Used 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport

2014 Cadillac CTS
List price range
2014 Cadillac CTS


  • Wide-ranging engine lineup delivers both fuel economy and performance
  • sophisticated exterior style
  • attractive interior design with high-quality materials.


  • Despite outward growth, interior measurements effectively stay the same
  • occasionally frustrating infotainment system.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

With a contemporary new look, a revised interior and more powerful and fuel-efficient engines, the redesigned 2014 Cadillac CTS looks like a serious contender in the midsize luxury sedan class.

vehicle overview

The midsize luxury sport sedan class is one of the most highly competitive segments, and this is where the redesigned 2014 Cadillac CTS must compete. All the big-name luxury automakers have a strong presence here. From the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series to Jaguar XF and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the bragging rights for the most sophisticated, the most enjoyable, the best performing or even the most handsome sedan on the road truly matter in this class. The previous Cadillac CTS was a good luxury sedan, but that wasn't enough to keep up with these European rivals.

For its new CTS, Cadillac has revised just about everything, and the results are encouraging. The new sedan sits atop a 1.2-inch-longer wheelbase, and it's 4.2 inches longer overall and 0.8 inch lower. Thanks to this upsizing, the 2014 CTS is now a true midsize sedan -- an improvement over its predecessor, which was too big to feel as sporty as competitors' compact offerings but not nearly as roomy as traditional midsize entries. Styling is largely an evolution of the outgoing model; the restyled grille is simultaneously more slender and more aggressive, and the Caddy's new LED running lights are striking. Where the previous CTS sedan's styling looked forced and overly angular, the 2014 Cadillac CTS has a more flowing and elegant design.

The 3.6-liter V6 returns with a few more horsepower, but now there's a new base engine for the CTS. Borrowing a page from its European competitors' playbooks, the new power plant consists of a sprightly turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that first debuted in Caddy's ATS sedan. There's also a new engine within a new trim level called Vsport. Meant as a range topper (not including the upcoming CTS-V sedan), the turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 generates similar power to the mighty turbocharged or supercharged V8s found in competing sedans. The high-performance Vsport model is only available with rear-wheel drive, while both the four-cylinder and naturally aspirated V6 models offer optional all-wheel drive.

Inside, the CTS takes its lead from the XTS with rich leather and trim elements, a large configurable gauge-cluster display and a second color touchscreen display to operate the CUE infotainment system. Overall, there's a very luxurious vibe inside, though we hope Cadillac updates CUE's controls and haptic touch-sensitive virtual "buttons" for a more intuitive, tactile feel and quicker response. Our experience with CUE in other Cadillacs has thus far been underwhelming.

While our time behind the wheel has been limited thus far to the high-performing CTS Vsport model, we can confirm that Cadillac is taking the fight to premium-brand import competitors in this price range. The 2014 Cadillac CTS sedan's equipment levels and interior materials are equal to or better than those seen in the 2014 BMW 5 Series or 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Furthermore, the new powertrain lineup is as sophisticated and modern as anything currently available in the midsize sport-luxury segment. The bottom line is that for the first time in a long time, Cadillac appears to have a complete package without the compromises we've seen in earlier models. When dealers begin offering test-drives of the 2014 Cadillac CTS, you owe it to yourself to take more than a spin around the block.

2014 Cadillac CTS configurations

The 2014 Cadillac CTS midsize sedan is offered in six main trim levels: Standard, Luxury, Performance, Premium, Vsport and Vsport Premium. Engine availability -- a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, a 3.6-liter V6 and a turbocharged V6 -- is dependent on the particular trim level. The 2014 CTS coupe and wagon, as well as the CTS-V, are carry-over from 2013 and are covered in separate reviews.

