Cadillac Impresses: From Jealous Brothers-in-law to College Admissions Teams

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Cadillac CtsShiny 2014 Cadillac CTS Has It All

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.

All-Inclusive Luxury

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.

Cadillac Cts

The CUE in the Cadillac CTS gives you easy options at your fingertips or by voice

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

Cadillac Cts

The rear seat sunscreens shield the sun

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.

Earth Conscious

Cadillac Cts

The panoramic sunroof give front and back passengers air and a view

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

Heated seats

Illuminating door handles – no fumbling in the dark

Cadillac Cts

The Cadillac CTS connotes luxury inside and out

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.

Judy Antell, who is's Free in 50 States editor, lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her husband and... More about Judy Antell