Turns out one of the most difficult aspects of the new premium saloon on The Management Fleet is parking it
|Engine||Power||Torque||0-100kph||Top speed||Weight||Basic price|
|Inline 4cyl, turbo, 1998cc||272bhp @ 5500rpm||400Nm (295lb ft) @ 3000-4500rpm||6.2secs||277kph||1691kg (160bhp/ton)||TBC|
|Date acquired:||February 2016|
|Kilometres this month:||1039|
|Costs this month:||$0|
|L/100km this month:||9.2|
Rarely has reverse parking been this difficult. And the irony is that the system designed to aid in this endeavour is actually making things worse.
Through the use of a 360-degree camera and sensors integrated into the rear bumper, Cadillac’s Ultrasonic Rear Park Assist is designed to stop a driver from accidentally clouting either other cars or pedestrians, automatically applying the brakes if the system feels you’re about to do so. In principal, it’s commendable. In practice, it’s infuriating. Unless we’re willing to inch into every parking space we find or forego the gear altogether, reverse parking the CTS is regularly brought to a graunching halt as the brakes are slammed on, a haptic pulse sent through the steering wheel reminding us that we very nearly hit a Pepsi can or an empty carrier bag. We’re all for the progression of driver assistance technologies, but the Ultrasonic Rear Park Assist really is too sensitive.
Happily our first month with the Management Fleet CTS has produced more than chewed fingernails and whiplash, the four-cylinder engine in particular proving a worthy addition. Okay, fine, it may not be as characterful or as pokey as either the V6 or supercharged V8 firestorms we’ve tangled with previously, and its muted soundtrack sound unnervingly similar to a tumble dryer. Pick-up though is nevertheless impressive, the 268bhp turbocharged four-cylinder offering striking pull with no noticeable trace of lag all the way to the redline, 295lb ft being sent to the rear wheels to offer similarly impressive traction. Like most downsized engines, the focus is on fuel consumption, though don’t think that means the CTS can’t be hustled.
With the ride slightly stiffer than we’d expected in Comfort mode and the steering inconsistently weighted, we’ve spent more time exploring the CTS’s composure in Sport mode. There’s little tangible difference in ride quality when the dampers are in their firmest setting, but the additional composure this brings plus the hefty nature of the steering allows us to really lean on the front end: the four-cylinder may not appreciate that, but it’s a spirited little tyke and won’t whine too much.
As well as a spirited drive, the Cadillac also offers – as part of an upgraded infotainment system – Apple Car Play, which allows us to scroll through messages and music on our phones through the dashboard-mounted touchscreen. Mercifully the CUE system remains intuitive to use, and the team has quickly become enamoured with it. Well, that and the remote engine start option on the keyfob. If only there was a way to remote park the CTS as well…
Technical specifications available on page 2