By on December 27, 2013

2014 Cadillac CTS 2.0T Exterior-001

It’s been decades since Cadillac produced the “Cadillac” of anything. However, when car buffs dismiss the only American luxury brand left, they fail to see Cadillac’s march forward. 2002 brought the first RWD Cadillac since the Fleetwoood. A year later the XLR roadster hit, followed in 2004 by Cadillac’s first 5-Series fighter, the STS. Not everything was rosy. The original CTS drove like a BMW but lacked charm and luxury fittings. The XLR was based on a Corvette, which made for excellent road manners, but the Northstar engine didn’t have the oomph. The STS sounded like a good idea, but the half-step CTS wasn’t much smaller and ultimately shoppers weren’t interested in a bargain option. That brings us to the new ATS and CTS. Ditching the “more car for less money” mantra, the ATS has been created to fight the C/3/IS leaving the CTS free to battle the E/5/GS head-on. Can Caddy’s sensible new strategy deliver the one-two punch fans have hoped for? I snagged a CTS 2.0T for a week to find out.

 YouTube Preview Image

Exterior

I found the outgoing CTS a little discordant, but 2014 brings an elegant more aggressive refresh. GM’s Art and Science theme has matured from “cubism gone wrong” to shapes that flow and jibe with a larger grille and softer creases. The 5-Series continues to go for elegant and restrained, I find the XF and A6’s design a mixture of plain-Jane and snazzy headlamps while the Infiniti Q5o and Lexus GS are going for flowing elegance.

The demur side profile continues with a simple character line to draw your eye from front to rear. One thing you’ll notice during that eye-movement is the distinct RWD proportions that separate the CTS, E, 5, GS, XF and Q50 from the long-nosed Audi A6 and near-luxury FWD options. Out back the CTS’ rump is a bit less exciting but employs all the latest luxury cues from hidden exhaust tops to light piped tail lamps. I was hoping Caddy’s fins would be further resurrected,  but the “proto fins” on the XTS are absent. Pity. Obvious from every angle is an attention to build quality absent from earlier generations with perfect panel gaps and seams.

Structurally, the CTS has jumped ship to a stretched version of the Alpha platform the smaller ATS rides on. Thanks to the automotive taffy-pull, the CTS is now 2.3 inches longer than a BMW 5-series. However, because of the Alpha roots, the CTS has actually shrunk for 2014 by 3 inches in length while getting 2 inches wider and a 2 inch roof height reduction.

2014 Cadillac CTS 2.0T Interior-006

Interior

GM has proven they are able to create a car that drives competitively and looks sexy on the outside, but interiors have always been a mixed bag. The last gen CTS felt as if it was built with a mixture of custom parts and Chevy hand-me downs. No more. Like the ATS, the Caddy shares little with the rest of GM’s mass market-rabble. It is hard to find fault in the CTS’s dashboard’s combination of injection molded soft touch plastics, leather, faux suede, real wood, carbon fiber and contrasting stitching. Cadillac continues their dedication to shiny touch buttons on the dash and no luxury sedan would be complete without a little gimmicky drama. The CTS’s motorized cupholder lid ties with the XF’s automated air vents for the feature most clearly designed to brag about. I’m not sure how long that little motor will crank away, but it can’t be any less reliable than Jaguar’s theatrical air vents.

Because of the way Cadillac chose to stretch the CTS’ donor platform, cargo and interior space aren’t the primary beneficiaries. This means that rear legroom actually shrinks for 2014 to the smallest entry in this segment by a hair. Trunk volume also drops from a competitive 13.6 cubes to 10.5 which is a 20% reduction compared to the Lexus and BMW and 30% smaller than the Mercedes. The CTS makes up for some of this with comfortable thrones all the way around and when equipped with the optional 20-way front seats the CTS ranks #2 in the segment just behind BMW’s optional 24-way sport seats in comfort. Taller drivers and passengers beware, dropping the CTS’ roof height made the profile sexier but cuts headroom to the lowest in the segment.

2013 Cadillac ATS Instrument Cluster

2013 Cadillac ATS Instrument Cluster

There is one glaring flaw. The decidedly dowdy base instrument cluster is shared with the ATS (pictured above) and the XTS. Our Facebook followers were so put-off by Caddy’s base dials, the fervor spawned a Vellum Venom Vignette. While the ATS is saddled with the four-dial layout, the CTS and XTS have a savior: the most attractive LCD disco dash available. (My tester was so equipped.) Perhaps it is this dichotomy that is so vexing about the base CTS models. If you don’t fork over enough cash, you’ll constantly be reminded that you couldn’t afford the Cadillac of displays.

The 12.3-inch cluster offers the driver more customization than you fill find in any other full-LCD cluster. Unlike the Jaguar and Land Rover screens that simply replicate analogue gauges, you can select from several different views depending on whether you feel like analogue dials or digital information and the amount of information overload you prefer. (Check out the gallery.) My preferred layout contained a high res navigation map, digital speedo, fuel status, range to empty, average fuel economy, audio system information with album art and track information and the speed-limit on the road I was traveling on.

2014 Cadillac CUE - CTS 2.0T-001

Infotainment

I have been critical of Cadillac’s CUE system but 2014 brings some important software fixes resolving the random system crashes and demon possessed touch controls I experienced in the ATS and XTS. After driving the CTS for 852 miles, the CUE system proved rock solid in terms of reliability. Unfortunately, little has been done to address the sluggish response to inputs, unintuitive menus and old-school nav graphics. Despite the still flaws, I have to stick by my words when MyFord Touch landed: I’d rather have slow infotainment than none at all. BMW’s iDrive still ranks 1st for me because the interface is intuitive, attractive, responsive and elegant. BMW continues to add new features to their system and, unlike other systems, the new features in general operate as smoothly as the rest of the iDrive interface. You may be surprised to know that CUE ranks second for me.

CUE’s graphics are more pleasing to my eye than MMI, COMAND, Sensus, MyLincon Touch, Enform or AcuraLink. COMAND’s software should have been sent out to pasture long ago. The graphics are ancient and trying to load any of the smartphone apps is an exercise in frustration. Instead of reinventing their software, Lexus reinvented the input method taking their system from most intuitive to least in a single move. Senus isn’t half bad but Volvo’s screens are small and the software lacks the smartphone integration found in the competition. MyLincoln Touch is well featured but lacks CUE’s more modern look and the glass touchscreen.

2014 Cadillac CUE - CTS 2.0T-006

The scratch resistant glass touchscreen and proximity sensors used by Cadillac are part of what give the system a clean modern look. Most systems use resistive touchscreens which are pressure sensitive and require that the surface of the screen actually move to sense your touch. This means they need to be made of a ductile plastic which is several layers thick. The consumer comparison is to think of your iPhone or Android phone vs a color Palm Pilot from years past. Cadillac uses the screen to allow intuitive finger-sliding gestures and the proximity sensor to reduce visual clutter when your finger is away from the screen. Move you hand closet to the screen and the less critical interface buttons reappear.

Cadillac continues their relationship with Bose, giving the base model an 11-speaker sound system that brings everything but navigation to the party. Our model was equipped with the up-level 13-speaker Bose sound system, navigation software and the optional single-slot CD player hiding in the glove box. Compared with BMW’s premium audio offerings, the Bose systems sing slightly flatter and lack the volume capable in the German options. However compared to Lexus’ standard and optional systems the Cadillac holds its own.

Ecotec 2.0L I-4 VVT DI Turbo (LTG)

Drivetrain

Thanks to the new GM Alpha platform, all three engines sit behind the front axle which is ideal for weight balance. Base shoppers get the 2.0L direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder worth 272 ponies and 295 lb-ft of torque, besting BMW’s 2.0L by 32 HP and 35 lb-ft. On “Luxury” trim and above you can opt for GM’s ubiquitous 3.6L V6 (321HP/275 lb-ft) for $2,700, but I’d probably stick to the 2.0L turbo if I were you. Aside from being lighter, the turbo delivers more torque at lower RPMs and has a more advantageous power delivery which make it a hair faster to 60.

