GM Quality Director Bullish on CUE, Multimedia Systems

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In two influential studies from J.D. Power and Associates, GM got both ends of the stick. The Detroit automaker finished strong in the firm's 2013 Initial Quality Study released in June, but it ranked midpack in the firm's Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout report a month later.

Mike Hardie pays a lot of attention to those studies. Hardie directs global quality strategy at GM, whose U.S. brands are Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC. In IQS, some of GM's awarded products are its oldest: the soon-to-be-discontinued Chevrolet Avalanche, the outgoing Cadillac Escalade and the old GMC Sierra 1500. Tech-laden new Cadillacs, by contrast, earned no awards.

That may not mean older technology, particularly around the often-scrutinized multimedia system, is automatically better from a things-gone-wrong standpoint, Hardie said. He spoke with Cars.com earlier today.

"Simpler can excel, and I think quite honestly that pushes its way to new technology, as well," Hardie said. He pointed to the redesigned Chevrolet Impala, which nabbed Consumer Reports' top score among sedans on Thursday. The magazine called the Impala's multimedia system "refreshingly intuitive and easy to use."

By Kelsey Mays | July 26, 2013 | Comments (0)

Cadillac's CTS Gets Expensive for 2014

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Not only did Cadillac's midsize car grow in size for 2014, the redesigned CTS' base price also got larger. When the rear- or all-wheel-drive sedan goes on sale this fall, it'll start at $46,025, including a $925 destination fee. Last year's model clocks in at just $39,800, including an $895 destination fee.

Several trim levels will be available, including Luxury, Performance and Premium. Powertrain choices for all three include a 272-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or a 321-hp, 3.6-liter V-6.

Bumping up to the sport-oriented rear-wheel-drive CTS Vsport model gets you the new 420-hp, twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V-6, making a hefty 420 hp and 430 pounds-feet of torque. The model starts at $59,995, including a $925 destination fee, and includes an electronic limited slip differential and eight-speed automatic transmission. It's not to be confused with the CTS-V model and its 556-hp, supercharged V-8; the V line carries over and wears the old generation's design for 2014.

By Jennifer Geiger | June 14, 2013 | Comments (3)

NHTSA Tests New Crop of Vehicles

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A host of 2014 vehicles have earned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's five-star rating in crash tests, perhaps most notably the redesigned-for-2014 Cadillac CTS.

Both the rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions of the CTS got an overall score of five in NHTSA's safety ratings. Both earned fives in frontal-crash tests and side-crash tests, and fours in rollover tests. Meanwhile, its compact sibling, the 2014 ATS, earned fives across the board for both the rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions. Both the front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions of the 2014 XTS also earned an overall five-star score, with fives in frontal- and side-crash ratings and fours in rollover tests.

Other 2014 models joining NHTSA's five-star club earned fives in frontal- and side-crash ratings and fours in rollover tests. They included:

By Matt Schmitz | May 17, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Cadillac XTS: What's Changed

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  • Most significant changes: All-new twin-turbo V-6, automatic parking assist and Intellibeam automatic high-beam control system
  • Price change: TBA
  • On sale: Summer 2013
  • Which should you buy, 2013 or 2014? Price will weigh heavily, but the twin-turbo engine is tempting

When the 2014 Cadillac XTS goes on sale later this summer, the large sedan will be what the automaker calls "one of the most technologically advanced production cars in the brand's history." Topping the list of upgrades is a new twin-turbo V-6 engine that's borrowed from the 2014 CTS sedan.

Cadillac said the optional twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-6 is good for 410 horsepower and 369 pounds-feet of torque; that’s compared with the standard naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V-6's 304 hp and 264 pounds-feet of torque. The twin-turbo engine comes only with all-wheel drive while the standard V-6 comes with front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The twin-turbo requires premium gas; fuel-economy figures have not yet been announced.

By Matt Schmitz | May 16, 2013 | Comments (6)

2014 Cadillac CTS Video

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Not only does the 2014 CTS position Cadillac better than ever to compete with luxury midsize sedans from BMW and Mercedes-Benz, Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says it's the strongest candidate to accelerate GM into the 21st century. Drawing heavily from 2011's Ciel concept, the redesigned CTS aims for cutting edge with newfangled LED running lights under the headlights, abundant high-quality interior stitching, real metal and wood trim, and lots of tech features — though the forward-looking thing might go a tad far with the motorized cupholder cover.

More 2013 New York Auto Show Coverage

All that combined with a substantially reduced weight — particularly in the Vsport trim, powered by a 420-horsepower, twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-6 — may bode well for a CTS coupe comeback, though the future of the unpopular wagon remains hazy. Check out the video below.

