People know me as a social business enthusiast. So I’ve used the social influence platform Klout to keep track of the digital reach of myself and my network for a few years. Recently they have launched Klout perks, a way to engage users and of course create social influence about products those users love. Speaking of love. I have always loved the aesthetics of cars, not so much the power but the practical creature comforts and use of a vehicle. Cup holders make or break a car. And the Cadillac CTS is a car I’ve had my eye on for years. Imagine my surprise and delight when one day Klout reaches out offering me the chance to drive the brand new 3rd generation CTS for a weekend. When I share with people the return on time invested in social media I focus on business and career benefits. I try not to share the fun and unique stuff to keep expectations realistic. But I won’t lie, I was excited. I have considered the CTS to be the pinnacle of North American business vehicles. You can keep your refined European lines, when this car arrived I knew aggression could fit into a Hugo Boss suit. It’s name is was CTS. The car showed up at my office ( nice touch Klout team ) and it was a long Friday knowing that this beast was waiting in the bowels of the Bay St. garage waiting for me. I had set up a drive for a few friends in the car after work and to honour that grill that means pure testosterone to me – we hit a steakhouse for some rare meat and then, oggle the car. I’m a family guy with a family car but I never miss the Auto Show in Toronto so I’ve kept up with what’s out there. And this car lives on the cutting edge of technology, power and drivability. Sure there’s horsepower to spare but it was the amazing features that blew me away. The Audi A3 that won ‘world car of the year’ supposedly for it’s tech and has a haptic steering wheel. Big deal, the CTS has a haptic drivers seat! The seat vibrates when there is a car in your blind spot, or when you’re backing out of a spot both which is helpful and could save your life. Same thing goes for lane change warnings, awesome. The head’s up display projected into the windshield was connected to the GPS. Sure the Bose sound system was amazing but it was things like the seat cooling system, intelligent tech connection to your phone and automated everything that made the interior more like a cockpit than a car. You’ve heard about the parking assist on many new cars, the CTS actually helps you hunt for a parking spot and then parks for you. I think we parked maybe 25 times, every single person screamed the first time. Even the luxury car owners were freaked out by the technical advance in this feature. That weekend was both Mothers Day and my little boy’s birthday so I have to say a big thanks to Cadillac Canada and Klout for giving me a chance to spoil both of them. But it was me who was spoiled the most. Getting a chance to drive it for a few days showed me the difference in daily driving – my morning drive was transformed. Gone were all the bumps and bothers. I’ve been in BMW’s, Mercedes Benz’s and I love Audi’s but this is a stark reminder that the North American car is back. With a vengeance. My favourite part of the weekend was taking a couple business peers and buddies who owned BMW’s, Audi’s and Mercedes out for a drive. There was some grumbling – ‘I was specifically told Cadillac’s don’t have this, don’t do this’ said one. My own family has owned only North American cars and even my own father admitted he wouldn’t have thought about a Cadillac until he saw how affordable something of this level would be. If you are in the market for a luxury vehicle, you owe it to yourself to just check it out. The tech, the drivability, the usability is incredible. It even survived a trip to Costco. Thanks again Cadillac Canada and Klout, I know many of the #CTSdrive folks valued the drive too. As a social business enthusiast I LOVED that you threw the hashtag on the back of the car! People asked me about it all over town especially where I work on Bay St.. It gave me the opportunity to actually talk about the difference between social media and digital business. Besides the usual commercials and promotion, I leave you with this great review of the car which I totally agree with. What a weekend.