Crash Protection for Eight: Buick Enclave Earns NHTSA Five-Star Safety Rating
Crossover's New Front-Center Airbag Boosts Its Crash-Worthy Credentials
RAYNHAM, Mass., March 22, 2013 -- With room for up to eight passengers, the refreshed 2013 Buick Enclave can leave drivers responsible for a lot of precious cargo, but they can all breathe easy following the latest round of crash tests from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The government agency recently gave the Enclave its top five-star Overall Vehicle Score in its New Car Assessment Program. Featuring a new industry-first front-center airbag that deploys between the front seats, the latest Enclave offers greater protection during far-side impacts.
To earn a five-star rating from the NHTSA, a vehicle must score well in a range of tests, including a frontal crash test, a side-barrier crash test and a new side-pole crash test. The Buick Enclave's top score indicates that the risk of injury in a crash is much lower for its occupants than the industry average, but the vehicle's airbags and reinforced chassis only make up a portion of its comprehensive safety design. Buick engineers also outfitted the Enclave with active safety equipment to help drivers avoid accidents in the first place, including the available Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert systems.
"Buick vehicles are more than luxurious, they're also incredibly safe thanks to their advanced chassis designs and innovative technology, including the front-center airbag in the Enclave," said Gary Carter, general sales manager of Mastria Buick GMC Cadillac, a Massachusetts Buick dealer near Boston. "Our customers want to feel safe out on the road, whether they're alone or with the whole family and then some, and the Enclave lets them drive with confidence."
Updated for the 2013 model year, the new Enclave received more than just the latest safety technology, with stylists revamping the exterior to create a cohesive, sophisticated look that is punctuated by a prominent chrome grille and swept-back headlights. Buick also added more standard equipment to the already tech-laden crossover, including Rear Parking Assist, a Rear Vision Camera, a power liftgate and the IntelliLink connectivity system, which displays important information on a seven-inch color display in the dash.
The changes to the 2013 Enclave have struck a chord with consumers, who have turned to the model in record numbers. Year-over-year sales of the crossover SUV have been on the rise for five straight months, punctuated by the vehicle's best-ever February. Totaling 5,241 units, Enclave sales were up 26 percent last month compared to February 2012, and they have now increased by 39 percent year-to-date. The Enclave's performance helped the overall Buick lineup earn its best February retail sales since 2004, with a 13 percent increase year-over-year.
"Buick has done an amazing job refreshing its lineup with bold style, new technology and attractive pricing that are proving popular both with fans of the brand and with those who haven't considered a Buick before," added Carter. "The conquest sales are especially important in the increasingly competitive car market, and they prove that Buick is hitting all the right marks."
Edmunds.com Honors the Cadillac CTS for Its Long Game
Luxury Vehicle Named Best Retained Value in Sedan Over $40K Category
RAYNHAM, Mass., May 8, 2012 – Luxury-car shoppers are typically focused on premium materials, cutting-edge technology and refined drivetrains when making their purchase, but how well that whole package keeps its value over time remains an important, oft-overlooked consideration. Edmunds.com recently released its 2012 Best Retained Value Awards, placing the 2012 Cadillac CTS at the top of the Sedan Over $40K category when it comes to maintaining value after five years of ownership.
Edmunds.com considered all 2012-model-year vehicles that were available before the end of 2011, but also required that each model’s February 2012 sales be at least 20 percent of the average unit sales for the models in their segment. Winners were named in 23 different model-level categories based on their projected value after five years, represented as a percentage of their True Market Value when new. The CTS Sport Sedan available at Cadillac dealers won its category after being projected to maintain 42 percent of its original value at the five-year point.
“A luxury car is a big purchase, so it's good to know you’ll get more back when you buy a Cadillac,” said Gary Carter, general sales manager of Massachusetts Cadillac dealership Mastria Buick GMC Cadillac. “The Sedan Over $40K category was full of vehicles from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, but it was the Cadillac CTS Sport Sedan that came out on top. This is further proof of Cadillac’s dedication to quality and reliability.”
