Handling is terrific. By maximizing the use of aluminum construction, the CTS has shed almost 300 pounds, and the weight loss pays dividends. The car feels light on its feet with an uncanny willingness to corner. Body lean is virtually nonexistent. The steering is quick and well-weighted, and it provides decent feedback. On the track, the CTS further reveals its chops with great grip, balanced behavior, and readiness to play. This is the way the BMW 5-Series used to feel but doesn’t anymore.
With the FE3 sport suspension and 18-inch, low-profile run-flat tires, the ride feels firm and taut but impressively controlled and unperturbed by undulations, even at high speeds. But that ride might feel too firm for some folks, especially at slow urban speeds. For potential buyers with less sporty aspirations, the more pliable FE2 suspension and 17-inch tires might be a better choice.
The interior is impeccably finished, being modern and tasteful. Clearly, Cadillac has invested some resources here, with double-stitched upholstery seams and real wood or carbon-fiber touches. The nongloss natural wood is particularly appealing and distinctive.
The front seats provide wonderful support. The longer wheelbase not only corrects the car’s proportions but also slightly benefits the rear seat, which is now a little less cramped than before and comparable with the competition.
The one let-down is the overly-complicated touch-activated CUE infotainment interface. It requires way too much time with eyes off the road, even when you’ve learned its menu maze. Fiddling with the on-board computer functions using the steering-wheel controls is also cumbersome.
CR's Take. The CTS is a rock-solid, focused sports sedan that’s stylish, enjoyable, and laden with the latest techno-gadgets. But the real story is that historically stodgy Cadillac is now the more fun-to-drive and the less conservative alternative to Lexus and the German brands in this bourgeois segment.