IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S ME

I’m cheating on you. I’m sorry. But I’ve met someone else and we’re in love. It’s not you. There’s nothing wrong with you. I love you. But I can’t help how I feel.

I thought the Cadillac ATS was the best Cadillac on the road, and then I drove the CTS. Game over.

The 2014 Cadillac CTS is a case study that the rest of the industry should study, embrace and emulate. To our European friends at BMW, Audi and Mercedes - hi, meet my new girlfriend. She’s hot, athletic and fun. And she’s from Michigan (final assembly in Lansing, to be exact).

Spending a week driving the 2014 Cadillac CTS (performance collection) was eye opening in a couple of ways:

Perception: I’m a huge fan of Top Gear (BBC version), and they constantly rail on American sedans (saloons) vs European versions. In my humble opinion, this car is the class of the class.

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Quality of build: I found myself looking closely at fit and finish, trim pieces, accessories and stitching. Cadillac has always been about quality (going back to Henry Leland, this company is all about attention to detail). Sit in the CTS, take a deep breath and start looking around the car. It’s the way the seats are stitched, the flow of the head rest, the way the trim pieces blend the door and instrument panel together. It all works. Henry would be proud.

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Performance: I’m in love with the 3.6 liter V6, 321 horsepower with 275 lb.-ft of torque. But the real trick is to keep the ride smooth while giving you a sense of power. The magnetic ride control, 8 speed automatic is well tuned and smooth in the city or highways (the paddle shifters were fun and more responsive than expected...but I soon found myself letting the car do the work). Brembo brakes and the magnetic ride control are a nice touch that give a total sense of performance.

Balance: Cadillac racing driver Andy Pilgrim once explained to me the importance of a balanced car (and based on Cadillac’s results at Belle Isle, they know what they’re talking about). The CTS is nearly 50/50 and has a lower curb weight than a BMW 528i. Watch (and feel) the way the car rolls into corners, you never feel it step out or knuckle under. That’s balance.

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This may sound cheesy. But I believe the 2014 Cadillac CTS is precisely what Henry Leland had in mind back in 1902. I’m a student of automotive history, and from the beginning it was always about precision with “Uncle Henry”. Maybe that’s the best way to describe the 2014 Cadillac CTS - precise. It’s a dialed in midsize car that moves to the head of the class. Drive one.

  • Jim O’Brien (@JimInTheD)
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