Over the past six months or so, I have been haunting my preferred local dealerships, McLaughlin Cadillac and Strieter Lincoln, for a potential replacement for my 2000 Town Car Cartier, which is approaching 182,000 miles as of this writing.
The short list: Lincoln MKZ, Lincoln Continental, Lincoln MKS, Cadillac XTS and Cadillac CTS. No combover. No pickup. No SUV. Sedan. Preferably with all wheel drive, as there’s a steep hill up to my condo. Brian Cox, at McLaughlin, and Peter Clarke, at Strieter, are keeping me in the loop on recent trade ins. And so it was on a Saturday several weeks ago I found myself behind the wheel of a 2018 CTS AWD with 28K miles, finished in decidedly non-conformist Adriatic Blue. No silver silvermist for me, thank you very much.
A couple weeks before this visit, I had tried out a black on black 2018 CTS AWD, also equipped with the 2.0L turbo four. I wanted to see what the four was like, despite my head-and-shoulders preference for the 3.6L V6. It was a comfortable car, plenty of room, and it didn’t have a Frigidaire-sized center console like some other cars (final gen Taurus, I’m looking at you).
But the color combo was boring, so I passed. But then this one showed up, in a color combination much more preferable to your author. So I was back in the Cadillac saddle.
This one drove nice as well. Although the same year as the Stellar Black CTS previously driven, it seemed somewhat smoother, despite similar mileage. The lighter-hued interior was much better, though I was slightly miffed this one had the aluminum dash and door cap trim, instead of the wood on the other car. Yes, I’m picky.
Brian gave me a dealer plate and wished me luck, all he cared about was that I brought it back before they closed. So I took it on a wide variety of roads, highways and city streets.
The Cadillac handled with aplomb, and with the all wheel drive I had some fun flinging it into corners and onto on ramps. Something that my Town Car would violently protest.
The turbo four has good power, despite the inherent 4-cyl. buzziness felt now and then through the floorboards. That higher NVH is really irritating in a Caddy. This is why I want the V6. What really cheesed it for me was learning the four requires premium, while the six is fine on regular old 87 octane. Dagnabit.
Brian said that technically you can run the four on regular, but it will run like crap, and eventually cause issues. But technically one can set oneself on fire or buy an Alfa too, doesnt make it advisable, ha ha. One might get away with alternating between regular and hi-test between fill ups, but I didn’t want to do any goofy crap like that either. So stupid that the base, lunchbox sized engine needs premium but the better, smoother optional six doesn’t.
It’s a really pretty car. The replacement, the CT5, came out in 2020 and I don’t think it’s nearly as attractive; in fact, the first time I saw one, I thought it looked like an Altima. Ye gods! I have since warmed up to it a little, but still prefer the lines of the CTS.
Anyway, I had the car probably an hour and a half and had a grand old time. Always enjoy trying a new car out! Loved the big ass sunroof too. If this car had had the V6 I might be writing about my new car instead of a plain old test, but that four-requiring-premium schtick eliminated any thought of writing a check.
And I still like my car. But am still on the lookout. And just this morning, Peter called me to inform me they just got a 2017 Continental in on trade, green, 35,000 miles. So who knows what next week will bring.
Postscript: After I returned the car, I gave the keys and dealer plate back to Brian, and walked back to my car. When I drove out of the lot, the Lincoln felt like a freaking waterbed. Badoomp! Doomp a boing!
After about ten minutes it felt normal again, but man, the CTS really is a different kind of car, suspension geometry-wise!