A dozen years after its start as an edgy, luxury sedan, the mid-size Cadillac CTS is evolving into a handsome, less edgy and decidedly German-feeling car with improved handling.
For 2014, the CTS is longer and lighter weight than before and even embraces — and smartly deploys — turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engines.
The base, rear-wheel drive, 2014 CTS now has a turbocharged four cylinder with 272 horsepower — more than the 240 horses produced by the turbo four cylinder that's in the base, 2014 BMW 528i. The base CTS has more torque, too, and it comes on earlier than in the 528i.
The 321 horses produced by CTS sedan's 3.6-liter, naturally aspirated, direct injection V-6 are more than the 302 from the gasoline V-6 that's in the 2014 Mercedes E350 sedan.
And, the 420 horsepower from the CTS twin-turbo, direct injection V-6 is more than the 402 horsepower that the E550 gets from its larger-displacement V-8. This twin-turbo CTS VSport, as it's called, was clocked at 4.4 seconds from zero to 60 miles per hour, which bests the E550.
Despite the impressive performance, do not confuse the VSport with the CTS-V. The 2014 CTS-V remains in the lineup with supercharged V-8 delivering more than 550 horsepower.
The improvements to the "regular" CTS, though, are big news for 2014, especially considering the 2014 CTS has some lower starting retail prices than its German competitors.
Plus, with 10 air bags — more than the German competitors — and Stabilitrak stability control and a host of other safety features, the CTS earned top, five out of five stars in federal government frontal and side crash testing.
Starting manufacturer's suggested retail price, including destination charge, of $46,025 is for a base, 2014 CTS sedan with 272-horsepower, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine and six-speed, automatic transmission.
In comparison, the starting MSRP, including destination charge, for a 2014 BMW 528i with turbo four cylinder and eight-speed automatic is $50,425. Mercedes' 2014 E350 sedan with 302-horsepower V-6 and seven-speed auto starts at $52,825, while the higher-powered 2014 CTS sedan with 321-horsepower, naturally aspirated V-6 and eight speed auto is $54,625.
Meantime, the 2014 CTS sedan with 420 horsepower, twin turbocharged, direct injected V-6 and eight-speed automatic has a starting MSRP, including destination charge, of $59,995. It comes only in rear-wheel drive.
This compares with $62,325 for a 2014 Mercedes E550 with 402-horsepower V-8, seven-speed, automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
Note that the base, 2014 528i and 2014 E350 come with automatic start/stop that turns off the engine to save fuel when the car is braked. The CTS does not.
Standard on all CTS sedans are push-button start, keyless entry, electroluminescent gauges, paddle shifters, steering wheel-mounted controls for phone, audio and cruise control and premium sound system.