The all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS is the third generation and is a beautiful work of art-outside, inside, the powertrain and chassis. Cadillac’s Art & Science design philosophy has brought a longer, lower, leaner sedan that sits perfect in the midsize luxury segment. New lightweight technologies, including aluminum door structures, aluminum front suspension pieces contribute to lower curb weight and a near perfect 50/50 front/rear weight balance for superb and nimble handling. The new Vsport model offers the exhilarating 420hp twin-turbo V6 and the brand’s first eight-speed paddle shift automatic transmission which is also standard with the 3.6 liter V6 engine model that generates 321hp and 275lb.ft of torque.
The all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS is so terrific in every respect that it has been named Motor Trend’s ‘Car of the Year’ for 2014, and I whole hardily agree. Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi are now paying closer attention to Cadillac than ever before.
I tested a loaded CTS with the standard 2.0 liter turbo inline four-cylinder engine that features DOHC, Direct Injection and continuously variable valve timing for excellent low-end torque. It makes 272hp at 5,500rpm plus 295lb.ft. of torque at just 1,700rpm-5,500rpm. It rockets out to 60mph-6.0sec., from a standstill that is faster than the 3.6 V6’s 6.2sec. plus it has better fuel economy. It is mated to the proven six-speed paddle shift transmission giving me quick, precise shift changes. The new paddle shifters are a whole lot of fun to operate with its long magnesium paddles.
The all-new CTS is based on the high-performing rear-drive architecture of the award-winning ATS sport sedan. It is the segment’s lightest sedan, enabling the most agile driving dynamics in the class. A longer, lower and more athletic-looking proportion with a long sculpted hood, long greenhouse and a short deck. While growing 5-inches in length, including a 1.2- inch longer wheelbase, the roofline and cowl-the base of the windshield-are about 1-inch lower, dimensions that complement the longer exterior to accentuate the car’s leaner appearance. While stretched in overall length and wheelbase, the CTS sedan has a lower curb weight than the last model and weighs about 200 pounds less than the BMW 528i. For the first time on CTS, Magnetic Ride Control, Cadillac’s real-time damping system is available on the base 2.0 liter model.
Cadillac’s new shield grille and signature L-blade vertical LED lighting evolves on the CTS. The grille is wider, with a more detailed texture, while the headlamps flow up with the hood line, incorporating crystalline LED adaptive light guides for a technologically advanced appearance with more uniform illumination. From the side are flared fenders, steeply raked windshield A-pillars, swept-back B-pillars, chrome pull-out door handles with LED lights, aerodynamic styled power heated/self-dimming rearview mirrors, a full perimeter chrome strip around the greenhouse and deep lower side extensions add up for a more aerodynamic look cutting through the air more efficiently and lessening wind noise. The new rear fascia features a body-colored lip spoiler, a wide chrome strip between the large vertical LED brake and taillamps. Down below are new chrome trapezoidal dual exhaust tips including another thin chrome strip attaching each. It is a new, tighter, taut luxurious look with just the right amount of bling for a more restrained luxury style.
The interior is roomy and luxurious with three types of leather surrounding me- suede, perorated and soft butter leather are surrounded by real carbon fiber, chrome and black piano veneer trim. The 10-way power-adjustable, heated/ventilated sport bucket seats are comfortable and very supportive. The power tilting/telescopic/heated/leather wrapped steering wheel feels great in my hands and feature redundant buttons for the audio system, Bluetooth hands-free phone and radar sensing cruise control. The instrument cluster is amazing and state-of-the-art with a 12.3-inch high-resolution, configurable LCD display that complements the CUE display and supports the active safety features. It also offers four layouts-from basic to performance oriented-each delivering bold, crisp graphics tailored to the level of vehicle information that I want to see. It is further augmented with the head-up display with three different screens that I can easily choose from. The center stack features haptic controls for the standard Bose 13-speaker sound system with Centerpoint Surround Sound, the tri-zone climate control, and the 8-inch color navigation system. At the core of the car’s intuitive technologies is CUE, Cadillac’s infotainment system that uses smartphone and tablet-influenced controls and commands to access information and entertainment data. The 8-inch, high-resolution color touch screen with haptic feedback allows me to swipe and drag preferences. Bluetooth connectivity with natural voice recognition is standard with CUE, along with USB and SD card ports. The center stack also features a motorized plate that opens to store with security any devices plus another USB port. The center console is also special with a motorized dual cupholder leather lid and a padded armrest over the large storage bin. The interior also features storage slots in each door plus an electronically locking glove box, leather-wrapped stick shifter, electronic parking brake and adaptive remote start that also activates the climate control system. The rear seats are split 60/40 with separate heating for the outboard seats surfaces, rear air-outlets behind the front center console, a pull-down center armrest, dual cupholders and storage bin. More standard equipment inside include all express up/down windows, power door locks, 3-driver memory, SiriusXM and HD radio, 110-volt power plug, sport alloy foot pedals, air filtration system, rain-sensing wipers, new thinner auto-dimming rearview mirror, grab handles above each door, map pockets behind the front seatbacks, rear reading lights, capless fuel filler, dual lighted vanity mirrors, dual map lights, easy entry/exit driver’s seat, panoramic electric sunroof, LED interior ambient lighting, universal home remote, illuminated aluminum door kick plates, keyless push button start/stop, EZ Key passive entry system, front/rear park assist, automatic parking assist that uses ultrasonic sensors to locate a suitable space and maneuver the car into the space, power rear sunshade with manual side sunshades, remote trunk release and front/rear floor mats. Additionally, OnStar is standard for one year. It can use GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of a crash. OnStar service also includes myCadillac and OnStar myCadillac mobile apps, which offer vehicle information, controls and OnStar services via me iPhone or Android smart phone. The all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS has all of the comfort, luxury, ergonomics, convenience, high-technology, connectivity that I would expect from a world-class midsize luxury sedan.
