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Cadillac says fuel-economy savings of five percent are possible when you combine the stop-start technology also added this year with the eight-speed’s wide overall ratio and slightly taller top gear. More important, the quicker first-gear ratio of 4.62:1 (versus 4.06:1) will help drivers “start off more confidently, with a greater feeling of immediate performance.” Undaunted by puffery that sounds like a pull quote from a Viagra ad, we tested a new CTS to validate these claims.
A one-to-one comparison between old and new wasn’t possible, as the 2016 CTS 2.0T tested here had all-wheel drive and the 2014 2.0T we tested was rear-drive. It’s worth pointing out that the cars proved to be nearly identical on the skidpad, however, with the 2014 pulling 0.83 g versus the 2016’s 0.84. In terms of braking, the 2014 required 164 feet to stop from 70 mph against the 2016’s 177 feet, the difference likely due to the 185-pound weight advantage of the rear-drive 2014, with perhaps a small hat tip to its Pirelli P Zero Nero rubber. (The 2016 also was shod with Pirellis, but they were Cinturato all-season run-flats.)