Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2017 BMW 3 Series VS 2017 Cadillac CTS Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2017 BMW 3 Series

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VS

2017 Cadillac CTS

Safety Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The CTS Sedan doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the 3 Series Sedan and the CTS Sedan have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the BMW 3 Series Sedan is safer than the Cadillac CTS Sedan:

 

3 Series

CTS

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

150

328

Neck Injury Risk

32%

45%

Neck Stress

115 lbs.

200 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

174/298 lbs.

122/351 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the BMW 3 Series Sedan is safer than the CTS Sedan:

 

3 Series

CTS

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

1 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

19 cm

19 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

ACCEPTABLE

Femur Force R/L

3.4/3.4 kN

5.9/3.7 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

1%/1%

14%/1%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Tibia forces R/L

3.4/4.2 kN

5.7/7.8 kN

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the BMW 3 Series Sedan is safer than the Cadillac CTS Sedan:

 

3 Series

CTS

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

1.1 inches

1.1 inches

Hip Force

184 lbs.

287 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

688 lbs.

701 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

291

297

Spine Acceleration

38 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

513 lbs.

892 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the 3 Series Sedan the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 108 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The CTS Sedan was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

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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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 3 Series Sedan has a standard 900-amp battery. The CTS Sedan’s 730-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 3 Series Sedan’s reliability will be 21% better than the CTS Sedan.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 3 Series Sedan third among compact premium cars in their 2016 Initial Quality Study. The CTS Sedan isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 14th in reliability, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 15th.

Engine Comparison

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As tested in Motor Trend the 330i is faster than the Cadillac CTS Sedan 2.0 Turbo (automatics tested):

 

3 Series

CTS

Zero to 60 MPH

5.5 sec

6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97.9 MPH

93.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the 328d gets better fuel mileage than the CTS 2.0 Turbo:

 

 

3 Series

CTS

 

RWD

Auto

31 city/43 hwy

22 city/30 hwy

 

AWD

Auto

30 city/40 hwy

21 city/29 hwy

 

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

 

 

3 Series

CTS

 

RWD

320i/Manual

23 city/35 hwy

n/a

 

 

330i/Manual

21 city/32 hwy

n/a

 

 

340i/Manual

19 city/29 hwy

n/a

 

 

320i/Auto

23 city/35 hwy

n/a

 

 

330i/Auto

23 city/34 hwy

22 city/30 hwy

2.0 Turbo/Auto

 

340i/Auto

21 city/32 hwy

20 city/30 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

 

 

n/a

16 city/24 hwy

V-Sport/Auto

AWD

320i/Auto

23 city/34 hwy

n/a

 

 

330i/Auto

23 city/33 hwy

21 city/29 hwy

2.0 Turbo/Auto

 

340i/Auto

21 city/31 hwy

19 city/27 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

Regenerative brakes improve the 3 Series Sedan’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CTS Sedan doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Regardless of its engine, the 3 Series Sedan’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The CTS Sedan V-Sport doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan stops shorter than the CTS Sedan:

 

3 Series

CTS

 

80 to 0 MPH

206 feet

208 feet

Road and Track

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

115 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

139 feet

145 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The 340i xDrive handles at .94 G’s, while the CTS Sedan Premium pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 340i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.2 seconds quicker than the CTS Sedan Luxury AWD (25.6 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

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The BMW 3 Series Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 150 to 350 pounds less than the Cadillac CTS Sedan.

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

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the 330i is quieter than the CTS Sedan V-Sport:

 

3 Series

CTS

At idle

40 dB

41 dB

Full-Throttle

71 dB

81 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

66 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan has .2 inches more rear headroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the CTS Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the 3 Series Sedan easier. The 3 Series Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26 inches, while the CTS Sedan’s liftover is 29.5 inches.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 3 Series Sedan’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The CTS Sedan doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

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If the windows are left down on the 3 Series Sedan w/Comfort Access 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 raise the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 standard 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.

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.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 3 Series Sedan is less expensive to operate than the CTS Sedan because it costs $234 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 $586 less for an alternator, $165 less for front brake pads, $437 less for a fuel pump and $73 less for front struts.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW 3 Series Sedan will be $10377 to $21560 less than for the Cadillac CTS Sedan.

Recommendations Comparison

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The BMW 3 Series Sedan has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

3 Series

CTS

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

TRUE

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

FALSE

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 3 Series Sedan third among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The CTS Sedan isn’t in the top three.

The BMW 3 Series outsold the Cadillac CTS by over five to one during the 2016 model year.

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