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We drive the Cadillac CTS 2.0T

by Ali Arsham
Friday, December 13, 2013

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The Cadillac CTS has been around since 2002. Back then it replaced the Catera sedan which was supposed to be Cadillac’s answer to BMW.  The Catera was not a success but the CTS made everyone notice.  The third generation CTS has received continuous improvements and has been hailed as the closest rival to BMW yet from the US.  After a few days of living with the CTS, I can tell you that GM has done a fabulous job with the CTS and it is definitely not a pretender.

We got our hands on a CTS Performance with the 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine.  Cadillac has taken a page from the German companies with various trim levels being offered with different themes.  In the case of the CTS, there are four such levels starting out with Standard which costs $46,000. 

Interior
The next step is Luxury which offers you leather seats, heated and ventilated front seats, split folding rear seats, heated steering wheel, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Alert, Safety Alert Seat, rear view camera, HID headlights and 17 inch wheels.  The Luxury package will cost you $52,000. 

The next step is Performance which gives you everything the Luxury package provides with the addition of Magnetic Ride Control, heads up display, navigation system and premium audio system, panoramic sunroof, automatic parking assist, rear and side sunshades, heated rear seats and 18 inch wheel replace the 17s.  All of those features are not cheap and raise the price to $58,000. 

Finally the top Premium level also gives you full leather everything with 20 way adjustable seats, reconfigurable instrument cluster with four unique themes, adaptive cruise control, automatic seat belt tightening, sport pedals and polished wheels.  The Premium brings up the price to a breath taking $63,000.

What is interesting about the packages is that some items do not make sense in the package.  For example, sport pedals would make more sense in the Performance model and panoramic sunroof display would make more sense in the Luxury model.  Our car was the Performance model but it also had the reconfigurable gauge cluster, sport pedals and 20 way adjustable seats for an additional $1625. 

The reconfigurable gauges and the adjustable seats maybe expensive but they are well worth it.  The seats are fantastic and are terrific on long trips while they do a great job of holding you in during spirited driving.  Since the gauge panel is basically an LCD screen, the gauges can be given different looks.  There are four different options and there are a multitude of sub-options available.  For example, you can opt to see the navigation map inside the speedometer.  Interestingly, there is no boost gauge available for the turbo engine.

Our car had the standard engine which is a turbocharged 2.0 liter four cylinder that puts out 272 hp which is 32 hp more than the similar engine available in the BMW 528i.  There is no manual transmission option so the only transmission choice is a six speed automatic.  The 2.0 liter engine is adequate in this car and the CTS is not super heavy at around 3600 pounds but it does not feel terribly quick either.  The engine must be revved to its 7000 rpm redline in order to get going but it does not sound very exciting at high revs.  The transmission is very smooth and never brings attention to itself.  There are paddle shifters if you want to operate the car more swiftly.

There is a lot of sound insulation in a Cadillac and the CTS is a quiet place to be on a long trip on the freeway.  The front passengers have a terrific amount of room but legroom for the rear is a bit tight for such a large car.  Of course with all of the amenities and gadgets the front passengers will have a lot of toys to play with.  The fit and finish of the interior is excellent with everything feeling rich and well appointed.  The highlight is the amazing power windows which are as smooth as warm butter.  You would think that power windows are all created equal but operate your power window in your car and then get in the CTS and the smoothness is amazing.

Cadillac CTS 2.0L
Cadillac has received a lot of attention for its CTS sedan.  It is a very well crafted car that will provide a lot of joy to its driver.  Just like the German competition, if you are not careful you will easily add over $20,000 to the base price.  It would probably be best to observe some restraint and to minimize the options to get the best deal.  Either way, you will have a luxury car that turns heads wherever it goes.

Specifications

2014 Cadillac CTS sedan

On Sale: Now

Base Price: $46,025

Drivetrain: 2.0-liter, 272-hp, 295-lb-ft I4; RWD, six-speed automatic

Curb Weight: 3,616 lb

0-60: N/A

Fuel Economy: 20 city/30 highway (EPA)

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