2016 Cadillac CTS: Luxury through design and performance

The 2016 Cadillac CTS sedan is a powerfully crafted vehicle that commands attention on and off the road. With its signature LED running lights and generous attention to interior detail it boasts luxury at every corner.

Performance

Cadillac offers three powerplant choices for the CTS. A 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder engine delivers 272 horsepower while a 3.6L V6 engine produces 321 hp in either rear wheel drive or all-wheel drive configuration. If that isn’t enough the CTS Vsport comes with a twin turbocharged V6 capable of 420 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque.

The biggest changes to the Cadillac CTS for 2016 is the replacement of the six-speed automatic transmission with a new eight-speed unit. With the new transmission, shifts are extremely smooth and the high number of gears make for better fuel economy at higher speeds. This review was based on my time with the 3.6L V6 in an all-wheel drive configuration. Put your foot down and the CTS roars to 100km/h in under six seconds.

The eight-speed automatic transmission comes standard with paddle shifters and a sport setting which lets the driver adjust the steering and transmission calibrations depending on how aggressively you want to drive.

The CTS is not a lightweight sedan at 2,280 kilograms, but is lighter compared than its competition due to the increased use of aluminum in its body. Cadillac also boasts that the CTS has near perfect 50/50 weight balance.

Equipped with Magnetic Ride Control suspension, the 2016 CTS is the perfect touring car. Capable of adjusting the shock stiffness up to 1,000 times per second, the sedan glides over bumps on the highway. The same magnetic suspension setup helps plant the car in the twistys when you feel the need for a more spirited drive.

Brembo brakes up front are standard and make quick work of bringing you to stop in a hurry.

Interior

For the interior of the CTS customers have the choice of materials such as exotic woods, carbon fiber and hand-stitched leather seating. As you sit in the driverseat of the CTS, the 20-way adjustable front seats allow for fully customizable comfort.

In place of a traditional gauge cluster is a 12.3-inch customizable display that allows the driver to change vital information as well as navigation and entertainment information. The CTS is also available with a heads-up display system that projects information such as speed, audio and navigation onto the windshield allowing drivers to keep their eyes up at all times.

Technology

The 2016 CTS comes with a new and improved CUE infotainment system, wireless charging and GM’s OnStar system with 4G LTE connectivity.

Optional equipment also include Cadillac’s around view camera system called Surround Vision. Cameras in the front grill, rear trunk lid and under the side view mirrors provide a bird’s eye view of the areas surrounding the vehicle when in low-speed drive or reverse.

If you are an iPhone user the CTS is equipped with Apple CarPlay. However, Android Auto is notably absent and it’s something we hope will be rectified in the next model year. Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system is improved with a faster processor allowing for a more responsive experience. The one issue I had with the CUE system was the lack of buttons. The infotainment functions are mainly controlled by the touchscreen. The inputs didn’t always take and I found some of the response times frustrating while driving.

The CTS is a standout in the midsize sedan segment. It truly is a head turner on and off the road. It is extremely comfortable to ride in both as a driver and passenger and is equally as fun to drive.

Pros

Aggressive and handsome styling

Magnetic Ride Control is smooth yet firm

Gorgeous Cadillac interior

Cons

Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system can be frustrating

Eight-speed transmission is a bit slow in manual mode


Competition

 

Photographs by Chris Bucik

 

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