Shoppers looking for more shove and willing to part with $59,995 can opt for a 420 horsepower twin-turbo V6 in the CTS V-Sport that cranks out 430 lb-ft. Despite sharing thee 3.6L displacement of the middle engine, GM tells us that only 10% of the engine components are shared. Sending power to the pavement in the 2.0T and 3.6 models is essentially the same GM 6-speed automatic transmission BMW used to use in certain models of the 3-series until recently. Optional in the 3.6L and standard on the twin-turbo V6 is an Aisin 8-speed automatic that is essentially shared with the Lexus LS.

2014 Cadillac CTS 2.0T Exterior-014

Drive

Unfortunately, the first thing you’ll notice out on the road is the coarse sound from under the hood. GM’s 2.0L engine is no less refined than BMW or Mercedes’ four-bangers, but the difference is you can hear the engine in the CTS. In fact, based on the overall quietness of the cabin (a competitive 67 dB at 50 MPH), I can only conclude that Cadillac designed the engine to be heard. I don’t mind hearing the 3.6L V6, but most luxury shoppers would prefer not to be reminded they chose the rational engine every time they get on the freeway. On the bright side, because GM does not offer start/stop tech, shoppers are spared the inelegant starts and stops that characterize 528i city driving.

While I’m picking nits, the 6-speed found in the 2.0T and most 3.6 models lacks the ratio spread and shift smoothness of the ZF 8-speed automatic found in most of the competition. While I prefer GMs 6-speed to the somewhat lazy 7-speed automatic in the Mercedes E-Class, the rumored 8-speed can’t come soon enough. The 8-speed used in the V-Sport (optional on the 3.6L) solves the ratio and marketing issue, but the Aisin unit feels just as up-shift happy and down-shift reluctant as it does in the Lexus LS 460. As a result when you use the shift paddles, your actions feel more like suggestions than commands.

2014 Cadillac CTS 2.0T Exterior-013

The reason I label those flaws as mere nits is because of how the CTS accomplishes every other task on the road. Acceleration to 60 happens a 4/10ths faster than an E350, a half-second faster than the 528i,  a full second faster than a GS350, and practically years ahead of the A6 2.0T. Part of this has to do with the engine’s superior torque curve and higher horsepower numbers, but plenty has to do with curb weight. At 3,616 lbs, the CTS 2.oT is 200lbs lighter than the BMW or Lexus, 400lbs lighter than an E350. The comparable Audi A6 would be the front-wheel-drive 2.0T model with the CVT at 3,726. If you think that’s an unfair comparison, the 2.0T with Quattro is 3,900lbs and does little to correct the A6’s front-heavy weight balance.

As a result of the CTS’s near perfect 50.3/49.7 % weight balance and the light curb weight, the CTS feels more agile and responsive on winding mountain roads, especially when you compare it to the V6 competitors. The steering is as numb as anything on the market thanks to electric power steering, but you can get faint whiffs of feedback now and then and the steering weight is moderate rather than strangely firm in the 528i. Admittedly we’re splitting hairs here when it comes to steering feel, as there is precious little difference between the CTS, GS and 528i. Even the hydraulic system retained in BMW’s 550i doesn’t feel as crisp on the road. Helping out the handling is a standard moderately firm spring suspension or an optional MagneRide active suspension as our tester was equipped. The adaptive dampers feel more refined than in previous versions, despite them not changing the vehicle’s personality much from regular to sport mode. The CTS never felt out of sorts on rough or uneven terrain and despite being moderately firm, never felt punishing. This places the CTS right in line with the modern Germans. Toss in standard Brembo brakes and the CTS is far more willing to hike up its skirt and dance than the establishment competition.

2014 Cadillac CTS 2.0T Exterior-007

For 2014, Cadillac added $6,035 to the MSRP and put “value” on the back burner. At $45,100, the CTS starts $4,400 less than the 528i and $2,600 less than the GS350. Of course the Caddy’s base model has fewer features, so an apples-to-apples comparison brings the delta up to around $1,500 less than the BMW. That’s a much smaller window than there used to be, and it’s not surprising when you consider the CTS’ interior is finally equal to or better than the Germans. The pricing deltas get more interesting as you go up the ladder. The CTS 3.6 is a few grand less than a BMW 535i. In that mash-up, the BMW provides superior thrust but when the road gets winding the CTS is more enjoyable. Then we get to the CTS V-Sport. The V-Sport brings a twin-turbo V6 to a twin-turbo V8 fight. At 420 HP and 430 lb-ft the numbers are stout to be sure, but trail the 443 HP and 479 lb-ft from BMW’s 4.4L V8 and most importantly, the V8 delivers a far superior torque curve delivering all of its torque 1,500 RPM earlier. Still, the Cadillac is 325 lbs lighter, handles better, is $4,830 cheaper and by the numbers gives up little in terms of straight line performance.

The two sweet spots for the CTS are a nearly loaded 2.0T with the LCD disco dash and a moderately well equipped V-Sport. The 2.0T offers the best road manners of its direct competition at a reasonable value. The V-Sport on the other hand offers BMW shoppers an interesting alternative. At an $1,800 up-sell over a comparably equipped 535i and $4,800 less than a 550i, the V-Sport is probably the best value in the luxury segment for 2014. After a week with the middle child Cadillac, GM seems to finally be on the right path with their luxury brand. As long as the XTS is replaced with a large rear driver sedan soon I might even say that the American luxury brand is on a roll. While I can think of a few reasons to buy a BMW 5-Series over a CTS (the base CTS instrument cluster is a good reason), shoppers have no reason to dismiss the CTS as they might have done in the past. Although the CTS is still 20lbs of sound deadening and an 8-speed automatic away from being the Cadillac of mid-size sedans, it is a truly solid competitor.

 

 GM provides the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review.

Specifications as tested

0-30: 2.3 Seconds

0-60: 5.9 Seconds

1/mile: 14.36 Seconds @ 97.5 MPH

Average observed fuel economy: 24.8 MPG over 852 Miles

Sound level at 50 MPH: 67 dB

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150 Comments on “Review: 2014 Cadillac CTS 2.0T (With Video)...”


  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    I believe it takes somewhat of a loosely defined “courage” to buy a car like this, but since I think most lease it, a much lesser, temporary vote of approval is all that’s required. While I applaud the reported driving goodness, pretty much all else in extreme-design and excessive “features” is a turnoff for me personally. And leaping out of the story is the part about cutting my trunk space? Where’s the GM Powerpoint that rationalizes that?

  • avatar

    I drove this car with the 3.6-L and I drove the XTS with the 3.6-Liter as well as the Twin turbo V6 model:

    #1 I’m sure the Twin Turbo V6 will do very well in the CTS, but in the XTS I wasn’t impressed at all. I guess I’m spoiled.

    #2 The pricing is ridiculous. A CTS AWD 3.6 costs more than an XTS AWD 3.6. What are you paying extra for? a Motorized cup holder?

    #3 The XTS/ATS and CTS have the best interiors on the American market INCLUDING the Model S. But why waste time and energy on motorized cup holders and motorized radio faces when you could have spent that same money on MASSAGE SEATS???

    #4 Whoever thought of the traffic warning system/vibrating seat should be FIRED. Not only could that seat have been a massage seat, they must have never tested that bullsh!t in bumper to bumper traffic. It literally kicks your azz and you’ll scramble to turn it off.

    #5 If Hyundai can have motorized thigh support cushions and motorized head rests in a damn Cadenza/Azera, then a $60,000 – $70,000 “Cadillac should have them too. PERIOD.

    #6 They should have offered a plug-in CTS. I’d have an easier time spending $100,000 on a CTS EV than an ELR.

    #7 The CTS’s front end would look better on the XTS. It’s so big for a car so small. The rear ends aren’t that special either.

    #8 Try driving this car at 70 MPH on the highway and using CUE. Then try do the same on Uconnect touch. CUE is HORRIBLE.

    Well – Thank God GM has Mary Bara… I’m sure she’ll work everything out!

