Long-Term 2014 Cadillac CTS Update – Wrap-Up – The poster car for a luxury brand in transition.
By: Todd Lassa | Photography by Andrew Trahan, Automobile Staff
From the moment it replaced the Catera, the Cadillac CTS established itself as the brand’s first credible shot at taking on BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi as a competitive luxury brand.
More than a few believe the present CTS, launched in the 2014 model year, is already on the German competition’s rear bumper, thanks in part to Cadillac chief engineer David Leone’s adherence to Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s “add lightness” dictum. Though longer in wheelbase and overall length than the second-generation model, the alchemical use of aluminum, high-strength steel and strategic body reinforcement on the latest CTS has dramatically lowered the car’s overall weight, making it the lightest car in its class.
We were impressed with the new CTS when we first got into it, so much so that we named it one of our 2014 All-Stars and subsequently ordered a Cadillac CTS Vsport for a Four Seasons test. This twin-turbo, 3.6-liter V-6-powered model promised a comfortable compromise between the more sedate base 2.0-liter turbo-four and naturally aspirated V-6 models and the 640-hp, supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 CTS-V that was still two model years away.
The basic Vsport package provided pretty much everything we wanted in a Cadillac sport sedan. Besides the aforementioned twin-turbo six, our Vsport included a capable eight-speed automatic, performance suspension with Magnetic Ride Control, electronic limited-slip differential, dual exhaust, Pirelli P Zero run-flat tires, Brembo brakes up front, and silver-painted aluminum 18-inch wheels.
We didn’t tick the box for the $10,000 Premium package, which would have added full-leather seating instead of just the surfaces, plus a sunroof, configurable instrument panel, and other goodies that eat into weight savings. Our only option was the car’s $495 Majestic Plum Metallic paint job, which pushed the bottom line to $60,490.
We were short on long trips with this car, but there were trips to Philadelphia and quick jaunts to the Milwaukee area, Nashville, and Michigan’s idyllic Leelanau Peninsula. But no matter how near or far we went, the consensus from staffers was that the new Cadillac is moving in the right direction with the Vsport’s sport/luxury mix.