2016 Cadillac CTS-V

2016 Cadillac CTS-V

Episode 3503 , Episode 3515
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

No matter where your car company hails from, if you build a sport sedan, you’ll ultimately get compared to the companies that have done it the best, for the longest time: The Germans! BMW, Mercedes, and VW/Audi. Whether that’s fair or not, is a topic for another day. Because right now, we’ve got a home grown contender to put through its paces, the Cadillac CTS-V! 

American carmakers have been trying to catch up, and one-up the German sport sedan concept for over half a century. Numerous times critics, including us, thought they got close. But, it took the 21st century Cadillac brand to really close the gap, with the 2016 CTS-V aiming to fill it for good.

The CTS-V is the original V “for Velocity” of course, but just about everything that makes it go fast now, comes from the Chevrolet Corvette; making this essentially a four-door Corvette with a nicer interior.

That kinship start naturally enough under the hood with the Z06’s glorious 6.2-liter chunk of supercharged aluminum with pushrods, producing 640-horsepower and 630 lb-ft. of torque. The M5 and E63 AMG don’t even come close. 

This thing is clearly not some mild-mannered pretender. Just hearing it rumble at startup will put fear into you; floor it and its “oh my gosh” awesome power! 

It is still built on the ATS platform, but significant structural bracing had to take place; and like some of us around here, has stiffer joints all around. Oh yeah, it’s race car rigid.

Just as in some front-wheel-drive transaxles that feature unequal half-shafts to prevent torque steer; a similar arrangement in the CTS-V’s rear, works to quell axle hopping on hard acceleration. The results are, according to the factory, a blistering 3.7-seconds to 60.

There are Brembo brakes obviously; and topping it off, GM stuffed as much rubber into the wheel wells as possible; 265/35/19 Michelin Pilot Super Sports in front, 295/30/19s in back. 

We’ve said it many times before about V-Series cars; you really need to get them on a race track for full affect. Tooling to the winery on the weekend or even slicing up your local back roads in this CTS-V does not reveal the true story of how competent it is.

So we jumped at the change to try it out a Road America! Yep, this Caddy is one awesome track machine. Between Performance Traction Management and the power distributing electronic limited-slip differential, you have no trouble getting all 640 horses to the pavement with little concern about being out of control.  

More power than the Germans, and better use of it than hotrods like Hellcats and Shelby’s. And that very linear power delivery also works well with the 8-speed automatic transmission that comes with all CTS-Vs. 

There’s plenty of mid-range muscle coming out of turns; with minimal weight transfer thanks to Magnetic Ride Control, even with a hefty 4,145-lbs. to manage. Brakes are all day long durable. 

Driven hard it seems to move around on you a little, but it seems to catch itself and never get out of shape. You know there’s electronic intervention happening, but you still feel in total control. 

There’s a more aggressive look to go along with all of that performance. Virtually every body panel is unique and purposefully designed to maximize downforce, minimize lift, or enhance cooling. 

The air-extracting hood is made of carbon fiber as are the front splitter, rear diffuser, and spoiler if you opt for the carbon fiber package. 

As for the interior, thankfully it does not appear like it was done on a shoestring budget; just an enhanced performance feel thanks to sueded materials, performance seats, Head Up display, and of course the Corvettes’ Performance Data Recorder.  

And perhaps most important of all, it doesn’t feel any less Cadillac when you’re driving sanely.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 14-City, 21-Highway, and 17-Combined. So there is a gas guzzler tax.

Base price is $85,990. And if that’s too much, don’t forget that this big V has a little brother ATS-V which packs almost as much performance for $61,460. 

Now, we know that many sport sedan aficionados will never be convinced that a four-door designed anywhere but Germany is worth a second look. But, if you have an open mind, then you’ll see where we’re coming from when we say that hands down, the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V beats all comers in the traditional European sport sedan category in every way! And we’re just ecstatic to be along for the ride.

Specifications

  • Engine: 6.2 liter
  • Horsepower: 640
  • Torque: 630 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 3.7 seconds
  • EPA: 14 mpg city / 21 mpg highway
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front

2024 Subaru Solterra

The Solterra Gets Subaru Into The EV Game

Episode 4339
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

You could say that Subaru is one of the more conservative brands out there. So, it’s no surprise it took them a little longer than most to venture into pure EV territory. But now that they’ve staked a claim with this Solterra, it’s time for us to see if Subaru buyers should plug in.

The Subaru Solterra is indeed the brand’s first full battery-electric vehicle; and while it took partnering with Toyota to make it happen, as we’ve seen with the BRZ and GR86 sport coupes, that partnership can lead to some great things.

