Hands-On With The Cadillac CTS Infotainment System

Telescoping touch-screen with three-dimensional imaging of landmarks

Cadillac’s 2008 CTS will have an all inclusive ‘infotainment’ system to meet all your in-car entertainment needs. Not only do you get GPS and XM radio, but you’ll also have a 40GB HDD onboard to store your MP3s. Trendscape analyst Michael Tchong was on hand to dish out the latest trends in in-car entertainment systems and the importance of safety because of such amenities in your ride.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught myself fiddling with my iPod or fumbling with my cell phone while driving and nearly crashing on several occasions. What about the infotainment system you might ask?

The radio and XM in action

In a nutshell it was pretty exciting, but I don’t have a need for a car in NYC, so maybe someone in our audience will find this useful. The GPS system powered by XM Satellite Radio featured real-time traffic conditions (3- to 5-minute cycle) and the usual specs you’d find on other built-in GPS units. Maps are provided by NaviTech and seemed to be spot-on. The touch-screen was responsive and the use of ‘voice tags,’ which are shorter than normal voice commands was a nice addition. But GPS units bore me so let’s move on, shall we?

Sorry for the blurry pic. The GM logo pops up when you plug your iPod into the auxilliary port

The addition of a HDD in a car is pretty cool, but definitely not a new feature. What is cool is that you have the ability to rip tracks from any CD and store them onto the 40GB HDD, but you’ll only have about 10GB of actual storage space as it shares the wealth with the GPS and XM functions. Thanks to Gracenote anything you rip is tagged with song name, artist, genre, etc. You have the ability to organize your music like you would on your iPod or any other MP3 player.

USB and auxiliary audio ports

Another feature worth noting is the digital audio recording capability that has a 60-minute rolling window whether the car is on or off. Say what?! Oh yeah. Let’s say you’re listening to Opie and Anthony, but you want to hear the last few minutes of the game. Normally, that would cause a problem because you’d have to pick one or the other. Now you can do both. You can Pause O&A and come back to it later without missing a joke. It continues to record even when the car is off and you’re in the store getting a case of beer. That’s cool and you know it.

As with all in-dash DVD players you can’t watch anything unless the car is in Park, but the six-disc in-dash CD changer should keep you occupied if nothing is on XM. The Bose 5.1 Cabin Surround 10-speaker system does a bang up job delivering crystal clear sound in conjunction with AudioPilot’s noise compensation technology. You can’t beat the nice ‘gadgety’ features this Cadillac boasts, but the name alone will grab your attention.