    • 0 avatar
      AdamVIP

      As a current ATS owner and Cadillac enthusiast Id like to respond to a few of your points

      #2) The handling and driving feel is no doubt better in the CTS. Its the drivers car of the 2. While I have yet to drive the CTS, Ive driven the XTS and the handling has lots of room for improvement. The XTS is really just a hold over car till they make a proper large Caddy. The new XTS or whatever they end up calling it will be proper RWD/AWD and cost more than the current XTS.

      #4) The buzz seat is a great feature. It only buzzes for lane departure when your signal isn’t on and it only buzzes for crashes if you are accelerating into an object. The lane departure is easily fixed by signaling. If the front collision bothers you there is a button on the steering wheel to adjust the distance that the warning goes on. If you still don’t like it, it can be changed to beeps in the CUE settings.

      #5) I don’t know how the CTS accomplishes the thigh support but the ATS does it all wrong. Its my number 1 complaint against the car. In the ATS they only support the thigh part with a center rod so it wiggles all the time during corners and normal driving. Im not sure if motorized is the answer but they definitely need to look at how they design seats.

      #6) There’s a lot that goes into making a plug in hybrid. You really cant just slap it on to a normal drive train. Heck even the Prius plug in doesn’t really work. I think a plug in variant would do more harm than good to the alpha platform and GM probably felt the same way.

      #8) CUE and touchscreens in general aren’t good at 70 on the highway if you just start poking around. CUE does allow for everything to be made into presets, including searches for places like Starbucks or Home Depot. The only time I have to touch the CUE screen is when I want to change climate. The rest of the time my hands are on the wheel controls. If you have the HUD its even easier because whenever you change something it pops up on the display.

      • 0 avatar

        In reference to my comment on the ELR, I really believe more people would be in favor of an ELR that was a 4-door over a coupe – especially when the current CTS Coupe looks almost exactly like it. Cadillac should have built a 4-door sedan with the Volt’s new powertrain. They could advertise the fact that it isn’t limited in range like the Tesla is.

        I’d make a commercial showing one guy in a Model S and one young, hot woman with big boobs in the ELR. They are driving and the Model S pulls over to a supercharger, while the hotty keeps on driving. By the time the Model S driver gets to the event, the hotty looks at him – holding a slice of cheesecake with cherries on top – and says: “You’re late – no cake left for you”.

        Cadillac Emblem pans out…

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          Considering that the CTS coupe is (thankfully) going out of production, I imagine that half of the people buying an ELR will think it’s a CTS hybrid, instead of a Volt rebeaten with the ugly stick.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Massaging seats really ought to be reserved for full-sized luxury sedans, like the 7-Seeies, A8, Panamera and XJ.

    • 0 avatar
      PolestarBlueCobalt

      Bias detected. Nice 90’s E-class with over the top chrome and a Chrysler badge.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Surprised at the Lexus being slow and heavy.

    • 0 avatar

      I’M NOT…

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Car and Driver got the GS350 to 60 in 5.5 sec. Alex’s time for this Caddy is 5.9. Guess which one is a more trustworthy recorded acceleration time? Guess which one you’ll believe anyway?

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        C&D’s numbers were also for the 2013 GS, which has the 6-speed. For 2014 Lexus put in an 8-speed, so acceleration should be slightly better.
        ” At 3,616 lbs, the CTS 2.oT is 200lbs lighter than the BMW or Lexus, 400lbs lighter than an E350.”
        And Alex’s post makes it look like the Lexus and BMW are of the same weight. The GS is considerably lighter and a far better handler than the BMW 5- series. I’m pretty sure it’s lighter than the E-class, too, which just has terrible handling period.

        But I guess it’s still no Buick Encore…..

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    Although I admittedly haven’t driven the Cadillac (I have driven the 528i), to me the wildcard here is the Chrysler 300. I just ran the numbers through true delta, and adjusting for a few extra features (mostly automated driving and other safety features), a V8 (!!!!) Chrysler 300 is still $11k less than the 4 cylinder Cadillac. A V-6 300 is $2-3k cheaper, and I’ve driven one of those, and it’s a truly lovely car. When I look at the Cadillac, BMW, and Audi in particular, I cannot see spending such massive $ for a comfy but numb, dull handling car with such pedestrian engine (a 4 cylinder) when a comfy, luxurious car exists that, while also afflicted with numb, dull handling, at least has an appropriate engine option and comes with a five figure price difference in its favor.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      This.

      Bad enough Cadillac doesn’t build an American car. But if they’re going to ape BMW they could at least copy the world beater BMWs which built that brand instead of the craptastic new ones with ecoweenie motors and electric steering.

      The one place this car could have stood out was Art & Science and even that’s melted off to look like everything else on the market from most angles.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I have a feeling this car is more important for GM in China than the US. They’ve altered Cadillac styling for Chinese tastes, and built a plant for Cadillac in Shanghai. When we get an “American” Cadillac, it will be because we are the beneficiaries of the Chinese market demanding it.

        Of the midsized luxury sedans, its probably the best handling vehicle. I find it so much better than the last CTS, which I disliked. The downsides are that its not spacious and the trunk is sub-compact car small. Its downfall is that its more of a compromise than its competitors, despite being a better drive, just like the ATS.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheeljack

      I agree with your assessment. My folks just got a new 2013 300C with a pentastar/8-speed to replace their 2006 300 Limited. Really nice car that drives well and has a lot of nice features.

      Now, get this car in the “luxury” series or Varvatos edition with the leather wrapped dash and other interior upgrades and I think it’s as nice as cars costing $10,000 or more. As soon as this car gets an update to the new instrument cluster and the 8-speed for the V-8, it will be a real winner.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Interesting that you’d say the CTS is a “dull handling” car when, in fact, every review I’ve seen of it (including this one) indicates exactly the opposite.

      And that’s the main difference between the CTS and the 300 – the Chrysler is sublime on the boulevard, or on the freeway, but on a back road, it’s like JJ Watt trying to do a Adrian Peterson imitation. It doesn’t quite work.

      Don’t get me wrong – the 300 is a terrific car, and a great value, but it doesn’t really play in the same league as the CTS. It’s an older design.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        @FreedMike – I gave the disclaimer that I haven’t driven the car. I would love the chance to and be proven wrong. That being said, I think many of the reviewers comments may be relative to the competition. When that competition is the current 5 series, E class, A6, and others, being the “best handling” car in it’s class is a pretty easy title. I think the Ford Fusion is a better handling car than a 528. To me, “good handling” is what classic BMWs like the e46 and e39 had, or even the Infiniti G37 and M35. I am only guessing here, but I’d bet $ that the new CTS will probably still suffer in comparison to cars like that, which to me, puts it in the “dull handling” category.

        The more cars I’ve driven, the more I take reviewers opinions with a grain of salt. The previous generation Honda Accord always received glowing reviews, but I had several as rentals and was never impressed. I never saw that Honda fun factor. No review ever mentioned how much duller an E90 was to drive than an e46 (which I ended up buying in part because I liked it better than the e90), and despite admitting that fact regarding the F30 in comparison to the E90, Car and Driver still saw fit to put it on their 10best list again. As has been noted on this site, it does not benefit them to say that the old car was better (which made the C/D declaration that they’d take an E90 over any of the categories current entrants such a shock).

        • 0 avatar

          It has been a lot of fun watching the Big Mags admit the F30 has lost the scent-whether a comparison to the outgoing model or a write up on a chassis dyno, they all finally admitted that BMW is losing ground.

          I drove an ATS, with the six, and automatic. I was quite impressed-I could tell the e46 was the target car. Caddy is catching up…and compared to F30, is making a real competitor. (I have an e46 M Sport, so I am spoiled)

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Difference: Luxury marque.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Just to pick a nit… You didn’t really discuss the ride quality, which is a huge part of the reason one buys a luxury car.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Alex rarely discusses attributes such as ride quality in any great detail with respect to any vehicle he reviews, and as you correctly point out, pretty much fails to describe the ride quality of the CTS (regardless of the suspension chosen) completely.

      I read most of Alex’s reviews, but find myself commenting less frequently in response to them lately (this is maybe the 1st in Alex’s last 4 reviews I’ve bothered to provide a comment in response to), and I’ve only done so now because of the accuracy of your observation.

