Reader Poll: Cadillac CTS versus BMW 3 or 5-Series?

With Cadillac releasing coupe and wagon variants of its popular CTS luxury sport sedan, I’ve started to wonder which of BMW’s cars is a better comparison: the 3-Series, which is a bit smaller, but priced similarly, or the 5-Series, which is a bit bigger, but priced about $10,000 higher?  Click past the jump for the tale of the tape and the Reader Poll.

In order to get as close a comparison as possible, I went with the CTS Sedan 3.6 Performance, BMW 335i Sedan and BMW 535i Sedan, all with automatic transmissions.  The tale of the tape for the three cars is as follows:

CTS 3.6L Perf.

335i Sedan

535i Sedan

Base Retail Price (MSRP) $41,565 $40,600 $49,600
Base Invoice Price $39,279 $37,350 $45,630
Engine 3.6L 304 hp V6 3.0L 300 hp I6 3.0L 300 hp I6
Transmission 6-Speed Automatic 6-Speed Automatic 8-Speed Automatic
MPG city/highway 18/27 19/28 19/28
Horsepower 304 @
6400 RPM
300 @
5800 RPM
300 @
5800 RPM
Standard Seating 5 5 5
Curb Weight (lb.) 3858 3605 4090
Wheelbase (in.) 113.40 108.70 116.90
Length (in.) 191.30 178.20 193.10
Width (in.) 72.50 71.50 73.20
Height (in.) 58.00 55.90 57.60
Track Front (in.) 61.80 59.10 63.00
Track Rear (in.) 62.20 59.60 64.10
Front Headroom (in.) 38.80 38.50 40.50
Rear Headroom (in.) 37.20 37.50 38.30
Front Shoulder Room (in.) 56.70 55.40 58.30
Rear Shoulder Room (in.) 54.70 55.10 56.20
Cruise Control Std. Std. Std.
Tachometer Std. Std. Std.
Tilt Steering Std. Std. Std.
Tilt Steering Column Std. Std. Std.
Heated Steering Wheel Opt. Opt. Opt.
Leather Steering Wheel Std. Std. Std.
Steering Wheel Controls Std. Std. Std.
Telescoping Steering Column Std. Std. Std.
Genuine Wood Trim Opt. Std. Std.
Tire Pressure Monitor Std. Std. Std.
Trip Computer Std. Std. Std.
Radio Std. Std. Std.
CD Player Std. Std. Std.
CD Changer Opt. N/A Opt.
DVD Player Std. N/A Opt.
Hands-Free Phone Std. N/A N/A
Navigational Aid Std. Opt. Opt.
2nd Row Sound Controls N/A N/A Opt.
Subwoofer Std. N/A Std.
Telematic Systems Std. Opt. Std.
Power Seat (Driver) Std. Std. Std.
Front Cooled Seats Opt. N/A Opt.
Front Heated Seat Std. Opt. Opt.
Lumbar Support Std. Opt. Std.
Memory Seat Std. Std. Std.
Leather Seat Std. Opt. Opt.
Power Seat (Passenger) Std. Std. Std.
2nd Row Folding Seat Opt. Opt. N/A
2nd Row Heated Seat N/A N/A Opt.
Standard Features 22 15 18
Optional Features 5 7 9
Total Features 27 22 27

From the table above, you can see that while the CTS is closer in size to the 5-Series, its price is far lower, like I mentioned in the opening paragraph.  In a lot of other categories, the CTS fits right in between the 3 and 5-Series BMWs, and even offers more standard features than either of them.  The 5-Series catches up with optional features, but again at a higher price than the Cadillac.

Here in the U.S., we have the 5-Series Gran Turismo, which is more of a crossover than a wagon, so that doesn’t count, but we do have a 3-Series wagon, as well as the 3-series coupe, so in that regard, the CTS compares better with the 3-Series than the 5-Series.

I know it’s a complicated comparison, but hopefully the explanation and table above help clear things up – and I’d like to know what you think, so go ahead and vote below!  I’ll announce the results of the poll in a future article in the first week of November.

by John Suit

Data Source:


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