2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe
Now in its second generation, the Cadillac CTS sedan has proven to be the pivot around which GM’s luxury brand has turned both status and market share. And like any smart car maker, they’ve built on that success by adding a high performance V-series variant, a sport wagon, and now a slick two-door coupe. While the luxury-sport coupe market is small, it makes up for volume with big buyer impact. So now’s our chance to see if the new CTS coupe hits its mark.
For starters, the 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe is a stunner. Its dynamic Art & Science front fascia transfers over nearly unchanged from its four- and five-door stablemates. But, from there back, everything else has been honed to give this luxury sport coupe an even more aggressive stance. A faster windshield drops the Coupe’s roofline two inches from the sedan’s, a clipped rear overhang cuts three inches stem to stern, while the rear track steps out two inches.
So, despite being built on the Sigma chassis 113.4-inch wheelbase used by the sedan and wagon, the CTS Coupe looks like its own animal. One with claws shod with stylish 18- and 19-inch alloys that completely fill the wheel wells with wider tires at the rear. And they all hide massive disc brakes that reside at all four corners.
In profile, the wedge-shaped Coupe bears simpler lines than its siblings with a knife-edged, fast back roof NASCAR could love. Touch-pad handles tucked on the trailing edges of the Coupe’s long doors keep the big coupe’s lines shaved to design-sketch simplicity. Roll down the windows for a B-pillar-less true hardtop look.
At the rear, the Coupe’s unique character is further defined. A chevron-shaped stop-light spoiler mounts atop the tall decklid, set between trademark vertical taillights, and above angular twin center-exit exhaust ports.
The CTS sedan and sport wagon’s optional 3.6-liter, direct-injected, twin-cam V6 is a Coupe standard, delivering the same 304 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. Like all world-class luxury sport coupes, manual transmissions are in play. Rear drive Coupes sport a revised Aisin six-speed manual as standard.The all-wheel drive Coupe comes with a six-speed manual-shift automatic, which is also optional with rear-wheel drive.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 16 City/25 Highway for the manual, and 18 City/27 Highway for the automatic, all on regular gas.
To fit a more aggressive behavior, the coupe’s suspension gets a number of key upgrades, including smaller-diameter front, and larger-diameter rear sway bars, along with stiffer dampers all around. A limited-slip differential and stability and traction control naturally are standard.
Together they give the CTS Coupe an even more planted feel than the sedan. We noted on our Napa Valley, California preview drive that there is some tradeoff in ride comfort, but it’s acceptable given the CTS coupe’s sharper response and decreased body roll when compared to the sedan. Front and rear balance seems near perfect as this car slingshots around corners and down the road. Zero to 60 is dispatched in six seconds with the manual.
As you would expect, the supercharged V-Series treatment kicks this coupe’s fine performance equation up another couple of notches. We’ll cover that car in detail in a few weeks.
Inside, the CTS’ dynamically flared interior treatment is back. With thick-rimmed wheel, motorcycle-like analog gauges under a no glare hood, and a water-fall center stack, everything looks both serious and inviting, including optional Bose 5.1 surround sound, 40-gig hard drive, and pop-up navigation.
The standard front bucket seats are comfortable, but a bit flat. We prefer the optional Recaro Sport seats. They are thickly-bolstered and do a proper job of keeping you in place during enthusiastic driving.
Even though this is a 2+2, rear seat legroom shrinks by less than an inch compared to the sedan. But, the coupe’s sexy roofline cuts rear headroom down by over 2 1/2 inches. Still, the CTS Coupe has more rear legroom than either the BMW 3-Series or Infiniti G-Series Coupes. The flip-side of the fine interior equation is a small trunk- at 10.5 cubic feet. Still, for more stow and go, the Coupe’s rear seat does fold flat.
Prices for the 2011 CTS Coupe are competitive to rivals, starting at $38,990. All-wheel drive adds $1,900 more, while options can easily push it over 50 grand.
With a sedan, a wagon, and now a luxury sport coupe, the CTS stable looks complete. All of our favorite facets of the sedan have been left intact-or improved upon-for the new Coupe. The 2011 Cadillac CTS Coupe not only hits its mark, it blasts right through it.
- Engine: 3.6-Liter Direct-injected Twin-cam V6
- Horsepower: 304
- Torque: 273 Lb Feet
- 0-60 MPH: 6.0 Seconds
- EPA: 16 MPG City/ 25 MPG Highway
2024 Mazda CX-90
A Force To Be Reckoned With
If you’ve been following Mazda lately, you’ll know they’ve been fielding some serious new designs; you could even say, they’re latest efforts are 10-times better than before. After all, the CX-3 became the CX-30, then CX-5 became the CX-50, and now it’s the CX-9’s turn. So, let’s find out if this all-new CX-90, their largest SUV yet, is a real multiplier or if it’s all just a numbers game.
