by Clint Burgess & r & Over the years, there have been a few cars that embody the spirit of style and performance. These are the cars that conjure images of plush interiors and engines that purr. One such car, the Cadillac, has captivated the imagination of drivers. The company has outdone itself again with the CTS -- a model that has the potential to carry the Cadillac legacy well in to the future.

The first noticeable feature about this Cadillac is the design. When the company first rolled it out, there were concerns that it lacked any sort of distinguishing features to make it a Cadillac. Soon after it arrived on the market, it was apparent the only distinguishing feature it needed was the unmistakable grille ornament of the automaker that has become synonymous with style. The CTS is so forward for a company steeped in tradition, it looks more like a land rocket than a Cadillac. But don't let the outward appearance of this futuristic street machine fool you; there's more here than shiny accessories to tantalize the driving enthusiast.

Initially, the CTS looks fairly well rounded for a Cadillac. It has the expected appointments for a car of its stature but also brings a bit more to the table. The suggested retail price on this vehicle is just over $30,000. Considering the options-to-price ratio, this car's a bargain. Stylish niceties abound on this Caddy. Some of the standard options on the base model are leather interior, power everything and one of GM's babies -- the OnStar system. Currently the CTS can be an even better value, as GM is offering employee pricing on all of their vehicles for a limited time. While this might seem like a marketing ploy to move more merchandise -- and it is -- that doesn't negate the fact that the CTS is more of a bargain than it's ever been.

Since this model is classified as a sport sedan, it does retain the characteristics of a sport model. It's also available in an optional sport configuration that adds something for the driver who has to have that extra kick. Standard engine configuration is a 2.8-liter V-6, but the sport option carries a 3.6-liter V-6 under the hood and has beefed up suspension as well as speed-sensitive power steering and 17-inch wheels. The list doesn't stop there, though. Add in some options like a DVD-based navigation system, a Bose stereo system and a sunroof, and this luxury sedan starts to feel more like a Cadillac. Compared to other vehicles in its class, the CTS has the upper hand in regard to space and overall interior design, too. While it is larger than most sport sedans, that translates into a spacious feel inside that doesn't make the car too bulky on the outside.

Overall, the consumer rating of the CTS has been high since its inception. The luxurious feel and numerous accessories keep in line with what drivers expect from a Cadillac. Tight handling, a predisposition for speed and a classy look are a few of the decisive features on this sport sedan. While some critics say this model may be too large to be classified as a sport sedan, the drivers have spoken: The CTS is all the sport they can handle.

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