Equipment on the CTS Standard trim (four-cylinder only) includes 17-inch alloy wheels, Brembo-branded brakes, heated mirrors, automatic headlights, rear parking sensors, remote ignition, keyless ignition/entry, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, a manual tilt-and-telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 5.7-inch display screen in the gauge cluster, eight-way power front seats (with two-way power lumbar), driver memory settings, leatherette (premium vinyl) upholstery and fixed rear seats with a trunk pass-through. Electronic equipment includes OnStar telematics, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, the base Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system, an 8-inch touchscreen display, voice commands and an 11-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with three USB ports, an auxiliary audio jack, and satellite and HD radio.

An optional Seating package includes leather seating surfaces, heated and ventilated front seats, a split-folding rear seat, a heated steering wheel with power tilt-and-telescoping, a CD player (glovebox-mounted) and additional LED interior ambient lighting.

Upgrading to the CTS Luxury trim (four-cylinder or base V6) includes the above Seating package plus adaptive xenon headlights with automatic high beam control, lane-departure warning, forward collision alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a rearview camera and Cadillac's vibrating driver's "Safety Seat." Optional for the Luxury are 18-inch wheels, adaptive magnetic suspension dampers, a panoramic sunroof, a power rear sunshade and manual rear side shades. Both the CTS Standard and Luxury trim levels' CUE systems are upgradable to include navigation and two more speakers for the Bose sound system.

The CTS Performance trim (also four-cylinder or base V6) includes all the Luxury equipment listed above. It also has automated parallel parking assist, illuminated door handles and sill plates, a head-up display, a 110-volt power outlet, tri-zone automatic climate control and heated rear seats. Options for the Performance trim are a Driver Assistance package, which includes full-speed adaptive cruise control, front and rear automatic braking (which uses radar and the car's parking sensors to detect possible low-speed collision situations and automatically applies the brakes to avert a crash) and, for unavoidable collisions, automatic collision-preparation braking with automatic seatbelt tightening. You can also get 20-way-adjustable front sport seats and a reconfigurable performance gauge cluster.

The CTS Premium trim includes all of the Performance equipment plus extended leather upholstery, the Driver Assistance package and an advanced theft deterrent package.

The CTS Vsport comes exclusively with the turbocharged V6. In terms of features, it effectively matches the Performance trim level and adds a sport-tuned suspension, driver-selectable driving modes, enhanced steering, an electronic limited-slip rear differential, and specific 18-inch wheels with high-performance summer tires. The CTS Vsport Premium includes all CTS Premium and Vsport standard equipment. The sole option for the Vsport is a high-performance brake pad upgrade.

2014 Highlights

The 2014 Cadillac CTS has been fully redesigned. Highlights include bolder exterior styling, new base and high-performance engines and the adoption of Cadillac's latest electronics and touchscreen interface.

Performance & mpg

A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 272 horsepower and an impressive 295 pound-feet of torque is the base engine for the 2014 Cadillac CTS on the Standard, Luxury, Performance and Premium trim levels. Available with either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), the four-cylinder is hooked up to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Optional on the CTS Luxury, Performance and Premium trims is a 3.6-liter V6 good for 321 hp and 275 lb-ft of torque. With RWD, the engine comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The V6 AWD still gets the six-speed.

Topping the CTS powertrain choices is the Vsport-specific turbocharged 3.6-liter V6. It cranks out 420 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive with the eight-speed automatic is the sole drivetrain configuration.

As of this writing, the EPA has released fuel economy data for three configurations of the 2014 Cadillac CTS: The four-cylinder CTS rates 23 mpg combined (20 city/30 highway) with rear-drive and 22 combined (19 city/28 highway) with AWD. The V6 AWD model rates 21 combined (18 city/26 highway).

In Edmunds testing of a CTS Vsport, we recorded a 4.9-second 0-60-mph result, which is a good time for this class of car with V8-like power.


Standard safety features for the 2014 Cadillac CTS include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Also standard is OnStar (which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, an emergency button, stolen vehicle locator and active intervention, and remote door unlock) and rear parking sensors.

In Edmunds testing of a CTS Vsport with the optional performance brake pads, we recorded an impressive 108-foot stop from 60 mph. That is excellent for this class of sedan with summer-rated tires.

