Test Drive: 2014 Cadillac CTS Review

Jerry Reynolds | November 21, 2013
Test Drive: 2014 Cadillac CTS Review

I have been looking forward to test-driving the 2014 Cadillac CTS. I’ve always been a fan, but was ready for this car to go to the next step of being a true competitor to the other luxury sport sedans out there. I am happy to report this completely redesigned CTS is a contender.

The 2014 is over 4” longer, and almost 1” lower than the previous version. It is bolder on the exterior and has a new grill and lights that complete the new look of recent Cadillacs like the XTS and ATS. Also new for 2014 is an optional 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo putting out 272-horses.

My tester this week has the carryover 3.6-liter V6. Horsepower for 2014 is up to 321-horses, and it is more fuel-efficient than the 2013 thanks to a very smooth 8-speed automatic transmission that can be manually shifted with paddles on the steering wheel. This combo truly performs with Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control, Brembo brakes, sport suspension and stability control. The CTS rides great in normal mode, make the switch to sport mode and it really gets fun.

This is the Premium Edition, the top of the line before you go to the 400-plus horses CTS-V. Immediately when you open the door, you sense this is a legitimate luxury car. It’s interior is edgy but elegant and refined. GM continues to do an excellent job with its leather interiors, and offset stitching throughout the driver cabin and dash.

The Premium Edition comes standard with performance front seats that are heated and cooled. The rear seat is heated and has more legroom than previous edition CTS models. The entire dash the driver uses is configurable from the steering wheel controls so you can have what info you need at the touch of a finger. If that isn’t enough, turn on the head-up display and flash all the info you need on the windshield. My favorite version of this shows you speed as well as the posted speed limit. Very handy.

Other standard features include CUE, which stands for Cadillac User Experience with navigation system. The touch screen is a huge 8”, the same size as Apple's iPad Mini. If you have apple products, CUE will feel similar. Gestures such as swiping between screens, scrolling with a finger flick and even pinching in or out to change the map zooming will come easy to you.

Aside from the usual turn-by-turn direction, the CUE system has 3-D views of major cities that show realistic building renderings. The navigation system has real-time traffic information from SiriusXM and will warn you of upcoming traffic situations in time for you to make alternative plans. The CTS comes with the OnStar system, which provides a way to call a human and have them to look up businesses or addresses and download the results to your CUE system. CUE is an awesome system, but some of the slide bars, for instance the volume control, are a little maddening at times and unresponsive. You quickly learn to use the steering wheel controls.

“But WAIT, there’s more” standard equipment. Love the heated steering wheel, Bluetooth works great, the tri-zone climate control will keep everyone comfortable, and you get a huge, power sunroof. Also included is LED accent lighting, lighted front door sills and lighted door handles, pushbutton start, rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, and a power rear sunshade. It comes with virtually everything.

The only two options on this car are the red accents on the black interior, which is beautiful, but a whopping $1650, and the Red Obsession Tintcoat exterior like my review car, that will set you back $995.

With the changes made to the 2014, the CTS is a true competitor to Audi A6, BMW 5-series, and Mercedes E-Class, all outstanding cars. Best of all, if you are a Cadillac fan, this car makes perfect sense falling between the ATS and the XTS, two cars I also gave extremely favorable reviews to.

Do not let the sticker price shock you. Given everything on this car, pricing is in line with competitors.

What I liked most: Exterior and interior, performance and fuel economy.

What I would change: Volume controls for the radio, give me a knob.

MSRP: Base price $64,500, as equipped $68,070.

Fuel Economy: EPA rated at 18 City/29 Highway.

Weight: 3845 pounds

2014 Cadillac CTS in a few words: A true contender, edgy but elegant.

Warranty: 4 year/50,000 bumper-to-bumper, 6 year/70,000 mile powertrain warranty, 6 years/70,000 miles of free scheduled maintenance, roadside assistance, and loaner cars.

Dealers: If you want a Cadillac of any kind, we have dealer affiliates in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Lubbock.

Manufacturer’s website: http://www.cadillac.com/cts-sport-sedan.html

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