The longer and lower stance of the CTS makes it look athletic, yet elegant…
Review: 2014 Cadillac CTS
One auto trend that shows little sign of waning is the move towards more luxury or premium cars by manufacturers and consumers alike.
As baby boomers age, they have earned the nicer things in life, and the offspring of baby boomers are getting used to the finer things in life, so more automakers are moving upscale.
The Europeans do luxury and performance better than most and the Japanese luxury brands have been putting in their time to becoming a real force. But long before the Japanese, there have always been the American luxury brands, with many firsts in features and technology. Established in 1902, Cadillac is one of the oldest, along with Mercedes-Benz, and continues to be General Motor’s flagship in terms of refinement and technology.
The smaller Cadillac ATS was released a year ago and went on to win the North American Car of the Year award. General Motors has taken that platform and elongated it to produce the lightest mid-sized car in its class. It’s a full 173 kg lighter than the benchmark BMW 5-Series it competes against, and 34 kg lighter than the outgoing car.
A lighter car, made of high tensile steel, is stiffer, safer, handles better and above all is more efficient.
What Cadillac didn’t change was the edgy design language they have become known for. The LED accent lights are especially attractive at night and run vertical compared to most cars’ horizontal approach. The longer and lower stance of the CTS makes it look athletic, yet elegant.
The one weak area is the back. It lacks the same visual punch as the impressive front grille and headlamps.
The new CTS is lighter than the BMW but it is a bit smaller inside. It’s not as wide and the back seat is a bit shorter.
Front seat passengers are treated to plenty of room and a view onto the dash is impressive. The centre console has a touch-screen system called CUE, which has rich colours and striking graphics. The heat, volume and a few other controls are all touch-sensitive, meaning they have no dials or switches. The problem is it shows fingerprints and dust against the shiny black plastic.
With a lighter car comes a better performing car, but the heart of any luxury performance car is a solid engine.
On this front, Cadillac offers three options and all three have more power than the closest competitors. The first is the same 2.0L turbocharged engine used by the ATS. With 272hp it is well above the 240hp offered in the BMW 528i. The carryover engine is the direct injection 3.6L V6 with 321hp, again more than the 300hp in the 535i.
The top of range motor, for now, is the Vsport model with a twin turbocharged version of the 3.6L engine, putting out 420hp. You guessed it, more power than the 400hp found in the V8 550i. The Vsport is only sold as a rear wheel drive car (RWD) where all the others are available with all wheel drive (AWD).
The catch is that AWD models come with an 8-speed automatic transmission, but the AWD versions are fitted with a 6-speed unit. The steering offers good feedback to the driver and the suspension is smooth, yet lively, and has a nearly perfect 50/50 weight distribution.
The price of the CTS ranges from about $51,000 for the base model to $66,000 for the top premium trim level. The Vsport high-performance model is priced at almost $75,000.
The Cadillac CTS is not an inexpensive car, but it offers many features like standard heated and vented leather seats, Bose stereo and push button start even on the base model.
Compared to some of the other mid-sized luxury sedans, it is less expensive, plus it’s a worthy car for any driving enthusiast.
Power: 2.0L 4-cylinder with 155hp 3.6L V6 with 321hp or Turbo 3.6L with 420hp
Fill-up: 10.5L/6.6L/100km (city/highway 2.0L turbo)
Sticker price: $$50,895-$74,495