      Ride quality is at least TIED as being the most important characteristic as any other when it comes to the attributes of luxury or near luxury sedans, IMO, yet it’s probably the least discussed/analyzed attribute in reviews (here or anywhere).

      I want to know how a damn sedan drives over smooth, bumpy, disjointed or cratered roads; I want tk know how rigid its chassis is and how “tight” its pieces are screwed together when doing high speeds on less than ideal roads.

      But we rarely, if ever, get a taste of such critical details in these reviews.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t know if it makes it into every review of mine, but I do have a regular “road irregularity” loop that I use for every press car that I get. It’s got a variety of bad road surfaces and it gives me a consistent measure of ride quality.

        One thing that I’ve noticed is that modern concrete laying equipment will put an oscillating surface at the extreme edges of the road surface, so much so that they will bring in a grinder to smooth the surface. There’s a spot about 2 miles from my house that’s perfect for judging road harshness.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        California roads are probably not the roads everyone in the US rides on. It is one thing to describe shock dampening and spring rates with the car’s weight combined with bushing elasticity and wheel weight added by sway bar thicknesses, camber, caster, and toe. Then to go on about how much sound deadening is used to control audible levels and how the seat is padded to absorb the last quivers of NVH to his gluteus maximus skin to a 7 minute article for us to read would be better topics for the car’s respective forums.

  • avatar
    mjz

    Does anyone else think the door panels/instrument panel look weird with the red leather trim, without the seats done in the same matching red leather? It’s like they put the wrong seats in the car when building it.

  • avatar
    mjz

    In my mind,the CTS will always be a 3-Series/C-Class competitor. Cadillac should have used the CTS nameplate for the ATS, and this new bigger 5-Series/E-Class competitor should have been the new STS. When they finally bring out a true 7-Seies/S-Class competitor, that could have been the new RTS.

    • 0 avatar
      Spartan

      The CTS has never really been a 3-Series competitor. Also, your mind isn’t exactly the target market. Cadillac needed a new name to break the mold with a true 3er competitor, the CTS has always been closer to 5er in size, and the STS is obviously dead.

      The LTS will very likely be the flagship name for the S-Class competitor and is expected in 2016. Trademark for the name was filed back in 2012. The only way I see the STS coming back is if they decide to go with that name instead since it still has some brand equity. It was a great car, they just let it rot on the vine too long.

      • 0 avatar
        mjz

        Well, I used to lease the CTS’s predecessor, the infamous Craptera, so my mind just might be (have been) in the target market for either car. The CTS was always a tweener ,sized in between the 3/5 Series, but priced like a 3. They are trying to command 5 Series like prices for the new CTS, and I think they would have been more sucessful with the STS nameplate at those prices. Also, I hope they do better than LTS, for the flagship name. Sounds too much like a Chevy trim level.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The STS was a sales bomb, so I’m sure Caddy didn’t want to repeat it. Decent car, though.

      The CTS has always slotted between the 3-series and 5-series, size-wise, so I don’t think it’s too big a leap to keep the name for the new model.

  • avatar
    AlternateReality

    It may be a decent car, even the best Cadillac ever (such as that is) but holy sh!t, that is one ugly interior. I especially like the mismatched colors and textures (a dominant theme throughout all recent GM products) and the center air vents seemingly inspired by those in the 2014 Corolla.

    • 0 avatar

      YMMV. What I don’t like is a monochromatic interior, black, gray, tan, whatever, some color and different texture goes a long way in making me like an interior or not.

      Of course, some do it with more talent, others less. This interior is a good start, but could’ve been done much better. As is though, it’s better than the sameness and drabness seen elsewhere.

      • 0 avatar
        AlternateReality

        I like colors, too, but I’d still take “drabness” over this haphazard mess of jarring colors and discordant design any day.

      • 0 avatar
        mjz

        I agree, so tired of black, grey or beige. I went on the CTS website to look at some of the interior combos. A couple are a little weird. The black/red combo (which I love), can only be had with the black seats. That’s a shame. They have a black/Kona brown combo which DOES match the seats to the door panels. The oddest one was a navy blue/black combo. The TOP of the instrument panel, doors and seats are navy blue,the rest is black. The new Jeep Cherokee also has an unusual navy blue/brown combo. Oh well, I guess it beats solid grey or beige.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The style works for me, but that’s subjective. Worth noting: you can get a monochromatic interior in a CTS if you want one. Assuming that’s an Acura logo by your user name, that might make you feel a bit more at home. :)

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      I think it looks fine but do agree that the seats should be red also.

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Did you mean Cadillac does not offer start/stop tech? Buick definitely does.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      @ Halftruth – I noticed that too. And while I haven’t driven the eAssist Regal, its start/stop system is supposed to work very well. Lord knows it’s annoying in my buddy’s F30 328i (a car that I should point out I like on the whole).

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        The eAssist Lacrosse does stop the engine at a light under the correct condidtions. Due to the car refinement the passengers wouldn’t know if the radio was on, the engine starting and stopping is almost seamless.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    I love the new CTS, but I would really like to see an N/A V8 option. I like the TT-V6 option, but there’s something about an N/A motor that just feels better to me. This is coming from a ’10 Taurus SHO owner.

    I’d love to upgrade to the CTS but don’t really want a vSport or the N/A 3.6L. I’d rather have a CTS Premium V8 AWD. I’m sure it’d get much better mileage than the German mills that get in the low teens around town and it’d sure as hell sound better.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    why does the CTS (and the ATS) have such horrible reat seat room?

    for the size and weight i’d expect more room than that… i think many small C segment hatches beat it there

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      In that segment, the back seats are only expected to be used for quick jaunts to lunch or dinner. GM expects people with regular back-seat passengers to buy the SRX or Escalade.

    • 0 avatar
      VenomV12

      The backseat room is atrocious in the CTS with thin cushions and abysmal in the ATS. I laugh when people say that the backseat in these cars is only expected for a quick jaunt. That is utter BS, this is a $60K luxury 4 door sedan, I expect it to carry 4 people in comfort with ample space. A $30K Honda Accord is massive inside compared to a CTS.

  • avatar

    “The first-gen drove like a BMW”
    What??? It drove like what it was… an Opel with a Chevy V-8 (that it was never designed for) swapped in by a hot-rod shop.
    Try one of these on a track sometime… the engine has serious oil pressure problems… the shifter is terrible.. the car is nose-heavy and has odd handling.
    These days a used one might be a little more desirable than a V-8 Impala… but not by much.
    But granted it was a start for the new Cadillac. The soon to be replaced CTS-V and the new CTS are both light years ahead of that first effort.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I couldn’t agree more. I don’t like the last two generations of CTS, even though the current CTS-V has its merits, but the new CTS is miles better. I wouldn’t take a CTS-V over the new CTS with the 3.6TT.

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      I think you are mistaking the first gen CTS with the Catera and/or BLS. The first generation CTS was built on the Cadillac exclusive Sigma platform which was designed for Cadillac. Only the CTS, STS and first generation SRX used the Sigma platform. Sigma II was used for the last two generations of the CTS and is a stretched Sigma with some Zeta bits thrown in.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      I don’t think he is reffering to the 2004 CTS-V with 400hp as that car would run with an M5 at Putnam Park based on one the magazines back then.

  • avatar
    stottpie

    My complaint with the car was the sound system. It’s nothing but BASS. I don’t understand what makes Bose desirable. Their sound systems are terrible.

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      Find the subwoofer. Jam the duct full of poly pillow stuffing. Works on another brand of car with a boomy Bose bass, might work here. Cost – $2-3 plus a half hour of your time to find out.

    • 0 avatar

      “Surveys” have found that much of the market equates good sound with boomy bass. I find the base stereos in Acura a particularly egregious offender, although the uprated ones are reasonably linear if not great.

      I grew up in a Stereo retailer, back when same existed. You quickly tire of all special effects and coloration of sound….and in the new OE world, at least, cheap is oft covered by boomy. You get stuck in many models paying a lot to get just “OK” sound from the “uprated” system.

