2014 Cadillac CTS 2.0T Review

2014 Cadillac CTS Cadillac has long been trying to be a major player in this luxury segment dominated by BMW as well as Mercedes and they’ve had a little bit of a rocky road getting there the first-generation cadillac cts drove like a BMW but it didn’t look or feel like a BMW in terms of quality on the inside it
was also sort of a half step in size

between two BMW 3-series and a BMW
5-series and therefore also between a mercedes-benz c-class and an e class that’s been fixed with this latest generation of Cadillac Sedan we now have the Cadillac ATS doing business with the 3-series in the mercedes-benz c-class it’s much smaller than the Cadillac CTS it’s also very BMW like it actually is exactly what a BMW would have been like if Cadillac had been building it drives very much like the last generation BMW 3-series which is a very good thing now we have this 2014 Cadillac CTS which has
grown about 2 inches overall this year

meaning that it’s bigger than the
current generation BMW 5-series in the Mercedes e-class so it’s a definite solid eClass 5 Series competitor now I’m going to try and forget about the Cadillac XTS for just a little bit because Cadillac would like you to believe that it’s a 7 Series s-class competitor however it’s really more of a Lexus ES competitor you can get it with all-wheel drive and for this year you can get it with a twin turbo v6 but everything about that Cadillac XTS is really more lexus ES than Lexus LS 7 Series or S Class when I first saw the Cadillac CTS and its original release photos I have to say I was impressed and it looks even better in person I really like angular lines and so the Cadillacs art and science design theme really
works for me we have this bold grill up

here and we have what looks sort of like
a Cadillac fin continuing from the rear down to the front of the car these are daytime running lights they also turn on when you unlock or lock the car and our vehicle here has the optional hid headlamps very much like the BMW Mercedes competition you don’t get the fancy headlamps in the base model you only get those in certain up level packages right here we get front parking sensors in the 2014 CTS we also get some additional ultrasonic sensors right here these are for the optional self parking system available in the Cadillac CTS and new for 2014 we now have a virtual bumper system this is very much like what Infiniti been touting on some of their latest models it’ll actually break the car for you if you’re in a parking low-speed

type situation and it thinks you’re

gonna hit something it’ll actually apply the brakes fully to keep you from bumping into something like another car or a garbage can or a wall something along those lines the side profile is CTS reminds me of a slightly classier Chrysler 300 we have this nice long hood which definitely is a great rear-wheel drive proportion this is something that you don’t find in something like an Audi a6 because the audi a6 really is a front-wheel drive by default vehicle because it’s engine is almost entirely in front of the front axle so the proportions are just a little bit different between that and something that’s truly rear-wheel drive like a Cadillac CTS a BMW 5-series or a mercedes-benz e-class you can also tell how much this has grown in this version because this rear door is now fairly long we have a fairly attractive but also a fairly short trunk back here

outback Cadillacs angular theme

continues and again I find this incredibly attractive for this segment I find this an awful lot more exciting than something like an Audi a6 which is just a little bit boring decent amount more exciting than the BMW the BMW goes for elegant and refined rather than a little bit bold and I strangely enough by this very similar in theme to the mercedes-benz e-class which is also going for an angular theme however I think that the Cadillac does it with just a little bit more Flair we have these sort of proto fins back here which don’t stick up quite as high as the Cadillac XTS but I think this is a design cue that I kind of like we also have the Cadillac signature single rear backup light right there in the middle kind of an attractive touch and the dual hidden exhaust tips even on the 2.0 T
model nestled under this hood we have a

thoroughly modern

2-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine with direct injection as well as variable valve timing this engine produces 272 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque which is a decent boost over the 2-liter turbo inside the BMW 528i that BMW 528 one thing I’d like to point out here is that this four-cylinder engine is entirely behind the front axle which gives you a very good weight balance this is quite different than something like an Audi where the engine would be almost entirely in front of the axle or a front wheel drive vehicles like a Volvo or a Lincoln or whatever where the engine would be literally on top of the front so there’s also a 3.6 liter v6 engine it’s good for 321 horsepower 274 pound-feet of torque and a twin turbocharged version of that same 3.6 liter v6 good for 420 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque things start to change a little bit from
the German competition after the engine

