That’s the one word that sticks out in my head after spending a week driving a 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport.
It’s the sportier version of the much-heralded 2014 CTS, and I’ll fill you in on all the details, under the hood and beyond, and let you know who might want to pick one up.
As one should expect with a Cadillac, the CTS VSport is a smooth-looking ride; The angles and design are set up so you can tell from the moment you look at this ride that it’s a luxury item and it’s going to be sharp inside and out.
It’s technically a mid-size car, but I’d put it on the smaller end of that spectrum. If your driver is tall, there’s not a whole lot of legroom for folks in the back seat. And one downside of the design is the sight lines aren’t as complete as I would have liked from the rear windshield.
Here’s where the CTS Vsport wins big-time. You get the brand-new 3.6-liter Cadillac Twin-Turbo V-6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission, which by the way is GM’s most powerful V-6 of all time and beats numbers from European rivals like BMW. That’s pretty big news.
What does that translate to in real-world testing? No surprise, it’s super fast, as in it gets up to speed like a rocket (420 horsepower will do that for you). It’s one of those engines where even when you are slowing down, you can tell it just wants to go faster. The response when you hit the gas is among the best I’ve seen on any vehicle I’ve tested in the past year, and beyond the power you have some pretty awesome handling too as you maneuver and turn.
I often say in reviews that vehicles are fun to drive, but this one is in a class of its own in that regard. I honestly looked forward to getting into it each day.
Official mpg specs on this vehicle are 17 city/25 highway. I got a little over 20 mpg during my time with the car, which falls in line with those numbers. The tank holds 19 gallons — so you can go about 400 miles on one fillup.
Can you find luxury vehicles this size with better mpg? Absolutely. But they won’t drive like this one. It’s a matter of choosing what’s more important to you.
The CTS Vsport comes with the Cadillac CUE system and its familiar hard-button setup up front. The voice commands portion of CUE worked great and I had no major issues with that part of it. But I’m not a big fan of the button style in the center console, as they seemed hard to physically press when compared to other vehicles’ systems that I tried.
You also get a bunch of the usual tech features Cadillac provides (USB ports, tire pressure monitoring system, heated seats and steering wheel, EZ Key passive entry system, satellite radio free for 3 months, etc.), along with some new stuff.
Most notable to me was the power glove box (yes, there is no handle; just push a button to open it. You do have to shut it by hand though). Is that necessary? Probably not — but it’s a very Cadillac-style touch.
In the safety arena, you also get ten standard airbags; plus other helpful features offered like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, automatic collision preparation, side blind zone art and rear cross traffic alert. In essence, you’re covered on all sides in terms of warnings. The seat will vibrate, too, if you leave your lane.
Seat belts are also crafted to automatically tighten to better protect you in case of a crash (the first application of this technology by GM).
Like all GM vehicles, the CTS Vsport comes equipped with the piece of mind of OnStar technology (first year for free).
PRICE, BOTTOM LINE
The Cadillac CTS Vsport I tested costs a pretty penny at $60,990. Yes, part of that is you’re paying for the Cadillac name, and it’s expensive without a doubt.
But if you’re in the market for luxury, so are the alternatives — domestic or foreign. Cadillac is probably the most well-known American luxury machine, and with vehicles like this one GM is doing a great job to compete with the imports.
They designed a hell of a car here, for those who can afford it.