It may not be a full V, but this is still an impressive sedan.
The third-gen Cadillac CTS was a big improvement over its predecessor. It was a car that signaled Cadillac would no longer cater to retirees in Florida and would begin taking the German and Japanese luxury automakers seriously. The second-gen model was a fine car with a bargain price, but Cadillac wanted the new CTS to compete with the Germans on price and performance. In the second generation, the CTS-V was a match for the BMW M5 for the price of an M3, but the third-gen car changed all of that.
The CTS-V is still the most powerful car in its segment with a 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 V8 pumping out 640 horsepower. While it is still cheaper than German rivals, its $86,000 starting price isn’t too far off of an M5. Compare that to the old car, which started at $63,215, and the new car isn’t as much of a bargain. Luckily, Cadillac introduced a to split the price difference between the $54,000 V6 model and the M5-rivaling V. It’s called the CTS V-Sport, and like BMW M Sport or Lexus F Sport, it is meant to satisfy buyers who want the feel of a performance sedan without the crazy power and matching price tag.
A brand-new CTS V-Sport costs around $61,000, which is around $25,000 less than the CTS-V. As expected, the V-Sport isn’t as fast as the “real” V, but it's no slouch either. Power comes courtesy of a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 producing 420 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque going out to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic. If that engine sounds a bit familiar to you, it may be because a similar engine is found in the smaller ATS-V. The CTS V-Sport engine is called the LF3, while the ATS-V engine is known as the LF4 and features multiple improvements to produce more power.
This engine can scoot the roughly 4,000 pound CTS up to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds, which is around the same as a more expensive Lexus GS-F. All of this performance does come at a cost, because the CTS is far from a perfect car. Although it competes against the Germans and Japanese cars on price, the Cadillac still feels a bit low rent on the interior. One of the biggest issues is with the Cadillac User Interface (CUE) infotainment system, which has been deemed as one of the worst in the segment. However, you may be willing to put up with the infotainment given how cheap these cars are on the used market.
We found starting at around $25,000 with reasonable mileage. Even a certified pre-owned model can be found for under $40,000, making the V-Sport a great used bargain.