Cadillac has decided that they want to be taken seriously in the automotive world so they’ve built cars to play with the big boys, but can they charge as much, or more, than the German big boys?
This point of this is to not discuss whether or not the new ATS and CTS are as good or better than their German rivals, but can they charge as much more as their German rivals? This question is predicated on the cars being worthy competitors which I’m sure many of you would argue that they are, and the auto journalists tend to agree, but I will not delve into that any further.
The discussion of price came up when I was reading about the new CTS in Car and Driver, and I began to think about it more while reading the review in Road and Track and they criticized the CTS for not offering nearly as much passenger and cargo space as the 5 Series, Cadillac’s main target, and I’m sure it’s the same case with the E Class. So I decided to do some quick research and I found that Cadillac is charging more than BMW than a similarly built 5 Series, roughly the same as a Mercedes E Class, and they charged way more than an Audi A6. When it comes to the ATS it was only a little bit cheaper than the 3 Series, but more expensive than the A4.
For those who do not want to research I’ve already done I’ll provide the numbers I found. A CTS V Sport is $69,995 and that’s fully loaded because they still do packages and don’t do individual items like the Germans. A BMW 550i with roughly the same features is cheaper, barely, at $69,775. Now when I got to Mercedes things got a little harder because they’re dumb and only offer the E550 in 4Matic, but I checked to see what Cadillac and BMW charge for AWD and it’s about $2,150, I just split the difference between Cadillac which charges $2,000 and BMW charges $2,300. So the Mercedes E550 4Matic costs $72,915 with roughly the same features, so subtracting the 4Matic it comes out to $70,765. And an A6 only costs $61,595, the clear bargain of the group, except that it doesn’t have as much power but we’ll get to that. Now the ATS versus the 3 Series and A4: an ATS 2.0 Luxury costs $40,870 compared to $42,175 for a 328i and $38,395 when all three have similar options selected. Now that we know the prices we can discuss them.
So the cars are all pretty similar mostly: the BMW and Mercedes have twin turbo V8’s while the Cadillac only has a twin turbo V6, and the Audi has a supercharged V6 but it only has 310 or so horsepower, but since it had a similar engine as the CTS I felt it reasonable to compare the two. I would have used the S6 since it has a V8, but it was wayyy to expensive, and it is technically a different model so I didn’t.
So is the CTS really worthy to be priced so close to the Germans, especially when it only has a V6 while two Germans are packing super badass V8’s? Well, that’s up to you to decide, if I was spending $70,000 I’d want a V8, especially if it was only few hundred more, but that’s just me. If we use the Oppo/Jalop criteria though I think the BMW would win because it’s more powerful while being cheaper, but BMW drivers are thought of as asshats so I guess the advantage gets negated. I’m partial to the Mercedes but AWD is stupid so again it’s a wash. And the Audi is too underpowered for the money, so I don’t want it. But what happens when we ignore those things and think of them as equal? Well it comes down to the badge on the front.
Cadillac, and the rest of the American brands, has always been known to be cheaper than their German rivals while offering the same or more in terms on standard options. Part of the reason, I believe, is because the Germans can charge customers more for the privilege of having one of their badges in their driveways. I think no matter how good an American car is, or isn’t, the common folk who buy these cars will always place more weight on the badge on the car; they don’t care about the value of buying an American brand, they would rather pay more and be a brand snob. That’s why I think Cadillac won’t do as well as they could if they charged less than they are. But this is my opinion based on my conversations with people who buy these cars and tell me what factored in when they bought the car, and 500% of the time it was the badge on the car. But maybe it will be different with the CTS since buyers of that section of the market tend to be older and don’t care as much about the badge, that’s why Lexus’s are mostly bought by old people, and the same goes for Cadillac.
What do you think? Is Cadillac’s pricing okay? Do you think that the quality of the two Cadillac’s is the same as the German rivals?
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