Optional safety equipment is impressive and includes Cadillac's vibrating Safety Alert seat, lane-departure warning and forward collision alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a rearview camera, a front and rear automatic braking system (which uses the car's radar and parking sensors to identify potential low-speed collision situations and applies the brakes if the driver doesn't react quickly enough), and automatic collision-preparation braking (for collisions the car deems unavoidable) with automatic seatbelt tightening.

In government crash tests, the 2014 CTS received the best possible rating of five stars in the overall, frontal and side crash categories for all seating positions.


Our impressions of the 2014 Cadillac CTS are for now based on the 420-hp Vsport Premium. But from this top-dog CTS, acceleration is indeed impressive. What's more, the eight-speed automatic is adept at both silky-smooth upshifts and sports-carlike responsiveness depending on the selected mode.

Through turns, there's an uncommon level of tactility here compared to most other midsize luxury sedans. The CTS is sharp, yet maintains composure and is refined and integrated in a way that a CTS has never been. Handling and braking tests showed competitive, if not class-leading, capabilities. Yet the CTS is also well suited for highway cruising, as the adaptive suspension allows the car to ride quite comfortably.


The interior of the 2014 Cadillac CTS follows the trend set first by the full-size XTS. It's a sophisticated and luxurious design rendered in rich and authentic materials assembled with a high level of craftsmanship blended with technology. Leather, wood, anodized aluminum, piano-black paint and carbon fiber are all the genuine articles. As such, they are immediately pleasing to the eye and to the touch.

On the electronics front, the CTS is in lockstep with the XTS and ATS, and that means there are some challenges. The touch-based Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system is at the cutting edge of such systems, offering myriad menus intended to complement connected smartphones and provide useful information on vehicle status, weather, stocks, fuel prices and more.

However, like many centralized control systems, CUE relies on a color touchscreen with a minimum of conventional buttons and knobs. Not only is there a learning curve for owners used to more traditional controls, but response times to touch inputs can be slow, as if the system simply needs more computing power, even for simple tasks like adjusting audio volume. Cadillac is working on updates, though, and we're hopeful that later versions of the 2014 CTS will have a more evolved version of CUE.

Even if the 2014 CTS's interior measurements aren't any larger according to the published specifications, the upscale environment in the new sedan is undeniably more pleasing and appropriate for the midsize luxury car class. As before, the front seat passengers enjoy the lion's share of space, and in this regard, the 2014 CTS is certainly competitive. It's in the rear seats and luggage capacity that the CTS falls slightly short of the competition. At 13.7 cubic feet, the CTS sedan's trunk is shy of the capacity in the 5 Series and E-Class.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2014 Cadillac CTS.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Cadillac IS back like never before/ Update
Richard Domingues Boscovich,02/23/2015
OK. Wanted to update my impressions after 43 months of ownership. Nothing to add really. Other than a software update to the CUE system (did improve its responsiveness) the car has been super reliable. Zero regrets. Still puts a smile on my face. We all know that it takes time for things to go wrong or an annoyance to develop. So let let me start with the slight irritations first. First off I did experience the mist odor in the HVAC after 19 months. Not bad, but annoyed me. Dealer resolved it at the next oil change. Secondly, and I still have to ask the dealer about this, is the fact that when I changed cell phones from a Windows phone to an iPhone I cannot receive text messages anymore? Used have the car read them to me and be able to respond verbally. Have to figure this out. That is it! Otherwise nothing. I get a smile on my face everytime I get behind the wheel. had the opportunity to drive my buddys new Merc AMG recently. Very nice car. But not as responsive or quick as the V Sport. Also drove the CTS V s few days ago. Outrageous car!! Wow! But if you need a daily driver which can go out when it snows (within reason of course) the V Sport is actually better. That it. But one! Not sure why they are not selling? Crazy for the money. The CTS v Sport is, hands down, the best handling sport sedan period. Not BMW, Jag, Lexus.. nothing. The quality, feel and finish is excellent. Drive it!
CTS V Sport
A very nicely designed car. Cadillac service has been excellent. Only issue are the seats. They just aren't very comfortable and the leather could be better. Great technology.
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Features & Specs

