Last Update: Thursday, April 10, 2014

CTS Stretch: Cadillac Moves Its Midsize Sedan Farther Upscale PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mark Maynard Creative Syndicate   
Tuesday, 24 December 2013 21:42

    The evening sky was a bruised yellowish-gray and threatening rain when I settled behind the wheel of the 2014 Cadillac CTS. The large navigation screen confirmed the stormy conditions with an image of dark clouds and streaks of rain on the horizon.

    There was some reassurance in that the test car was allwheel drive and fortified with the driver-awareness package,which alerts with seat-bottom vibrations on the left, right or both to lane intrusions or imminent danger. There are also were Brembo brakes, blind-zone alert, forward crash mitigation and slip, slide and spin stability controls.

With a heated steering wheel and heated seats, I merged with the commute.

Based on the slightly smaller Cadillac ATS, the new CTS is now five inches longer, lighter and fully dressed for style with a world-class bounty of advanced technologies. Among the additions is a 272-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, backed by a six-speed automatic transmission. The car has a re-engineered platform with much high-strength steel in the body and Cadillac's first aluminum doors.

Cadillac has stretched its midsize CTS flagship and steered it into position for potential broadside comparisons with the BMW 5-Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and others in this segment.

The CTS is sold with three engine choices in rear- or allwheel drive in four trim levels. Starting prices range from $46,000 to $60,000 including the $995 freight charge from Lansing, Mich. Included is a bumper-to-bumper warranty of four-years or 50,000-miles with free scheduled maintenance. And there are six years or 70,000-miles of powertrain coverage with roadside assistance and a loaner car.

The standard model comes with the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder automatic. The midrange 3.6L has a 321-horsepower V-6 and eight-speed automatic. And the top-line Vsport adds a twin-turbocharged, 420-hp, 3.6-liter with the eight-speed shifter. And in a separate orbit is the mighty CTS-V with a 556-horsepower, supercharged V-8, starting at $65,000.

The Premium Collection 2.0L Turbo test car starts at $64,725 and was $67,425 with two options packages. The turbocharged engine is an impressive power recipe, with a sturdy 295 foot-pounds of torque ranging from 1,700 to 5,500 rpm. Despite the 3,600-pound curb weight and all-wheel-drive there was no hesitation in acceleration and good pull at higher rpms for passing power. The only awareness of four cylinders is a ratchety sound on hard acceleration and, at times, less-than-elegant shifting. In a $60,000 sedan, the effect is decidedly non-luxury.


The new CTS is five inches longer, one inch lower and 244 pounds lighter.


And the four-cylinder may not be worth the fuel economy. The EPA gives it 19 mpg city, 28 highway and 22 combined. I was getting a consistent 19 to 21 combined, according to the onboard readout. Premium fuel is recommended but not required. The midrange 3.6L gets 18/27 mpg AWD or 19/28 RWD.

There is a contemporary freshness to the CTS, inside and out. Its styling and stance says luxury. The cabin has layers and levels of detail in the leather stitching and distinctive wood trim among harmonious colors and textures. Sightlines are good and supported with a large rearview camera. Braking is absolute without grabbiness. This is a quiet cruiser with laminated front and side glass. The magnetic ride control is an asset for calming the cabin, but I couldn't tell much difference between standard mode and Sport.

Back seat space is still short. There are 35.4 inches of legroom with a slight angle of butt down and knees-up position. The substantial center tunnel all but compromises the middle seat. Trunk space is smallish at 13.5 cubic feet, but the back seat folds to expand space.

Maybe I'm showing my age, but $67,000 seems pricey for a piece of four-cylinder luxury. But this is a trend among luxury brands. Price isn't measured in cylinder count but in power rating. The test car's refinement and style will compare with the better cars in this segment. And the Cadillac has some advantage in providing comprehensive warranties with American-class seat comfort and ride quality.

Mark Maynard is online at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Find photo galleries and more news at Facebook.com/MaynardsGarage


Share
Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 December 2013 22:06
 




viagra generic