      You usually have enough power with an OE system, but the speakers are the best they can get for .50 cents per unit-the first step is replace them. (shout out to BMW for the 3 ohm weird speakers with three legs so you can’t easily replace-thanks guys !)

      • 0 avatar
        jz78817

        the vast majority of aftermarket car speakers are utter garbage. They have nice sparkly cones and cast aluminum baskets as well as an amusing story to go along with them, yet give you disgusting amounts of distortion and intermodulation at even 1/4 of the rated power.

        people fall for it, though. Somehow it’s easy to convince people that a speaker is worth $150 because it has a glittery looking cone instead of dull black paper. Oh yeah, it sounds great on the “demo board” at the shop when you listen to it being fed maybe half a watt. as if that has any bearing on what the speaker will sound like in the car.

    • 0 avatar
      WildcatMatt

      No highs, no lows…

      MUST BE BOSE.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    “However, when car buffs dismiss the only American luxury brand left..”

    wait…what? Did Lincoln stop producing? Or is this a slight slapping. Although YOU may not think Lincoln does a good car…it still is here.

    And why can I not get a car with room for people with legs…

    I still would purchase a 2014 MKS ecoboost with its 360 HP/ torque and everything it offers at an equal price, or even lower…than this. Nothing here compares when you include everything available. Nothing…including trunk space.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The MKS IS A BAD JOKE.

      But if you desire one of the least reliable, worst riding & ugliest vehicles at what is a ridiculous price, no one will stop you.

      Window sticker shock is becoming ridiculous across the board, with few, notable exceptions, though, so there’s that at least…

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I liked the MKS and MKT more before the 2013 refresh. The MyLincoln Touch center stack better have gotten someone fired.

      • 0 avatar
        MK

        Agreed DW,
        I cannot friggin believe the prices they’re asking for these things. Especially with Caddys history of depreciation that’s a HUGE leap of faith, altogether too much risk for me given GM experiences. I want them to succeed and I keep thinking about a v model but there are more compelling cars out there at better values.

        That being said,this really is a great looking car. It heavily copies a lot of the Mercedes styling cues like the front end and side crease/character line but this plan worked out quite well for Hyundai so at least it’s a good path for them to follow.

        Really needs v-8 in the V model though… That’s too bad.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Cadillacs have always been ridiculously expensive (at least in the last thirty years) but I think they recently figured out some people enjoy flushing huge amounts of money down the toilet for the illusion of exclusivity in their transportation and thought “us too”. Just chuckle at the fools who buy warmed over Oldsmobiles for big money.

          • 0 avatar
            MK

            I guess you’re right, it’s just that I’ve had many older relatives and neighbors who ALWAYS had a Cadillac and I just DO NOT understand the brand I guess (and my personal auto history goes back to the 70s for reference). My FIL has owned over twenty of them in his life so it has had something in the past I assume.

            My perspective, theyve really been nothing special that I could see and with typical GM ideas of “luxury” and indifferent build quality and materials selection leading to such a horrendous depreciation.

            Oh well, not my money!

            Financially I do okay but I just can’t see dropping north of 50k on a four cylinder GM sedan… Or those of ze Germans either for that matter.

            Didn’t we learn anything from the housing crash? Good grief.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’ve driven alot of them when they were newer (early 2000s models in 2004/5) and plenty used from the 80s and 90s, I certainly understood what the brand was supposed to be: the top of the Sloan pyramid plain and simple. BOC all rode on shared platforms and “Cadillac” was supposed to be big, brash, and demand attention, have most things standard, some “exclusive” features the other two brands lacked in the same MY (i.e. Stabilitrack, fuel injection when it first came out, trip computers, cd changers, the heads up display on DHS etc), and an exclusive power-train (although I personally always saw the last point as meaningless). The problem is they let two big things ruin their credibility: HT4100 and Northstar, both of which came out in times before leasing when first/second owners expected to get at least 100K out of the cars. I don’t know what Cadillac valuation on 70s models was like in the 80s, or 80s 4100 valuation in the 90s, but I can tell you by the early 2000s all Cadillac (and most Lincoln) models had relatively poor wholesale value by their fifth year regardless of mileage, and I at least partially attribute it to twenty five years of mostly terrible engine reliability (and other issues such as air ride in Contis/MK8). People who want to trade every two years (or now lease) didn’t usually run into those issues, but many of Cadillac’s traditional buyers were entering retirement and may have been buying their final car, who wants to spend big money on a model that might blow a head gasket at 50K? So I think someone cooked up the idea to follow up the incredibly disastrous Catera with a “lease only” type model built an exclusive rear drive platform, pull from the parts bin, and go apeshit on the styling, thus CTS was born. Aside from meaningless doodads like CUE and Easter eggs like the magnetic suspension, what makes these Cadillacs? I can’t see any reason to call any of the current “Cadillacs”… Cadillacs. These cars are either reworked Chevrolets or basically Oldsmobiles; small, me’h power, near premium, some gadgets, but still not blowing your socks off, still not garish exclusive or worth spending a mint on. Not impressive at all, hell the Buicks are more impressive for what they are than the so called Caddys.

            I have similar feelings about spending that amount of money on anything I4, as I have said before if one goes up the spending ladder the products should get better, not worse. I could go to Manheim next week and buy a W-body Impala with 300hp for 15-16K, but you want me to spend how much to buy the same corporate powerplant in a Chevy/Buick/Cadillac?

            “Didn’t we learn anything from the housing crash? Good grief.”

            We have not because consumers are simply stupid creatures en masse, hence 50K I4 BMWs, I4 Cadillacs at all, and FWD Mercedes.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        Wow…how does all this garbage not only begin…but continue. It is like reading CNN, Reuters and USA Today and realizing every story had the same writer. Everybody repeating what they heard at the dinner party the night prior. Everybody got their talking points for tomorrow?
        It shows how urban legand starts. I will wager you never spent driving time in an MKS. I will further bet you never did a comparison of available options for pricing.
        Your reaction is so …I don’t know…internet…it makes me irritated, then I just sigh. This is the world today. All experts shouting…but got nuthin.
        Ugliest? Simply generalizing and irrational and yet still your right to say.
        Worst driving? How again are you able to say this seriously…unless you drove all cars. I am going to just take a guess you haven’t driven even a few of the category.
        But ranting makes us all feel goooood.

        • 0 avatar
          VenomV12

          The MKS is utter garbage, my neighbor had one for about 2-3 years and finally gave up on them and Ford/Lincoln a few months ago, it had so many problems. I remember driving behind him this summer and laughing that his third brake light had come undone from the roof and was hanging down. He despises Ford/Lincoln now.

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          I love it when someone comes on here and claims the current Cadillacs are the same as Chevys. That’s really interesting considering that the ATS and CTS are designed from a new Alpha RWD platform that no current Chevy even uses. The XTS is derived from an extended super Epsilon platform that is based on the LaCrosse and later the new Impala so those car’s are related but in no way do they feel look or drive alike, especially the XTS-V with 410 HP 3.6.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      The XTS has far more rear seat legroom and a larger trunk than any of the RWD based Cadillac sedans and does a better job at front seat space utilization than the Taurus/MKwhatever that uses a landing strip to take up what front seat space there is!

  • avatar
    JK43123

    I am just relieved that the odomoter tells me the song on the radio. Very important.

    John

  • avatar
    suspekt

    Re: Exterior Styling
    I need it get this off my chest.

    I love the design except for one giant BUT.

    The rear wheel wells are a complete disaster as is the trunklid. Same goes for the ATS.

    Both cars have nothing on the previous gen CTS when viewed from the rear or the general shape of the rear quarter panel.

    I honestly think this issue is a deal breaker for me personally. I think the front clip is a thing of beauty. It’s the rear end that is half baked.

    • 0 avatar
      Brawndo

      Yeah, I prefer the style on the previous CTS too. You’re right, the rear quarter was a lot better-that combo of fat curve and then some science and tailfins at the rear was just so much…more. That generation of art/science really hit the spot on luxurious, but appropriately brash. This new one, with the bland butt and and Mercedes aping side character line makes me sad.