16 city / 24 hwy
Seats 5
8-speed shiftable automatic
420 hp @ 5750 rpm
See all Used 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport features & specs
More about the 2014 Cadillac CTS
More About This Model

Careening downhill with the gas matted, we bend the 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport toward a tight right-hander that looms large ahead. We quickly transition to full brakes, converting the twin-turbo V6's speed into heat before easing off and steadying the throttle.

Dial in a bit more steering lock, not too much because this is a late apex. Wait, wait, wait to grab the last bit of berm but don't unwind the wheel yet. Feed in some more throttle, touch the next curb on the right and now aim for the left edge of the approaching rise, and if you've done it right the chassis unloads over the crest just as it hits the apex.

This is the Milford Road Course, informally known as the Lutz Ring, at GM's proving grounds in Michigan, and it's one of the most demanding circuits we've ever driven. Every turn is specifically crafted to test the car in several ways simultaneously. Long, oil sump-straining, sustained-g corners. Turning while braking. Accelerating over crests. Bumpstop-crushing compressions. It's on this track that engineers have honed the new CTS in an unabashed attempt to take the BMW 5 Series head on.

2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport

5 Series in Its Sights
In the past the CTS was a 'tweener, larger than a BMW 3 Series but smaller than the larger 5 Series. With the entry-level ATS now in Cadillac's portfolio, GM engineers had the freedom to size and position the 2014 Cadillac CTS more squarely against the 5 Series. Thus the 2014 CTS is larger than the outgoing generation, stretching 4.2 inches longer and riding on a 1.2-inch-longer wheelbase. It's longer, in fact, than both the 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, with a wheelbase that's right between the two.

Whereas the current 5 Series is derived from its larger 7 Series brother, the 2014 CTS is built on the lighter ATS platform. The result is that the 5 Series is porkier than it should be, and the CTS is more efficient with its mass. It's hard to describe the 3,971-pound CTS Vsport as a light car (it's 300 pounds heavier than the base CTS) but it still undercuts the fat 550i by more than 400 pounds.

You might not recognize the Vsport name as it's new to the CTS model lineup. Fret not, as the Vsport is not intended to be a replacement for the CTS-V. Specifically, it slots between the base V6 CTS variant and the inevitable CTS-V, and has the BMW 550i in its sights, not the M5.

2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport

Two Turbos and Eight Speeds
The Vsport's 3.6-liter V6 has had its lungs pumped up with 12 psi of boost by a pair of turbos tucked beneath its cylinder heads. Although sharing its architecture with the normally aspirated version that's found a home in many a GM car over the years, the engine has been comprehensively beefed up for boosted duty.

Direct injection and a short-path liquid-to-air intercooler underpin its 420 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque, and it's backed by an all-new paddle-shiftable eight-speed autobox. No manual gearbox is available.

While the Vsport's power eclipses the current 2013 BMW 550i's 400 hp, the refreshed 2014 550i boasts 445 hp. We've only tested the 550i in 400-hp guise, so that's the yardstick for now.

Chassis Prowess
At GM's Milford Proving Ground we strapped our Vbox into the Vsport and tested its chops on the vast black lake. The conclusion from this exercise is that the 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport will be a thorn in the side of the big 5 Series. Not only did the Cadillac cling to the skid pad at an eye-opening 0.95g, it tore out a 69.8-mph slalom performance. Braking, too, was impressive, as the Cad reached a drama-free halt from 60 mph in just 103 feet.

There are some differences in the composition of the tarmac here compared to our usual testing venue in Southern California, and our experience with both sites suggests the black lake is somewhat grippier. Nevertheless, these results from the Vsport humiliate the last 550i we tested by a wide margin.

