New Car Reviews

2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport – A Hoary Diary

Miles to Date: 14,349

Long-Term 2014 Cadillac CTS Update: Winter 2015 ( 1 of 5 ) Miles to date: 14,349

Between approximately 10 a.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 1 (Super Bowl Sunday) and 7 a.m. EST on Monday, Feb. 2 (Groundhog Day), about a foot of snow dropped on Ann Arbor, Michigan, rendering its poorly plowed roads impassable by the majority of Michigan’s vehicles, which are typically equipped with useless all-season tires and driven by similarly useless people. This is the diary of a man who, early Monday morning, journeyed onto snow-covered roads in a 420-hp, rear-wheel-drive 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport in hopes of assisting these beleaguered drivers.

6:48 a.m.
Her text says, “Want to give me a ride to work?” My reply is, “No.”
7:07 a.m.
She calls. I answer. She’s frantic. “I’m stuck in a snowbank. I was going down my street and a semi came the other way and I swerved, because otherwise I would’ve crashed.” This isn’t my fault. Or is it? It’s early, and I can’t recall what’s in my driveway. Perhaps something that I can throw a tow strap on and … nope, it’s the 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport. “I’ll be there soon.” Where are my snow pants?

7:24 a.m.
Coffee is magic. So is remote start. Snow and ice drip off the CTS’s windows and down onto its plum-color paint. I grab a shovel from the garage, rest it across the Cadillac’s rear bench seat, and get into the driver’s seat, pounding my boots on the WeatherTech floormats. I begin backing out of my driveway, lightly tapping the brakes, when I notice the rearview camera is covered in snow. The pause is enough to get the rear tires stuck in a couple of small piles of snow. Out comes the shovel, and then out comes the 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport.
7:26 a.m.
I’m nearly to the main road when a 2013 Ford Fusion in front of me slowly slides to a stop, its front wheels spinning frantically. I put the CTS in park, get out, and start pushing on the Fusion’s trunklid. “I think it’s moving,” says the driver. It’s really not, but OK. After a few minutes of pushing, veins popping from my head and neck, there’s movement. I yell to the driver to let the Fusion rock back and forth a few times, and then I give it one more vein-popping push, which sets the Fusion free, its front tires still spinning as it creeps away. I climb back into the CTS and wrap my cold hands around the heated steering wheel. I tap the accelerator, but the sedan doesn’t move. I’m stuck without someone to give me a push.

7:41 a.m.
Might as well enjoy the moment. I turn off traction control and flatfoot it. Chunks of snow shoot out behind the car as the tach’s needle bounces against redline, the twin-turbo V-6 yowling. I lightly rest my left foot on the brake pedal to keep the car in place. Several seconds pass before the tires start burning on pavement, not snow. I begin turning the steering wheel back and forth. Small movements at first, making the CTS’s tail wiggle a little, but I keep adding steering, making the rear move more, until the back end is sweeping from one side of the street to the other. I straighten the wheel, lift off the brake, and, wouldn’t you know it, the CTS starts pushing forward, shimmying through the snow, and I’m on the much cleaner main road in a matter of moments. I won’t be turning traction control back on today; these Pirelli Sottozero tires from Tire Rack, our official wheel and tire supplier, seem to work better without it.

8:00 a.m.
No wonder she crashed; it looks like someone tried to shovel her street with a rake. Thick, tall, white lines of snow run the length of the road, piled so neatly that even Tony Montana would be impressed. I dare not drive down the street and get stuck again, so I park at the 7-Eleven on the corner, grab my shovel, and hoof it.
8:04 a.m.
Her car, yet another old Ford Fusion (officially the worst winter beater-car you can buy), isn’t stuck in a snowbank. Instead it has completely mounted a snowbank. The car is canted 45 degrees upward, its left-front wheel buried and its right-front wheel floating about 2 inches above the ground. It’s futile, but I try digging out the front end, seeing how I still feel somewhat guilty. While I dig, she calls work. Her boss says to take the day off. I keep stubbornly keep digging for a few more minutes, but finally throw in the towel when the tips of my fingers go numb. Remote start is magic. So are heated steering wheels.

8:13 a.m.
I’m stopped on a hill, waiting for a stoplight to turn green, sitting next to a 2015 Subaru WRX STI Launch Edition. When the light changes, he goes. I don’t, but not for lack of trying. I turn traction control back on, and it helps. I’ll make a quick stop at home before heading to the gym.
8:39 a.m.
En route to my workout, there’s a traffic circle completely covered in snow. Not a pinch of salt in sight. Not another car in sight, either, and so goodbye traction control. I downshift, and 430 lb-ft of torque runs through the driveline and breaks the rear tires loose. A quick right-left flick, and the Cadillac CTS Vsport slides gracefully and easily around the circle, falling into such a predictable orbit that I make a full rotation before straightening back out and exiting.

10:52 a.m.
The sun is shining when I leave the gym. The snow on the CTS’s long hood is melting, but I haven’t used remote start. The roundabout is starting to thaw, and traffic is getting thicker. Timid-but-smart Michiganders now feel safe enough to drive, but I wish the roads were still snow-covered and populated by those who know no better. There are better cars for these conditions, sure, but few would’ve allowed me to do what I just did in pre-heated comfort. When it snows, the 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport is magic. So are winter tires.


 

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