because this 2 liter turbo engine is
mated to a 6-speed General Motors automatic transmission now there’s nothing wrong with the GM 6-speed automatic BMW had been using them for years until they moved entirely to the ZF 8-speed it’s that it’s two gears behind that ZF 8-speed that you’ll find in the Audi as well as the BMW and it’s one gear behind mercedes-benz 7-speed automatic transmission now if you opt for the 3.6 liter v6 engine you can upgrade from the 6-speed automatic to an 8-speed automatic that’s purchased from Ison it’s essentially the same 8-speed automatic that you find in a number of Lexus models if you get the twin turbo v6 then that 8-speed automatic is standard you can opt for all-wheel-drive
on any model for an optional $2,000 as

you’d expect from a luxury car front
seat comfort is excellent in the CTS our version has the optional 20 way adjustable driver seat with power adjustable side bolsters a manual extending thigh cushion and a 4-way manual adjusting headrest we also have this power memory tilt telescope steering wheel with a decent range of motion I don’t think these seats are quite as comfortable as BMWs optional sport seats that contort in a million different directions but these are more comfortable than BMWs standard seats in the BMW 5-series I also find these a decent amount more comfortable than the current seats and the mercedes-benz e-class as well now the CTS isn’t the full-size Cadillac I remember from my youth but that’s not really a Cadillac problem because the BMW 5-series in the mercedes-benz e-class aren’t any bigger than this in the backseat either so I’m 6 feet tall this front seats adjusted for me and I still have a few inches of legroom left there if you want more legroom then you’re gonna have to go for something like a Cadillac XTS if you want to stay in the Cadillac family if I move over to this passenger seat if it’s really even possible it might need to leave one leg over there this front seat was adjusted for a six foot five passenger and my knee is digging right into that seat back so I couldn’t do
that for very long we do have these

split folding optional rear seats that
do fold almost completely flat with the cargo area that is kind of a nice feature and we also get a scent armrests in the back with an additional ski pass-through let’s take a look around the interior we have height adjustable seat belts there as well as these four-way adjustable front headrests you can also see in the back that we have the optional sun shades for the side windows as well as the sunshade in the rear you have these perforated leather seats leather is an option in the Cadillac CTS it’s not standard in all models we do have the perforated cooled leather seats however we also have this very very attractive combination leather pleather and Alcantara door trim right there so you can see we have leather on top which is then stitched to Alcantara then we have a carbon fiber trim insert with some contrasting red lines that run through it then we have this lovely red leather down there very soft comfortable arm rests and a little bit of extra storage in the door that theme continues if we move on to the dashboard here you can see we have the glove box right here in red you have the upper dash trim

everything is a soft touch plastic all

this red leather here is also nicely stitched on the bottom if we move over to the center of the dashboard we have this injection molded perforated look right here on top with a another pleather or leather section right there and then we have the same sort of stitching effect going all the way down the center console meeting in the middle one thing I’d like to point out is how nicely done these seams are if you recall my video of the Cadillac XTS we did notice a few fit and finish problems those are really not existing in this Cadillac CTS everything here is done extraordinarily well like the 80s and the XTS we also get the Cadillac Q infotainment system although our particular test here does seem to have a more recent software update than we’ve had in the past if you want to know more about the infotainment system then go ahead and click on that link below and be scooted over to that video we also have an opening section right here it’s all touch driven and that little cubby opens and you’ll find a USB slot right there so that you can hide your iPhone
or your eye widget or whatever it is

that you’d like to hide in there and we
have our climate control buttons here they’re all touch driven none of these are physical buttons and we haven’t noticed any of the same ghosting effects that we noticed in the Cadillac XTS right here we have our shifter we have two large cupholders easily capable of holding the largest size take-out soda and this cup holder is electrically operated move the cable out of the way you can see this you just pull on that little handle and the door slides open and closed we have our little ashtray there with a little cubby and a power socket and then if we move to our center console it opens sideways away from the driver inside the center console which is fairly large for a rear-wheel drive car you’ll find two additional USB inputs an optional hundred twenty volt power adapter and a 12 volt power outlet right there our CTS has the optional 12 inch LCD instrument cluster which is incredibly attractive this is easily one of the best LCD instrument clusters on the market part of that is because of how configurable this is so if we go down to the settings option in the
screen you can choose various different

