Change can be good: Redesigned Cadillac CTS adds twin turbo power, keeps luxurious looks and style

Cadillac has been on quite a roll with a consistent, excellent product line. From the smaller ATS to the midsize CTS to the full-size XTS, their sedans have a certain distinguished look. As GM refocused attention on the brand, you could see the influence throughout the product line. Consistent aggressive styling, high-quality interiors and fun-to-drive engine performance has made Cadillac the ultimate domestic luxury brand.

The Cadillac renaissance started with the sexy and sculpted CTS. Chiseled and sleek, the one-time concept-car-turned midsize luxury staple has made a mark for itself.


Knowing that the CTS was being redesigned for the 2014 model year had me worried. I was already a huge fan of the previous generation CTS, ranking it as one of my all-time favorite vehicles. But, when I got behind the wheel of my tester for the week – the 2014 Cadillac CTS VSport – any worries I had were put aside.

Cadillac took one sexy sedan and improved upon it in all capacities.

Take for example, the exterior. The sport-inspired look was improved upon while adding 4.2 inches of length to the body. This was a necessary upgrade from the previous model. Somehow, the GM engineers made the grille and front end more slender and more aggressive looking. That’s a win big time.

The new LED headlamps are chic and European looking (think Audi). At night, it’s identifiable and a beauty.

The CTS VSport engine is something new altogether for Cadillac. The twin-turbo V6 engine makes 420 horsepower and 430 lb./ft. of torque. The sheer speed and performance of the CTS has always been one of my favorites, but now with a V6 it offers refined, controlled power that is so much fun. An eight-speed automatic transmission is the first of its kind for Cadillac. More gears equal more seamless shifting equals top engine performance (not to mention improved fuel economy).

Inside the CTS there is luxury that is synonymous with the Cadillac brand. That means leather cloaked seats everywhere, heated seats (front and back), alloy paddle shifters and soft touch points throughout. The interior is both classy and youthful making the CTS attractive to both the traditional Cadillac consumer as well as a more youthful buyer.


Cadillac adds their CUE entertainment system to the CTS, and this is a first for this vehicle. As someone who appreciates technology in today’s automobiles, I’ve been appreciative of the CUE system. Some critics have found it cumbersome and slow in responding, but I’ve found that after a brief learning curve, it’s a wonderful infotainment system.

The gauges are intuitive and the organization over the driving column makes for great eyes-on-the-road organization of everything you need from navigation to music right above the steering wheel. Yes, the haptic response (think tablet-like swiping) of CUE can be a little awkward at times, but the technology it offers is cool and hip. Perhaps a little more tweaking would make it ideal. I’ll look forward to that in the next revision of the otherwise flawless CTS.

There are six various trims for the CTS from the Standard up to the VSport Premium (which is what I tested). The VSport is the only trim with the turbocharged V6, and for me, that’s the best engine option. But also included in this trim are performance package options like driver assistance, adaptive cruise control, assisted braking and collision avoidance assistance. The VSport trim also offers selectable driving modes (just leave it in sport mode and thank me later), sport steering, and 18-inch high-performance tires.

The CTS VSport is available only in rear-wheel drive.

Despite adding length and weight, the CTS saw a slight improvement in fuel economy with this redesign. Some of this is due to the efficient eight-speed transmission and the redesign in the aerodynamics of the sleek sedan. It has an EPA rating of 16 city and 24 highway. In a week’s worth of lead-footed driving, I averaged a little over 18 MPGs. This included a 200+ mile road trip on mostly highway.

With so many trims, the price range for the CTS is vast. This new CTS can be found for under $55,000 for certain trims. The VSport option is more expensive with a price a $69,000. My tester, fully loaded had a final sticker price of $72,140.

For someone like me, who doesn’t like change and who thinks why mess with a good thing, the 2014 Cadillac CTS VSport shows that sometimes change is good. And in the redesigned Cadillac CTS, change is really good!



PRICE/AS-TESTED PRICE………………………………………… $69,000/$72,140

MILEAGE…………………………………… 16 MPG (CITY); 24 MPG (HWY)

ENGINE……………………………………… 3.6-LITER TWIN-TURBO V6

HORSEPOWER/TORQUE…………………………… 420 HP/430 LB./FT.




Jimmy Dinsmore
For several years Jimmy Dinsmore has reviewed new vehicles, offering up a unique look and an interesting voice in his weekly column. Jimmy looks at vehicles from the consumer’s point of view. Light on the technical jargon, and lacking the cynicism that pervades many other auto reviews, Driver’s Side treats each vehicle fairly, offering a light-hearted take. Email him at - and follow him on Twitter @driversside.