Time was running short for the summer tires of our 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport as winter approached, and when cold weather arrived we pondered the way in which this luxury sedan now seemed louder and more stiff-legged and yet sportier than we anticipated at the beginning of our Four Seasons test.

“I like how it feels wholly different from any of the CTS Vsport’s competition,” says associate Web editor Eric Weiner after his drive home in the 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport from our All-Stars event in western Michigan. “It’s luxurious, yes, but this car is much more of a sports sedan than I was expecting. No question, you feel all of the raging torque and surging boost of the twin-turbo V-6, and this makes every depression of the accelerator pedal an event to savor. But more impressive is how well it handles in the twisties; it’s even better than the ATS.

“Cadillac has engineered an amazingly impressive sport sedan that’s better than anything I’ve driven from the Germans in this segment. Unfortunately the everyday usability is surprisingly lacking, especially when the steering wheel is twitching all over the place at low speeds over uneven pavement.”

Is the VSport too tough to tame?

In executing a sport sedan, Cadillac might have stepped over the line even as it vanquishes memories of its old, cushy, but capacious prairie schooners.

“I’m starting to think the Vsport is a bit too high-strung for my tastes,” associate Web editor Joey Capparella says. “It’s really difficult to drive this car smoothly, and the power delivery really doesn’t befit what’s otherwise a great luxury sedan. The engine is surprisingly loud, and it’s a bit much when you’re driving around town running errands.”

Weiner has a different impression of the Caddy’s noise, vibration, and harshness after a 1,300-mile round trip to his hometown of Philadelphia.

“Decent highway car,” he says. “I managed 26.5 mpg for the whole trip, which isn’t good but it’s not awful either. There’s so much power that passing is a total breeze, but I wouldn’t call it effortless. Downshifts aren’t crisp and smooth like in an Audi A6. I will say the Caddy is very quiet at speed. Not much road noise or wind noise at all, and the engine doesn’t cause a ruckus.”

Back to reality, boys

Perhaps it comes from driving (and owning) so many cars from a time when ride vs. handling and luxury vs. sport were necessary compromises, but Yr. Hmbl. Srvnt. finds tire noise and the rough idle at startup (and the dead horse that is the CUE information/entertainment system) to be the 2014 Cadillac CTS VSport’s only deficiencies worthy of mention.

On grainier road surfaces during a quick two-day round trip we made to Milwaukee, the Vsport’s tires were noisy and felt a bit harsh as the car’s odometer breached 10,000 miles. Were the Pirelli P Zeros past their best already?

This trip came before we had time to switch into the winter tires, and on the morning of the return, the season’s first polar vortex came down hard, with snow hitting the northern parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin, but missing southeastern Wisconsin and southwestern Michigan by a couple hundred miles. With worn summer tires, the homeward leg of our trip was going to be an adventure.

Winter driving already?

While not quite the coming of the Frozen Tundra, the temperature dropped to 38 degrees and it was rainy, so feathery throttle applications along eastbound I-94 proved prudent, especially when changing lanes. By Chicago, 90 miles to the south, the freeways were drier and the temperatures had crept up into the low 40s. Now, the interior temperature was a problem; it proved necessary to tap deeply into CUE’s touchscreens in order to get the heater/defroster temperature down to a manageably cool level.

Upon our return to metro Detroit, little time was wasted getting some winter rubber on the 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport. We took Tire Rack’s advice and switched into Pirelli Sottozeros. Unlike the summer P Zeros, the size requirements of the winter Sottozeros are not staggered, so we could fit 245/40R-18s front and back.

The cost started with $1,071.64 for the tires. Then we ordered four, handsome Moda MD19 wheels, sensors for the tire pressure monitoring system, and an Ateq VT15 reprogramming tool. The total package from Tire Rack came to $2,039. Mounting cost us $20 at Belle Tire, and now we can look forward to finding out just how good the 2014 Cadillac CTS Vsport is in Michigan’s snowy winter months.

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