      • 0 avatar
        suspekt

        Oddly,
        It’s the new Impala I would buy ahead of this. It just looks so damn right especially with the up sized wheels.

        As odd as it sounds, I would be torn choosing between the new Accord and the new Impala. Those would be the two cars I would be cross shopping with a used 2009 LS460 and 2012+ Acura TL SH-AWD thrown in for good measure.

        Jack, I really want to see you do a review with a 6 speed manual TL SH-AWD out on the track.

        Ultimately, the Accord Hybrid is just too compelling of a car to pass up. That is true value.

        This CTS just does nothing for me.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Pontiac just called from 1999, they’d like their gauges back. I get that Caddy wants to sell the LED package, but you’d think GM would have learned their lesson about punishing their low-end customers by now.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      I actually got reminded of a bad Pontiac instrument cluster from the 80’s. It’s not really that bad, but it makes me think of it. Wasn’t in the market anyway, but this pulls it off the “if only” list too.

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatist

      Am I the only one sick to death of all these gimicky instruments. Flat out, primary gages should be real analog (with needles NOT simulated). And real dedicated switches for all the primary functionality: vehicle controls, radio, climate etc. Save the pages of menus and ‘multi function’ crap for the configuration stuff.

      Camera makers are way ahead on this curve. They went whole hog menu driven a few years ago and now real knobs are coming back.. when you’re trying to set things quickly, menus and soft keys are not a good way to go.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Well, I’m really bummed out by the small trunk:

    ” Trunk volume also drops from a competitive 13.6 cubic to 10.5 cubic inches …”

    My current car has a bigger ashtray. Oh, wait a sec, it’s Alex (not) editing his copy again.

    As to the car itself, in Canada they want the best part of $60K for a CTS equipped with this 4 cylinder lawn-mower engine. That’s the impression I got from this same engine in the ATS. Struck it right off my list, especially as C/D pointed out, that 32hp on-paper advantage disappears when you put the BMW 328i up against it, because the Caddy loses on straight acceleration:

    ” The drivetrain in particular killed the Caddy’s chance for a win. If the 2.0-liter does in fact make 272 horsepower at 5500 rpm, then it’s only at 5500 rpm. At 5499 and 5501, it feels more like 230.”
    http://www.caranddriver.com/comparisons/2012-bmw-328i-vs-2013-cadillac-ats-comparison-test

    The ATS I drove had bent and misaligned steering wheel trim, and an interior no doubt designed by the same Las Vegas bordello outfitter let loose on this CTS, and a price far too high for what you get. Saying it’s brash is understating its glamorousness. Plus, the salesmen were snootier than the MB crowd, seeming to think they were selling gold at a discount.

    As for the CUE and other crappy “concentrate on the menus while you drive into the ditch” systems, I say bullcrap. With the road conditions we have around here this winter, you don’t have time to futz around with this ego-driven crap. Just a poor excuse for good design.

    I have to agree that the body seams etc. are tight. Pity, then, that the placement points chosen for the seams are awful, no doubt reflecting “production economies”. Light reflects off the different panels in different ways, making the overall presentation “look” misaligned. Where are the professional stylists? The newer BMWs have the same problem at the hood/front fascia interface. Cheap.

    For $60K, they could at least give you the V6 from the Impala Classic, a car that sells in the mid-twenties. Obviously, the engine costs Cadillac almost nothing to build.

    They must expect that the sort of people who appreciate bordello interiors will believe that the V6 is crafted by olde worlde craftsmen rather than Tonawanda robots and has special GM genes, when it is in fact a pedestrian design and has been around longer than the Corolla engines people like to criticize.

    The back seat is smaller than the old CTS, you state. So we have a car that has only one great feature – handling, and a bunch of demerits such as a coarse engine, tiny back seat, tiny trunk, poor body surface development and a brash interior of questionable taste all for a premium price. Probably, and it’s not guaranteed, quite well assembled.

    I’m sure it’ll set the world on fire.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    The depreciation on this car will be abysmal, and the brand cachet is non existent so keep it on your side of the pond thanks.

  • avatar
    carguy

    Some comments on the comments:

    – Cadillac is confusing its customers with the XTS. Its simply an Impala with a few extra options and its built and materials quality are not worthy of the Cadillac badge. It should be retired as quickly as possible before the stink rubs off on the rest of the lineup.

    – The ATS and new CTS are in an entirely different league to anything that Cadillac has made in several decades. The quality of materials, fit and finish as well as ride and handling are as good or better than anything that German car makers has to offer.

    – While I love the Chrysler 300, there is no comparison to the CTS. In all aspects a quality and fit an finish the 300 simply looks $20K cheaper. That is not a bad thing as for $30-35K the 300 is a steal but its no CTS no matter what option package you choose.

    • 0 avatar

      So, XTS is Caddy’s Lexus ES, then?

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Yes – the XTS is the Cadillac answer to the ES – both being FWD. The ATS is the IS and the CTS is the GS. If it is good enough for Lexus (and the Toyota fans on here think it is then it is good enough for Cadillac).

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          Cadillac competing with Lexus?

          The Bloomberg piece about Cadillac on C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett gave me the understanding that Caddy was hoping to pull away BMW, M-B and Audi buyers.

          Nothing was mentioned about Lexus except that Caddy was asleep at the wheel when the Japanese took that market away from them.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            I didn`t say they were competing with Lexus, although it makes sense since most people put M-B, Audi, BMW and Lexus in the top tier so if Cadillac wants to be in the top tier Lexus is a competitor.

            The point I was making was that they have two RWD cars that compete in the same segments as the IS and GS. The FWD XTS is a softer car, which is what the ES is compared to its brethren.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      The XTS came out before the new Impala which btw is ranked by CR as one of it’s highest rated sedans currently. The XTS also offers AWD which the Impala lacks, has a 304 HP 3.6 as std vs a 196 Hp 2.5 as std, offers one of the best interiors in it’s segment, offers a 410 HP twin turbo 3.6 which the Impala lacks, looks completely different to the Chevy and has a landslide more equipment available. Oh and it drives and sounds much more refined too. Lexus does the same thing with it’s Camry based FWD ES sedan and it has been a success.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    I can’t believe caddy tries to sell a 4 cyl – especially in a car over 30k.

    Might as well make electric windows an extra cost option, if they’re going to waste time on a 4 cyl

    Can’t even imagine paying 40k for a 6 cylinder yet alone a 4

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatist

      Welcome to New America, run by petty bureaucrats where car makers have to jump through bizarre hoops (customer be damned) to achieve fractional mileage increases.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      Hm.

      BMW 4-series- 2.0 liter Turbo 4.

      Starts at $40k.

      BMW 5-series- 2.0 liter Turbo 4.

      Starts at $50k.

      I’m sorry, did you have a point worth addressing?

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      @Hummer – if the you value the ratio of number of cylinders per dollar paid for your car then I can recommend a used Hummer H2. You pick one of those up for the price of a beater Corolla and it has 8 cylinders which is twice as good as 4.

      • 0 avatar
        MK

        Sorry man, but four bangers don’t belong in any kind of semi-luxury, sporting-luxury, refined, premium, near-luxury or semi-pretentious automotive conveyance.

        They’re probably passable in Europe when serving livery duty but that’s not the point of a car like this when your trying rebuild brand cachet by selling at absurd asking prices and it’s not going to happen with a four banger no matter how “great” and “revolutionary” it is.

        • 0 avatar
          carguy

          @MK – get used to them. 4 cylinder engines are not what they were in the 80s and 90s. DI turbo 4s are capable of delivering 300 HP and 300 lb of torque which is enough for even large sedans and mid size SUVs. They also deliver better fuel economy and lighter cars. I am sure that the sound issue can be resolved through either more sound insulation or exhaust changes.

          4 cylinder engines will dominate this segment by the end of the decade – just in time for folks to start complaining about the new generation of 3 cylinder engines and how they have no place in luxury cars.

