V-6 Power

The CTS coupe's standard 3.6-liter V-6 moves this two-door smartly enough, but it doesn't necessarily feel like there's a 304-horsepower engine under the hood. With a curb weight of around 4,000 pounds and the engine's 273 pounds-feet of peak torque arriving at a high 5,200 rpm, you have to wait longer for the CTS coupe's power to build than you do in the turbocharged 335is or normally aspirated Infiniti G37, both of which provide more immediate thrust.

The coupe is available with a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic, which is what our test car had. It's a good automatic transmission; it shifts unobtrusively when cruising, but if you need to make a quick pass, just floor the gas pedal and it kicks down a few gears. (Though one staffer did notice some lag.) It's simple to initiate a one-gear kickdown by pressing the gas pedal partway, which isn't easy to do in every automatic-equipped car.

The transmission's Sport mode makes the automatic transmission downshift more aggressively, and it enables continuous use of the transmission's clutchless-manual mode; you can change gears yourself if you leave the transmission in Drive, but it reverts to the regular shift program if you stop making selections.

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