The 2013 New York Auto Show press days are over, and after a weekend to reflect on what we saw in New York City’s Javits Center, we’ve distilled the dozens of debuts into our list of the best and worst.

We call it Studs and Duds, and it’s all pretty simple. To be a Stud, a car has to move the goalposts, grab our attention, or otherwise reset our expectations for that vehicle, and maybe even the whole segment. They’re not always the flashiest or fastest cars, but the ones that make us sit back, and keep an eye on them. Duds, on the other hand, do the opposite. They aren’t necessarily bad cars, but cars that just miss the mark somehow. Maybe they don’t advance the state-of-the-art enough. Sometimes they don’t change enough from one model cycle to the next. And, yes, sometimes they’re just not very good.

Stud: 2014 Cadillac CTS

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Cadillac has been raising our expectations lately. First, our own Matthew Askari was taken by the elegance and sophistication of the 2013 Cadillac XTS. Then, news director Keith Buglewicz sampled the BMW 3 Series fighter known as the 2013 Cadillac ATS, and came away impressed. Now, Cadillac has introduced the next generation of its major moneymaker, the 2014 Cadillac CTS. Again, we are impressed. Caddy has moved the CTS upmarket, targeting the BMW 5 Series instead of the no-man’s land between that and the BMW 3 Series that the previous CTS occupied. The result is a bigger, more elegant car, one boasting good rear seat room, an comfortable driver’s cockpit, and a choice of some pretty awesome engines, including a 420-horsepower twin-turbo V-6 connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission. This one is definitely on our short list of “must drives.”