display layouts you can choose a
traditional dial based layout which is very similar to what you’ll find in other LCD instrument clusters out on the market like Jaguar and Land Rover’s what makes this system different from the others is that it has different layouts like this performance layout simple layout they’re very well animated as well and then my personal preference is this enhanced layout which gives you a little bit more information than the other screens you can also change what is displayed on these so this center section you can have a settings you can also have it as your audio or your phone interface or navigation if you’re currently navigating somewhere this little section up here is always going to be the map and the enhanced view and this section down here on the left and the corresponding one over there on the right can be a variety of different things you can choose from you have a trip computer fuel range fuel economy travel time etc you can cycle through all those and you can maintain them on a set screen and then over here on the far right we have our standard fuel gauge if
we back out from that you can see that

we have a very attractive leather
wrapped steering wheel this is full grain leather rather than half grain leather so it’s not quite as soft as some vehicles but it probably will last longer very attractive shift pedals back there and a leather airbag cover which is very nice over here we have our two position seat memory our window switch controls down there below and then right here we have the controls for our heads-up display which is optional the Cadillac CTS you can also see from this vantage point that we have excellently executed seams and gaps in fact everything on the Cadillac CTS is executed with the precision that I really was sure that Cadillac could achieve you know given their performance over the last few years but they really have excelled themselves in this 2014 CTS might be a little bit tricky to tell but this is the optional heads-up display in the CTS right now we’re seeing the compass view we also have a tachometer we have speed limit information as well as infotainment information we also get navigation directions in this system if the navigation was active as well as cruise control information displayed in the upper left of that screen Cadillac system is more exciting than other versions of General Motors heads-up display but it’s not quite as good looking as BMWs latest full-color version of their heads up system in the
3 and 5 Series this caddy scores 7 out

of 10 points in our exclusive trunk

comfort index it’s not furnished quite as nicely as the German competition if I’m honest in the trunk not that that many people will be riding in your trunk but it is something that you’ll probably notice when you go shopping the other thing you’ll notice are these trunk hinges which do occupy a decent amount of trunk space something that I was a little bit saddened by we do get a nice grab handle right here on the trunk but the trunk lid feels a little bit lighter than the German competition as well overall I score this probably 1 point below the BMW 5 Series or the mercedes-benz e-class every version of the Cadillac CTS has driven extraordinarily well and that’s certainly true for this latest edition of the Cadillac CTS this definitely drives like a solid competitor to the BMW 5-series as well as the mercedes-benz e-class I’m excluding the Audi a6 format because the Audi a6 is predominantly a front-wheel drive car or an all-wheel drive car if you really look at the Audi a6 sales a decent number of them are sold in front-wheel drive only in the United States and that design of the chassis in the Audi a6 is very nose heavy and that’s not happening here in the Cadillac CTS this is a near-perfect 50:50 weight balance just like a BMW 528i cuz that engine is almost entirely behind the front axle really helps out on these winding mountain roads where you have a great feel to this chassis handles every curve every corner every
curve exceptionally well with an awful

lot of finesse and refinement something

that you wouldn’t normally have said associated with the Cadillac brand in the 1990s or you know the 1980s something along those lines this is an entirely different Cadillac to the Cadillac that I grew up with in terms of performance figures the 2.0 T dishes out 60 in five point nine seconds and that’s because the six-speed Automatic I would expect that this engine paired with an 8-speed automatic would be a little bit faster 260 that’s definitely something we’ve seen out of something like a BMW 528i extra two gears helped the BMW 528i ervil in this Cadillac CTS engine be very competitive in terms of performance with the Cadillac CTS one thing to keep in mind when shopping is that the 3.6 liter v6 produces more horsepower but less torque this 2.0 T and so performance really isn’t that different between this 2.0 and the 3.6 liter engine I would probably save my money if I were you and buy the 2.0 T over the 3.6 liter v6 engine for that reason only now the 3.6 liter v6 is available with the 8-speed automatic and that does make it a little bit faster this than this 2.0 T model but it is optional it’s not standard with that 3.6 liter v6 compared to BMW and Mercedes small four-cylinder engines the CTS 2.0 T is a little bit noisier actually it’s an awful lot noisier the cabin isn’t really that noisy in the CTS it’s about 67 68

