This latest iteration of GM Cadillac's foray into the coupe market is a mixed bag; predictably hitting all the marks that Cadillac traditionally shoots for (style, largesse and gradeur) while missing the others completely (everything practical). At its unveiling in 2009, the CTS Coupe shocked the press, overshadowing the established CTS's suped up model, the CTS-V. Now in its second generation, the CTS coupe 2012 is definitely an eye-catching car. Its angular lines and massive grille are brash, bold and menacing in all the right ways. Juxtaposed with the bullyboy exterior is the far more refined interior, which reviews state is on par with most luxury sedans.
For all its edgy looks, classy interior and wicked chrome, however, the CTS coupe lives up to Cadillac's reputation for style over substance. That entire attitude comes at a price, and while it might not be on the bottom line, retailing at only $40,000-$50,000 depending on whether you opt for the Base, Performance or Premium models, performance-wise the CTS coupe suffers greatly according to a lot of reviews. The Interior, while classy, is a bit like having an extremely well decorated and lavish crawl space. It is a fine imitation of the CTS Sedan's plush interior without the luxury of space that makes that model so appealing to that little bit of Elvis in all of us. The King, we fear, would be unimpressed with this CTS Coupe's limited headroom, cramped rear and oppressively angled rear window that places occupants' necks directly under the sun.
As mentioned, the CTS Coupe does hit the appearance standards one expects from Cadillac based on our reviews. However, there are many competitors on the market with similar sex appeal that don't sacrifice performance or comfort. The Mercedes Benz C-Class now comes in a coupe version as well as a sedan. It retails at a similar price and does all the things you would expect a luxury sports coupe to do that the CTS Coupe doesn't: fantastic grip, good body control, excellent rear passenger space and a comfortable driving position. If you want to buy American, the Dodge SRT8 offers a similar European-style ride with the muscular and aggressive trimmings of the CTS Coupe at a price that also won't break the bank. Bottom line: if it's all about the looks then the CTS Coupe is certainly the flashiest of the bunch. If you want smooth handling, good fuel efficiency and happy passengers look elsewhere.