Highlights:Aluminum door structures attributes to the CTS being somewhat lighter than competitors like the BMW 5-Series, although it’s longer than the previous model. 

And, while the sedan has been restyled for the 2014 model year, the two-door model is still based off the previous generation design. We hear that a new one is on the way soon. 

Test vehicle’s MSRP: $65,295 (Base Model starts at $46,025)

Seating Capacity:  5

Standard Safety Features: airbags (driver, passenger, pelvic, rear throax, side-curtain, drive, and front passenger knee);  a tire pressure monitoring system; ABS; Bembro front brakes; electronic braking; rear parking assist system; daytime running lights; vehicle stability control system; and a traction control system 

Standard Equipment:17-inch wheels; air filtration system; dual zone climate control system; cruise control system; auto dimming review mirror; push-button keyless entry; push-button keyless starter system; a paddle shifter for the steering wheel; and power front seats.

Suspension System: a sport suspension system

Standard Audio:an 11-speaker Bose AM/FM/HD/XM 

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty:  6 years or 70,000 miles

Bluetooth Compatibility: Yes

Standard Engine/Horsepower): 3.6-liter, 6-cylinder/321-horsepower

Recommended Fuel: Regular 

Standard Fuel Mileage: 18-city/29-hwy

Other Trim Levels:

2.0-liter turbo Sedan

Luxury Collection Sedan

Performance Collection Sedan

Premium Collection Sedan

V-Sport Sedan

CTS Coupe (based off of previous model)

CTS Coupe V-Series (based off of previous model)

What’s New:The rear-wheel-drive CTS almost looks like a larger more defined version of its entry-level sibling, the ATS. The larger and longer third generation CTS offers a new twin-turbo 6-cylinder and the global luxury brands’ first 8-speed automatic transmission.

Pros:The redesigned CTS is one of the best Cadillacs to date. While the sculpted exterior design, with its sharp, but somewhat less pronounced angles, continues to look like a work of art on wheels, the 2014model is still a standout in the segment. The detailed interior just like the exterior has a telling story, too. In fact, this may be one of the most detailed and thoughtfully designed interiors by the luxury brand, as evident in the hand-crafted sewn leather, whether it’s the seats, the door panels or the instrument panel. This is definitely a world-class vehicle. The CTS is even equipped with a motorized cover for the front cupholders.

In addition to the upscale interior, the CTS we reviewed offered a host of amenities from Cadillac’s smartphone-like interactive infotainment system known as the CUE (Cadillac User Experience) to heated (and ventilated) front seats to heated rear seats to the automatic parallel parking system to the active safety vibrating driver’s seat to the all-speed radar-activated cruise control system to the lane departure warning system to the rear cross traffic alert system. Yes, this Caddy is really pushing the limits of becoming a self-driving automobile.

The stylish 2014 CTS is also available with an all-wheel drive system, a 12.3-inch screen for the CUE infotainment system, a 13-speaker Bose audio system,18-inch wheels, 19-inch wheels and an available Magnetic Ride Control system. 

Moreover, to compliment the snazzy interior and exterior, drivers will be equally impressed with the ride and handling of the CTS. It is unlike what would one have come to expect from an American luxury vehicle. The engineers have managed to find the perfect balance between optimizing a driving experience that’s not too firm, while also not offering the bouncy floating experience once known in the Cadillacs of the past. Yes, this is truly a driver-centric vehicle in terms of the layout and the connection the vehicle has with the road.

Cons:Buyers in the market for the 2014 CTS, who previously owned this vehicle, might initially experience sticker shock. The 2014 CTS now costs thousands more than the vehicle it replaced.

Besides the sticker shock, the CTS rear seating area is relatively small in comparison when pitted against the competition.  And, for the $65,000 price tag our vehicle commanded, we were surprised to learn that the vehicle we reviewed lacked a power-pull down trunk, a CD player for the CUE system and power folding exterior mirrors. Shouldn’t these items be standard or at least available to add-on the vehicle, as an option?

The Verdict:Although the pricing on the 2014 CTS is thousands more than the outgoing model, in our eyes it worth every penny. The 2014 model is leap years in styling, handling and technological applications beyond the 2013 model. The third generation CTS no longer needs to be apologetic for considering itself to be the in the same league as many of the German luxury makes.  Ironically, for the past few years, the sales executives from Caddy pitched the previous generation model as being in the same league as the Mercedes E-Class and similar vehicles in the segment. Honestly, we never agreed with it nor did we see it. In our opinion and that of others, the 2013 model was in the same league as the Mercedes C-Class and the BMW 3-Series.

So almost two years later, we realize now it was a marketing strategy to prepare us for what was to come, which is this year’s model. In fact, this is truly a vehicle that is now capable of competing head-to-head with the Mercedes E-Class and the BMW 5 Series. Besides the lack of rear legroom in the 2014 CTS, this vehicle is on par and in many cases exceeds what the Germans and the Japanese offers in their vehicles, as it relates to both the luxury factor, the high-tech safety driving features, the premium interior layout, the driving experience and the overall prestige factor.

Yes, Cadillac has finally gotten it right with this vehicle. This is the best Cadillac to date we’ve spent time behind the wheel driving, excluding the CTS-V coupe we reviewed a few years ago.

Competition: Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Jaguar XF, Lexus GS and Mercedes-E Class


Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to JeffCars.com.   Follow him http://twitter.com/#!/JeffCars/.

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