decibels out on the road at 50 miles an

hour but there is a decent amount of
engine noise intrusion and it’s not the most refined engine sound if I’m very honest that being said the interior is fairly quiet and I would still probably have this 2.0 T over the very smooth 3.6 liter v6 you just have to know that even though this engine isn’t as refined sounding as the Mercedes or the BMW engines it honestly is just about as smooth it’s really just that General Motors isn’t blocking quite as much engine noise from the cabin unlike the BMW 528i cts 2 liter turbo engine does not have an auto start/stop feature so we stopped at a stop sign like this one right here the engine doesn’t shut down that does result in a slight perception of more refinement in the Cadillac CTS because people have complained a decent amount about BMWs start/stop system that isn’t happening in the CTS although the flipside of that coin is the CTS does get slightly worse City mileage as a result although in terms of mileage we have been averaging about 24 miles per gallon which is fairly good for a sedan of this size it really helps that the CPS isn’t terribly heavy this is a few hundred pounds lighter than a comparable BMW 5-series which already is a fairly white sedan for the size of the vehicle that really helps in terms of performance agility as well as fuel economy we also have the optional Magna ride suspension in this particular CTS
which really helps the cornering ability

of this car out on these winding

mountain roads we have two different suspension modes we have normal and we have a sport mode and sport firms things up but it doesn’t get rock hard like you’d expect out of something like a Corvette or something along those lines doesn’t ever get that hard the immediate parallel that comes immediately to my mind is Volvo’s old R series of cars where they’re adaptive suspension had a rock hard bolted to the frame kind of mode that’s really not happening in the CTS it does firm things up nicely but it’s still passable for driving down a gravel road don’t take that to mean that the standard suspension mode in the CTS is soft by any measure this is a fairly competent firm sport suspension any way you slice it something that I really like out on these winding mountain roads the CTS is fairly numb behind the wheel but that’s just the fault of modern electric power steering and it’s the same story in the e-class and the five series someone once told me don’t mistake heavy steering for steering with feel and thankfully that’s not a problem in the Cadillac CTS like it is in certain other German cars number of German cars these days are just as numb as the competition but then they have really heavy steering for no apparent reason other than trying to compensate for the lack of steering feel and it really doesn’t do the job and so the CTS is fairly nicely weighted all the way around in terms of transmission field the general motors 6-speed automatic transmission has had a few rough shifts over our week with this car I’m not quite sure whether that’s due to the fuzzy logic programming of this system that sort of adapts to your shifts as you drive or whether it’s
inherent part of the six-speed automatic

transmission I didn’t notice it with the
Cadillac ATS when we had it for a week but I did notice that this 6-speed automatic is not as smooth or as quick shifting as a ZF 6 the automatic transmission that you used to find in the German competition and now of course the Germans have all moved on to the 8-speed ZF automatic transmission which is lightning fast and has a wider gear ratio spread ZF 8-speed is very quick shifting it’s also very smooth and not that the 6-speed General Motors automatic transmission is a bad transmission but when you compare it head-to-head with eight-speed automatics in the competition the wider gear ratio spread in those transmissions and the faster shifts really help milk the most out of every engine that’s connected to them well not strictly part of the drive section Cadillac has an interesting way of communicating feedback to the driver in terms of lane departure warning parking sensors as well as their pre collision warning system and they do it via a vibrating seat cushion this is something that I found really handy in this car if you’re approaching an object with your parking sensors it vibrates the front of the seat if you’re crossing a lane line it vibrates one of your cheeks left or right depending on which lane line your butt has crossed and I find it to be less obtrusive than the annoying beeping systems in other cars the people in the car also don’t know that you’ve crossed the lane line because it just vibrates your bottom rather than alerting everyone into the car that you’re a bad driver as with most entries in the luxury car space pricing is fairly complicated for the 2014 CTS things start out at forty five thousand one hundred dollars for the base model 2.0 t as tested here

