With the new-for-2013 ATS built to perform against compact luxury sedans such as the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Cadillac has bulked up the CTS sedan to compete against the Germans in the midsize luxury segment.
GM’s engineers added 1.2 inches to the 2014 CTS’s wheelbase and no less than 5 inches to the body length. That’s a significant growth spurt, but thanks to extensive use of lightweight aluminum, the new car’s base model is 200 pounds lighter than the 2013.
It’s also more powerful. Starting at the top, the Vsport Premium boasts a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V-6 that delivers 420 horsepower (hp) at 430 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque. The lesser two engines are shared with the ATS: The base powerplant is a 2.0-liter turbo four-banger that delivers 272 hp (and 30 miles per gallon on the highway); a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V-6 rounds out the lineup with 321 hp.
The exterior styling stays true to the outgoing model with a few notable exceptions, including a long, heavily sculpted hood. The front grille is wider and the badge is bigger. The new headlights reach back over the front fenders as if photographed at high speed; the effect is emphasized by a string of LED lights that starts at each corner of the front bumper. The back end features smart-looking, integrated twin exhaust tips.
The cabin is as expected: stylish, draped in the finest fabrics and loaded with creature comforts. Hand-cut-and-sewn premium leather is available, and buyers can choose among eight interior trim packages built with anodized aluminum, carbon fiber or real wood. Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system, OnStar and climate controls are displayed on an 8-inch touchscreen.
The base CTS comes standard with remote and push-button start, 17-inch wheels and rear parking assist. The Luxury edition includes heated leather seats and steering wheel, a rear camera, added safety features and more. Upgrading to Performance adds a sunroof and power window shades, 18-inch wheels, magnetic ride control and power parking assist; Premium brings all of the above plus leather throughout.
The CTS is also still available as a coupe and wagon; only the sedan was redesigned. It remains to be seen whether the other two configurations will still be available a year from now. Pricing for the 2014 CTS sedan ranges from $46,025 for the base model to $59,995 for the Vsport Premium.