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Jan Olsson

Impression of the V

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I thought that I would give a brief summary of my driving impressions and thoughts about owning a 2012 CTS-V so far. I picked it up at the dealers 5 days ago and have already put 870 miles on it!

Since I live in Sweden I’m used to very coarse road pavement and low profile tires and Swedish roads can be quite noisy. But I don’t mind because I know that the roads are to blame, not the Cadillac. Did you know that Toyota have a piece of test track in Japan to simulate Swedish roads? That is how bad the roads are. It is extremely uncommon to encounter REAL asphalt. What the Swedish road department calls asphalt is coarse gravel stuck together with tar. When the surface needs to be done they mill of about 1-2 inches of the old surface and pour out some new gravel/tar mixture. As a reference we did a journey to Legoland in Denmark (400 miles in all) and the noisiest pavement over there is quieter than the finest we have over here in the southern of Sweden…

The V is extremely well behaving even in rain storms and is just a blast to drive. It sticks like glue to the road and obeys every adjustment instantly regardless of speed. Since I had the Magna Ride on my previous STS as well I’m already familiar with the concept but in the V it is taken to an entire new level. I found the V to provide a just as soft ride as my previous Jaguar Super V8 with air cushioning did!  With the V’s perfect weight distribution and all supporting systems on it is extremely fun, safe and easy to drive even if you floor it. I managed to average 17.7 mpg on the way home from Denmark which I think is good considering the weight of the vehicle almost fully loaded. That was about 20 mph over posted speed mostly.

I like going fast but not ridiculously fast all the time. I did however find an isolated straight stretch of freeway with no cars, no trees, wild life fences, no houses and no intersections and got up to 168 mph before I let of. It did take neither time nor road to get to that speed. WHAM and the V was up in speed! No wind noice to mention at all! I thought that the STS was stable at speeds and insensitive for winds, but that was before J

Put the tranny in sport mode and sport suspension mode and you can overtake any car on any road with full confidence (if you feel comfortable with people honking and flashing the lights).

The exterior and interior feels very solid and the controls are logical and well placed. I find the Recaros a perfect fit after some adjustments, the steering wheel feels a little bit to big but I’m sure that I will adapt to it.

To explain (you can skip this rant if you like): I drive fast but I never drive dirty in the meaning of forcing other people to brake or veer for me. On the other hand people here do brake and veer from me even if I reenter the lane a hundred yards ahead of the car I’m passing just not to scare them. This I believe comes from uninvolved driving. Let me explain my thoughts. Today it is not “cool” to like to drive a car in Sweden. It is absolutely not supposed to be fun and that is, I believe, how Volvo remains in business. “Oh no! We are killing the polar bears, melting the planet, raising the see level with five yards etc. etc.” Since the easily misled people are convinced it is not socially acceptable to like to drive a car and the taxes and fines connected to driving are excruciating people buy a 100 hp Volkswagen and naturally get bored with driving and cars in general. Car driving has been degraded to just a mean to get from A to B. When people aren’t interested in something, they can’t be good at it. Where I live people break every traffic rule there is except from the speed limits on urban roads. I’m their direct opposite. I follow every single rule but really don’t care for the speed limits outside of the city limits. I generally drive just under about 20 mph to fast which is the breaking point for losing the license if the police discover it. I guess the reason they get angry is that when they floor their cars they can’t stop me from passing them. Over the last five years or so it seems to become a sport to hinder people as much as possible in the traffic. People change lanes just in front of you, forcing you to slam the brakes and then floor their car so you can’t pass them before they try to overtake the next car in line on the highways. People for that matter can go as slow as 40 on a 50 mph road and suddenly accelerate to 65 when you try to overtake them. The last couple of years I’ve seen a drastic increase in stupid and dangerous behavior in traffic. Truck drivers driving with booth their feet on the instrument panel, bus drivers reading newspapers while driving, women doing their make-up, of course a lot of texting, DVD-watching, talking with the passengers and looking at them while doing so instead of watching the road to mention a few. I have never been involved in an accident on my +435 k miles on the roads but I’m sure that when it finally happens it will be a frontal accident with some moron like that. And they call me a road hazard…

 

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