2014 Car of the Year Finalist No. 2 – Cadillac CTS

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee

It’s day two of the Car of the Year Award finals. Yesterday we presented the 2014 Mazda6 and today we’re showing the next finalist: the 2014 Cadillac CTS.

Ever since Cadillac first introduced the CTS, it has been straddling the line between the compact and midsize luxury sedan. But now the CTS is finally the proper mid-size luxury sedan it was always meant to be, thanks in no small part to the introduction of the compact ATS last year.

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The new CTS is longer as well as lower than the previous model and features a menacing old-school look up front. Not only do we appreciate this evolution of Cadillac’s styling, but we feel it finally matches the elegance offered from the big German three.

See Also: 2013 Cadillac ATS Review – Video

Under the hood the new 3.6-liter twin turbocharged V6 producing a hearty 420 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque is stealing all the headlines. Found exclusively in the CTS Vsport model, this engine makes similar power to the turbocharged eight-cylinder mills in many competing products and arguably sounds just as good. The Vsport really is the darling of the CTS range as it benefits from the newfound power, weight reduction, Pirelli summer tires, a quicker steering ratio, a heavy-duty track cooling package, programmable track mode, an electronic limited-slip differential and eight-speed automatic transmission.


But the new CTS is more than just a one-model flash in the pan. All models, even the base ones with the 2.0-liter 272 hp turbocharged four-cylinder or mid-level trims with the or carryover 321 hp 3.6-liter V6 come equipped with Brembo brakes and the option of GM’s Magnetic Ride Control. We spent a week with the all-wheel drive 3.6 CTS that uses the old six-speed automatic transmission and still found that it that exceeded our expectations.

But performance is only one aspect of a mid-size luxury sedan and to play in this segment a vehicle needs to be jammed full of all the latest technology and safety features. The CTS checks off all the right boxes here as well with features like automatic parking assist, automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and adaptive forward lighting.

See Also: 2014 Cadillac CTS Review – Video

And that brings us to what has historically been a sore point for the CTS; the interior. The previous two CTS generations were nice, but never felt special the way a BMW or Mercedes-Benz does. The new car looks and feels far more premium and worth its price compared to the outgoing model, but still falls short of its German rivals due to a few ill-fitting panels, some cheap material and overused piano black trim bits. That said, the gap is narrowed significantly and Cadillac is nipping at the German’s heels.

But aside from a few quality and interior space issues, the CTS matches or exceeds the best from Germany in most other categories. This car isn’t just the best CTS ever, but indeed one of the best Cadillacs ever.

GALLERY: 2014 Cadillac CTS

Each day this week we will be presenting another finalist for AGCOTY with the winner being announced next week. Stay tuned all week and let us know which car is your pick as the winner!

Mike Schlee
Mike Schlee

A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.

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  • Maurice Maurice on Dec 06, 2013

    My first CTS was an '05 and I loved it. Currently I drive a 2010 CTS4 and with the AWD it is a much better car. My next one will be a 2015 model.