2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport - Sport Over Luxury

Miles to Date: 19,363

Todd LassawriterAutomobile Staffphotographer

Daily news editor Joseph Capparella shook off Marc Noordeloos' criticisms of our Four Seasons 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport's ride quality during a trip to Nashville.

"I wasn't expecting anything special from the CTS for the long-haul," Capparella says. He makes this 500-mile journey several times a year. "But one thrilling moment near Bowling Green, Kentucky, stood out to me.

"I had just refueled and had about an hour's drive left. It was 8 p.m., and highway exit 38 was pretty much deserted, with an open shot from the gas station to the on-ramp. I exited the station and squeezed on the gas as the responsive eight-speed automatic snapped off quick shifts from second to third, and then I made a quick left-right transition from the short stretch of road onto the gently curving on-ramp. Composure and balance inspired confidence, and I could feel the V-6's turbochargers spooling up as I kept accelerating along the ramp, the magnetorheological dampers keeping the car planted and stable. This is a seriously capable performance car, and Cadillac really nailed the driving dynamics."

Moments like this make us keep buying sports sedans as daily drivers. But most of us are too busy for track time that would let us wring out such a car to its full capabilities, so we have to rely on freeway on- and off-ramps.

Capparella enjoyed that on-ramp even on our 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport's Pirelli Sotto Zero winter tires, which we have since swapped out for the original-equipment Pirelli P Zero summers.

Meanwhile, back into our daily commutes, the 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport is frustrating us with luxury car technology that tries too hard. Take the pushbutton electronic glove-box release … please. It's a component as complicated as it sounds.

"You tap the electronic release button in the center stack and you can hear the motor working, but the door doesn't move more than an eighth of an inch," daily news editor Eric Weiner notes from a late February drive.

Our local Cadillac dealership found that the glove-box door was askew, a not-uncommon problem with the CTS. The owner's manual is so thick that it's tough to close the door properly. Our service department replaced its damper with the same part and moved the manual (without telling us) to the small, open compartment in a corner of the trunk that was, until now, ideal for holding a six-pack of beer.

Weiner also told the dealer service representative that the hazard light button, which is next to the center CUE screen, wasn't working. It was replaced for free, but it's another overcomplicated design flaw: Owners were brushing the button by accident and activating the hazard lights. Cadillac's software fix is that you now have to hold the touchscreen hazard light button for 3 seconds before it activates. That potentially requires too much attention when the driver might have to concentrate on an actual hazard. It's another example of an iPad-like control causing problems you'd never have with a simple, old-fashioned servo-activated button.

Finally, after using it for a few days for his regular 50-mile commute, senior editor David Zenlea proclaims that the twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-6's idle (especially from cold starts) is getting rougher, and it's worse than from the Four Seasons Cadillac ATS's naturally aspirated 3.6 we had a year earlier. That car was repeatedly brought to the dealership for a fix, to no avail. We haven't done the same with the 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport, though in our defense, the idle was only intermittently rough at first. We're closing in on the Four Seasons' conclusion for this Cadillac, so we'll chalk it up to an engineering flaw.

For now, we can credit Cadillac for taking a giant leap forward in overall design and in the handling dynamics of its CTS and ATS. As the brand prepares to launch the new 2016 Cadillac CT6 sedan, we hope Cadillac can nail down some of the teething problems we've suffered in our ATS and CTS Four Seasons cars. On paper, the CT6 looks to take another leap forward: its 3.6-liter and 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 engines are all-new, and its CUE infotainment system is said to be substantially upgraded and improved.

Overview

  • Body style 4-door sedan
  • Accommodation 5-passenger
  • Construction Steel unibody
  • Base price (with dest. ) $59,995
  • As tested $60,490

Powertrain

  • Engine 24-valve DOHC V-6
  • Displacement 3.6 liters (217 cu in)
  • Power 420 hp @ 5750 rpm
  • Torque 430 lb-ft @ 3500-4500 rpm
  • Transmission 8-speed automatic
  • Drive Rear-wheel
  • EPA Fuel Economy 16/24/18 mpg (city/hwy/combined)

Chassis

  • Steering Electrically assisted
  • Lock-to-lock 2.5 turns
  • Turning circle 36.7 ft
  • Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
  • Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
  • Brakes Vented discs
  • Wheels F/R 18 x 8.5/18 x 9.5 in
  • Tires Pirelli P Zero
  • Tire size 245/40R-18, 275/35R-18

Measurements

  • Headroom F/R 39.2/37.5 in
  • Legroom F/R 42.6/35.4 in
  • Shoulder room F/R 56.9/54.8 in
  • Wheelbase 114.6 in
  • Track F/R 61.4/61.7 in
  • L x W x H 195.5 x 72.2 x 57.2 in
  • Passenger capacity 97 cu ft
  • Cargo capacity 13.7 cu ft
  • Weight 3952 lb
  • Weight dist. F/R 50%/50%
  • Fuel capacity 19 gal
  • Est. fuel range 361 miles
  • Fuel grade 91 octane (premium unleaded)

Equipment

  • standard equipment

    • Adaptive suspension dampers
    • Performance suspension
    • Electronically controlled limited slip differential
    • 18-inch aluminum wheels w/performance tires
    • Brembo front brakes
    • Leather-trimmed seats
    • 8-way power front seats
    • Heated and ventilated front seats
    • 60/40-split folding rear seats
    • 5.7-inch CUE system
    • Navigation
    • Bose audio system
    • SiriusXM satellite radio w/3-month trial subscription
    • Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity
    • Heated sport steering wheel
    • Magnesium paddle shifters
    • Automatic dual-zone climate control
    • Auto-dimming rearview mirror and driver’s exterior mirror
    • Automatic HID headlights
    • Keyless entry and ignition
    • Remote start
    • Front and rear parking assist
    • Automatic parking assist
    • Blind spot monitoring system

Options

  • options for this vehicle:

    • Majestic plum metallic paint- $495

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