drivetime logo Drivetime With Vinnie Richichi Road Test: 2014 Cadillac CTS 3.6 Liter Premium Collection

You know there isn’t a Cadillac that I have driven in the past few years that hasn’t been better than the model it replaced. GM keeps aiming high with their midsize luxury sedan and it keeps hitting the mark. That continues with the 2014 Cadillac CTS. From the look of the car as it sits waiting to be driven, to the comfortable interior full of high quality materials, flowing lines, modern style and high tech, the CTS exceeds expectation.

Starting with crisp, sharp outside lines Cadiilac designers have chiseled out a very attractive car. A long hood and aggressive front end accented by LED lights give the CTS a lean personality. The grille and emblem let you know it’s a Caddy.

From the front the CTS combines the traditional Cadillac grille with the new school LED design. Photo credit Vinnie Richichi

From the front the CTS combines the traditional Cadillac grille with the new school LED design. (Photo Credit: Vinnie Richichi)

There just doesn’t seem to be an out-of-place line on this car. In and out of the front seats is fairly easy with a bit more of a contortionists flexibility required for the rear.

Anchored by a large screen for Cadillac’s interactive CUE system, the heart and soul of the operation of the CTS and supplemented by adjustable gauges in front of you, the dashboard is a technical wonderland delivering just about any function of the vehicle at your fingertips.

CUE, or Cadillac User Experience, is designed to function much like an iPad.

Hi tech gauges are configurable to the drivers taste. Photo credit Vinnie Richichi

Hi tech gauges are configurable to the drivers taste. (Photo Credit: Vinnie Richichi)

Cadillac's CUE system works similar to an iPad. Photo credit Vinnie Richichi

Cadillac’s CUE system works similar to an iPad. (Photo Credit: Vinnie Richichi)

Materials are top of the line, mixing leather, brushed materials and expensive wood trim in a car that impresses you every time you get in. Expanding the overall length of the CTS by just over 4 inches over last year’s model gives the interior a bit more spacious feel.

Front and rear the seats are especially comfortable. Front and side visibility is good but you will find yourself relying on the back up camera as a high deck lid and low roofline conspire to limit rear visibility.

The CTS comes with a bundle of safety equipment with all the usual suspects like airbags and anti-lock brakes being there but in keeping with the high-tech theme. The CTS offers a combination of radar and cameras that enable forward-collision alerts, adaptive cruise control, cross-traffic alerts and lane-departure warnings. It also gets GM’s first use of automatic safety belt tightening.

The CTS also gets the haptic setup from the ATS and XTS, where the lane-departure functions don’t vibrate the wheel but shake the left or right side of the seat depending on which side you are moving over the line.

On a performance scale, the CTS moves and grooves with the class leaders every step of the way. The version I drove, the 3.6 Liter V6, cranked out 321 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, which married up to the eight-speed transmission was more than enough to move the Caddy quite quickly around town.

Although, I have to say that the fun really began when I slipped the car onto the freeway and punched it. A throaty roar from the engine and a bit of a pin-back of my butt into those comfortable seats gave me that AMG-M sense. Off the freeway and slipped into sport mode the sport suspension, magnetic ride control and perfectly balanced electric power steering did the trick.

Through curves, around bends, the CTS ate up all I could throw at it with perfect balance and extraordinary road manners. When it came time to stop, the Brembo’s in front did the trick.

Sticker price on this model CTS 3.6 L Premium Collection $68,820. Gas mileage checks in at 18 city, 29 highway, 22 mpg combined. The CTS gets a five-star frontal and rollover crash rating in government tests.

There are also base and VSport versions available. Check for more information.

The CTS in  any of its versions is an incredible effort from Cadillac. It stands with the BMW/Mercedes/Jaguar/Lexus crowd quite well and in many ways steals the spotlight from them. Hurray for the folks in Lansing. They have learned their lessons well.