FIRST IMPRESSIONS: If you’re into snazzy-looking, European-style sports sedans, your initial impressions of Cadillac’s 2010 CTS are apt to be very favorable. The exterior styling, first off, is superb: clean, angular, aggressive. The interior is plush and comfortable, with the cutting-edge amenities you’d expect in a Caddy. Add enough oomph to keep up with just about anyone on the road, and this CTS is one car you’ll hate to climb out of.

BOTTOM LINE: Our test car boasted the 3.6-liter V-6, a nice step up from the entry-level CTS, which has a 3.0-liter six. Paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, the 3.6 generates 304 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque, compared to the 270 horses and 223 pound-feet provided by the 3.0. Our tester also featured a performance luxury package marked by the likes of rear parking assistance, heated and cooled seats, and elegant-looking Sapele wood trim.

The performance package added on 19-inch polished aluminum wheels, as well as a satisfyingly firm sport suspension. The 14-way, adjustable Recaro seats were super-comfortable, and a state-of-the-art nav screen popped up out of the center stack. You also get Bose sound, XM radio, and—not to be underestimated in Texas’ sweltering summer heat—outstanding AC. Just about our only complaint: as in all too many cars these days, it’s fairly tough to see out the CTS’s rear window. 
 
TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY:
With great looks, handling, and power, our test car could easily go head-to-head with the model’s main rivals: Audi’s A4, the BMW 3-Series, and Infiniti’s G37. If you’re in the market for a five-passenger, midsize luxury sedan—and care not only about styling and performance, but also supporting good old U.S. autoworkers to boot—the CTS is worth serious consideration.