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2014 Cadillac CTS Debut

Look out BMW and Mercedes, Cadillac is crashing the midsize luxury party.

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What's New

With the 2014 Cadillac CTS debuting at the 2013 New York Auto Show, the American luxury automaker once again takes the fight to Germany. The new CTS is bigger and lighter than its predecessor, offering more interior space, and a slew of new engines that rival its competition from abroad. It also ushers in new styling that's simultaneously an evolution of Cadillac's established style, and a bold reintroduction of the same. With technology second to none in its class, the 2014 Cadillac CTS will be a force to be reckoned with.

The previous CTS was a half-step vehicle, caught somewhere size- and price-wise between cars like the BMW 3 Series and BMW 5 Series. But with the 2013 Cadillac ATS taking on the smaller BMW, the CTS has room to grow. It's more than 4 inches longer, including a 1.1-inch stretch between the wheels that helps increase rear legroom. The new CTS is based on a stretched version of the ATS, which means it's nearly 200 pounds lighter than before, and nearly 200 pounds lighter than the BMW 528i.

Three engines will be offered: a 272-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder; a 320-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6, and a 420-horespower turbocharged version of that V-6 offered on a new model, the CTS Vsport. Both V-6 engines are available with an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission; the turbocharged four-cylinder gets a six-speed automatic, as do all-wheel drive V-6 models. Further emphasizing the CTS's role as a premium sport sedan, Cadillac's excellent Magnetic Ride Control--which adjust shock absorber stiffness to changing road conditions--is standard on all models.

The CTS Vsport adds more than just the most powerful engine. It also comes with 18-inch wheels with summer-only performance tires, high-performance brakes from Brembo, quicker steering, an electronic limited slip differential that enhances racetrack performance, and an extra driver-selectable track mode with special steering rates and suspension settings that further enhance the CTS Vsport's on-track prowess.

Clearly, Cadillac isn't messing around on this one.

The Cadillac CTS's new styling reflects its move in terms of size and overall market. Looking larger and more substantial than the model it replaces, the headlights sweep dramatically into the front fenders, and the LED accents break through the bumper line and down alongside the brake cooling duct below. The bold grille is split in three, with an in-your-face Cadillac badge front and center. The rear styling didn't wow everyone, but the raised trunkline and fin-like taillights both speak of European sophistication and American styling cues.

The interior deserves special mention. We've been let down by GM interiors in the past, even though they looked great in photos. But recent experience with the company's luxury division tells us to believe the hype, at least a little bit. We're seeing real wood on the door panels, and what looks like real leather on the dash as well. There's also Cadillac's CUE infotainment system on the center console, and a LCD screen for gauges.

Who It's For

The 2014 Cadillac CTS has four primary targets: The Audi A6/S6; the BMW 5 Series; the Mercedes-Benz E-Class; and the Lexus GS. Once upon a time, Caddy targeting these powerhouses would have been dismissible, but the excellent 2013 Cadillac ATS--itself a strong contender against smaller luxury sedans like the BMW 3 Series--has shown us that Cadillac is dead serious about becoming a player on the international scene. Seeing as how the CTS is based on the same underpinnings as the ATS, we have high hopes.

Key Features

In addition to the hardware, there's a substantial amount of luxury and technological enhancements that keep the 2014 Cadillac CTS in the hunt.
  • A 12.3-inch LCD configurable instrument display, similar to what's in the XTS sedan
  • Automatic park assist, which will park the CTS for you into parallel spaces
  • Active cruise control with full stop, which brings the CTS to a stop in traffic, and resumes when things clear
  • Safety Seat, which vibrates to warn you of other traffic, impending collisions, or obstacles when parking
  • A motorized cup holder lid in the center console. Seriously.

What We Think

The 2014 Cadillac CTS has all the makings of a hit. Cadillac is offering up a compelling choice of engines, a bigger vehicle that will offer more interior space, a focus on high-end interior materials, high-tech features, and even a little luxury silliness thanks to the power cupholder lid. We can't wait to drive it.

Back to Auto Show Coverage: New York 2013