Initially, lease offers will be available on the 2009 Cadillac CTS, Chevrolet Malibu and Traverse. For 2010 models, leases will also be available on the Cadillac SRX, Buick LaCrosse and Enclave, the GMC Acadia and the Chevrolet Equinox. Monthly payments will vary according to the customer's down payment and the first month's payment due at signing, but are expected to be very competitive. No security deposit will be required.

For more information, customers in the five lease states (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Michigan and Ohio) should visit their local Cadillac, Buick, GMC or Chevrolet dealer.

About General Motors: General Motors Company, one of the world's largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908. With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 235,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 140 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 34 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM's largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia and Germany. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors Company acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors Company can be found at

About U.S. Bank: U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $266 billion in assets, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the 6th largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 2,850 banking offices and 5,173 ATMs in 24 states, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at