A new performance choice

cadillac cts open highway

Watch: Inside Cadillac's racing school

Along with the larger CTS, there's something else new to the Cadillac line-up: The Vsport trim level. You may be familiar with Cadillac's V cars. The CTS-V is a hard-riding performance monster.

But the Vsport is different. It's a gentler machine that offers significantly more fun than the base-model car but without the jarring ride and nose-heavy feel of a V car. Starting at about $60,000, it's powered by a new 420-horsepower twin-turbo V6 and besides the "Tour" and "Sport" modes, it offers an additional super-pumped "Track" mode.

The most impressive thing in the CTS Vsport was how good it was in "Tour" mode. In a lot of luxury cars these days, anything less than "Sport" mode should really be called "Snooze" mode. Not here. Even in normal "just takin' it easy" mode, acceleration is strong and the car feels good in the turns with slight body roll. It also has that just-right ride quality that's easy on the seat but not floaty.

Sport mode, with it's firmer ride and heavier, quicker steering feels like something for special occasion use. It's for those times when you've found the perfect road and you want your Cadillac to turn into a sports car. And "Track" mode feels, as advertised, like it's probably best saved for the a race track.

First published October 15, 2013: 6:56 AM ET

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