Suggestion No. 2 – 2014 Cadillac CTS Luxury RWD
Caddy’s redesigned CTS is the freshest car in this trio, having been comprehensively overhauled for 2014. Like a can of tomato soup in a bomb shelter it’s got many, many years to go before passing its expiration date.
At this point it’s probably safe to say GM’s luxury division is on a roll. The ATS is an enticing machine and arguably the CTS is even more appealing; nearly everything about this car pushes the right buttons, in fact it was one of AutoGuide’s 2013 Car of the Year finalists. What’s that tell you?
This car’s got it going on. The base engine is the same 2.0-liter turbo found under the ATS’s hood, and it’s a good place to start, but what we’re going to recommend is the up-level 3.6-liter six-shooter. It’s smooth running and puts out a very familiar 321 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque.
But this setup is not identical to what’s offered in the ATS; there’s at least one critical difference. The CTS comes with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. That’s two more gears than you can get in the car’s smaller sibling, though to be clear the CTS’s base engine is only available with a six-speed auto-box, as are models equipped with all-wheel drive.
Where things get really exciting is when you cast a gaze at the range-topping powerplant. Engineers slapped a pair of turbochargers on the above-mentioned V6 and created a monster. “Vsport” versions of the CTS are endowed with 420 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque! That’s (Northstar) V8 rivaling (beating) performance with essentially six-cylinder consumption.
Stepping back from the top-of-the-line Vsport version let’s focus on the mid-range variant. With rear-wheel drive and no options boxes checked you can scoop one of these cars up for $54,625, including $925 in shipping and handling. At that price you still get plenty of appealing equipment including a rear-view camera, lane departure warning and the company’s CUE infotainment system. Additionally there’s a Bose premium sound system with 11 speakers, leather everywhere as well as heated and ventilated front seats.
SEE ALSO: 2014 Cadillac CTS Review
Like the ATS, this vehicle benefits from a relentless focus on mass reduction. Supposedly it’s the lightest car in its class with the Vsport version clocking in at a whopping 300 pounds less than a BMW 550i. Evidently, progress is spelled with a “C” a “T” and an “S.”
And just like the ATS, this model is thoroughly entertaining, but in a bigger way since it’s a larger car. And of course that unyielding attention to weight loss really pays off at the gas pump. The CTS stickers at 18 miles per gallon city and 29 highway (mid-range V6 engine, eight-speed transmission) for a combined consumption score of 22 mpg.