2013 Cadillac CTS Preview

Jeff Youngs | Feb 14, 2013
  • Offered in sedan, coupe, and wagon body styles
  • Remote engine starting becomes standard
  • Available with two V-6 engines
  • Coupe only offered with most powerful engine
  • Also offered in high-performance CTS-V models
  • One year of OnStar Directions and Connections is standard


The CTS is a midsize luxury car sized like the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, but it is priced slightly lower. It is offered in sedan, coupe and wagon body styles. Formerly the most affordable car in the Cadillac lineup, that mantle now goes to the ATS, which is new for 2013. All three CTS body styles are also offered as high-performance CTS-V models, covered in a separate preview article.

Exterior Features

The CTS sedan is larger than the new ATS by 4.1 inches in wheelbase and 7.5 inches overall. It is also 1.4 inches wider, and it weighs at least 545 pounds more. The CTS coupe and wagon are comparably sized. Both the CTS and ATS feature their own takes on the brand's angular Art and Science design language, though the look is similar. The CTS currently rides GM's Sigma II platform, but the next generation model will change to a larger version of the ATS's Alpha platform. Wheel sizes range from 17 to 19 inches.

Interior Features

Standard interior equipment in the 2013 Cadillac CTS includes dual-zone automatic climate control, tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, cruise control, power-adjustable front seats, heated power mirrors, power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, Bose AM/FM stereo with 6-disc CD/MP3 changer, satellite radio, OnStar assistance, Bluetooth connectivity, reversing camera, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview mirror, universal garage door opener, remote engine starting, and rear defogger. The sedan also comes with leather upholstery, memory for the driver's seat and mirrors, and heated front seats, while the coupe and wagon get vinyl upholstery and a split-folding rear seat.

Optional Features

All three body styles are offered with a Summer Tire Performance package that adds a limited-slip differential, larger brakes, heavy-duty cooling, steering-wheel shift paddles, sport-tuned suspension, and 19-inch summer tires. All three are also available with a Touring package that includes dual exhaust, leather and synthetic-suede upholstery, Recaro front seats, synthetic-suede steering wheel, and alloy pedals. The coupe and wagon are offered with a Performance Luxury package that includes such features as a heated power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats, and wood interior trim. Other notable options include a navigation system, rear DVD entertainment, and a panoramic sunroof.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Cadillac CTS is offered with one of two engines: a 3.0-liter V-6 or a 3.6-liter V-6. The sedan and wagon are available with either engine, while the coupe comes only with the 3.6. The 3.0-liter V-6 engine produces 265 horsepower and 220 lb.-ft. of torque with single exhaust and 270 horsepower and 223 lb.-ft of torque with dual exhaust. The 3.6-liter V-6 delivers 318 horsepower and 275 lb.-ft of torque. All models come with just one transmission, a 6-speed automatic.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Cadillac CTS are:

  • CTS wagon or sedan with 3.0- or 3.6-liter V-6 engine and rear-wheel drive: 18/27/21 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • CTS wagon or sedan with 3.0- or 3.6-liter V-6 engine and all-wheel drive: 18/26/21 mpg
  • CTS coupe or sedan with 3.6-liter V-6 engine and rear- or all-wheel drive: 18/27/21 mpg


The 2013 Cadillac CTS comes standard with dual front air bags, front side air bags, side curtain air bags, anti-lock 4-wheel disc brakes, traction control, electronic stability control, tire-pressure monitor, and active front head restraints. Also available are blind-spot alert, steering-linked adaptive xenon headlights, and rear park assist.

In government crash tests, the CTS sedan and wagon received an overall rating of 5 (out of 5) stars according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but the coupe has not been tested. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the CTS was named a "Top Safety Pick" for receiving a "Good" rating--the Institute's highest--for moderate front overlap, side impact, and roof strength tests; it was not subjected to the new small front overlap test, and therefore could not be named a "Top Safety Pick Plus."


The 2013 Cadillac CTS comes standard with GM's OnStar telematics system. It includes one year of the Directions and Connections service, which can send turn-by-turn directions to the vehicle. OnStar also provides hands-free calling, stolen-vehicle assistance, roadside assistance, vehicle diagnostics, automatic crash response, and other emergency services. Through the RemoteLink Mobile App, smartphone users can control vehicle functions, access vehicle information, and send directions to the car. A new optional service called FamilyLink allows subscribers to check the location of the car online or receive vehicle location alerts. OnStar is controlled through the Internet, owners' smartphones, or, more commonly, a trio of buttons on the rearview mirror.
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