Don’t think of this 2024 Mazda CX-90 so much as an updated version of the CX-9, as it’s more of a complete rethink of their 3-row crossover, the first built on an all-new, large vehicle platform for the brand. And this platform carries a host of surprises. Not only does it make the CX-90 bigger by every dimension, but it’s a rear-drive architecture, and features all-new powertrains, including the brand’s first plug-in hybrid, and even an inline-6 engine.
Why an inline-6 to replace the CX-9’s turbo-4? Well, in general terms, I6s are better balanced, run smoother, and can deliver more torque at lower RPM. Just ask the BMW faithful, or any of the truckers you see going down the road hauling more than 20-tons of cargo with their inline-6s.
There are 2-versions of the longitudinally mounted 6, both assisted by turbocharging and a 48-volt mild hybrid system. Output for the base Turbo is 280-horsepower and 332 lb-ft. of torque; this Turbo S cranks it up to 340-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. The PHEV, on the other hand, is based on a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter I4, working with a 100-kW electric motor to deliver 323-horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. A 17.8-kWh battery delivers 26-miles of EV driving.
It’s not the prettiest SUV, but it does have very smooth body work; plus, the longer hood and 7½-inches of wheelbase stretch over the CX-9, give it more stately proportions. All CX-90s come with i-Activ all-wheel drive and the brand’s first 8-speed automatic transmission; the longer wheelbase allows tow ratings to step up from 3,500-lbs. to 5,000.
At the test track, our Turbo S launched effortlessly with good grip on the way to a 6.4-second 0-60. The smooth vibes continued throughout the ¼-mile, with refined power delivery, seamless shifts, and a noticeably more solid and stable feel at speed than the CX-9. Our best time was 14.7-seconds at 98 miles-per-hour.
Through the cones, it still behaves like a Mazda, with very good steering feel and a solid presence in corners at low to moderate speeds. Some understeer and body roll will show up when pushed hard, but Mazda’s Kinematic Posture Control uses subtle selective braking to help the vehicle rotate, and safety systems will step in well-before it gets out of sorts.
There’s a nice firm feel to the brake pedal, delivering good stopping results of 118-feet from 60 miles-per-hour. You can feel a lot of weight transfer, but nosedive was well contained.
Another unique element the CX-90 brings is seating arrangements for 6,7, or 8. It’s the 8-seater that’s standard with 3-across bench seating for 2nd and 3rd rows. 7-seaters get either captain’s chairs in the 2nd row, or more contoured seats for the 3rd; 6-seaters sport 2nd row captains and the contoured 3rd row. Cargo capacity varies with seating, but is at best 15.9 cubic-ft. behind the 3rd row, 40.1 behind the 2nd, and 75.2 with all seats folded.
As far as what it’s like to actually live with, the CX-90’s cabin is a clear step up, including on some trims suede-like materials, intricate stitching, and real wood, all consistent with what we’ve seen from the brand lately. A 10-inch dashtop touchscreen is standard for infotainment, with upper trims getting a larger 12.3-incher. We applaud Mazda’s inclusion of plenty of old-school manual controls for radio and climate, which keeps menu diving limited to secondary functions. PHEVs get a few unique controls and readouts to monitor drive modes and battery level.
Overall, the CX-90 is highly functional, entertainingly sporty to drive, and will be more competitive in the ever growing 3-row family crossover segment; and its posh interior may even attract luxury buyers on a budget.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the Turbo S are 23-City, 28-Highway, and 25-Combined. We averaged a good 26.5 miles-per-gallon of Regular.
Pricing begins with the base Turbo at Select trim for $40,970, PHEVs are available in Preferred trim and above starting at $48,820, and the Turbo S starts at $53,125.
Force multiplier is a military term for when strategic elements come together to produce results greater than would have been possible without them. Well, no high-level math skills are necessary here to see that the 2024 Mazda CX-90 is clearly more than just a much better CX-9; it’s now a force to be reckoned with in the 3-row family crossover segment.
- Engine: 3.3-liter I-6
- Horsepower: 340
- 0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 118 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 26.5 MPG (Regular)
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 369 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 14.7-seconds at 98 mph
- EPA: 23 City / 28 Highway / 25 Combined
- Starting Price: $40,970