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by Tony West and Bill P.
Cadillac hits another home-run with the 2014 CTS. The power-hungry sports sedan looks swaggerific, rides like a beast, and is packed with luxury amenities. With a $66k MSRP, the CTS demands respect among premium mid-size sedans. We tested the CTS AWD 3.6L Premium model and it’s without a doubt one of the most memorable cars we’ve reviewed. The CTS is a head turner across demographics. Cadillac knows how to make a worthwhile sporty, sexy, and tech savvy luxury sedan. The CTS fits well among the award-winning ATS and the stuntastic XTS.[divider]
Contemporary Head-turning Exterior Design
The CTS looks awesome from near or far. The sleek new design has a longer wheel base, high wheel arches, and new hood contours. The CTS is lower and lighter than the 2013 model with a curb weight of just 3,600 lbs. Lightweight aluminum doors saves 55 lbs and aid performance and handling.
Other aluminum components include the bumper and the CTS cradle along with suspension parts.
The CTS stunts with 18 inch aluminum 7-spoke wheels, and available 17 inch and 19 inch wheels with Pirelli tires. A new wider chrome grille features active shutters that can open/close to improve aerodynamics. The CTS also features vertical LED headlights with crystalline that run up the hood. The Premium model we tested had HID headlamps with Intellibeam and active headlights. Stainless steel dual exhausts are also featured.
The 2014 CTS attracted a lot of praise with its sophisticated color schemes for the exterior and interior. Many people applauded the CTS’s boldness; sporty with swag and a very cool looking tech savvy interior. The Cadillac CTS deviates just enough from the typical Cadillac design to make it a fresh attention grabber. Very cool are the illuminating chrome door handles, the illuminated front sill plates with the Cadillac logo, the LED interior ambient lighting, and the ultra view sunroof.[divider]
The stuntastic Cadillac CTS is a beast on the road. The ride can go from tranquil to thrilling in seconds. The 2014 CTS has an amazing touring ride thanks to Magnetic Ride Control, a real-time damping Cadillac trademark. The CTS offers three engine choices; a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine with 272 horsepower, a naturally aspirated 3.6 liter V6, or the powerful twin-turbocharged V6 with 420 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque. This V6 is the most power dense V6 in the segment at 116 horsepower/ liter.
With a top speed of 170 mph the 420 horsepower V6 model goes from 0 -60 mph in 4.6 seconds mainly due to smaller turbochargers. Ninety-Percent (90%) of peak torque is available from 2,500 rpm to 5,500 rpm. The 420 hp V6 is mated to an 8 speed automatic transmission, a first for Cadillac.
The Premium model’s 3.6 liter V6 engine boasts in impressive 321 horsepower and 275 lb-ft of torque. The CTS rides smooth thanks to direct injection and continuously variable valve timing. The CTS also has electronic limited slip differential and electronic variable assist power steering. The 3.6 liter V6 engine is mated to a 6 speed automatic transmission with magnesium paddle shifters. All-wheel drive is available.
The Drive Mode Selector has settings for Snow/Ice Mode, Tour Mode, and available Track Mode and Competitive Drive Mode for racing that will optimize torque delivery, suspension, steering and traction.
The ride in the 2014 CTS is controlled, handling agile, steering responsive, and at high speeds-nothing shy of exhilarating. The CTS has sport-tuned multilink Macpherson strut front suspension and five link independent rear suspension. Aluminum and steel components save weight in the front of the CTS helping it achieve a near 50/50 weight balance. The CTS Premium model has standard Brembro brakes. Cadillac has become geniuses at giving their luxury whips a sporty edge.
The CTS goes and goes at speeds well over 100 mph, but still delivers an effective EPA of 19 mpg city/ 28 mpg highway for the RWD version and a combined EPA of 21 mpg’s for the AWD model. Other notable features include Adaptive Remote Start and the configurable Heads up Display.[divider]
Safety Features include the Forward Collision Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Line Departure Warning, and Full Speed Range Adaptive Cruise Control. The rear camera has guidelines.
The CTS also has the familiar Safety Alert Seat vibrates a little to the left, right, or all together depending where an impending collision may occur. The CTS also has an Active Pedestrian Detection System and Front and Rear Automatic Braking. I hated the automatic seatbelt tightening. When I sat in the CTS the seatbelt automatically tightens when I fasten it. Strange, I assumed I did that myself when I secured the seatbelt. And there’s no “stop choking me” button, so drivers must get used to a little S&M with their turbochargers.[divider]
Stylish Premium Tech Enhanced Interior
The Cadillac CTS’s performance is impressive but the interior design closes the deal. Before fans could even test out the plethora of entertainment and safety technology, the color combination, contrast stitching and wood accents wowed them. Eight interior styles are offered, each complete with leather seats or Semi Aniline leather and trimmed in wood, suede, carbon fiber, or aluminum accents.
The CTS Premium model has heated and ventilated leather front seats and heated rear seats. Drivers get to use Cadillac’s first 20-way adjustable seat. I really liked how I could adjust the lower portion of the seat independent from the back, which made my ride even more comfortable. The CTS Premium model we tested also has a manually controllable seat cushion extender. Though seating is spacious, the driver’s seat is a little too narrow with limited hip room. At least the leather wrapped dash is concaved for maximum legroom.
Very cool is the tri-zone climate control, manual rear sunshade and the power rear sunshade for the back window. Even the rearview mirrors are slimmer with no border. A full-color Heads Up Display is customizable displaying speed, rpm’s, a compass, speed limit, audio, and warnings.
The driver utilizes a 12.3 inch configurable Driver Information Center with four selectable themes: Basic; Balanced; Performance; and Enhanced. Each theme displays information in an easy-to-read design. Info customized in the DIC includes speed, fuel range, fuel economy, compass, distance to destination, speed limit, battery voltage, engine boost, oil life, timer, and the Tire Pressure Monitoring System.
Check out a video demo of the cutting edge technology including the Heads up Display, configurable Driver Information Center, and Cadillac’s CUE infotainment.
The Cadillac CTS Driver Information Center also displays a wealth of warnings like “Low Brake Fluid”, “Engine Overheating Idle Engine”, “Engine Oil Hot,” “Front Camera Blocked,” “Clean Windshield,” “Replace Battery,” “Service Air Suspension,” “Transmission Hot,” “Shift Denied,” “Service All-Wheel Drive,” and more.
Some of the cool new features that impressed me were the air filtration system, the hidden compartment, a “clear private data” function, and Valet Mode. I also loved that the battery was in the trunk, easy for anyone to remove. Cadillac’s CUE system is utilized with an 8 inch touch screen that vibrates when buttons are pressed. Sirius XM satellite radio and navigation are available as is Bluetooth. A Bose Premium 13 speaker surround sound system is available. Active Noise Cancelation ensures the ride is tranquil except for the bangin sound system and subtle purr of the engine.
The CTS is one of the most advanced sport sedans we’ve featured hands down. Cadillac is still the MJ of the of the auto industry, classic, able to reinvent itself and new renderings with win after win.