First drive: 2014 Cadillac CTS 3.6 in the UAE
One little-known fact about us is that our first officially-provided test car was the 2005 Cadillac CTS 3.6. It was a very nice car, but after the initial euphoria died down, we realised it wasn’t particularly well-built and nowhere near as good as the BMW 3-Series we drove after that. Two generations later, the 2014 edition is quite something else.
They’ve nailed the exterior, unique yet elegant. And they’ve nailed the interior, finally getting proper rear legroom and indisputably premium trim materials all over. The cabin tech’s a little wonky, mostly because it’s all touch-based for even the simplest functions, but it’s still loaded to the hilt with appreciable stuff like navigation, a heads-up display, a full LCD gauge-cluster and more.
Powered by a 321 hp 3.6-litre direct-injection V6, it’s a nice motor offering linear power delivery and a nice-enough exhaust note. But this isn’t 2005 any more, and the turbo/supercharged Europeans will win a drag-race every single time, as the naturally-aspirated V6 doesn’t get going until the revs are high, not helped by an 8-speed automatic that doesn’t like to be hustled. Cadillac already offers two turbo engines in its CTS line-up, which may be more competitive.
They’ve nailed the suspension tuning too. The CTS rides fairly smooth on most road surfaces, quiet for the most part and doing the luxury thing better than certain other sports-sedan rivals. And it handles really well, with excellent grip and limited body roll in speedy corners. Even the steering feedback and brake-pedal weightage were good, things that are increasingly ignored in other cars.
The CTS has now become a proper contender in the midsize luxury segment, with pricing that still competes with European offerings one size smaller. And that’s no bad thing.
For prices and specs, visit the Cadillac buyer guide.