Buy a Cadillac, Get an iPad

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Later this spring, Cadillac will start selling the 2013 XTS, a $44,995 luxury sedan with a standard infotainment system called CUE (Cadillac User Experience), cameras that provide a 360-degree view, magnetic suspension and other high-tech trimmings.

Oh, and folks who buy one will get one piece of technology that hails from Cupertino, not Detroit: an iPad.

Cadillac says it’s supplying the tablet as a sort of next-generation manual: it’ll come with an app that teaches CTS owners about CUE by walking them through its capabilities, including a simulation of its features. Also included will be a MyCadillac app and OnStar RemoteLink, an app for GM’s OnStar safety/navigation service.

The iPad offer is part of GM’s effort to educate the world about CUE, which also includes hiring a team of geeks to teach Cadillac dealers about the system, mandating that dealers have on-staff technology experts and beefing up the customer-service staff that will field calls from customers.

I’d like to check out CUE and the iPad app and compare the package to competitive car tech like the gadgetry in the Audi A7 I test-drove last year. But as a guy who turns into a maniacal bargain-hunter whenever I buy a car, I confess that my instinctive response to GM’s offer is not “Wow, free iPad!” but “Gee, I already have an iPad — could I skip it and get a price break?”