2014 Cadillac CTS: Smooth, powerful, plush

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2014 Cadillac CTS: Smooth, powerful, plush

James Raia

Despite is substantial length, the 2014 Cadillac CTS has difficult to enter and exit front seats.

Now a dozen years old, the Cadillac CTS is a midsize luxury car available as a coupe and sedan. For 2014 and its third generation, the Cadillac CTS (Catera Touring Sedan) has been re-designed inside and out.

Throughout its tenure, the CTS has been named to many top yearly car lists, and the 2014 edition has been and will likely add more end-of-the year honors.

The Weekly Driver Test Drive

The 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan is offered in six main trim levels: Standard, Luxury, Performance, Premium, Vsport and Vsport Premium. The trims are matched to a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, a 3.6-liter V6 and a turbocharged V6. There are also a2014 CTS coupe, wagon and CTS-V. They were not redesigned for 2014.

My weekly driver was the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. It’s standard with such a long list of interior and exterior features, it’s difficult to view or drive the car with the understanding it’s the base or standard trim.

The 2014 Cadillac CTS has been redesigned inside and outside.
The 2014 Cadillac CTS has been redesigned inside and outside. Images © James Raia/2014

Consider some of its features: 17-inch alloy wheels, Brembo-branded brakes, heated mirrors, automatic headlights, rear parking sensors, remote ignition, keyless ignition/entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, a manual tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 5.7-inch display screen in the gauge cluster, eight-way power front seats (with two-way power lumbar), driver memory settings, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery and fixed rear seats with a trunk pass-through.

The electronic equipment includes OnStar telematics, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, the base Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system, an 8-inch touchscreen display, voice commands and an 11-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with three USB ports, an auxiliary audio jack and satellite and HD radio.

The standard engine includes 272 horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission with optional paddle shifters. There’s also all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive options.

The new Cadillac drives like a luxury sedan should drive. It’s powerful, smooth and quiet. My test vehicle was the entry base model, yes. But with its strong gas mileage for its segment, are the supercharged V8 or the V6 Twin Turbo options necessary?

The exterior design with its sharp angles may not appeal to old-school Cadillac fanciers, but it’s a new world, right? Cadillac had to change to keep up with competitors. But the futuristic, jagged lines look does take some getting used to.

The interior material paneling is handsome and ideally matches the car. The vertical grain wood trim look ooks elegant and adds to the comfortablre and attractive ride occupants experience.

Two oddities about the otherwise keen luxury sedan: The front seat opening is small and the touchscreen system for the entertainment system and other car functions is not simple to use.


Overall Comfort.

Top-end materials and interior design.

Automatic seat belt tightening.

Adaptive cruise control.

Panic brake assist.


Ingress and egress difficult in a luxury sedan? How odd.

Infotainment touch system inefficient.

Facts & Figures, 2014 Cadillac CTS

Acceleration: 0-60 mph, unavailable.
Airbags: (10)
Fuel economy: 19 mpg (city), 30 mpg (highway), 23 mpg (combined) six-speed automatic transmission.
Horsepower: 272.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $61,800.00
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.cadillac.com.
Price As Tested: $62,725.00
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 4 years/50,000 miles; Powertrain, 4 years/50,000 miles; Corrosion, 4 years/50,000 miles; Roadside Assistance, 6 years/70,000 miles.

What Others Say:

“By truly innovative engineering that reduces mass and increases balance and output, the 2014 Cadillac CTS is, this time, really ready for its close up against stalwarts from BMW and Mercedes-Benz . . . ” — Left Lane News.

“There is much to like with the CTS. The styling is fresh, exciting and aggressive (kudos to the designer who penned the LED daytime running lamps) and the chassis beneath the sheet metal is impressively rigid. All of the powerplants bring something unique to the table, and the interior appointments are world-class.” — Autoblog.

“The bottom line is that for the first time in a long time, Cadillac appears to have a complete package without the compromises we’ve seen in earlier models. … You owe it to yourself to take more than a spin around the block.” — Edmunds.

The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:

“The Cadillac CTS is a luxury sedan and it ideally defines the term. Power, comfort, performance, etc., it’s all done right.”


Article Last Updated: June 3, 2014.

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