The 2.0 liter turbo engine is smooth, quiet, high-revving and its excellent power-to-weight ratio and racetrack-honed suspension established with the development of the ATS enabled engineers to advance CTS’s performance with greater feelings of feedback, control and response. The comparatively low curb weight helps make the most of the driving experience by allowing the use of lighter-weight aluminum chassis components which reduce unsprung weight to enable more precise handling without compromising ride quality and smoothness that are inherent in luxury sport sedans. Also enabling the incredible nimble handling is the near perfect 50/50 front/rear weight distribution. Even the battery has been moved to the trunk to help accomplish this fact.
There are three driving modes to fit my current feeling of how I want the CTS to respond to my inputs. There is a large push button on the center console that when pushed show Sport, or Touring or Snow modes. By pushing the button the onboard computer changes the gear shifting speeds, StabiliTrak response, Magnetic Ride Shock response and steering wheel ratio. My CTS’s fully independent suspension featured a MacPherson type setup with dual lower ball joints, direct acting stabilizer bar and Magnetic Ride Control monotube inverted shocks that read the road surface in milliseconds. Further enhancing the response and feel of the front suspension is the 3-piece strut tower brace. The rear features a five-link setup with coil springs, direct acting stabilizer bar and Magnetic Ride Control inverted shocks. Handling is awesome, like riding on rails when driving through curving roads. When I attacked a steep curve at high speeds my turn-in felt like I was sliding on a wall, flat and in full control of my direction. Chassis control is assisted with standard 4-channel StabiliTrak, Brake Assist and Traction Control. Cadillac engineers have really done their homework with this world-class handling machine. On poorly paved road surfaces the Magnetic Ride Control system flattens out the potholes so I never felt any sharp rebound. The response to my steering inputs is also world-class with the new ZF Rack & Pinion electric power assisted and variable assisted steering system. The system is incredibly quick reacting to my steering inputs. Just a little tug on the wheel instantly changed my direction.
Quickly and safely slowing the all-new CTS down from speed are powerful, four-wheel auto-drying steel disc brakes. Up front are 12.6-inch vented discs clamped with four-piston Brembo calipers. The rear features 12.4-inch vented discs clamped with single-piston aluminum calipers. An exclusive feature of the new CTS brake rotors is the Ferric Nitro Carburized that resists corrosion. Standard ABS helps to control the direction of my CTS when braking hard on wet or slick surfaces. Braking from 60mph to 0 just takes 116 feet. Amazing!
My test CTS rode on giant 19X8.5 inch polished aluminum wheels wrapped with Pirelli 255/35R19 inch P7 low-profile high-performing all-season tires for excellent grip and a smooth, quiet ride.
World-class safety is always an integral part of a true luxury sport sedan and the all-new CTS doesn’t fail. Standard safety equipment include drive/front passenger front/side and knee airbags, rear outboard head curtain and outboard side airbags, 4-way adjustable front head restraints, 5-3-point safety belts with front pretensioners/load limiters, daytime running lights, LATCH system for child seats, rear door locks for child safety, tire pressure monitor, front/rear crumple zones, and steel beams in each door. My Premium Collection model CTS came equipped with the Driver Awareness Package that features blind-side alert system, Lane Departure Warning system and front/rear obstruction alert.
The all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS elevates the brand to be a real contender in the midsize luxury sport sedan segment to challenge the world’s best. The car is one of the few that I cried when I had to give it up after my seven day test drive.
COPYRIGHT: 2013: HARVEY SCHWARTZ