By Matt Schmitz | March 27, 2013 | Comments (1)

2014 Cadillac CTS: Photo Gallery

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When the 2014 Cadillac CTS rolled out onto the stage at the 2013 New York International Auto Show this week, you could almost hear a faint "gulp!" from its German luxury midsize sedan counterparts. Lower, longer and lighter than its predecessor and boasting updated exterior styling, a top-quality interior and a new twin-turbo 3.6-liter V-6, this third-generation CTS may just have come into its own as a global force in this upscale segment.

More 2013 New York Auto Show Coverage

Check out Cars.com photographer Evan Sears' photo gallery below, taking note of the new CTS’ sculpted, creased front end, length-spanning character lines, tall headlights with distinctive LED running lamps and new "cut-and-sewn" interior.

By Matt Schmitz | March 27, 2013 | Comments (5)

2014 Cadillac CTS: Up Close

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Cadillac's CTS has always set the stage for the brand's overall styling theme, evolving from a controversial, radical new shape when it first appeared to the latest generation's long, low, lean look. The second generation was an improvement, a refinement on the first, and this third-generation CTS is the next step in the company's Art & Science theme.

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The car's initial visual impact is that it is indeed lower and longer than the current one, noticeably so with a dramatically sculpted and creased front end that is instantly recognizable as a Cadillac.

By Aaron Bragman | March 27, 2013 | Comments (5)

2014 Cadillac CTS at the 2013 New York Auto Show

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  • Competes with: Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series, Audi A6
  • Looks like: A stretched Cadillac ATS with some Mercedes-Benz roofline elements
  • Drivetrain: 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, 3.6-liter V-6 or a new 3.6-liter twin-turbo V-6 making 420-hp, mated to a six-speed or all-new eight-speed transmission
  • Hits dealerships: Fall 2013

Cadillac has pulled the wraps off of its third-generation CTS sedan at the New York International Auto Show, revealing a longer, lower and wider machine that more solidly pits the CTS against its midsize rivals like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series. Like both of those Germans, the Cadillac remains rear-wheel drive, but unlike the Germans, Cadillac will not immediately offer a V-8, instead opting for a brand-new twin-turbocharged version of GM's 3.6-liter direct-injected V-6. It'll be its top engine choice — at least until the CTS-V is revealed.

More 2013 New York Auto Show Coverage

Styling is evolutionary, a further refinement of Cadillac's now decade-old "Art and Science" theme that continues to improve with each generation. The creases and angles that marked the first two generations have been softened considerably. The new CTS features the best proportions yet in a modern Cadillac, with a long, low hood and distinctive character lines that start at the front bumper and continue unbroken to the rear. It's a full 5 inches longer than the old one, with a 1-inch extension in the wheelbase for a bigger interior.

By Aaron Bragman | March 26, 2013 | Comments (15)

2013 New York Auto Show: What to Expect

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Billed as the nation's "first and largest-attended" auto show, the 113-year-old New York International Auto Show also may be the most ironic — hosted by the only U.S. city in which more than half the residents don't own a car. But that fact won't be reflected on the expo's 900,000-square-foot show floor, set to feature more than 1,000 vehicles, including a host of North American and world debuts.

The show runs March 29 through April 7 at New York's Jacob Javits Center, 11th Avenue between 34th and 40th streets; hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for children 3 to 12, free for kids 2 and younger, and $13 per person for groups of 20 or more.

One eagerly anticipated New York debut is the redesigned 2014 Jeep Cherokee. The Liberty replacement trades in the Cherokee's previous boxy, trucklike appearance in favor of narrow, sweeping headlights, a modern-looking seven-slot grille and a creased hood. In addition to the Cherokee's sleek look, Jeep said the SUV boasts improved off-road capability and significantly improved fuel economy.

By Matt Schmitz | March 19, 2013 | Comments (5)

New Twin-Turbo V-6 Coming to 2014 CTS, XTS

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When Cadillac takes the wraps off the redesigned 2014 CTS sedan later this month it will feature an all-new engine under the hood.

The company announced today that a turbocharged version of its 3.6-liter V-6 engine will power not only the new CTS but a version of the XTS large sedan as well.

The engine features two turbochargers and is certified by the Society of Automotive Engineers at 420 horsepower and 430 pounds-feet of torque and is teamed to an eight-speed automatic transmission. General Motors says it's the most powerful V-6 engine it has ever produced and will hit 60 mph in 4.6 seconds.

The company compared the engine to the twin-turbo V-6 in BMW's 535i at 300 hp and 300 pounds-feet of torque as well as the twin-turbo V-8 in the 550i at 400 horses and 450 pounds-feet of torque.

While it may sound like chest beating, to us it sheds some light on the new CTS being squarely positioned at the midsize luxury class despite the current generation's price keeping it competitive with the BMW 3 Series. Cadillac debuted a smaller ATS last year to take on the 3 Series, so it seems like we'll see the CTS aiming its sights higher.

The 2014 CTS goes on sale this fall and will also be available with a non-turbocharged 3.6-liter V-6 as well as the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder found in the ATS.

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By David Thomas | March 18, 2013 | Comments (6)

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