Available in three body styles, including a coupe, sedan and wagon, the Cadillac CTS caters to a wide range of drivers, and is even available with all-wheel drive, appealing to Snow Belt natives. The standard engine on the CTS Sport Sedan and CTS Sport Wagon is a direct-injected 3.0-liter V6 producing 270 horsepower and returning up to 27 mpg on the highway with the automatic transmission. Meanwhile, a more-powerful 3.6-liter V6 outputting 318 horsepower is standard on the CTS Coupe and is available on the other models.
The CTS’ Best Retained Value Award is the most recent milestone for Cadillac, which has been working to improve everything from material quality to customer service. That effort hasn’t gone unrecognized, as J.D. Power and Associates recently named Cadillac the most improved among luxury brands when it came to providing an outstanding customer experience. The award was presented at the New York International Auto Show in April and is a result of Cadillac’s rate of improvement in five J.D. Power and Associates quality and satisfaction studies during the past three years.
The J.D. Power studies that factored into Cadillac’s most-improved award included the consumer-research firm’s Initial Quality Study; Vehicle Dependability Study; Automotive Performance, Execution, and Layout Study; Sales Satisfaction Index Study and Customer Service Index Study. Cadillac beat out runners-up Lexus and Porsche to be recognized as the most improved luxury brand.
“While some brands have been happy to coast on their previous accomplishments, Cadillac is pushing forward with new ideas and ways of doing business,” Carter noted. “From improved customer service to its revamped lineup, Cadillac is reinventing itself, and that makes it an exciting time to be a Cadillac dealer.”
RAYNHAM, Mass., April 9, 2012 – While it is the smallest in the automaker’s lineup, the 2012 Buick Verano recently proved that it can hold its own with its larger siblings when it comes to occupant protection. Currently available at Buick dealerships, the luxury compact sedan has been named a 2012 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Buick can now claim one of the safest lineups in the industry, as all of its 2012 models have earned Top Safety Pick status.
The IIHS rates vehicles in high-speed front and side crash tests, a rear crash test evaluating head and seat restraints, and a roof-strength test that determines how well the vehicle would protect occupants during a rollover. To become an IIHS Top Safety Pick, vehicles like the Buick Verano must earn the highest score of Good in all four crash tests.
“There is a perception that you need to compromise fuel efficiency or style for safety, but the Verano is a vehicle that does neither,” said Gary Carter, general sales manager at Massachusetts Buick dealership Mastria Buick GMC Cadillac. “A true luxury sedan like the Verano integrates safety technology seamlessly, building it in from the beginning instead of throwing it in as an afterthought.”
When designing its smallest car, Buick implemented a comprehensive safety strategy that started with the sedan’s core. The 2012 Buick Verano’s body is made up of more than 60 percent high-strength steel, creating a protective frame around passengers that can absorb much of the impact in a crash. That advanced body structure helped the Verano emerge as one of the leaders in the IIHS’ midsize moderately priced cars segment.
The 2012 Verano is equipped with a host of other safety technologies that protect both during and immediately following a crash. As part of the standard 10 air bags in the luxury sedan, head curtain air bags deploy when the vehicle detects a rollover situation. Those air bags stay inflated for an extended period of time, continuing to protect passengers in the event the car is not immediately righted. Drivers also receive six complimentary months of OnStar’s Automatic Crash Response System, which measures the impact of the crash and can send emergency assistance to the accident location.
While it is built to withstand a slew of potential road dangers, the Buick Verano’s features also ensure that Massachusetts drivers don’t forget that it is a luxury car first and foremost. Controls on the Verano’s leather-wrapped steering wheel, along with standard Bluetooth connectivity, allow drivers to keep their hands on the wheel while selecting their favorite songs or making phone calls. Meanwhile, an available Bose premium nine-speaker sound system and three months of complimentary SiriusXM Satellite Radio present music at its best.
