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Car Review: 2014 Cadillac CTS VSport Premium

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As the luxury car market in North America continues to see new entrants, the all-new Cadillac 2014 CTS sedan ascends into the heart of the midsize luxury market with expanded performance, elevated luxury and sophisticated technology. We had the opportunity to test drive the new CTS VSport to learn first-hand what the folks at Cadillac are offering luxury car buyers who are looking for some excitement.

EXTERIOR

Cadillac’s shield grille and signature vertical lighting elements – including LED front signature lighting detail – evolve on the CTS. The grille is wider, with a more detailed texture, while the headlamps flow up with the hood line, incorporating crystalline LED light guides for a technologically advanced appearance with more uniform illumination.

Active grille shutters are included on some models, improving aerodynamic performance on the highway to enhance fuel efficiency. A longer, lower and more athletic-looking proportion is introduced on Cadillac’s landmark sedan and evolves the brand’s Art & Science design philosophy. While growing five inches (127 mm) in length, including a 1.2-inch longer wheelbase, the roofline and cowl – the base of the windshield – are about an inch lower, dimensions that complement the longer exterior to accentuate the car’s lean aesthetic. The 18-inch, ultra bright machined aluminum wheels were a work of art that really elevated the appearance of the 2014 Cadillac CTS VSport Premium. Our VSport test model also sported dual stainless steel exhaust, intellibeam headlamps, LED vertical accent lighting, illuminating door handles and illuminated front door sill plates. The look of the 2014 CTS clearly resembles the new ATS sedan with an ultra-athletic look that is a positive from all angles!

INTERIOR

Cadillac probably realized that in order to take the 2014 Cadillac CTS VSport Premium to the next level, the cabin space needed a big leap forward, and they delivered in some kind of way! A roomier, driver-centric cockpit interior with integrated technology and hand-crafted appointments complements the exterior and supports the CTS sedan’s driving experience. Eight available interior environments are offered, each trimmed with authentic wood, carbon fiber or aluminum. Leather seating is available, including available full semi-aniline leather with hand-crafted, cut-and-sewn executions. The CTS sedan seamlessly blends comfort, convenience and safety technologies with the interior’s hand-crafted appointments and flowing design. Active safety features provide alerts and intervene when necessary to help avoid crashes.

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. An eight-inch, high-resolution color touch screen with haptic feedback allows users to swipe and drag preferences. Bluetooth connectivity with natural voice recognition is standard with CUE, along with USB and SD card ports. A crystal clear, 12.3-inch high-resolution configurable LCD instrument cluster display complements the CUE display and supports the active safety features. It offers drivers four layouts – from basic to performance-oriented – each delivering bold, crisp graphics tailored to the level of vehicle information desired. A full-color, configurable head-up display is also something the discerning buyer will appreciate. A Driver Awareness Package included in our test model featured Cadillac’s patented Safety Alert Seat technology. It uses vibrating pulses in the driver’s seat to alert the driver to an imminent collision or to vehicles in the car’s blind spot. The seat vibrates on the left or right, or both sides simultaneously, depending on the direction of the risk.

GM’s first application of automatic safety belt tightening is offered in the new CTS. It automatically takes slack out of the safety belts when buckled and offers real-time, active adjustments during driving to ensure optimal tension and comfort. The new CTS sedan also features 10 standard air bags, including front passenger, dual-stage low-risk deployment, which makes the most of the air bag trajectory and inflation rate based on the occupant’s size, position and severity of the crash. 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 the customer’s iPhone or Android smartphone.

We found the overall feel and roominess of the 2014 Cadillac CTS VSport Premium an enormous improvement over past models and something that will attract new customers to the Cadillac brand.

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PERFORMANCE

The new Cadillac Twin-Turbo V6 and eight-speed automatic transmission combination leads the CTS sedan’s powertrain lineup in the new CTS Vsport. It is the first twin-turbocharged engine ever offered by Cadillac and is the brand’s first eight-speed automatic. The Cadillac Twin-Turbo is SAE-certified at 420 horsepower (313 kW) and 430 lb.-ft. of torque (583 Nm), making it the most power-dense six-cylinder engine in the segment. A pair of smaller turbochargers helps provide more immediate power on demand, with approximately 90 percent of peak torque available from 2,500 rpm to 5,500 rpm. That gives the engine a broad torque curve that customers will feel as strong, willing power in almost all driving conditions, and helps the CTS Vsport reach 60 mph in an estimated 4.6 seconds. The engine growl is like music to your ears when eating up the road.

The 2014 CTS is also available with a naturally aspirated 3.6L V-6 rated at an estimated 321 horsepower and also matched with the new paddle-shift eight-speed automatic in rear wheel drive models (or six-speed automatic with all-wheel drive.) Cadillac’s new, paddle-shift eight-speed offers efficiency and performance advantages over a six-speed transmission, including 1.5-percent greater fuel economy. Fuel efficiency was steady with 16mpg in the city and 24mpg in highway driving, but all of the miles will put a smile on your face in this car.

Excellent power-to-weight ratios and racetrack-honed suspension geometries established with the development of the ATS enabled engineers to advance CTS’ 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 chassis components, which reduces unsprung weight to enable more precise handling without compromising ride quality. The CTS sedan’s low mass and optimal brake sizes are expected to give it braking performance that is among the best in the segment, with standard Brembo brakes. The new CTS sedan offers Automatic Parking Assist, which enables the car to park itself in parallel spaces. It uses ultrasonic sensors to locate a suitable space and maneuver the car into the space, with the driver only required to engage reverse and apply the accelerator and brake pedals. Ultrasonic rear park assist is standard.

Ultrasonic sensors, as well as radar and cameras, support the CTS’s advanced safety features to help prevent crashes. Among the most sophisticated is Front and Rear Automatic Braking , which relies on short-range radar technology and ultrasonic sensors to help the driver prevent front and rear low-speed collisions via a progression of alerts that extend to complete braking, if necessary.

All of the advancements listed create one of the most exciting driving experiences in the luxury sedan market as we speak. Cadillac went to great heights so that the all-new 2014 Cadillac CTS VSport Premium would be in a position to outperform most competitors, and we believe that you can check off that box as affirmative.

OVERVIEW

We’ve been reading about the new 2014 Cadillac CTS VSport Premium for a while now, so we were pumped to finally get the chance to drive this offering from Cadillac. Our past experience testing the new ATS gave us some insight into what the ATS might feel like, and that turned out to be true. The third-generation CTS sedan is based on the high performing rear-drive architecture of the award-winning ATS sport sedan, moving Cadillac into the prestigious class of midsize luxury sedans. The CTS is the segment’s lightest car, enabling the most agile driving dynamics in the class.

The all-new Cadillac Twin-Turbo engine and eight-speed automatic transmission turn the CTS into a sports car driving experience when needed, and has the room so you can enjoy the space of a midsize luxury sedan. Our VSport was loaded, and though it came with a sticker price of $69,070, it offers the performance, styling and cabin space of more expensive competitors.

  

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