Last weekend, Hyundai saved the most fun for last by…
Cadillac has been wooing me over the last couple of years – from the ATS, to the Escalade Hybrid, to the all-new CTS sedan. Their design and performance teams have heard the people’s cry and have risen to the challenge, producing a series of legitimate German-car fighters.
The 2014 CTS is no exception. This car exudes luxury and style. Yes, it could be for your grandfather, but it could also be for your dad, or cool uncle. This is a gentleman’s sedan, and it makes no apologies for that.
Drivers will be able to tell that this car is balanced. With a nearly 50/50 weight distribution, the CTS glides through twists and turns with ease and without sacrificing performance. Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control combined with the Bose sound cancellation system make for a quiet, comfortable ride over pothole-ridden roads.
What I love about the Cadillac CTS:
- Soft ride, smooth acceleration
- Comfortable seats for all sizes (I’m 5’7″, my mother is 5’1″ and my husband 6’2″ – we all felt cozy in the seats.)
- Impeccable design both inside and out
- LED lighting details on the interior and as part of headlamp kit look sharp
- Deserving winner of MotorTrend’s 2014 Car of the Year award
This Cadillac rolls out some serious luxury touches without over-doing it. The size, while larger than what I personally prefer in a sedan, would be perfect for any professional who has to tote around clients. The CTS sedan achieves the balance (that those in heavy sales roles strive for) between passenger comfort and not being so flashy as to make your customers unsettled.
Cadillac CUE could be better
Remember the Blackberry Torch – the company’s very first phone with a touchscreen? Working the Cadillac CUE system is remniscient of using the Torch (and we all know how much people loved the Torch). While CUE’s interface is great, the buttons and screen are inconsistently responsive upon applied pressure.
I would end up pressing with my finger from different angles and different amounts of force before it finally worked, never knowing which one was the exact right amount to do it on the first try. Like Goldilocks, I kept searching for the ‘just right’ amount of force to use.
The screen presses down when you push it; I assume it’s CUE’s way of confirming you’ve made a selection. That worked pretty consistently, but it was difficult to know just how much pressure to use when pushing any of the buttons in the center stack. Sometimes it would work right away, while other times I would end up pressing with my finger from different angles and different amounts of force before it finally worked, never knowing which one was the exact right amount to do it on the first try. Like Goldilocks, I kept searching for the ‘just right’ amount of force to use.
A few gripes with the CTS:
There was little that I didn’t enjoy about the CTS, which means I’m about to get nit-picky. I found the systems to be challenging; their functions were not immediately straightforward, and it took me longer than usual to decipher many of the controls in the center stack and on the steering wheel.
- Gadgets may be a bit complex for the buyer demographic – the car was not immediately intuitive for me to use.
- The CUE’s touchscreen and low-profile buttons make it difficult to know just how hard to press to get the function to work. For older drivers, this could be very frustrating as it’s distracting from the task at hand.
- A few too many chimes, blinks, and dings from safety features – it’s more alarming in some cases than helpful.
- The darn seat belt huggy-thing every time you drive away (I already know I buckled my seat belt! I trust it to do it’s job without reminding me by squeezing out my breath!).
An older driver’s perspective
My mother was in town the week that I had the CTS, and so I wanted to gauge her opinion of the vehicle from an older driver’s perspective (she’s 64). While she remained a passenger of the car, at a mighty 5-foot-1 feet small, my mom didn’t seem intimidated by this mid-size sedan. She felt comfortable, safe, and surrounded by luxurious touches. She currently drives a 2005 Mercury Mountaineer; she was impressed with many of the technological features that came on the Cadillac.
Safety features gone overboard?
There was one feature of the CTS that I absolutely hated – each time I would get in the car and buckled up, as soon as I pulled away I’d be interrupted by a sudden squeeze across my chest. Like a blood pressure monitor arm cuff at the local drug store, the seat belt hugs you tightly as if to remind you that you just fastened it 15 seconds ago. It’s awkward, and startling, and something I could not get used to.
What do you get for all that cheddar?
The CTS starts at a reasonable $45,000, but our ‘Premium Collection’ priced out at more than $67,000 before destination fees – and it wasn’t a V-Sport. That’s a little steep to us.
- 3.6L V6 engine putting out 321 horsepower
- All wheel drive paired with a 6spd automatic transmission
- Fuel economy rating of 21 mpg combined
- Sport suspension and magnetic ride control
- 18″ polished aluminum 7 spoke wheels
- All season, run flat tires
- Brembo performance front brakes
- Leather interior with performance front seats, featuring heat and ventilation
- 12.3″ digital display and heads up display
- Adaptive remote start
- Front and rear park assit
- Mega sunroof that extends over the rear seats
- Black Diamond tricoat paint (which is a beautiful $995 option)
Safety features on the Cadillac CTS sedan we tested included:
- Standard airbags for driver and passenger, including front seat side and knee
- 4-way adjustable front head rests
- Driver Awareness Package with blind zone alert
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