Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2009 BMW M3 VS 2009 Cadillac CTS-V Near Phoenix, AZ

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2009 BMW M3

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VS

2009 Cadillac CTS-V

Safety Comparison

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The M3 offers optional Park Distance Control to help warn drivers about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind their vehicle. The CTS-V doesn’t offer any parking assist system.

Both the M3 and the CTS-V have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

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The M3’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the CTS-V’s (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the M3 for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Cadillac doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CTS-V.

Reliability Comparison

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For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the M3 has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engine in the CTS-V.

Engine Comparison

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As tested in Car and Driver the BMW M3 is faster than the Cadillac CTS-V (manual transmissions tested):

M3

CTS-V

Zero to 60 MPH

4.1 sec

4.3 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the M3 gets better fuel mileage than the CTS-V:

M3

CTS-V

Manual

14 city/20 hwy

13 city/19 hwy

Auto

14 city/20 hwy

14 city/19 hwy

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The M3 stops much shorter than the CTS-V:

M3

CTS-V

80 to 0 MPH

195 feet

197 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

166 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The M3 Sedan handles at .95 G’s, while the CTS-V pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Road & Track skidpad test.

The M3 Sedan goes through Road & Track’s slalom 3.2 MPH faster than the CTS-V (72.9 vs. 69.7 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

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The BMW M3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 500 pounds less than the Cadillac CTS-V.

The M3 Sedan is 11.2 inches shorter than the CTS-V, making the M3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the BMW M3 amounts to more than styling. The M3 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .3 Cd. That is significantly lower than the CTS-V (.355) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the M3 get better fuel mileage.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the M3 Sedan is quieter than the CTS-V:

M3

CTS-V

At idle

48 dB

53 dB

Full-Throttle

83 dB

85 dB

70 MPH Cruising

70 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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The M3 Sedan has .8 inches more front shoulder room and .3 inches more rear headroom than the CTS-V.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the M3 Sedan easier. The M3 Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26.75 inches, while the CTS-V’s liftover is 28.3 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The M3’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the CTS-V.

The M3 has a lever hand brake in the console, easy to use while keeping both feet free and not impeding entry and exit. The CTS-V’s foot pedal parking brake is not handy to use as a hill holding device with a manual transmission.

The M3’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The CTS-V’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left down on the M3 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder; on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the CTS-V can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The M3 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The CTS-V doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The M3’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The CTS-V’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the M3 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The CTS-V doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

A power rear sun shade is optional in the M3 Sedan/Coupe to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The CTS-V doesn’t offer a rear sun shade.

The M3 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The CTS-V has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

A built-in pollen filter with a charcoal activated canister removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the M3’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The CTS-V doesn’t offer a filtration system.

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