Cadillac's New Sedan Just Won A Major Car Award -- Here's Why It's A Big Deal

2014 cadillac cts motor trend car of the year trophyGeneral MotorsThe 2014 Cadillac CTS is Motor Trend’s Car of the Year.

Cadillac’s CTS sedan
just took home the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award.
The prestigious award is a recognition that the brand’s long slog back from the bottom of the luxury pile is for real.

The CTS, the centrepiece of Cadillac’s lineup, beat out formidable finalists including the BMW 4 Series, Chevrolet Corvette, Jaguar F-Type, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

Direct CTS competitors like the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class didn’t even make the finalist circle.

In 2002, it was the CTS that brought rear-wheel drive back to Cadillac, giving car-lovers a flicker of hope that the once great, then tarnished, luxury brand could mount a comeback. Explaining why the 2014 version won, Motor Trend acknowledged the CTS represents Cadillac’s resurgence over the past decade:

Examine our 2003 Car of the Year competition, if you will. The Infiniti G35 won by offering an unbeatable combination of style, refinement, handling, and value. We put BMW on notice: The Japanese have done it better. The Cadillac CTS, meanwhile, was barely mentioned, and praised only for its bold new design.

Welcome to 11 years later. In the intervening time, the CTS evolved into a champion in its own right, and was named Car of the Year in 2008. Again, we put Germany on notice: America’s coming. In neither of those victories, though, did either car face down its competition for the title. That’s what makes this year different.

We drove the new CTS last month and loved it — the car is well-styled, comfortable, powerful, and full of thoughtful details.

Motor Trend picks its winners based on safety, value, efficiency, advancement in design, engineering excellent, and “performance of intended function.” Contenders must be all-new or significantly updated.

This is the fourth time a Cadillac has won Car of the Year from Motor Trend; the CTS also won in 2008. Last year’s winner was Tesla’s Model S, the first electric car to take home the Golden Calipers trophy.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.