At $12,900, Would Buying This 2005 Cadillac CTS-V Be A Victory?

A rare six-speed manual makes this capable Caddy stand out.

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Nice Price or No Dice 2005 Cadillac CTS-V
Photo: Craigslist

The ad for today’s Nice Price or No Dice CTS-V calls out the car for being loud in both its Bose stereo and its exhaust. Let’s see if the price tag on this well-equipped car is also a reason to shout.

Yesterday, a lot of you took umbrage with the fact that the 1957 Chevy 210 we considered was a four-door. Now, admittedly, a coupe or two-door sedan would have been the chef’s kiss for an old-school hot rod — letting you feel a little like James Taylor in Two Lane Blacktop — but then around here we do like to live by the adage “run whatcha brung.”

The patina’d paint and a good bit of missing chrome added to the chevy’s woes, but it didn’t manage to drag down its $8,500 asking price. That ended the day with a narrow but decisive 51 percent Nice Price win.

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Image for article titled At $12,900, Would Buying This 2005 Cadillac CTS-V Be A Victory?
Photo: Craigslist

You know, back when yesterday’s Chevy was new, another General Motors division sat at the pinnacle of the American automotive market. The division was Cadillac, and to the post-war car-buying public, that GM brand represented the epitome of luxury and status. Ford’s upscale Lincoln marque played in the same stratosphere, but the brand really didn’t carry the same cachet as did Cadillac.

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Caddy enjoyed that position through the 1960s and into the ’70s. By then, however, things began to change. The most notable of those change agents was a wave of petroleum production slowdowns caused by OPEC as a way to flex the organization’s political muscle. The resultant gas shortages and spikes in prices caused car buyers of all ilks to look for more fuel-efficient options, and that included luxury car buyers who began trading in their Cadillac boats for smaller and more efficient options from the likes of Mercedes, BMW, and Jaguar. The threat to the American carmakers became so acute that Cadillac released its own smaller, more fuel miserly car, the Seville, in 1975.

Image for article titled At $12,900, Would Buying This 2005 Cadillac CTS-V Be A Victory?
Photo: Craigslist
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That was the first real effort Cadillac made to rebrand itself in an attempt to remain relevant in the American luxury car market. Over the years we’ve seen other attempts — the failed Cimarron and Catera, and the more successful Escalade — none of which have ever really stuck the landing.

In the early 2000s, Cadillac decided to embrace luxury performance as a way to compete and at the forefront of this effort was a performance line designated by the letter “V,” and a new front-engine/rear-wheel-drive compact car called the CTS. The CTS-V would get its marching orders from a 5.7 liter V8 donated by Chevy’s Corvette and would be offered with a manual transmission, the first such row-yer-own to debut in a Cadillac product since the launch of the lamentable Cimarron of the 1980s.

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Image for article titled At $12,900, Would Buying This 2005 Cadillac CTS-V Be A Victory?
Photo: Craigslist

This clean-title 2005 Cadillac CTS-V has 116,181 miles on the clock and is described as “fast and loud” by its seller. What makes it fast and loud is the 400 horsepower V8 sitting under the hood. That’s mated to a Tremec six-speed stick through a dual-mass flywheel and which in turn sends the ponies back to a limited-slip differential sitting in the middle of an independently sprung rear suspension. Heavy-duty roll bars and shocks/struts help keep the car in line, and the whole ball of wax rolls on model-specific 18-inch alloys wrapped in fat meats.

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Image for article titled At $12,900, Would Buying This 2005 Cadillac CTS-V Be A Victory?
Photo: Craigslist

Here those alloys have been powder coated in black, save for the Caddy crest at their centers. Also murdered out is the mesh grille and its surround and all the rear trim. If you like that, it’s a good look. If not, well, look elsewhere.

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The interior is upholstered in a mix of leather and suede and is also, appropriately enough, all black. The car carries a large-for-the-era center stack screen and an air freshener hanging from the rear-view mirror. Hopefully, it’s not a pumpkin spice aroma, I hate that. Everything looks perfectly serviceable here, albeit a bit tight in the back, a result of the Caddy’s Sigma platform being RWD and just 113-inches between the axles. A Bose stereo system — also described as loud — provides the tunage.

Image for article titled At $12,900, Would Buying This 2005 Cadillac CTS-V Be A Victory?
Photo: Craigslist
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The ad makes no mention of any mechanical or aesthetic issues being present. It does note that the car “runs great and has lots of nice features.” That, of course, is befitting of a Cadillac. In the space Caddy has carved for itself in the upscale car market, you still need your luxury along with your performance.

Seeing as it’s 16 years old and a good bit of the new has worn off, this CTS-V handily doesn’t carry a luxury car price tag. The asking is $12,900 and when considered on the bang for your buck scale, that’s a pretty good deal. We use a lot of factors when considering any car’s ultimate fate, however, and now it’s time for you to do just that.

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What do you say, is this black-on-black-on-black-on-black CTS-V worth that $12,900 price? Or, is that just too loud an ask?

You decide!

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Tri-Cities, Washington, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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