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03-28-2004, 09:53 AM
I received my new V Friday. I paid list / ordered it exactly 4 weeks prior to delivery / this is the only one that my dealer is allocated for 2004. The car is silver / black interior and has the sunroof.

The transmission feels very good - as good at the manual 5 speed I had in my 2002 330i. The V clutch is excellent. No too hard and with good feel and a good amount of room for engagement. The clutch in my 330i was very hard and abrupt. The throws of the shift lever are a little long but no longer than my BMW. No problem getting into any of the gears. No rattle / solid feel.

The steering is fine. No quite as precise as my 545i but the weighting is fine and it feels good. The steering wheel rim is nice and fat - feels good.

Initial feel of the brakes is quite good. I have not stompted on them since they are not bedded in yeat, but the feel is quite progressive, reqiring the right amount of force. Very similar to the feel of my 545i.

Suspension. Going into a turn, I notice that the V immediately takes a set and leans a little, but the lean does not increase or get sloppy. The car feels vey confident and light going into the turns. I should not that it is not as good as my 545i, which has active suspension anti roll, which is exceptional. However, the V feels lighter and more playful. No sense of front heaviness. Godd balance.
The suspension of the V is a little more firm than the BMW 545i. Both have run flat tires that result in some stiffness over small bumps. I don't mind that. I like a firm suspension. The overall ride quality is vey nice. No floatiness. Tight and controlled. No slopiness

Structure - the chasis seems quite rigid, which is very important to me. However, the doors are not as solid as my 545i. I notice a little wind noise around the doors.

Engine. One immediately knows that his engine wants to play. It is definitely an OHV engine and one can hear the internal compoenents as they do their work. It is quire different from most enginese today, where the goal of the designers is to make it silent and cover up all of the sounds. It is fun to hear it. The engine does result in some shake at idle. This is a muscle car - not a limo. I have not taken it above 4500 rmp yet, but it is intersteing that it really jumps up quickly. One nice thing is that it does not run out of steam at 400 rmp, the way most OHV engines do. This means that the GM engineers spent a lot of effort on enginer breathing. Nice work. I will be anxious to really spin it up after break in.

interior - I like it. This is purely subjective, of course. It is not elegent like a BMW or Mercedes. It is quite attractive and sporting. I like the 15 additional aluminum / nichol satin trim pieces that the V has compared to the regular CTS. The cheap plastic chrome interior door handle pulls in the CTS are very unattractive. These satin nichol (plastic) ones in the V are much nicer. I did not think I would like eiter the ultra suede seat inserts or the contrasting stiching. However, they are both fine. Both give a nice touch to the sporting feel of the car. I do wish that the leather and vinyl seat material had heavier texture, but it is ok.

Exterior. Nice. Agressive looking. The front grill and bumper changes from the CTS are well done. They look even better in person that in the photos. The grill mesh is heavy guage and is vey well executed. The front bumper is quite forceful looking. Overall, I like the looks (more subjective opinion).

Quality - This is a big thing with me. The panel gaps are fine - straight and consistent width. The paint is good. Intersting the silver color is rather dark and had some gold in it. The fit and finish of the interior and exterior is quite good. Even the fit and finish of the trunk is good. Be sure to check out the additional storage compartment where the spare tire would be. As you know, this car does not have a spare.

Defects - There was a pinhead size paint chip on the rear bumper - easily fixed. The front right wheel was scrapped (in the transporter) but the dealer had already ordered a new wheel and tire which will arive next week. That is all. The car is quite nice.

Dealer - I have a great dealer and two great salesmen (who worked together on the deal). The car only had 2 miles on it when I took delivery. They had to beat the dealership people off with a stick to prevent anyone from "a little drive." I had make my desires in this regard very clear and they honored them. They even printed out a page from the shop manual showing the location of the skip shift solnoid so that I can be sure I am working on it instead of the reverse lock out solinoid.

Navigation / personalization controls: The I drive in my 5 series has come unde withering attach for complexity. Guess what - the I drive in my 545i is far simpler than the system in the V. I am not complaining - both are fine to me. Both allow a substantial ability to fine tune the way you want things to be done. The V system is easy to figure out - it just takes a little concentration and patience.


Tom Shea

Rich H
03-28-2004, 01:10 PM
Glad to hear all the praise from a current BMW owner. Excellent comparison to your 330i amd 545i BMWs although I was surprised to hear about the stiff clutch in your 330i. Your CTS V is identical to mine which I ordered about 6 weeks ago and is due to arrive tomorrow. I hope mine arrives with as few problems as you noted. Also happy that you mentioned the silver color is a little different than most since there are so many cars that color on the road - although the aggressive lines of this car won't be confused with any of them.

I like the subtle exterior styling distinction between the base CTS and the V which is similar to the differences between the M5 and 540 series. Nobody suspects you have a rocket until they look closely at the logos or notice the dual exhaust or massive brake rotors.

Rich H.

03-28-2004, 01:35 PM
someone who owns both cars instead of the badge loyal zealots with their OPINIONS and generally negative comments. I to am a previous BMW and Audi owner (328, M3, A4, S4). I decided to try the caddy because I wanted to do something different and give GM a chance to impress me. And they have.

03-28-2004, 03:05 PM
Thanks for taking the time to write your thoughtful and articulate impressions of your car. I hope you will provide additional feedback as you put more miles on it. Your experiences may well determine whether or not I proceed with ordering ther CTS-V. Thanks again!!

03-30-2004, 05:29 PM
Does the BMW Nav system require you to positively press the "I agree" button every time that you access the NAV features of the system?

Never having used a factory NAV system before, this seems a bit silly to me. It seems that it is not the sw license that is the issue, but you seem to be "agreeing" that you will try not to crash into a tree while you are programming in your destination........



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