“The Verano offers buyers a more affordable luxury sedan, but you wouldn’t know it when looking over the features, whether you’re talking about convenience or safety,” added Carter. “With the Verano, you don’t have to buy a larger vehicle to have peace of mind on the roads, and you don’t have to refinance your home to get luxury and style.”
Luxury Automaker’s New Infotainment System Earns Honors at CES
RAYNHAM, Mass., Feb. 13, 2012 – This year, Cadillac was the only automaker to receive an Editor’s Choice Award from Popular Mechanics magazine at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The annual January show gave Cadillac a chance to show off its new CUE infotainment system, which earned praise from Popular Mechanics editors in advance of its upcoming spring debut at Cadillac dealerships in the all-new 2013 XTS luxury sedan.
As winner of a Popular Mechanics Top Gadgets of CES 2012: Editors’ Choice Award, Cadillac’s CUE was welcomed by the publication as the new benchmark for in-car computing systems. The new technology will feature a fast processor capable of powering two screens, including an LCD touchscreen in the center of the dash and another available LCD screen that can act as a customizable gauge cluster. While it might seem like a feature destined only for Cadillac’s most expensive vehicles, CUE will be available in the all-new 2013 ATS sport sedan, which will be priced below the Cadillac CTS as the most affordable model in the lineup when it debuts this summer.
“Unlike some automakers, Cadillac didn’t rush to market with a half-baked computer system that is hard to use and doesn’t fully work a lot of the time,” said Greg Connor, general sales manager of Raynham, Massachusetts Cadillac dealer Mastria Buick GMC Cadillac. “The extra time that Cadillac engineers spent on the design of CUE is clear, from the vibrant displays to the ease with which you can use the system.”
One of the keys to Cadillac CUE’s early accolades is the capacitive touch capability of its control screens, which use the same technology found in the most popular smartphones. The screens feature electrodes that sense the conductive properties of objects like fingers, tailoring its responses accordingly. Controlling navigation, hands-free phone calls and audio functions, the system is also capable of accessing data from up to 10 media devices, including Bluetooth-enabled phones and MP3 players.
With the debut of its new ATS, Cadillac is looking to connect specifically with fans of other entry-level luxury cars like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Once again, the American automaker turned to new technology to improve performance, fitting the car with an optional Magnetic Ride Control typically reserved for the suspensions of exotic sports cars, as well as new drivetrains that provide power and fuel efficiency.
A new 2.0-liter turbocharged engine will produce 270 horsepower in the 2013 ATS, while Cadillac’s 320-horsepower V6 will also be an option. Cadillac says the ATS will return peak highway fuel economy of more than 30 mpg, and it will also be available with all-wheel drive, giving Massachusetts Cadillac fans a sporty choice for winter-weather driving.
“It’s tough to stand out in the increasingly crowded luxury market, but Cadillac is doing an impressive job distinguishing itself from the world’s top luxury automakers,” Connor noted. “With powerful, fuel-efficient engines and the new CUE system, the ATS is sure to earn new business from former BMW and Mercedes-Benz owners looking to escape the status quo.”
GMC Celebrates Best Sales Year Since 2007
Utility Vehicle Brand Saw Third Consecutive Year of Sales Growth in 2012
RAYNHAM, Mass., Jan. 14, 2012 – When the going gets tough, the tough get going, and GMC has proven that its capable vehicles have what it takes to rack up sales even in a depressed economy. The American brand saw year-over-year sales increase 4 percent in 2012, marking three consecutive years of rising sales and its best sales year since 2007.
Sales of crossovers like the GMC Terrain, which posted an 11-percent sales gain in 2012, helped attract car buyers as did the brand's luxurious Denali trim. Half of all GMC Yukon sales and roughly one third of GMC Acadia sales were Denali models. While GMC's utility vehicle sales rose in 2012 it was still the GMC Sierra pickup truck doing the heavy lifting, leading the brand's 2012 sales with 145,325 models finding new homes.
