reaches new heights with the 2014 Cadillac CTS luxury
2014 CTS is the third generation of the sport sedan that
began Cadillac’s renaissance. It has grown longer and
more expensive to compete with midsize luxury sedans
like the Audi A6, BMW 5-series, Lexus GS, and
Mercedes-Benz E-class. The two previous CTS models were
nearly as big as those cars, but priced below them as
Caddy tried to re-establish its luxury credentials.
2014 CTS cements Cadillac’s return to the top tier of
offers a wide variety of drivetrains: three engines, two
transmissions, rear- or all-wheel drive. The base engine
is a 272-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged
four-cylinder. It comes with a six-speed automatic and
costs $45,100 for rear-drive and $47,100 for AWD.
321- horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 pairs with a new
eight-speed automatic on rear-drive models starting at
$53,700. V-6 AWD models get the six-speed auto and start
twin-turbo version of the 3.6L produces 410 horsepower
in the AWD Vsport model, which starts at $59,070. It’s
teamed with the six-speed.
will probably add an even more powerful V-series version
of the CTS later. A coupe is also expected. The odds
look bad for a new version of the handsome CTS station
wagon, though. Cadillac developed the current wagon
primarily for sale in Europe, where station wagons are
very popular. Caddy mothballed its European sales plan
during the Great Recession. Sadly, that probably spells
doom for the CTS wagon.
tested a well-equipped, rear-drive V-6 CTS Performance
with the eight-speed transmission. It had luxurious
brown leather and low-gloss wood trim, Bose audio,
heated and cooled seats, navigation, voice recognition,
blind-spot alert, a backup camera, front-collision
alert, Bluetooth phone and audio compatibility and more.
test car cost $63,375, excluding destination charges.
CTS competes with the Audi A6 Quattro, BMW 535i,
Infiniti M37, Jaguar XF 3.0, Lexus GS 350, Lincoln MKZ
and Mercedes E350. The price of the car I tested was
competitive with similarly equipped versions of most of
CTS’ wheelbase grew 1.2 inches for 2014. Longer and
lower than the old model, the new proportions create an
elegant profile. The headlight lenses taper into the
fenders, contributing to the CTS’ sleek, fast
passenger compartment is comfortable and accommodating,
despite being smaller than all competitors but Lincoln.
The trunk is smallest in its class, but useful thanks to
its wide opening and practical shape.
interior looks and feels wonderful. The leather and wood
in the CTS I tested would be at home in a car costing
$200,000. Unlike a lot of over-varnished automotive
finishes, the wood was so natural that I could see and
feel its grain.
combination of voice recognition, touch screen and
steering wheel controls works wonderfully for
navigation, phone calls and audio. But the climate
control lacks dials or buttons for temperature and fan
speed. It’s less convenient.
CTS is among the lightest cars in its segment. That pays
off in performance, handling and fuel economy.
V-6 provides plenty of oomph for quick acceleration. The
new eight-speed transmission is quick and smooth and
works well in manual mode. The adaptive magnetic
suspension keeps the CTS stable and steady in aggressive
driving and absorbs bumps for a comfortable ride.
EPA rating of 19 mpg in the city, 29 on the highway and
22 in combined driving falls in the middle of the pack.
Unlike most competitors, the CTS’ V-6 runs well on
regular gas. That makes it the least expensive to fuel,
according to EPA estimates.
CADILLAC CTS 3.6L PERFORMANCE COLLECTION:
of vehicle: All-wheel-drive five-passenger sporty sedan
Four out of four stars
to buy: Exterior styling; interior look and feel
Climate controls; interior space
3.6-liter DOHC VVT direct-injection 24-valve V-6
321 horsepower at 6,800 rpm; 275 pound-feet of torque at
fuel economy rating: 19 mpg city/29 highway/22 combined.
weight: 3,616 lbs.
as tested: $63,375
exclude destination charge.