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STYLING | 9 out of 10
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The Car Connection
Cadillac's styling streak keeps momentum with the 2014 CTS. The third-generation mid-size Caddy finally tackles the thorny E-Class/5-Series/A6 superset head-on, while it marches a few more brisk steps away from the straight-edged Art & Science theming that broke the brand out of its fin-de-siecle doldrums.
The retreat from the angle is unmistakable. From some perspectives, the 2014 CTS has an uncanny resemblance to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It's all in the rear roofline, the way the pillar bends down toward the trunklid, the shapes of the side glass. Everywhere else, the CTS is Cadillac, evolving as it is. The blunt edges have been smoothed down. The CTS' grille has fewer ribs and a higher badge, and the vertical headlamps get LED trim that does the neat trick of pulling the nose to the ground, while it picks it up and into the fenders. It's as much a signature look at night as Audi's LED-framed headlamps, or Dodge's rings-of-fire rear ends.
The lessons learned from the Cadillac ATS get applied inside the 2014 CTS. The dash cap is wrapped in a single piece that drapes into the center stack, and wood trim mingles with cut-and-sew upholstery, at least on uplevel models. The two-tone themes that liven up the ATS can be had on the CTS too, and present some of the same exciting options and pitfalls--we haven't seen all the combinations, but the ATS cockpit can get overwhelmed with a poor hand on the options tiller, and we assume the same holds true for the CTS, though all the combinations we've seen have been tasteful. Big screens are the dominant feature of the CTS' cabin: the 8-inch touchscreen twins with a 5.7-inch monitor between the gauges or, sometimes, a 12.3-inch panel that replaces the gauges. All lit up, the cockpit is a strikingly futuristic place, a universe away from the cool-touch Germans, more interestingly executed than the glam Jag XF.
Read our most recent full review on the carry-over Cadillac CTS Coupe, Wagon, and CTS-V
The new 2014 Cadillac CTS turns as many heads as the previous CTS, but there's a lot more grace and beauty to go with its visual punch.