2016 Cadillac CTS Premium AWD Brims Over with Technology

There are some cars so packed with technology on every level that it’s almost possible to forget how well they drive. It’s easy to get too distracted by all of the bells and whistles and forget that no matter how smart and flashy, a car is still a car and must do a car’s job.

Fortunately, the 2016 Cadillac CTS Premium AWD manages to do that essential job with flair and confidence — even while dripping with every manner of in-car driver’s aid, safety feature, comfort element and in-car entertainment options the automative world can manage these days.

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The CTS Premium AWD is the top trim level for this particular model, and the price tag shows it. Depending on what you choose to pile into your CTS, the car that can run you north of $83,000. For that, you get that smooth, grounded Cadillac grace driven by a 3.6 liter, 335 horsepower V6 – kept on the road an All-Wheel-Drive system tuned for work in any weather.

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The driving experience is perfectly balanced and reassuring — maybe a little heavy in the nose in the turns. But, it’s fair to say the CTS Premium is one of the true comfort and luxury models for Cadillac – not one of their insane performance builds.

For in-car technology, the Cadillac CTS Premium is at a “kitchen sink included” level. We take a deep breath…And you get Alarm, Auxiliary Power Outlet, Back-Up Camera, Cruise Control, Heads-Up Display, Vehicle Anti-Theft System, HID headlights, Keyless Start, Rear Parking Aid, Remote Engine Start Adjustable Steering Wheel, Steering Wheel Controls, Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel, Navigation from Telematics, Remote Trunk Release, Universal Garage Door Opener, Intermittent Wipers, Rain Sensing Wipers, Variable Speed Intermittent Wipers, Front Floor Mats, Keyless Entry, Power Door Locks, Electrochromic rearview mirror, Heated Mirrors, Mirror Memory, Power Driver Mirror, Driver Vanity Mirror, Driver Illuminated Vanity Mirror, Passenger Vanity Mirror, Passenger Illuminated Visor Mirror and Power Steering.

And, throw in Cadillac Cue – the in-dash infotainment system. One of the brighter, more intuitive systems I’ve seen, Cue is especially friendly to any iPhone user as the screen recreates the Apple device’s basic functions for the in-car environment.

Now, normally I wouldn’t bother typing all that. I’d just write “power everything,” and let you figure out that the car is an advanced computerized environment on wheels. But,  there’s a method to my madness.

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Let’s consider the safety features: Electronic Stability Control, Daytime Running Lights, Child Safety Locks, Integrated Turn Signal Mirrors, Front Tow Hooks, Traction Control, Emergency Trunk Release, Blind Spot Monitor and Lane Departure Warning. That’s all very impressive as there is very little on the automotive consumer technology front that the Cadillac CTS Premium doesn’t include. But, the driver needs to negotiate through all of that for a comfort level.

The CTS Premium is so thoroughly equipped, so intelligent and so hyper-vigilant that you might come to a point when it gets to be a little much. I admit I did. While trying to listen to my music via Cue, I had the car warning me of traffic conditions miles ahead, pinging if my signal was on too long, telling me I was going too fast, offering alternative routes, vibrating my buttocks every time I thought about changing lanes. After a while, I just wanted to listen to my music and enjoy driving without the car’s tech hovering like a mother hen.

So, I adjusted all of the car’s settings to levels I favored. I turned off some warning systems and back others down a notch or two. In the end, the fact that I could shut her up enough to love her again was another point scored by this extraordinary car.

Once you come to an understanding with it, the 2016 Cadillac CTS Premium AWD is an elite American driving machine and every bit the technological match of its European rivals.