Checking In With Our 2014 COTY
Every once in a while I like to go back and watch a movie I once loved to see if it still holds up. “Super Troopers”? Still good. “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace”? Eh, not so much. I like doing the same thing with cars. After naming the Cadillac CTS our 2014 Car of the Year, we spent a year with a Cadillac CTS V-Sport. Since then, we’ve spent lots of ink (pixels) on the new 640-hp Cadillac CTS-V but little to no time with the more attainable 420-hp CTS V-Sport. With that in mind, we borrowed a 2016 Cadillac CTS V-Sport Premium for a couple weeks and set out to rectify the situation.
Not much has changed with the Cadillac CTS V-Sport since we named it (and the rest of the CTS lineup) our Car of the Year two years ago. Although both the base 2.0-liter, turbo I-4 and 3.6-liter V-6-powered CTS models have received the V-Sport’s eight-speed automatic for this model year, Cadillac left well enough alone when it comes to the V-Sport. The rear-drive-only 2016 CTS V-Sport carries over with a potent 3.6-liter, twin-turbo V-6 making 420 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque mated to a quick-shifting eight-speed auto. Our top-of-the-line CTS V-Sport Premium tester came equipped with the new-for-2016 360-degree camera system and a quicker version of CUE with Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto compatibility.
Who cares about infotainment, though? At the track, the CTS V-Sport remains just as impressive as we remembered. The 0-60 acceleration run took our jet-black Caddy 4.7 seconds, and the quarter mile came in 13.1 seconds at 109 mph (175 km/h). Our old 2014 CTS V-Sport long-termer did 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds and the quarter mile in 13.0 seconds at 109.4 mph (176 km/h). The difference in acceleration figures can likely be chalked up to the 70-pound (32 kg) weight difference between the two cars. (Our 2014 CTS V-Sport long-termer didn’t have any optional extras). Braking performance for the 2016 CTS V-Sport remains good with our tester stopping from 60 mph in 107 feet (33 m). The Caddy’s figure-eight performance also still impresses, the CTS lapping the course in 24.7 seconds at 0.80 g average and averaging 0.93 g on the skidpad.
The CTS is still a treat out on the road, too. The Cadillac is a great all-arounder—equally at home cruising the open road as it is being chucked through canyon corners. The twin-snail V-6 lives up to the Bob Lutz maxim of “Americans buy horsepower but drive torque.” The 430 lb-ft of twist is little more than a dab of your right foot away, propelling the CTS V-Sport up to speed with authority. Although there’s evidence of a little bit of lag, the quick-shifting transmission—probably second only to the new Chevrolet Camaro in how well its tuned—helps make sure that the power is always available when you want it. Ride quality and steering feel are still near the tops of the class. The magnetic shocks completely isolate the driver from Southern California’s awful roads while still helping the Caddy corner flat through carving roads. The steering wheel itself is thick and meaty with excellent feedback from the front tires.
Inside, the Cadillac CTS is still a nice place to be. The front half of the cabin has an excellent seating position and comfortable seats wrapped in rich leather; it feels like it was designed around the driver. The open-pore wood trim in our test car was also a welcome touch. As for foibles? There are a few. CUE is still CUE. It’s improved drastically but still leaves some of us frustrated and confused. The back seat is also rather tight compared to other vehicles in the segment, which could send some potential buyers looking elsewhere.
Ultimately, the 2016 Cadillac CTS V-Sport proves it still sports the chops that helped it earn our Golden Calipers two years ago. Does it still hold up? Absolutely. As for how it stacks up against the competitive set, you’ll have to stay tuned.
|2016 Cadillac CTS Vsport|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$73,045|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, RWD, 5-pass, 4-door sedan|
|ENGINE||3.6L/420-hp/430-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve V-6*|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||4,007 lb (52/48%)|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||195.5 x 72.2 x 57.2 in|
|0-60 MPH||4.7 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||13.1 sec @ 109.0 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||107 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.93 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||24.7 sec @ 0.80 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||16/24/19 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||211/140 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||1.03 lb/mile|