"GMC's reputation for utter reliability and durability has made it a go-to brand for those looking to get the tough jobs done," said Gary Carter, general sales manager of Mastria Buick GMC Cadillac, a GMC dealer in Massachusetts. "The fact that the GMC Sierra has seen rising sales even with its replacement waiting in the wings speaks to the model's terrific quality and value."
That replacement is the all-new 2014 GMC Sierra that the company revealed in December, sporting a redesigned exterior that helps cheat the wind to increase fuel efficiency as well as advanced drivetrains and interior appointments that build on the existing Sierra's strong foundation. From rubber-coated knobs that allow easy operation even with gloves on to a range of direct-injected engines, GMC says no detail was overlooked in the redesign.
The Sierra lineup will be available with a range of direct-injected engines, including a 4.3-liter V6, a 5.3-liter V8 and a range-topping 6.2-liter V8 model. All models come paired with a six-speed automatic transmission as well as "cruise grade braking," which reduces brake wear by using the engine's compression to reduce speeds on downgrades.
Inside, the 2014 Sierra features an upright instrument panel that includes six gauges showing pertinent information about the engine and drivetrain. An available 4.2-inch color Driver Information Center is also located in the gauge cluster, displaying trip information as well as radio and navigation settings. An optional eight-inch display in the center console comes with the IntelliLink infotainment system, which allows drivers to stay connected at the job site or out on the highway.
"No other truck on the market offers the mix of capability and luxury that the Sierra does," added Carter. "The 2014 model continues that decades-long tradition of excellence, and we expect sales to increase even beyond 2012's impressive numbers."
Cadillac Combats Escalade Theft with New High-Tech Security Features
RAYNHAM, Mass., Jan. 10, 2012 – The royal size and sleek styling of the Cadillac Escalade SUV have made it a popular choice for luxury buyers in recent years, but those same features have also made it a target for car thieves. Cadillac is addressing that issue head on with new state-of-the-art anti-theft technologies in its 2012 Escalade.
According to a Highway Loss Data Institute study released last August, the Cadillac Escalade is the vehicle most likely to be stolen or broken into, and has been the case for the last four years. To help ease the minds of buyers considering an Escalade at Cadillac dealers, the automaker is implementing new systems aimed squarely at preventing drive-away, push-away, tow-away, property and wheel thefts.
“The Escalade has all the amenities you could want in an SUV, from heated seats and mirrors to a premium navigation and sound system, but that can make it an object of desire for thieves,” said Greg Connor, general sales manager of Raynham, Massachusetts Cadillac dealer Mastria Buick GMC Cadillac. “Cadillac worked hard to come up with a whole slew of technologies that will make the 2012 Escalade a much tougher target for those who want to do more than look.”
While the Escalade already houses a host of drive-away theft deterrents, new for the 2012 model is Cadillac’s PASS Key 3+ encryption system, which works with the key, key cylinder and ignition system to further protect the vehicle from potential hot wiring attempts. To deter push- and tow-away thefts, Cadillac strengthened the steering column-lock system to make it more difficult for thieves to maneuver the SUV onto a flatbed and added an available inclination sensor that sounds the alarm when the angle of the vehicle is changed drastically.
However, theft is not limited to the vehicle itself, and the Highway Loss Data Institute’s report outlines how SUVs like the Escalade are also targeted for what is inside or attached to them. That is why Cadillac is also offering buyers an optional shock sensor, designed to sound the alarm when the SUV is “shocked” from something like a smashed window or a push-away attempt. Meanwhile, a new wheel-lock system, like the inclination sensor, is intended to deter theft of the Escalade’s tires and wheels.
Although the 2012 Escalade will bring a variety of new security measures, current models already come with OnStar, which helps stop theft in its own way. In the event that an Escalade is stolen, for example, OnStar is able to lock the vehicle’s ignition and track its whereabouts.
