Now that the hype surrounding the 2014 CTS has come and gone, we felt it appropriate to take the time and reflect on Cadillac‘s all-new midsize sedan. There is much to like about the new CTS, and not much to dislike. So here we go:
What We Like
Photos of the 2014 Cadillac CTS don’t do the actual car justice. Its rakish, yet polished design placed on a nearly perfect profile shape strikes us as one of the best in the segment. And that’s saying a whole lot. Strong emotions were felt each and every time we gazed at the new CTS, and we really couldn’t get enough of it. Would we have liked to see more creative effort in the rear fascia? Sure, but it doesn’t even come close to spoiling the overall looks. Hats off to the entire team involved in designing the 2014 Cadillac CTS.
The relatively light weight
In its most basic form, the 2014 Cadillac CTS lost 244 pounds over the previous-generation model, despite being longer and wider. At 3,616 pounds, it is the lightest vehicle in the segment. Much of this is thanks to GM’s Alpha rear-wheel-drive vehicle architecture, first introduced in the smaller ATS, which is also light for its class. The utilization of aluminum and magnesium in its design, instead of heavier steel, also helped the all-new CTS keep the weight down. The weight savings will most definitely pay huge dividends when it comes to driving dynamics — something that Cadillac seems to be doing better than everybody else these days.
We may prefer the LT1 V8 over the twin-turbocharged LF3 V6, but there’s no denying the amount of power the engine brings to the table. At 420 horsepower the engine outright embarrasses BMW’s twin-turbo V8 in the 550i, in that it produces more horsepower (420 to 400), with two less cylinders. But even for those who don’t want that much power, Cadillac will also offer the very potent 2.0L turbocharged four cylinder engine making around 270 horsepower, and the 3.6L naturally aspirated V6 with roughly 330 horsepower.
What We Dislike
The lack of a manual transmission
The 2014 CTS might be introducing a new engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission in the VSport version, but somehow, for some reason, a manual transmission slipped through the final product, at least at launch. It puzzles us why such a driver’s car isn’t going to be offered with a driver’s transmission. We’ve heard the rebuttal that the take rate would be too low, but nobody really offers a manual transmission in a vehicle these days thinking that sales would be significant. Besides, the Buick Verano Turbo has one.
The lack of a friction bubble in the VSport model
The 2014 Cadillac CTS VSport may not be the impending, full-on next-gen CTS-V, but at 420 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque, coupled with Magnetic Ride Control, it would fit in just as well on the track (which Cadillac expects owners to visit) as it does the street. So why not give it some track-oriented amenities, such as a friction bubble, which monitors lateral and longitudinal G-forces? At the very least, VSport owners can brag to all their BMW-owning friends, who were tricked into thinking that their 550i is still some sort of sport luxury car (maybe it is, but definitely not as fun of a driver’s car as it used to be). Besides, the Buick Regal GS has a friction bubble, with just over half as much horsepower (and half the price tag, probably) as the VSport. But which one strikes you as the better track-day car? Our bet’s on the Cadillac.