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Cadillac Gold: 2014 Cadillac XTS Vsport. On CUE.

Sections: Car Audio, Car Safety, Infotainment, Installations, Navigation, Telematics

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Cadillac CUE XTS

Cadillac CUE XTS

CUE is the acronym for the infotainment centerpiece found in most Cadillac models now.  Soon it will be available in everything that Cadillac has to offer.  But Brett- we have heard of so many automotive journalists panning the system.  Are you for it?  Well, my wife rides around in a 2013 Cadillac SRX.  Her vehicle is a base model but one of the reasons we purchased the SUV was CUE became standard in all SRX models.  After all, it does not make sense to redesign the entire center stack for a CUE vs. non-CUE model.  I live for cutting-edge infotainment systems and CUE is right up there with MyFord/LincolnTouch.  However, what automotive journalists have to understand is if you want to get all that you can get out of these systems, there is a learning curve.  When Car & Driver does a comparo, they jump into three different makes (the Mercedes, Audi, and Cadillac for example).  And when the Cadillac CUE system does not work intuitively for them out of the gate it gets reviled.  BUT, given some time learning the system and you actually (gasp) start to enjoy it because of the tricks you can perform!

The CUE hard button I use most is the HOME button that allows you access to the list of ‘Apps’ from the home screen.  Most of the time, you’ll probably drive around with the entertainment screen showing.  The built-in proximity sensor allows you to wave your hand in front of the screen that will bring up apps for Audio, Climate, Navigation, or Phone.  I first saw this trick in the Bose system designed for the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti back in the day and thought what an ingenious idea.  Once you are rocking and rolling, the unit tries its best to be a facsimile of an iPad although its intuitiveness does fall short of something designed in Cupertino.  One reason for that is the unit’s LINUX roots that have been massaged by Bosch to supply the unit to GM.  On the other hand, this leads to a relatively open-source platform that can accommodate new technologies as they become available.

One of the coolest features is the ability to not just store favorite radio stations in a frequently-used ‘Tray’,  but cell phone numbers and nav system addresses.  If you have a favorite song you can even program it as a preset (‘Welcome to the Jungle’ comes to mind when I am getting close to work).  This tray can be expanded to accommodate 20 of your favorite things and access them with a single swipe!

The downside of CUE is it becomes difficult to name your favorites in the Tray.  I like to rename the XM stations so I see “The Highway” and not XM59.  Doing this for radio stations is no big deal- but doing it for navigation addresses can be very challenging.  You have to go through five menus of changing parameters to make it happen just so it can say ‘Jen’s House.’

As far as the volume swipe control on the dash, I prefer the steering wheel buttons anyway.  Some will love, some will not.  But all in all it has been found a good weighty knob is still the best volume potentiometer.

I found that CUE worked just as well with a vehicle that had all of the trimmings versus a more basic version.  In my vehicle, for example, the NAV button just takes you to OnStar where directions are downloaded.  In the XTS the NAV had 3D maps with pictograms of the buildings you were passing.

So CUE is really cutting edge but has some drawbacks.  The old school Cadillac set will probably hate it and go back to their salesperson multiple times to set it up.  But the new school Cadillac buyers will have a grand old time learning the ins-and-outs of CUE.  And isn’t that the demographic Cadillac is after to remain a dominant brand in luxury vehicle nameplates? Fire up a YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB02fcEM5ZIon CUE (you have never seen a more excited CUE user that this) before you take a test drive and after you purchase (if you do) to get the most out of it.

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  1. Pingback: Cadillac CUE Review: Experts Loving Luxury Brand’s Infotainment System