“Security measures evolve as thieves’ tactics do, and Cadillac has really stepped up its level of protection,” added Connor. “Now, the features don’t just help recover the vehicle after it’s stolen, but help make stealing an Escalade a daunting task for even the most skilled car thieves. That peace of mind is priceless.”
Thanks to its numerous security and safety features, as well as its high reliability and performance scores, the 2012 Cadillac Escalade is currently ranked number one in the Luxury Large SUVs category of the ongoing U.S. News & World Report Best Cars & Trucks rankings.
New Models Help Boost Cadillac Car Sales by 37 Percent in October
Luxury Automaker's ATS and XTS Sedans Prove Popular with New Buyers
RAYNHAM, Mass., Nov. 14, 2012 -- Cadillac's recent efforts to revamp its luxury lineup appear to be paying dividends, with its car sales rising 37 percent in October year-over-year. That increase in showroom traffic was driven in part by the popularity of two new models, the 2013 Cadillac ATS and XTS, which represent a new direction for the brand.
October marked the third-straight month that the Cadillac XTS luxury sedan sold more than 2,000 units, an impressive feat considering the exclusive segment in which it competes. Meanwhile, the new Cadillac ATS sport sedan, the most affordable car in the lineup, has quickly attracted conquest sales. The automaker claims that 70 percent of ATS buyers have been coming over from other brands since it went on sale in September.
"Cadillac has created two stylish, high-performing cars that defy dated perceptions of the brand, and that has helped attract new buyers," said Gary Carter, general sales manager of Mastria Buick GMC Cadillac, a Cadillac dealer in Massachusetts. "Whether you're looking at power, refinement, fuel efficiency or technology, there is no doubt that the ATS and XTS can hold their own against segment rivals from Mercedes-Benz and BMW."
Luring drivers from other major luxury players is no easy task, but the advanced engineering and unique amenities of the Cadillac ATS help it stand out both on the road and in the cabin. The powertrain options deliver a potent mix of performance and fuel economy, with two four-cylinder engines each returning more than 30 mpg on the highway, including a standard 2.5-liter and a 272-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged unit. For ATS buyers that want the most engaging ride possible, an optional 3.6-liter V6 churns out 321 horsepower and 274 pound-feet of torque.
Inside, the Cadillac ATS is available with a range of innovative technologies, including a CUE infotainment system that operates much like a smartphone or tablet computer by using haptic feedback and a capacitive touchscreen. CUE also incorporates Cadillac's Natural Voice Recognition to enable hands-free control of features like the navigation system, music settings and phone calls.
While the new ATS is doing plenty to expand Cadillac's appeal to buyers, the luxury brand will be entering another new segment when its first extended-range electric vehicle arrives in the form of the Cadillac ELR. Featuring an advanced drivetrain that combines an electric motor and lithium-ion battery with a four-cylinder gas generator, the ELR will be built at the automaker's Detroit-Hamtramck assembly line starting late next year.
"Luxury car buyers have become more and more conscious of fuel consumption and its environmental impact, and the Cadillac ELR will ensure they can get great fuel economy without sacrificing responsiveness and comfort on the road," added Carter. "Cadillac has been dedicated to pushing new technologies into the marketplace in recent years, and that has greatly increased its competitiveness in America and on the world stage."
About Mastria Buick GMC Cadillac:
Serving Massachusetts car buyers for more than 50 years, Mastria Buick GMC Cadillac has earned a reputation for top-notch service and satisfied customers. With a wide selection of models like the Cadillac CTS, Buick Enclave and GMC Sierra pickup truck, Mastria Buick GMC Cadillac has the vehicles shoppers want, as well as the skilled service staff needed to keep their cars, trucks and SUVs running like new for years to come. Stop by their dealership at 1525 New State Highway in Raynham, Massachusetts, browse their inventory online at www.mastriamotors.com, find them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MastriaBuickGMC, or call them at 800-821-1998 today.
