Long story short: This is the best Cadillac I’ve ever driven. The 2014 Cadillac CTS V-Sport takes a very good sport sedan and gives it a twin turbo pick-me-up along with subtle performance upgrades to make it one of the best sport sedan values on the market. So how is the rest of the package?
Let’s get the numbers out of the way first: 0-60 in 4.6 seconds, with two passengers, on the street. 420 horsepower. 3.6 liters. Twin Turbos. Direct Injection. Add in a nicely appointed and very quiet interior, and offer all of this for just under $60,000, and you have the 2014 Cadillac CTS V-Sport. The numbers don’t tell the whole story though.
The interior build quality is miles ahead of previous generation Cadillacs. The materials feel premium, with alcantara, leather, and very nice wood trim adorning the various surfaces of this luxury sports sedan. Cadillac has opted to use CUE in the new CTS, and while much better than the previous CUE systems, I still prefer the tactility of real buttons rather than the capacitive touch buttons in the CTS. That being said, most functions were easy to get to and not distracting- besides, the only controls you need are very tactile: a physical traction control and mode switch, and polished magnesium shift paddles.
The paddles control an extremely satisfying 8-speed automatic transmission. Shifts are very quick and tactile, and the transmission is relaxed during everyday driving. Downshifts have a satisfying blip of the throttle to them, and the transmission suits the car perfectly. It’s very comfortable and capable whether calmly driving on the road, or aggressively navigating your favorite winding road.
The aforementioned mode switch is an extremely important part of the equation. It controls the magnetic ride control along with steering weight and throttle response. Touring is relaxed but still sporty, sport mode is a bit more aggressive, and track mode has a competition traction control strategy that is very very good. I found myself in either sport or competition mode most often, with manual control of shifts. While track mode has the stiffest damper settings, it’s quite manageable. The shock settings seem just right in sport and competition, and a bit too soft for the spring rate in comfort. The car tries to hold gears longer in track mode, which is why I had it in manual most of the time.
How does all of this come together? Amazingly well. The chassis and suspension are well controlled and extremely capable, the Brembo front brakes stop with authority, and the 420 horsepower means even with four 200 pound men in the car, the Cadillac is still very fast and comfortable. My over 6 foot friends had no problem fitting in the back with enough legroom. Trunk size is downright cavernous.
The big thing that amazes me is just how composed the new CTS chassis is. No creaks or rattles here, just fantastic suspension and steering response, which is welcomed with the 420 horsepower on hand. The electronically controlled limited slip works great and is always there when you need it, and is very predictable when going sideways. This 5 passenger sedan is always a willing and capable companion on any twisty road, and it’s no slouch in a straight line either. The whole package just works great.
I was absolutely floored by how good this car proved itself to be. I can’t think of another car that blends luxury, performance, and style in a more comprehensive package. The as tested price includes heated and ventilated seats, Bose audio, high intensity discharge headlights, waterfall LED front lights, LED tail lights, navigation, blind spot monitoring and keyless entry and start. I can’t stress how good a value it is. Cadillac has shown that BMW and Audi better be worried- this is a serious performance car and is ready to take on the anything Europe has to offer. Best of all, it does all of this for less money. This V-sport is just the tip of the iceberg. I can’t wait to drive the full on next generation CTS-V.