you’re looking at fifty eight thousand

three hundred twenty-five dollars things top out in the 2.0 T model at sixty two thousand seven hundred twenty five dollars if you opt for that three point six liter twin-turbo engine that’s the most expensive CTS you can get at the moment and that’s seventy thousand dollars at the moment the big thing to know about it is that all across the board it’s about four to five thousand dollars cheaper than a comparably equipped BMW 5-series it’s a little bit cheaper even still than a comparably equipped mercedes-benz e-class and the e-class is probably one of the better comparisons with the Cadillac CTS because they also have a twin turbo v6 versus something like an Audi a6 pricing is still a little bit cheaper than that and of course compared to the middle tier luxury brands like volvo a curette cetera it’s a decent amount more expensive so let’s go over some of the pricing details that you should probably know as a shopper the first thing to know is the base cts doesn’t have leather seats it has imitation leather seats if you want to do that then you have to have the 50 $1,925 luxury package which also gets you heated cooled seats the split rear seats that’s
not an option in the regular runs that

they don’t fold down we get the heated

steering wheel lane departure warning those HID headlamps and a backup camera the version we’ve been showing you here is the performance model which includes the magnetic ride control heads-up display navigation Bose sound system sunroof automated parking system we get sun shades on the rear doors as well as on that rear window illuminated door handles as well as heated rear seats and then the fully loaded premium version adds 20 way full other seats an LCD disco – the adaptive full range cruise control front and rear auto braking system at low speeds an additional pre-collision system the 2014 CTS is a thoroughly impressive vehicle this is really the first entry from Cadillac that can truly compete with the mercedes-benz e-class as well as the BMW 5-series that’s a really great track record for Cadillac because the ATS truly competes with the c-class and the 3-series from BMW Mercedes and so this means that they now have a one-two punch in the space all they’re really missing is a true BMW 7-series a mercedes-benz s-class competitor now comes the time for the trickiest question would I buy a Cadillac CTS yes I’d buy one but there are a few caveats first off I would probably skip the 3.6 liter v6 engine not the twin-turbo talk about the naturally aspirated one this 2.0 team model has a great weight balance so it is an awful lot of fun out on the road I also wouldn’t buy a base model the base

instrument cluster is just too ugly for

me and I’m sorry about that Cadillac but it’s made doubly ugly by the fact that this optional LCD instrument cluster is just really great I mean it’s the best instrument cluster that I have seen on the market today that includes things like the very expensive Jaguar XJ and the brand-new Range Rover as well this LCD instrument cluster is easily the best in the industry so that pretty much rules out the 45 to 50 thousand dollar range vehicles I probably would just buy the 3.6 liter twin-turbo model because it is still a decent discount over something like a BMW 550i it’s a little bit more expensive than a BMW 528i fully loaded however that twin-turbo v6 engine is a great engine and you also get that 8-speed automatic that’s really my only knock against the 2.0 T model is that it doesn’t have an 8-speed automatic and pretty much everybody else in this segment either has an 8-speed or a 7-speed transmission and that really is kind of a problem with this cadillac cts 2.0 t that I hope they address soon I
think that if this had that 8-speed

automatic transmission this would easily
be my choice in this two liter turbocharged market but until it gets one it’s my second choice behind the BMW 528i but it is a very very close second and again there are some caveats there so if you like infotainment and navigation and LCD instrument cluster then even without that 8-speed automatic I’d rather have this Cadillac CTS and that’s a really tough call for me I think the interior on the Cadillac is just as good as the BMW I think that the exterior is more attractive than the BMW but the interior and infotainment really it’s kind of a balance depending on which model you get we’re not you get that option also the


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