Rick Mastria Earns Recognition for 25 Years of Service as a GMC Dealer
Owner of Mastria Buick GMC Cadillac Credits Customer Focus for Longevity
RAYNHAM, Mass., Sept. 6, 2012 -- After a quarter century with Raynham, Massachusetts GMC dealer Mastria Buick GMC Cadillac, Rick Mastria was recently recognized by General Motors for his years of service. Mastria, president of Mastria Auto Group, was presented with a plaque honoring his time as a GMC dealer since joining the industry alongside his father, Richard Mastria Sr., who founded the auto group with a Chevy dealership in 1955.
In order to achieve 25 years of success, especially through tough economic times, dealers must rely on the customer base they have built in an area, something on which Mastria places great importance. He considers earning longevity as an automotive dealer a three-part process: providing terrific customer service, employing staff members who value the same customer-first principles and focusing on growing the business without losing dedication to patrons.
"It's a lot easier to be successful starting out as a dealer, but my father, who I can remember earning his 25-year recognition from Chevy more than 30 years ago, showed that the best way to build a lasting business is to focus on developing relationships and trust with customers," said Mastria. "By maintaining a great group of long-time employees who buy into that principle, customers want to return to us each time they buy a new vehicle."
Mastria noted that GMC has benefited from its niche place in the market, catering to hard-working people who value utility as much as comfort. GMC builds premium trucks and SUVs for professionals that rely on their vehicle for their business, offering the features they need for their trades. Trucks like the GMC Sierra provide that function and versatility, and with a redesigned model coming next year, those in the market for a new pickup can look forward to some useful changes.
The redesigned Sierra, expected to arrive sometime in 2013 for the 2014 model year, is rumored to sport several improvements in order to make it even more capable and fuel efficient. New drivetrain options are expected, including a 3.6-liter turbocharged V6 engine and GM's new line of aluminum small-block V8 powerplants.
With continued improvements to GMC vehicles on the way, Mastria sees a bright future for both the auto brand and his Mastria Buick GMC Cadillac dealership. He believes the combination of quality vehicles and an ongoing investment in customer relationships will lead to more all-around success, and that buyers will continue to be satisfied with the dependable models and service they receive at his dealership.
"Receiving this recognition from GM has been a momentous occasion for me, and I think it speaks volumes about the staff at the dealership," added Mastria. "It's gratifying to see the hard work and dedication we've put in pay off, not only in business success, but in the relationships that have been built between the team here and our customers. I'm looking forward to another 25 years of helping to match drivers with the GMC trucks and sport-utility models best suited to their needs."
GMC Acadia Is King of the Conquest Sale
Crossover Earns Buyers from Other Brands and Recognition for Resale Value
RAYNHAM, Mass., Dec. 12, 2011 – GMC’s family of drivers has been growing rapidly this year as vehicles like the Acadia full-size crossover attract buyers from other brands. GMC says more than half the buyers of the stylish utility vehicle at GMC dealers are new to the brand, helping the Acadia post an 18.6 percent sales increase this year through November compared to the same period last year.
While interior space and all-weather capability are the immediate strong points of the 2012 GMC Acadia, consumer-information agency ALG recently presented the crossover with one of its 2012 Residual Value Awards. Recognizing its lasting value and low running costs, ALG gave the Acadia the win in the Fullsize Utility segment based on its predicted high retained value after three years of use.
“GMC has continued to produce great vehicles, and more people are rediscovering the brand every day,” said Greg Connor, general sales manager of Raynham, Massachusetts GMC dealer Mastria Buick GMC Cadillac. “The Acadia holds its value better than anything else in its segment, and during tight economic times Massachusetts drivers want to be sure they will get some cash back for their vehicle should they ever decide to sell it.”
Value is no doubt a plus, but a full-size crossover has to be useful to earn praise, and the Acadia has a number of features that help it climb to the top of the class. The Acadia can swallow 116.9 cubic-feet of cargo space with the two back rows folded flat, 68.9 cubic-feet with the second row still upright, and it even maintains 24.1 cubic-feet of space when all eight passengers are present. Those numbers easily beat foreign competitors like the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander.