2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport

The Vsport's standard summer tires contribute to this prowess. Run-flat Pirelli P Zero Neros measuring 245/40 in front and 275/35 out back have been snapped onto the Vsport's 18-by-8.5-inch wheels (18 by 9.5 inches in the back). By contrast, BMW upcharges you for summer tires on the 550i, and it suffers the consequences in terms of capability on the base all-season tires. Score one for the home team.

Good tires alone do not a sport sedan make, and the CTS Vsport's chassis brims with sophistication to fully exploit them. Its torque-biasing electronically controlled differential is largely similar to that found on the C7 Corvette, and all Vsports are fitted with GM's latest generation of magnetorheological (MR) dampers.

Power to Weight
Paired to its 20-hp edge over the 400-hp 2013 550i, the Cadillac's weight advantage suggests another ass-whipping is in store for the BMW when it comes to acceleration. It wasn't to be. The Vsport's 5.1-second sprint to 60 (4.8 seconds with one foot of rollout as on a drag strip) pips the BMW by only a tenth.

2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport

Oddly, the Vsport's quarter-mile sprint of 13.3 seconds at 106.3 mph couldn't match the 2013 550i, as the Cadillac trailed by a tenth of a second and 2 mph by the time it cleared the stripe. Trap speed is all about horsepower, so something doesn't add up. It could be that German horses are simply stronger. Wouldn't be the first time we've noticed this.

Putting the Pieces Together
The Vsport is certainly rapid, the speed on the MRC stacking up continuously in big chunks with each quick gearchange from the new automatic. The engine's muted purr and flat torque delivery make for deceptively quick progress. This is refined potency, rather than the all-out sturm und drang of the CTS-V. Meanwhile, the Vsport's chassis exhibits poise and alertness, and drives smaller than it is.

This apparent feat of shrinking is the sign of a capable car, one that's willing to change direction but isn't nervous, and provides reliable intel on the status of grip at both ends of the car through the helm and the seat of your pants.

2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport

For sure, the car is doing some of the work for us. The MRC is not an easy circuit to memorize and will not suffer shunts kindly, so we left the CTS's driving mode in the Track setting. This loosens up the stability control and tightens the MR dampers, steering and gearchange schedule to better suit track use, natch, while still providing a safety net if things go wrong. The differential is also busy shuttling torque to influence the car's attitude, and while you can feel the systems at work, they certainly don't neuter the drive.

In fact, the Vsport is one of those cases where the wizardry onboard is an aid rather than a hindrance. The MR dampers keep the car beautifully flat even in hard corners, while still maintaining a resiliency that allows it to soak up berms without becoming unsettled. It follows its intended path with precision, thanks to the fancy diff and electric-assist steering that is at once precise and intuitive.

Uncharted Territory
Among the better-executed interpretations of Cadillac's modern design language to date, the Vsport's sheet metal blends substance with grace. A long cowl-to-front-axle relationship emphasizes the new CTS's rear-drive layout (squint and you might see an E-Class in its proportions). The cabin's theme is similar to that of the ATS, though every surface feels richer and there's noticeably more space. The instrument cluster is reconfigurable, too, similar to that found in the C7 Corvette.

2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport

The 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport is taut, crisp and looks the part of a $60,000 car. OK, $59,995 with destination. Spring for the Premium trim level and the Vsport's base price rises to a few shekels shy of $70 grand. This makes the Vsport even dearer than the existing CTS-V, and Cadillac expects some 15 percent of new CTS sales to be Vsport models.

Yet the Vsport is bang-on the price of a 550i and is a more convincing alternative to it than is the CTS-V. Our initial impression is that the Vsport's chassis is up to the task of outshining the 550i, while still allowing room in the CTS range for a truly menacing CTS-V variant. A 'tweener no more; a 'tweener once again.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

Used 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport Overview

The Used 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport is offered in the following styles: Vsport 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl Turbo 8A).

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Should I lease or buy a 2014 Cadillac CTS?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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