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Driving Test Dream Car

2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport

Okay, they’d probably never let you get away with using it on your driver’s test, but I was absolutely fascinated by the Park Assist feature on the 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport Premium, which is the subject of this week’s test drive. After pulling out of the Keyser Cadillac lot one recent wet morning and heading up the I-290, salesman Bryan Fryling started telling me about some of the car’s many features; it is after all, Motor Trend Magazine’s 2014 Car of the Year.

I’m not sure what it says about my personality, but after hearing about the Vsport’s Twin-Turbo 420-horsepower V-6, the heated steering wheel (thank God), and the Driver Awareness package (collision, blind spot, and lane departue alerts; rear camera, etc,), my ears perked up when he mentioned the Park Assist. I immediately headed for the next exit to find a side street to let the car park itself. As luck would have it, we ended-up just down the road from Cardinal O’Hara High School, where they have a huge driver training course. A couple of Driver Ed cars were also on the street practicing parking, and it took all I had to not show off in front of them and parallel park the car with both hands out the window: “Nyah-nyah!” I did, however, park the car four or five times. All I had to do was shift into reverse or drive as needed and regulate the speed; the car did hardest part, steering right into a spot less than a foot from the curb. Sweet!

But enough of that. The Vsport, or any CTS for that matter, is a car that wants to be driven. This is why Cadillac is making inroads in the sport sedan market, once dominated by BMW and Audi. The luxury is still there as it’s always been, but now it’s accompanied by fun, starting under the hood. The base engine is a 2.0-liter 272-horsepower turbo V-4; the Luxury, Performance, and Premium models have a 3.6-liter 321-horsepower V-6; while the Vsport and Vsport Premium have the aforementioned twin turbo. And let me tell you, that twin turbo really wakes you up! Like I said, it was a wet day, so I didn’t push it too hard, but it left no doubt in my mind. The 2.0-liter comes with a six-speed automatic, while the rest have an eight-speed. All-wheel-drive is also an option on all but the Vsport models; otherwise the CTS’s rear wheels drive the car.

The CTS interior is very inviting. Although the test car was a pretty monochromatic black, there are other color choices, along with different trim options of woods, carbon fiber, and aluminum. Front seats are heated and ventilated as standard equipment on all but the base car; outboard rear seats are also heated on some models. The CTS isn’t a large car by any standard, but the front seats should fit anyone comfortably; the rear is a little tighter, but most will find that two fit very well back there.

The 2014 CTS is a totally new car, thus the COTY award. It’s still unmistakably a Cadillac, and a CTS to boot; the changes are much more obvious with an older car parked next to it. And as I’ve always said, styling is subjective, but I’m a fan of the CTS’s look. (Well, the four-door anyway.)

Pricing? Let’s start right at the top, with the Vsport Premium test car checking in at $71,130—pretty much in line with the competition. But you can spend way less and still have a very entertaining automobile: The base CTS starts at $45,100. And there’s a lot in between. Again, there are so many standard features on these cars that this space can’t do them justice. Check out the website and price one for yourself.

More info at

Read more of Jim Corbran's You Auto Know every other week in Artvoice, and more frequently on Artvoice Daily.

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