Test Drive: 2014 Cadillac CTS car test drives luxury cars cadillac
Test Drive: 2014 Cadillac CTS car test drives luxury cars cadillac
2014 Cadillac CTS Premium. Click image to enlarge

Review and photos by Jacob Black

To say the 2014 Cadillac CTS is a beautiful car is an understatement. It looks exciting, enticing and elegant in a way I never thought I’d say a Cadillac would. It’s inviting too. Given that the week before I was in a Porsche Panamera, and that I felt absolutely no sadness moving over into this, it’s obvious the CTS is a pretty special rig.

It’s also incredible to drive. The 3.6L V6 spins all four wheels through a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. That engine puts out 321 hp at 6,800 rpm and 275 lb-ft of torque at 4,800. The V-sport model comes with a similar 3.6L, only with two turbochargers bolted on to boost output to 420 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. I’d have enjoyed that, but I very much enjoyed the power I had – especially when it got snowy.

The interior of the Cadillac is luxurious and welcoming, with plush, stitched leather, aluminum trim and piano black on every surface.  The cupholders, coin holders and cubby holes are all covered by a slick lid, so you can hide any coffee spills with ease. The now-common GM flip-up centre stack is there too. One press on the bottom of the stack and a deep storage bin with a power socket and a USB input is exposed.

The hard buttons and switches feel well made and secure, and Cadillac has used soft buttons/pseudo buttons/funny little touchy things extensively. That last bit is controversial, as is much of Cadillac’s CUE system. Some people love it, some people hate it, but most people concede it is where human-car interfaces are heading.  I much prefer knobs for tuning and volume because I find them easier to locate without having to take my eyes off the road, but once I got my head around the volume slider, I did find it as easy to use as a control knob.

Test Drive: 2014 Cadillac CTS car test drives luxury cars cadillac Test Drive: 2014 Cadillac CTS car test drives luxury cars cadillac
2014 Cadillac CTS Premium. Click image to enlarge

I’ve heard CUE is slow to respond, but I found it better than the Ford/Lincoln equivalent, and I found it easier to navigate through CUE’s menus. I’m also in the camp that enjoys the virtual gauges with its many customizable displays. Having nav, audio, fuel economy, speed, range, gear selection and all the idiot lights clearly visible in one slickly designed display was a revelation for me. And the steering wheel controls made it incredibly simple to scroll through the options, tweaking the display to what I wanted, when I wanted it. I could even scroll  through Sirius XM channel lists from the wheel with song titles right in front of me – that’s brilliant.

Test Drive: 2014 Cadillac CTS car test drives luxury cars cadillac
2014 Cadillac CTS Premium. Click image to enlarge

Add the head-up display to the mix and Cadillac has made it easier than just about anyone to get all the information you need without ever looking away from the road. In fact, the 12.5-inch digital gauge cluster had my attention so completely I almost never noticed the eight-inch centre-stack touchscreen. That is, until my daughter pointed excitedly and said, “I can see our building!” Cadillac isn’t the only premium car company to do it, but the 3D maps in the city are a very cool touch, seeing buildings and streets all displayed in the navigation display is entertaining. It adds almost no information value at all, but it is a very cool trick.

There is a lot of room in the cabin too – not as much as you might expect looking at the CTS from the outside, but the front seats offer a lot of legroom and headroom. Not only that, but the front seats are heated and ventilated with 20 different power adjustments – or 17 more than I need. The rear outboard seats are heated too, and the tri-zone climate control allows the rear passengers to set their own temperature – tip for new players: Make sure you turn it on if your three-year-old is in the back and it’s negative 20 outside!




About Jacob Black

Jacob used to write about motorsport for SPEED TV in Australia but met a girl. Now he writes about road cars in Canada and is married to the girl. He lives a very, very good life. Jacob Black is not a werewolf.