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|CTS Stretch: Cadillac Moves Its Midsize Sedan Farther Upscale|
|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.
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|Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 December 2013 22:06|