For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Cadillac CTS-V Sedan/Sport Wagon are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Ford Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
The CTS-V has standard Rear Park Assist to help warn drivers about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind their vehicle. The CTS-V also has a standard backup monitor to help drivers see any and all obstacles behind their vehicle. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer any parking assist system.
Compared to metal, the CTS-V’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Ford Shelby GT500 has a metal gas tank.
The CTS-V has standard OnStar ®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the CTS-V and the Shelby GT500 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.
The CTS-V comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Shelby GT500’s 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the CTS-V 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Ford covers the Shelby GT500. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Shelby GT500 ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
The CTS-V’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Shelby GT500’s (6 vs. 5 years).
Cadillac pays for scheduled maintenance on the CTS-V for 4 years and 50,000 miles. Cadillac will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Shelby GT500.
The CTS-V has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the car’s engine.
To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the CTS-V has a standard 730-amp battery. The Shelby GT500’s 590-amp battery isn’t as powerful.
The battery on the CTS-V is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures, which can degrade battery life. By keeping the CTS-V’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Shelby GT500’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are better in initial quality than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 27th, below the industry average.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in reliability, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 8th.
The CTS-V has 2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Shelby GT500 (18 vs. 16 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The CTS-V has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.
For superior ride and handling, the Cadillac CTS-V has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Ford Shelby GT500 has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CTS-V’s wheelbase is 6.3 inches longer than on the Shelby GT500 (113.4 inches vs. 107.1 inches).
The CTS-V’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (51% to 49%) than the Shelby GT500’s (56.9% to 43.1%). This gives the CTS-V more stable handling and braking.
As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the CTS-V Coupe is quieter than the Shelby GT500 Coupe:
70 MPH Cruising
The CTS-V Sedan has standard seating for 5 passengers; the Shelby GT500 can only carry 4.
The CTS-V Coupe has 3.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Shelby GT500 Coupe (86.6 vs. 83.3).
The CTS-V Coupe has 1.1 inches more front hip room, .7 inches more front shoulder room, 5.2 inches more rear legroom and .9 inches more rear hip room than the Shelby GT500 Coupe.
The CTS-V Automatic has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The driver can also remotely turn on the heater or air conditioner. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the CTS-V has a power telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.
When two different drivers share the CTS-V, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer a memory system.
The CTS-V’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The CTS-V’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them. Ford does not offer a locking feature on the Shelby GT500’s power windows.
The CTS-V’s front and rear power windows all lower 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 Shelby GT500’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open them fully.
Keyless Access standard on the CTS-V allows the driver to unlock the doors, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the car in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Ford Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer an advanced key system.
The CTS-V’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 Shelby GT500’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The CTS-V Sedan/Wagon has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer headlight washers.
To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the CTS-V has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer cornering lights.
The CTS-V’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.
The CTS-V’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.
The CTS-V Sedan/Wagon has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.
The CTS-V has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Shelby GT500.
For greater rear passenger comfort, the CTS-V has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Shelby GT500 doesn’t offer rear vents.
Insurance will cost less for the CTS-V owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the CTS-V will cost $300 to $6025 less than the Shelby GT500 over a five-year period.