Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2011 BMW 3 Series VS 2011 Cadillac CTS Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2011 BMW 3 Series

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VS

2011 Cadillac CTS

Safety Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan offers optional Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The CTS Sedan doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the 3 Series Sedan and the CTS Sedan 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, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.

Warranty Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the CTS Sedan’s (12 vs. 6 years).

Reliability Comparison

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A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without their vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports predicts that the BMW 3 Series Sedan xDrive 335i’s reliability will be 38% better than the Cadillac CTS Sedan 2WD and the BMW 3 Series Sedan 2WD 328i is 55% better than the Cadillac CTS Sedan AWD.

Engine Comparison

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The 335i Sedan’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 27 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 273) than the CTS Sedan’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

The 3 Series Sedan’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 202 lbs.-ft. more torque (425 vs. 223) than the CTS Sedan’s standard 3.0 DOHC V6. The 3 Series Sedan’s 3.0 turbo diesel produces 152 lbs.-ft. more torque (425 vs. 273) than the CTS Sedan’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW 3 Series Sedan is faster than the Cadillac CTS Sedan 3.6 V6 (manual transmissions tested):

328i Sedan

335i Sedan

CTS Sedan

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

4.9 sec

6.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.1 sec

12.1 sec

16.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

13.6 sec

14.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

96 MPH

105 MPH

95 MPH

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the 3 Series Sedan’s engines produce their peak torque and horsepower at lower RPM’s than the CTS Sedan:

Horsepower

Torque

328i Sedan 3.0 DOHC 6 cyl.

6500 RPM

2750 RPM

335i Sedan 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

5800 RPM

1200 RPM

CTS Sedan 3.0 DOHC V6

7000 RPM

5700 RPM

CTS Sedan 3.6 DOHC V6

6400 RPM

5200 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the 335d Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the CTS Sedan Auto RWD (23 city/36 hwy vs. 18 city/27 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the 3 Series Sedan RWD gets better fuel mileage than the CTS Sedan RWD:

3 Series Sedan

CTS Sedan

3.0 6 cyl./Manual

18 city/28 hwy

16 city/26 hwy

3.0 V6

3.0 turbo 6 cyl./Manual

19 city/28 hwy

16 city/25 hwy

3.6 V6

3.0 6 cyl./Auto

18 city/28 hwy

18 city/27 hwy

3.0 V6

3.0 turbo 6 cyl./Auto

19 city/28 hwy

18 city/27 hwy

3.6 V6

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan stops shorter than the CTS Sedan:

3 Series Sedan

CTS Sedan

70 to 0 MPH

160 feet

162 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

118 feet

Road & Track

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan’s optional 225/40R18 front and 255/35R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CTS Sedan 3.6 V6’s optional 45 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 3 Series Sedan can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The CTS Sedan doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The 335i Sedan handles at .95 G’s, while the CTS Sedan pulls only .87 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 335d Sedan goes through Road & Track’s slalom 6.8 MPH faster than the CTS Sedan (70.5 vs. 63.7 MPH).

Chassis Comparison

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The BMW 3 Series Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 500 pounds less than the Cadillac CTS Sedan.

The 3 Series Sedan is 1 foot, 1.4 inches shorter than the CTS Sedan, making the 3 Series Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Road & Track, the interior of the 335d Sedan is quieter than the CTS Sedan:

3 Series Sedan

CTS Sedan

Full-Throttle

71 dB

77 dB

50 MPH Cruising

62 dB

65 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

68 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan has .3 inches more rear headroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the CTS Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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With its coupe, convertible or sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the 3 Series Sedan offers cargo security. The CTS Sedan’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

The 3 Series Sedan’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The CTS Sedan’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan has a lever hand brake in the console, easy to use while keeping both feet free and not impeding entry and exit. The CTS Sedan’s foot pedal parking brake is not handy to use as a hill holding device with a manual transmission.

The 3 Series Sedan’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 Sedan’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left down on the 3 Series Sedan the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the CTS Sedan can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 3 Series Sedan 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 Sedan doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The 3 Series Sedan’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 Sedan’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 3 Series Sedan to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The CTS Sedan doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the 3 Series Sedan has a standard rear wiper. The CTS Sedan doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 3 Series Sedan offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CTS Sedan doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high-beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the 3 Series Sedan detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low-beams. The CTS Sedan doesn’t offer automatic dimming high-beams.

A power rear sun shade is optional in the 3 Series Sedan to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The CTS Sedan doesn’t offer a rear sun shade.

When the 3 Series Sedan with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The CTS Sedan’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The 3 Series Sedan 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 Sedan has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the 3 Series Sedan offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The CTS Sedan doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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Insurance will cost less for the 3 Series Sedan owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 3 Series Sedan will cost $243 to $2043 less than the CTS Sedan over a five-year period.

The 3 Series Sedan will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the 3 Series Sedan will retain 46.06% to 48.89% of its original price after five years, while the CTS Sedan only retains 35.98% to 43.43%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 3 Series Sedan is less expensive to operate than the CTS Sedan because it costs $858 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 3 Series Sedan than the CTS Sedan, including $913 less for an alternator, $1 less for fuel injection and $287 less for a fuel pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW 3 Series Sedan will be $3605 to $4416 less than for the Cadillac CTS Sedan.

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