The CTS outscores some of the best of the imported luxury sports sedans. Drivers will like the responsive steering, agile handling, eager acceleration, and excellent brakes. All passengers should appreciate the steady, composed ride and plush interior. However, the cockpit was too snug for some, and the rear seat is a bit tight.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
NA
2009
2010
NA
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
NA
2016
2017
NA
2018
NA
2019
NA
2020
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
NA
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
NA
2016
2017
2018
NA
2019
NA
2020
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side air bags standard from 2000. Head protection air bags standard from 2003. ESC standard from 2008.
Road Test

The CTS outscores some of the best of the imported luxury sports sedans. Drivers will like the responsive steering, agile handling, eager acceleration, and excellent brakes. All passengers should appreciate the steady, composed ride and plush interior. However, the cockpit was too snug for some, and the rear seat is a bit tight.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Rear
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
wagon
coupe
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 3-liter V6 (270 hp)
  • 3.6-liter V6 (318 hp)
  • 6.2-liter V8 supercharged (556 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2013 Cadillac CTS owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

4WD/AWD components

"the different sensor went out a diff. times causing unsafe travel. Fault with components"

Anonymous, NH (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)

"And stopped working"

Anonymous, VT (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)

"4WD and Traction Control shut down during a snowstorm resulting in loss of control of vehicle."

Anonymous, NY (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
CV joint

"Joint failed on one side of the car while under warranty. Failed on the other side of the car 1,000 miles out of warranty."

Anonymous, NY (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Driveshaft or axle

"Wheel bearing replacement"

Gerald S., IL (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)
Stability control (ESC)

"should not have happened so soon."

Anonymous, NH (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)

"I'm not sure if it was ESC, but when I pressed the accellerator , it seemed as if it the car was slow in responding. I immediately drove to the Cadillac dealership who told me it was a problem with the gas pedal(that I didn't understand) but it was corrected and I haven't had another problem."

Anonymous, AL (2013 Cadillac CTS)

"Rust hampered the way the computer monitors the esc so a warning light came on. Dealer fixed it under extended warenty"

Ben S., NY (2013 Cadillac CTS 3.0-L V6)

"Front,passenger side, wheel bearing and hub assembly has been replaced 3 times.Twice by me and once by previous owner."

Anonymous, CA (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)
Traction control

"sensors went out on 3 of the 4 plus bearings"

Anonymous, NH (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)

"Bad Sensor"

Neal P., IL (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Headlights

"The headlight on the passenger side developed a water leak, the cost of replacement for the part alone was $1250.00. Total repair cost was $1500!"

Anonymous, MA (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Heated or cooled seats

"very expensive to fix 1200 dollars"

Anonymous, NH (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)
Keyless entry

"passenger side sensor inoperable"

Anonymous, VA (2013 Cadillac CTS CTS-V 3.0-L V6)

"Doors locked automatically even with key fob inside vehicle. Could not unlock doors with other key fob. Eventually, we think we determined it to be a bad battery; the one in the car, not the fob, although we replaced both"

Anonymous, MI (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)
Warning lights

"Service Light comes on (senser problem). Trunk latch problem."

Anonymous, FL (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"drain clogged on sunroof"

Philip B., NY (2013 Cadillac CTS 3.0-L V6)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

"Small leak around moon roof"

Cynthia W., MI (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

"Twice the seal around the sun roof has needed to be fixed"

Anonymous, MD (2013 Cadillac CTS 3.0-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

"The driver's seat has already squeaked. I have taken it in numerous times when I first bought it but, after a couple of years, the squeak has returned."

Kenneth S., TX (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

"Noise in the dash in the area of the light that shows the speed on the windshield."

Anonymous, NC (2013 Cadillac CTS CTS-V 3.6-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"rear taillight 1/2 inch gap from top molding on both sides. can not go thru car wash. might catch and tear off taillight"

Zane E., FL (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Loose interior trim or moldings

"creaking noise in the driver's seat back"

Anonymous, FL (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Poor quality easily cracks"

Anonymous, MA (2013 Cadillac CTS CTS-V 3.0-L V6)

"front corner panel chipped and fell out about one inch circle. Dealer decline warranty to fix."

Zane E., FL (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

"brake system overhaul"

Anonymous, VA (2013 Cadillac CTS CTS-V 3.0-L V6)
Normal routine brake wear

"Had to do the front brakes pads no roters"

John M., BC (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.0-L V6)
Parking brake

"The problems with the CUE system and the parking brake going on while driving caused GM to buy the car back under California's Lemon Law."

Anonymous, CA (2013 Cadillac CTS 3.6-L V6)
Rotors

"vibration at moderate braking"

Philip B., NY (2013 Cadillac CTS 3.0-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Ball joints

"odd noises coming from the front suspension and have had it fixed several times. With wear and tear the noises come back"

Anonymous, CA (2013 Cadillac CTS 3.6-L V6)
Electronic or air suspension

"Learned after purchase of off lease CTS that suspension was similar to European sports cars. Drives great. Rides like a truck. Not good for an old couple used to driving comfortable Buicks since 1988..Should have stayed with a new Buick sedan at about same price."

Anonymous, GA (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

"This is all part of the same problem"

Anonymous, CA (2013 Cadillac CTS 3.6-L V6)
Wheel bearings

"I started to hear a noise in my right wear tire, took it in to my mechanic and he told my the noise was caused by a bad wheel bearing, so I had it replaced."

Anonymous, (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Transmission computer

"Coding went bad. Irregular pick-up and gear change"

Wiley M., GA (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

"Has a problem shifting around 36 to 38 mph especially going up hill. Strong vibration in middle of car underneath between and just behind the front seats. Have not had it to the shop yet as it is 50 miles away and there have been health problems"

Anonymous, MO (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Transmission leaks

"Had a leak and had to replace torque converter Car was always well maintained - oil, inspections... I could feel the hesitation in changing gears"

Anonymous, PA (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Backup or other camera/sensors

"Lost its focus- blurry"

M H., MI (2013 Cadillac CTS CTS-V 3.6-L V6)
Display screen freezes up

"Display freezes. Will not accept any input---can't even change the radio station. GPS is really bad. A hand held GPS works better"

Mark P., CA (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"I am using this area to relate to the CUE system. That was where all the problems were. Parking brake applied while driving-heater and seat warmers came on etc."

Anonymous, CA (2013 Cadillac CTS 3.6-L V6)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Torque converter

"combined with last answer"

Anonymous, PA (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Transmission started slipping into neutral while stopped for stop sign or stop light. Got it towed to dealership for diagnosis. Dealership took over 6 months to fix the problem because they originally did not want to replace the entire transmission but tried to determine what in the transmission was failing. They eventually replaced the transmission."

Anonymous, TX (2013 Cadillac CTS CTS-V 6.2-L V8 supercharged)

"first ever purchase of dealer warrant. Not wisest choice, but have used a bit over third of cost, with one hundred $ decuctible, at over 75000 mile. 38 mos or 100000 tops left on dealer warranty. More than you wanted to know. Cardrives well, but I am too old for its poor ride"

Wiley M., GA (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Sunroof

"Sun roof rubber seal came loose"

Anonymous, MA (2013 Cadillac CTS CTS-V 3.0-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Evaporator

"Evaporator core condensation suddenly started draining into the front of the passenger compartment. The problem was diagnosed as a clogged drain line and the solution was to clean the line. and debris in the case that surrounds the evaporator"

Kent B., FL (2013 Cadillac CTS Base 3.6-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

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