Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips and Reviews

A silver 2017 used Cadillac CTS is shown against a blue sky.

Best Used Car Values: Cadillac CTS and ATS

If you are looking for the best value on the used car market, you’ll find a used Cadillac at the top of just about every list. More specifically, you’ll see that the Cadillac CTS and ATS models routinely finish in the top two for overall value. You might think this is a negative thing to say about a car, but in this instance, it’s actually more indicative of the tremendous value inherent in a used Cadillac. It’s not so much that these luxury sedans fall victim to depreciation as most people assume—every vehicle depreciates when buying new—what’s interesting is where the hidden value lies in a used Cadillac amid this tremendous opportunity.

The real reason for this opportunity lies in the fact that people tend to lease luxury vehicles more than other vehicles, so there is a constant influx of 3-year-old vehicles in the used-car market, which drives prices lower. This is the sweet spot of the luxury used car market and an excellent place to start your search for a used Cadillac. But why shop for a Cadillac and not look at other luxury automakers? Cadillac recently underwent a renaissance in the luxury-car segment and has now established itself as a true player in the global luxury-car market. With their performance upgrades and luxury features, they are a domestic alternative to the often-overpriced foreign luxury automakers. While you will be able to find the same performance and luxury, you will also find the price much more reasonable.

CTS: Luxury and Value

A silver 2017 used Cadillac CTS is driving on a race track.

So let’s take a look at the Cadillac CTS and see what exactly gives it such value, and which years you should be looking for. It is surprising, when you run the numbers, just how much more you can get for your money when you buy a used Cadillac as opposed to a new vehicle from a volume automaker, such as Ford or Chevy. What would you rather have in your garage, a 2020 Chevy Malibu or a 2017 Cadillac CTS? That’s essentially what your decision comes down to as they can both be found at the same price. The 2020 Chevy Malibu starts at $22,095, before even adding on all of the must-have options, while you will find many options for a similarly priced Cadillac CTS—with low mileage and many luxury and performance features, such as leather seats and Brembo brakes.

Looking at the 2017 model year for the CTS, you can immediately tell you are in the luxury territory, with the potential for supercar-like performance as well. Inside you’ll find first-rate materials, including soft-touch padding and leather or leatherette upholstery with many convenience and tech features. Even the lowest trim level for this year is called “Luxury,” so you will be sure to find the cabin accordingly outfitted. Standard features included a rearview camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 11-speaker Bose premium audio with three USB inputs, wireless phone charging, push-button start, dual-zone climate control, and voice command. You’ll also appreciate the presence of an 8-inch touchscreen and 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

So clearly you do not need to buy a new car to enjoy the latest in technology, because let’s be honest with ourselves, often luxury vehicles, even those a few years old, have more advanced tech than you will find in more mass-produced cars. But when you get even deeper into your search and start seeing the options available to you, you’ll find much more luxury than you would expect at this price point. Available options you can expect to run into, include leather seating with heated/ventilated front seats, different grains, and styles of wood trim, a sunroof, adaptive cruise control, and tri-zone automatic climate control. That’s quite a list, and while you might not find every feature mentioned here, you just might, and you might find it all at the right price.

Cadillac Performance

Now just when you thought this search couldn’t get any more exciting, there’s the question of which engine to choose. The 2017 Cadillac CTS offers four engine choices, with one of them being for the CTS-V model. These engines range from a fuel-sipping, turbocharged inline-4 to a track-ready 6.2-liter supercharged V8. So there is undoubtedly a choice for every need and lifestyle, even if you spend time at the race track. The base engine is the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4, which puts out 268 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque while returning an impressive 22/30 MPG. Most people would be happy with the combination of fuel efficiency and power. That’s already more horsepower and torque than you will find in the premium offering for the Chevy Malibu, for example.

If you are looking for more power, though, there are other engines you can target in your search. A 3.6-liter V6 offers 335 hp and 285 lb-ft of torque while still getting great gas mileage (20/30 MPG). And if you are after jaw-dropping power, there’s a 3.6-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with an astounding 420 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. Even with all of this power, you can still expect to return 24 MPG on the highway. And keep in mind, you can have all of this for a similar price as a new Malibu that will most likely come with the base engine, where you can expect 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. That’s a substantial difference in performance and power, not to mention all of the luxury features you will be missing out on.

Of course, Cadillac has another option available, and though this one might be more expensive, it’s worth taking a look at: a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 is available for the CTS-V model. This engine boasts a mind-bending 640 hp and 630 lb-ft of torque. This is legendary, tire-smoking power. And while it might not be for everyone who is looking for a used car, it sure is fun to know that there are options like this out there.

Safety in the CTS

There’s also an impressive amount of driver assists and safety features, such as blind-spot monitoring, automatic parking assist, rear camera mirror, and a bird’s-eye 360-degree camera. Plus, there is the Driver Awareness Package, which vibrates the seat when the car starts drifting from your lane, or when you get too close to an object when parking. You’ll also appreciate the parental control system, which allows you to monitor your kids when driving to make sure they are operating safely.

More About Cadillac

A grey 2017 used Cadillac ATS is following a black one on a road with distant hills.

The Cadillac CTS is not the only option, of course, there’s also the Cadillac ATS. If you’re looking for a performance-luxury sedan that competes with the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, the Cadillac ATS is a great choice, as you can find it reasonably priced as well, and this is a car that boasts sophisticated luxury and outstanding performance credentials. This is a car that is designed to be a sports car from the ground up, and that easily matches the best from Europe. The engine choices are equally impressive as the CTS’, as are the luxury amenities. It is also available as a coupe, so that’s another thing you can add to your search that you probably didn’t expect when you started out looking for a used car.

Regardless of which Cadillac fits your lifestyle best, you indeed will not find a better value on the used car market than the Cadillac CTS and ATS.

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