2014 Cadillac CTS Comfort & Quality

8.0
Comfort & Quality

The 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan is much longer than the four-door it replaces, and for good reason. The previous-gen CTS was a "tweener," a car balanced between compact and mid-size interior space. No more: the new CTS is a head-on competitor for the likes of the 5-Series, E-Class, A6, and XF.

By the numbers, the 2014 CTS measures 4.1 inches longer this year, at 195.5 inches from grille to taillamps. Its wheelbase has soaked up 1.1 of those inches, at 114.6 inches. The roofline's lower by an inch, to 57.2 inches.

Better trimmed, roomier, and more comfortable than ever, the Cadillac CTS is at last a true mid-sizer.

The rearranged interior space doesn't alter front passenger room by much. The CTS has comfortable knee and head room--at least, without the sunroof that's sure to be a popular option. We've driven examples with Cadillac's fantastic new 20-way adjustable seats; like the buckets in the ATS, and even the Chevy Malibu, they're formed with real care to upper-back support without giving in to the firm-is-best philosophy.

The back seat is better than it was, but it's not palatial like the rear bench in an E-Class. The cushion's mounted low--and so is the rest of the car. Climbing in and out isn't simple, even though the door cuts are larger than the puny ones in the previous CTS sedan. The low roofline requires a duck, and once you're in, the cushion height will leave most adults with less under-leg support, and less knee and head room, than in the Benz or BMW. It's very Jaguar-like, in fact--a conscious choice to split the difference between a sleek roofline and a truly large back seat.

While you're planning a long golf weekend, know too that the trunk's on the slim side, too. It's 13.7 cubic feet, adequate in the luxury realm, but nowhere near the cubes offered up by a Passat or a Taurus.

Quality is a subjective term, but we've been impressed by the fit and finish on Cadillac's ATS and now, in this CTS sedan, too. The cars we've driven so far have been pre-production prototypes, with production-ready finish. Cadillac's treatments are more glamorous than the woods and metals in an E-Class or a 5-Series; the combination of those big, bright screens and glossy wood finishes contrast sharply with the softer tones in a BMW or a Benz, in the right way.

Managing noise inside the CTS has become a science. GM actively modifies the noises that enter the CTS' cabin, piping in the exact opposite frequency of those it wants to eliminate, cancelling them out. It helps the four-cylinder the most; it's not as purely happy at high engine speeds as BMW's turbo four. On the CTS' twin-turbo six, some engine noises from ahead of the firewall are piped into the cabin, doubling the intensity of good sounds. Before you start a complaint letter, know that BMW does the same trick in some models. If you care about authenticity, it's an issue; if you care more about cutting weight and boosting performance as a result, noise cancellation is a cool solution made possible by rapidly advancing technology.


Read our most recent full review on the carry-over Cadillac CTS Coupe, Wagon, and CTS-V

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