With a towing capacity of up to 5,200 pounds, the Acadia is fit for hauling a boat to the lake or a camper up to the White Mountains for a getaway vacation. The ability to haul comes courtesy of a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 288 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. Coming standard with a six-speed automatic gearbox and available with all-wheel-drive, the Acadia is built to handle the slickest boat ramps and steepest snow-laden mountain passes.
For all that power, the GMC vehicle has a surprisingly limited thirst for fuel, returning 24 mpg on the highway with front-wheel-drive and 23 mpg with all-wheel-drive. That mix of performance and fuel economy, in addition to a 2011 IIHS Top Safety Pick, has made the Acadia a popular choice for families. Filling that demand means a full production schedule at GM’s Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant, which recently produced its millionth vehicle, a Crystal Red Tintcoat Acadia Denali.
“Massachusetts families love the Acadia because it ticks the three important boxes: power, space and safety,” Connor noted. “From hockey practice and ski trips to holiday shopping, the Acadia can fill all the roles a busy family needs.”
Cadillac’s CUE Sets Infotainment on Its Ear
Innovative In-Car Connectivity System Delivers Touchscreen, New Levels of Interaction
RAYNHAM, Mass., Nov. 14, 2011 – Cadillac isn’t the first automaker to produce a high-tech entertainment and information system, but intuitive, industry-first features on its upcoming offering may one-up the competition. Coming to Cadillac dealerships next year, the luxury automaker’s CUE (Cadillac User Experience) system will aim to shift the way drivers interact with their vehicles, combining a fully capacitive eight-inch touchscreen with a 12.3-inch customizable LCD gauge cluster.
The CUE system will first appear in the all-new Cadillac XTS luxury sedan, which will debut at the LA Auto Show later this month before going into production next spring. Following its launch in the XTS, CUE will also be incorporated into the 2013 Cadillac SRX crossover and the upcoming BMW 3 Series-challenging Cadillac ATS. Cadillac says all vehicles in its lineup will feature CUE by 2015.
“If you’re not going to be the first, you should be the best,” said Greg Connor, general sales manager of Massachusetts Cadillac dealer Mastria Buick GMC Cadillac. “Cadillac has taken its time and created a system that is more than a match for the offerings from BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. CUE is going to change the way we look at vehicle interfaces as a whole.”
As the first of its kind in the auto industry, the CUE’s touchscreen is equipped with a proximity-sensing, haptic-feedback interface. When the screen isn’t in use, it fades to reduce the chances of distraction, but the system’s real trick is sensing when the driver’s hand is within eight inches of the screen, bringing the screen back to life. The screen also provides pulsing feedback when touched to give users a clear indication of movement when scrolling, and zooming and swiping controls will be similar to the multi-touch motions used on smartphones.
While touch technology has been put at a premium in the Cadillac CUE, the system also makes voice commands easier than ever. CUE is able to recognize natural speech, which means that users can speak logically and use fewer commands when entering addresses for navigation or picking music playlists. When connected to a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, Cadillac will offer Pandora and Stitcher radio integration, as well as 30 more internet apps within the first year.
Because CUE is capable of so many functions, Cadillac is able to reduce the number of physical buttons in the cockpit, creating a clean, modern appearance in line with the luxury automaker’s well-received Art & Science design theme. The elements of Art & Science come to life in CUE through the customizable gauge cluster, which can display as much or as little information as desired. Drivers can view turn-by-turn directions, phone call information and music playback details directly behind the steering wheel, allowing them to keep their eyes closer to the road.
“Once again, Cadillac is raising the bar,” Connor noted. “While some automakers have rushed to get similar hardware out just to say they have it, Cadillac has spent years refining the design and function of CUE. The result is a system that is more usable and integrated better than anything the competition offers.”
Automaker Adds Number of Deterrents to Oft-Targeted Luxury SUV