Suggestion No. 3 – 2014 Cadillac CTS Standard
So far we’ve suggested a middle-of-the-road large sedan to Jake in the form of Chrysler’s John Varvatos-ified 300 as well as a performance option that’s sure to get his blood pumping; of course that’s the national socialist-themed Chevy SS. Now it’s time for a true luxury sedan.
The Cadillac CTS is a premium four-door with attractive styling and driver-focused dynamics. It’s available with either rear- or all-wheel drive and offers three different engines. There’s a base 2.0-liter turbo – the one we’re recommending – along with a 3.6-liter V6 and a twin-turbocharged version of that engine as well.
The asking price for a base, rear-wheel-drive CTS is $46,025, including $925 in freight fees. That’s kind of pricey for what you get. The car comes with a number of things you’d expect including push-button start, a premium Bose audio system, remote start, dual-zone climate control and a bunch of other ancillary goodies. It’s also got a sport-tuned suspension and Brembo brakes. But perhaps what’s more interesting is what you don’t get at that price; leather seating surfaces are nowhere to be found (you’re treated to “leatherette” instead), a navigation system is AWOL and you have to crank your own windows! Wait… actually, ignore that last point; with all the talk of vinyl we confused the CTS with a 1987 Ford Tempo for a moment. It won’t happen again, we promise.
It may lack some key features but at least the performance shouldn’t be that bad. The car’s force-fed four-banger delivers 272 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed self-shifting transmission is the engine’s sole dance partner, though an eight-gear autobox is standard with the other powerplants.
And neither is the fuel economy. This version of the CTS should be able to stretch a gallon of dinosaur extract 20 miles around town and 30 on interstate road trips. Combined, it clocks in at 23 MPG. That’s identical to the Chrysler’s combined score, and remember, it has a V6 engine and lacks direct fuel injection.
Clearly with the CTS you’re paying for the wreath and crest, or rather, just the crest since they’re in the process of pruning the logo’s foliage. In any event, you’re paying more and getting less, and that’s just un-American.