          • 0 avatar
            tjh8402

            @carguy – I, and I don’t think MK, are questioning the ability of a 4 cylinder to provide adequate power. We are stating that they do not deliver the smoothness, sound, and refinement of a six. Yes, the N20 in the 528 I rented was extremely refined for a 4 cylinder, but that only added to the blandness of the car.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Two things: useful horsepower and low end torque.

            Little I4s can claim 300hp but when its at 6900rpm, its useless hp to the avg owner and its shameful to make the “300” hp claim in the first place.

            Sticks and turbos aside, driving your avg small N/A ohc/dohc auto car in a very hilly area is extremely annoying as your foot is frequently on the accelerator and you have to gun it to climb most hills. Wheres the low end torque? Now add another 1500 lbs a fake SUV carries and this little engine has to pull all of this extra weight while constantly revving. I wouldn’t be shocked as the years wear on these engines blow out.

            Cadillac would seriously impress me if they were to correct the mistake of their ideologue BMW and develop a 3 or 3.5 litre I6 and equip it with user configurable cylinder deactivation. This solves three problems all at once: low end torque, cylinder number, and fuel economy by running in deactivated mode.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @28-cars-later

            You seem to be confusing the sixes and the fours. The sixes are the engines that have to have their nuts revved off to make their power these days. The turbo fours make peak torque across usually crazy broad rev ranges, and peak hp down in the 5s somewhere.

            As usual, Saab was 20 years ahead of their time.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I haven’t driven a turbo in quite awhile and have never “owned” one as I know you have so I can’t quite relate to it much. The last I6 I thoroughly drove was an MY03 BMW 328ci auto and although I don’t recall the rpms now it didn’t seem to have an issues on the hills and I don’t remember the tac jumping all that much (maybe it did?).

            In any event since we can’t get a car without a computer at this point, why not develop a system where the driver could configure the number of cylinders he/she uses up to say 6 (in an inline or v configuration). So maybe your baseline is 2cyl, figure out how to get the car moving on only two (turbo?) and if the driver chooses to activate another cylinder bank on the fly, they can (not necessarily the current Displacement-on-Demand technology, more like a button on the wheel). In theory if you baseline at two (or three) cylinders, you could offer a model with exceptional fuel economy and give the driver the choice of significantly more power when and if they want it. I see it as win-win for everyone and it gives the driver a *choice* if they desire it.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Have two, ones a dd, and even with 325 HP & 365?tq, I still prefer the 6.0 over say.. The TT3.6.

        Then again I’d take a dmax swap before anything else in the H2

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Because a turbo-charged, direct-injected, balance shaft equipped inline four that makes damned near 300hp and 30+ mpg is a terrible thing? My goodness we are a spoiled rotten bunch, aren’t we?

      Having owned many a turbocharged Saab with an inline four, I say “bring them on”. And since I actually BUY cars in this class, I like to think my opinion might actually count for something. The inline 6 in my BMW makes lovely noises, but in every other way the “4 banger” in my Saab 9-3 was the better engine.

      • 0 avatar
        jz78817

        Uh, welcome to a car blog, where we spend countless hours bickering over details of cars we’ll never buy anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        carguy

        +1 . I recently bought an ATS and was initially leaning towards the 3.6 until I drove it back to back with the 2.0T. The 2.0T delivers fantastic low end torque for getting away at the lights or overtaking. The bigger 3.6 doesn’t feel any faster but it dulls the handling and makes the ATS front heavy. I suspect that is would be the same for the CTS. However, there are still some folks living in the 80s and 90s and seem to think that more cylinders means more prestige.

        • 0 avatar
          tjh8402

          @carguy – cylinder count has nothing to do with prestige, it’s about the feel and sound of the engine. I think a turbo 6 can be a credible alternative to a V8, as long as you let the engine sing (a 2JZ Toyota or RB26DETT Skyline are truly lustworthy).

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      Yes and a 400hp 22 mpg V8 is so much worse right?

      BMW doesn’t set the standard for engine choices, customers that only buy for the brand name is what has pushed 4 cyl at BMW.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      That’s what happens when you have a president that mandates 35.5 MPG by 2016.

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    I am a little confused. According to the simple statistics offered on their website, the souped up 2.0 liter turbo 4 banger offers essentially the identical horsepower, torque and gasoline mileage as their ordinary 3.6 liter V-6. No mention is made of what goes on at what rpm. No horsepower or torque curves are presented.

    So which engine is going to last longer? Which engine is going to be cheaper to fix when it gets old? Which engine is going to drive better in the mean time? Why is Cadillac offering a heavy car with an engine that is too small? Is this a science fair or a real world business?

    I guess that as long as there are countries that tax light motor vehicles according to engine displacement, businesses will produce freaks like these to order. Thing is how long before the victims of these self-inflicted wounds wise up?

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatist

      Fours definitely have their place, but not in a luxury car.

      No matter how well balanced, they have one problem with smoothness: power strokes are 180 degrees apart, and last for only 90-120 degrees or so. Every revolution contains two periods of power, and two periods of non power (v8s, with power strokes every 90 degrees have essentially continuous power). You can engineer all sorts of tuning into the drive train, but it’s just lipstick on a pig. Aging will likely make the vibration more noticeable… and resale value will plummet.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    In response to almost every comment made so far, regarding the price of this car as being very steep, I am in total agreement.

    But it’s not just a Cadillac thing.

    One of the predominant complaints consumers will have in the foreseeable future, rivaling if not exceeding their most fevered pitch of any past era, is how ridiculously expensive “near luxury” or premium vehicles have become, which right now is manifesting itself in ridiculously long (and growing longer) loans of 72 months or more that consumers are increasingly resorting to in order to “tame” what’s an increasingly ridiculous monthly payment – this at a time when credit has loosened up and interest rates for remotely credit-worthy borrowers are low.

    There’s going to be something that has to give, and it will give hard, when that which is not sustainable (i.e. increasingly indebted debt slaves allocating more and more of their future earnings to finance auto purchases), breaks.

    Simply put, vehicle prices are rising at a crazy pace only because longer loans are being taken on in an era of artificially low interest rates.

    40k, 45k or 50k or more is asinine for any vehicle such as this. ASININE.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      Car prices are sure rising – with a loaded Toyota Highlander reaching $50K you have to wonder where all this will end.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        I just looked at a FWD Kia mid size sedan with a price tag near 45 large ones. And it has a NA V6 of only 3.3 liters. A couple of years ago I would have said no way can a Kia sedan cost that much. Welcome to the technology laden CAFE pleasing sedans of the future.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Time to look at a different car, I say. You can do a lot better than FWD Kia for $45k.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Vote with your wallet and not buy new. I paid $12,900 on the nose with all fees for my GP/53K in 2010 and I overpaid by at least a grand. $45,000 for a KIA FWD anything with or without the built in blowjob machine is excessive. Show the industry you won’t buy overpriced underwhelming product.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You’re into luxury machine money by $45k, and companies are happy to sell you a RWD or AWD sedan of your choice with a better badge and a far more satisfying drive.

            I want to know which one it was, the Optima?

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Ignorant ranting aside. Cars have almost never been more affordable.

      http://blogs-images.forbes.com/jimhenry/files/2012/05/Comerica-Affordability-Index3.jpg

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      @Deadweight

      Let’s have a little perspective, shall we? Back in Fall of 1984 my folks bought an ’85 Oldsmobile 98 Regency Brougham in all it’s Broughammtastic glory. Loaded. Which in ’84 meant it had leather seats, a tape deck, power windows and locks (no remote), power driver’s seat with a seatback that didn’t recline (!), a wheezy fuel injected 135hp 3.8l V6 with 4spd box (very high tech), and that was about it. Instrument panel had a speedo and a fuel gauge, and that was IT. It cost just a hair over $20K. That same $20K would have bought you a BMW 3-series with A/C and a sunroof, and a 110hp four. VERY exciting! $20K in 1984 is roughly $44,500 today…

      So cars have gotten OMG completely unaffordable? Uh, I don’t think so. Considering a $16K Toyota Corolla is a better car in every single way than that ’84 BMW OR the ’84 Oldsmobarge.