So, we’ll start there; the Solterra’s counterpart is the Toyota bZ4X, and they do share most powertrain elements, specs, and features; but Subaru has done a few things to establish some unique vibes for their brand. That starts with the drivetrain, as all-wheel drive is standard here as in most Subarus, and in similar tradition, power won’t overwhelm you, it’s more safe and familiar feeling than overpowering as some EVs can be. Called StarDrive, this Subaru’s dual-motor setup rates 215 horsepower and 249 lb-ft of torque. Subaru loves to tout that their drivers are second only to Jeep owners when it comes to venturing off pavement, so capability is a must.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front
2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem
2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel
2024 Subaru Solterra Profile
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail
2024 Subaru Solterra Badge
2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port
2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Front2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Front2024 Subaru Solterra Headlight2024 Subaru Solterra Front Emblem2024 Subaru Solterra Wheel2024 Subaru Solterra Profile2024 Subaru Solterra Dead Rear2024 Subaru Solterra 3/4 Rear2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Detail2024 Subaru Solterra Badge2024 Subaru Solterra Charge Port

We did find Solterra as competent as every other Subaru. Their X-Mode has been programmed to work seamlessly with the electric motors, and its 8.3 inches of ground clearance is higher than the bZ4X; plus, you can use Grip Control to moderate speeds and maximize traction.

While most new EVs seem to be hovering around 300 miles of range, max here in the Solterra from its 72.8-kWh battery pack is 227 miles, 222 here in Touring trim. Our results were much less than that, on pace for just 172 miles in our driving loop. But that may be a fluke since we managed 210+ in our bZ4X test.

Only 100-kW max for DC fast charging. But even though it has only been on the market for a year, they’ve already cut down charging times for ‘24 models. An upgraded battery conditioning system, needs 35 minutes for an 80% charge. Subaru always seems to come out on the right side of being cool while remaining authentic, and the Solterra’s styling works, as does its beefier roof rack for ’24 which now holds up to 700 lbs. for tents and the like. Touring trim comes with some great looking 20-inch alloy wheels and there’s lots of body protection, but they did go a little overboard with all of the EV badges everywhere.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected.

In addition to being a good-looking small SUV, it’s a highly functional one too with plenty of room for 5, durable materials, and a bridge-type center console with lots of storage space underneath, though there is no traditional glove box. Subaru also claims it was designed to be dog-friendly, so that’s a plus too. It does have the roomy feel of an Outback, and rear cargo capacity is pretty close, too, at 29.0 cubic-feet.

We found ride quality to be quite good, and handling spunkier than expected. It really shined in the handling course at our Mason-Dixon test track; the EV low center of gravity giving it a very planted feel through the cones. There was minimal body roll and great all-wheel-drive grip; though when it came to us getting a grip on the steering wheel. Well, it’s an oddly shaped steering wheel that took some getting used to. It’s another thing that separates it from the bZ4X, though it seems a little bit like just being different for the sake of being different.

2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard
2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster
2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display
2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter
2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat
2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk
2024 Subaru Solterra Dashboard2024 Subaru Solterra Instrument Cluster2024 Subaru Solterra Central Display2024 Subaru Solterra Shifter2024 Subaru Solterra Front Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Rear Seat2024 Subaru Solterra Trunk

On the other hand, while not insanely fast like some EVs, there was good punch off the line; enough to get us to 60 in 6.2 seconds. And rather than rolling back the power, the Solterra kept it consistent the whole way down the track. We finished the quarter-mile in 14.8 seconds at 93 mph. There wasn’t much feel coming through the brake pedal, but panic braking stops were fade-free with an average amount of nose dive; our stops from 60 averaged 120 feet.

Using 33-kWh of electricity per 100-miles, the Solterra earns a good efficiency rating. Pricing starts at $46,340 for the base Premium, and tops out with Touring at $53,340, with Limited in between.

Being the rugged and lovable outdoor types, Subaru owners have proven to be willing to sacrifice certain things for the good of the environment they spend so much time enjoying. Whether that will translate to them going all-in on the 2024 Solterra remains to be seen. It’s no surprise Subaru has finally gone all-electric, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise they’ve entered the EV game conservatively. Something tells us Subaru owners wouldn’t have it any other way.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Motor Setup: Dual Motor
  • Battery Size: 72.8-kWh
  • Horsepower: 215
  • Torque: 249 lb-ft
  • EPA Range: 222 miles
  • 0-60 mph: 6.2 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.8 seconds at 93 mph
  • 60-0 Braking: 120 feet (avg)
  • MW Test Loop: 172 miles