When the CTS was first announced to the general public in 2002 as a 2003 model, a breath of life was blown into the stagnant brand. Up until this point, Cadillac was synonymous with people barely able to see over the steering wheel while keeping their left turn signal on for five miles. The “art and science” design language used to style the new CTS drew the attention of a much larger, younger, and more marketable crowd. To cater to the ‘more horsepower’ request the CTS-V was created; in which a base model CTS underwent major surgery and was transplanted with a 400 horsepower LS series V8, suspension upgrades, and a more refined “speed themed” interior.
Time passed and the CTS & CTS-V were both given a facelift on the outside as well as more power and control on the inside for the 2006 model year. While the basic model CTS was powered by a V6 putting out a reasonable 270 horsepower, the new CTS-V dominated the competition and became the one of the fastest 4 door cars on the market. This was achieved with a supercharged LSA motor pushing out 556 horsepower. In case you haven’t checked the specs, this is the same platform as the supercharged motor that comes with the Corvette ZR1; although slightly de-tuned.
That brings us to today’s dilemma: You can choose between the basic CTS or the high horsepower CTS-V, But what happens if you want something… more in the middle? Cadillac now has an answer: A touring package. As many of you know, touring packages usually include some trivial upgrades like metal door inserts or a steering wheel with a few extra buttons which aren’t really worth the extra money. However, Cadillac has actually made this an attractive option for the base model CTS by adding some very nice upgrades. These include a tightened suspension, faux suede inserts on the steering wheel and seats, Sapele wood trim, and aluminum pedals. If you decide to go with the extensive touring package, you’ll be upgraded to HID headlights, a dual exhaust (true dual or not isn’t known at the moment), a darker grille finish, and upgraded wheel options.
The biggest bonus of the extended touring upgrade is the rear spoiler taken straight from the CTS-V. Your choices don’t stop there either. If you decide to go with the 3.6 liter V6 motor instead of the standard 3.0 V6 and you opt for the touring package, you’ll have all the previously mentioned niceties as well as being seated in Recaro seats and rolling on larger 19” wheels with high-performance tires. The 3.0 touring package starts at $2,065 and the 3.6 package is $2,810. Pricing for the CTS starts at $36,790 for the sedan, $39,590 for the coupe and $39,890 for the CTS Sport Wagon. While I would recommend choosing the CTS-V if your pockets were deep enough; the CTS touring package makes perfect middle ground for those who want luxury, performance, and styling with a lower bottom price.