      But go right on ranting how $40-50K is a crazy price to pay for a comfortable, luxurious sedan that will blow the doors off an exotic sports car of 30 years ago while being more reliable than anyone could have dreamt of back then while getting 35mpg when driven gently.

      JUST FOR YOU we will make a special run of ’84 Oldsmobiles, of course they will break down a lot (ours certainly did), get crappy gas mileage, have a tape deck for “infotainment”, and still cost $44K. Actually, that Olds DID have one thing I haven’t seen in 25 years – AM Stereo – oooooh baby, now THAT is some infotainment right there!

      Cars have never been cheaper adjusted for inflation. Adjusted for inflation and content, they might as well be giving them away for free in a crackerjack box.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I have to disagree in the sense that while inflation adjusted cars might be slightly cheaper, everything else has drastically gone up in price in the same period.

  • avatar
    Toshi

    Front headroom is listed as 40.4″ on Cadillac.com. That’s a ton, and is discordant with what Alex writes in the text…

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Anyone tall enough to worry about such things knows exactly what brochure cabin measurements are worth.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        I’m tall enough to worry about such things (6’4″) and they do matter. For example, if maximum headroom is achieved by dropping the seat to the floor, the resulting driving position concentrates body weight on your butt (as opposed to distributing it between your butt and thighs), which becomes fatiguing on long drives. One of the reasons people like SUV’s is that the higher body allows a more “chair-like” seating position, with the driver’s feet significantly lower than his butt. If you look at cars designed in the pre-aero era (say, before the late 1960s) you will find that they are all relatively high-roofed. This allows easier entry and egress and also allows a more chair-like seating position.

        • 0 avatar
          DrSandman

          @Dan, @DC Bruce –

          Headroom is a top priority to me; can’t drive it if I can’t sit in it. My older girl-child should soon top out at over 6′ tall, so back-seat space/headroom is important, too. I have comfortably driven a Mini Cooper S with my head poking through the sunroof…

          I would be interested if either of you (or any ‘Murican-sized person) have sat in one.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    It’s worth noting that BMW’s latest architecture (the collection of models whose chassis names begin with the letter F) offers three LCD screens. There’s the smallish color screen that’s standard on the 3-Series, X3 and possibly the 4-Series. But you can upgrade to the nicer screen that runs half of the width of the IP and has much better resolution; this screen is standard on the 5-Series and the new X5. Ticking the right boxes on the 5-Series and X5 will get you the flagship full-width IP screen, and it appears to be standard on the 6 and 7-Series’. I believe a version of it is also used in the Rolls-Royce Ghost and Wraith.

    With the base CTS IP, it’s not so much the screen as the gauges that surround it, but BMW wouldn’t have put an instrument panel in its midsizer that was beneath that class. Scratch that; the base cluster doesn’t belong in any luxury car, and it’s a sore spot in a suite of otherwise fantastic interiors.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    Here is my quick 2 cents on the CTS. I won’t get into the obvious paying off GM has done for these so called glowing reviews of it. CUE went from being universally bashed to all of a sudden almost no reviewers mentioning it or complaining about it. I guess basically buying up all the ad space out there for your vehicles, especially on Youtube has its advantages.

    Anyway, ignoring the obvious long term questionability about GM and Cadillac’s reliability down the road, my basic summation of the CTS after actually driving it twiceand not Internet commenting like 90% of the people out there, it that while it drives well, it is not remotely worth the money. The backseat is unacceptably small, the trunk is small, the front not that large either and the materials hit or miss. You can still see the GM cheapness in lots of areas and parts bin stuff. CUE is not as good as Audi MMI and definitely not as good as BMW iDrive.

    And even though I am comparing apples to oranges somewhat with the Hyundai Azera, you take a look at that car, for a decent amount under $40K fully loaded, it is positively voluminous inside with decent materials and tech and a V6.

    At the end of the say, GM survives on their massively discounted leases and employee sales prices so that is where you really have to judge the CTS I guess. I personally would not lease one at any price, I would get a BMW 5 series or Lexus GS over this car. The only Cadillac I would consider is the new Escalade, assuming they keep the pricing close to what it is now, I would definitely consider it as I think the new Range Rover pricing is laughably ridiculous.

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      “. I won’t get into the obvious paying off GM has done for these so called glowing reviews of it. ”

      ah yes, the hallmark of the internet whiner. “I don’t agree with you, so someone must have paid you to say it!!!!”

      “Anyway, ignoring the obvious long term questionability about GM and Cadillac’s reliability down the road,”

      You might not want to say too much about this if you’re going to immediately start talking about BMW. They’re not exactly considered to be stellar there either, chief. They just have an army of fans ready to make excuses on their behalf, while waxing poetic about their “E-whatever” they love so much (when it’s not being repaired.)

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The one thing I will give Cadillac is in theory its long term reliability has a better chance because so much of it comes from the corporate parts bin. Ironically variant of the GM 6 spd auto is used by… BMW.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GM_6L50_transmission

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        GM has been running non-stop ads on almost all the major automotive Youtube review sites for at least 6 months, don’t tell me throwing all that ad money around has no impact. They ran the hillbilly truck ad for about 3 months straight until people were threatening to unsubscribe channels, then it was the CTS ad and now I think they are on to the Camaro ads. Prove me wrong, I dare you.

        When the XTS and then the ATS came out, reviewers were blasting the CUE system, calling it the worst thing since Hitler, then magically when the CTS came out, not a goddamn word, barely a whimper about CUE even though it is essentially unchanged. I wonder what could cause that change of heart?

        • 0 avatar
          jz78817

          “GM has been running non-stop ads on almost all the major automotive Youtube review sites for at least 6 months, don’t tell me throwing all that ad money around has no impact.”

          The publisher of the videos has no control over what ads run. Google does.

          ” They ran the hillbilly truck ad for about 3 months straight until people were threatening to unsubscribe channels,”

          Ooohh!!!!! “Threatening to unsubscribe channels?” That’ll learn ‘em! Did they start an online petition against it, and whine about it on message boards to complete the trifecta of internet slacktivism?

          “Prove me wrong, I dare you.”

          You made the claim that GM is paying people off, jackass. YOU support it.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      GM Employee Discount right now is probably $2,000 off MSRP. Not a very good deal as someone on the street could beat that.

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        The lease deals are always huge. I have a home in the Midwest and I am at my home in Texas now, been here for about a month. I just drove today from Dallas to Austin and back. I have seen exactly one ATS since I have been down here, 2 new CTSs and about 8 million Audis and Lexus vehicles. Back home in the Midwest where I live, my town is a GM town and the local Cadillac dealer can barely move ATSs or CTSs. They do sell a lot of XTSs though and have over 7 pre-orders for the new Escalade. It took them 2 months to sell one new ATS when it first came out.

  • avatar
    Buckshot

    The Germans don´t always work perfectly but somehow people wants them anyway. It must be brand cachet. If you compare watches, there are several brands that are just as good or better than a Rolex, but a Rolex are still no.1 because it is a Rolex.
    I must be hell to work on a non german luxury car, because even if the car is fantastic you´re pretty much doomed from the beginning.

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    Cadillac just can’t abandon the two flagships for a price point can they?

    It looks like a nice car, but that red interior needs to go back to the 80s and DIE.

  • avatar
    Libertyman03

    I read through some of the review. While I don’t personally care anything at all about this car, as I’d never buy one (or any Cadillac…it’s just not my thing), I absolutely could not leave TTAC without saying how ridiculous this car looks with it’s tiny, vacuum castor wheels. It’s a LARGE car, and the tiny wheels make it look even bigger. Now before you got thinking I’m some kind of youngster who demands 30 inch wheels on every run-of-the-mill Camaro, let me tell you that that I drive a Chevy HHR with 16 in steel wheels. But they are at least proportionate to the car they are used on. This CTS looks like a whale on tiny roller skates. Which is a shame because I think the styling is pretty attractive. Get some 20’s on there and I’d be all about it.

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    Too expensive. Their brand isn’t at 95% of BMW. So the price shouldn’t be either.


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