Driving a tricked out new Cadillac to your daughter’s college tours may not be the best way to secure financial aid but it certainly makes a lasting impression. Wherever we drove the 2014 Cadillac CTS, from around NYC, to the leafy exurbs where my brother-in-law longed to get behind the wheel, to liberal arts campuses around the northeast, the sparkly Caddy turned heads.
The Caddy CTS has just about every option you can think of, and it’s all included in the base price. It’s the car equivalent of an all-inclusive resort run by Ritz-Carlton.
The heads up display was the first thing that struck my lustful brother-in-law. He had bought a fully loaded car the morning we drove to his house, and that option wasn’t even available in his brand, yet on the Cadillac, it is included.
The supple all leather seats were expected; the leather steering wheel, memory seat adjustor for the passenger, and heated and cooling seats for both driver and passenger were welcome perks.
Back Seat Comfort
No whining from the back set to turn up the air; back seat passengers can control their own heat and A/C. Back seat riders also have access to a 110 v power outlet and can enjoy the 11 Bose surround sound speakers.
The sunshades for the rear windows are a cool touch; I remember contorting myself from the front seat to hold up sunshades when my kids were little and the sun streamed in through the windows. Now if it’s too sunny for your kids to use their smartphones, they can pull up the screens.
Cadillac User Experience (CUE) Infotainment
CUE is easy to use, and it’s a snap to set up your phone through Bluetooth. There is a passenger override so a passenger can enter a destination on the navigation system while the car is in motion. If you are driving alone, you can use the voice commands, but neither my husband nor I could get the nav to understand us. Perhaps my New York-ese confused the system, but he is from the midwest. We had typically comical results when trying to say Wesleyan University; the nav tried to direct us to Michigan and Wisconsin. Perhaps my daughter needs to expand her college search.
Sporty? Yup, In Looks And Performance
Cadillac has always been the brand known for unapologetic luxury, but not necessarily a sports car drive experience. But in recent years the car has entered the racing ranks, bringing its models to race tracks and also, adding sportier race-quality technology and style. The result? LED accent lights, the special sparkling black tricot paint and the sinuous lines of the car project luxury and sophistication, and the car’s 300+ horsepower, tight suspension and precise handling create a satisfyingly fun drive experience.
All that power begs for top safety features, too. On the premium CTS, the Cadillac was loaded with a vibrating Safety Alert seat, lane-departure warning and forward collision alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a rearview camera. If you get too close to another car, the seatbelt automatically tightens, as if preparing for a crash, just in case. The CTS scored the highest government crash ratings as well.
Luxury cars are becoming more and more environmentally sensitive; Tesla, of course, and Cadillac’s ELR plug-in hybrid, but the CTS gets a respectable 26 mpg on the highway, with all wheel drive (something that often further compromises fuel economy).
Room at the Top
While we had ample leg room in front and back, the headroom is a bit tight. You definitely have to watch your head when exiting and entering the car if you are taller than 5 feet 3 inches.
Fending off Predators
You don’t have to worry – too much – about miscreants craving your car. The Cadillac CTS has an advanced security package, with a theft deterrent system.
Just watch out for brothers-in-law.
What We Loved
Huge panoramic sunroof
Illuminating door handles – no fumbling in the dark
Easy to use CUE infotainment system
Moisture sensitive automatic windshield wipers
Standard equipment includes almost every option you can imagine: that sunroof, driver awareness package with blind zone alert, remote start, front and rear park assist, leather trims
What You Need to Know
Standard Price $66,500
Model we drove, with sparkly black diamond tricoat, plus destination charge – $68,420
4 year, 50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty
6 year, 70,000 mile premium care maintenance with courtesy transportation and roadside assistance
1 year OnStar subscription included
Note: Cadillac provided the car for our test drive. Opinions expressed are my own.