IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
The CT5 offers athletic handling, crisp styling, and an impressive selection of available technology features at prices that handily undercut its European competitors.
Some of the interior materials are a bit disappointing for a luxury-brand car, and the base 4-cylinder engine isn’t particularly powerful for the class.
The CT5 lineup doesn’t have an ultra-high-performance model just yet, but one is coming: The CT5-V Blackwing is scheduled to arrive for 2022. It’s expected to have a supercharged V8 with around 650 hp and an available manual transmission.
WHAT IS IT?
The CT5 is Cadillac’s midsize sedan. It was introduced for the 2020 model year along with the CT4 compact sedan. The CT5 is available in Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport trim levels, as well as a performance-oriented CT5-V (or V-Series) model. The base engine is a 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder that is rated at 237 horsepower. The step-up engine, optional in Premium Luxury models, is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that is rated at 335 hp; the CT5-V comes standard with a 360-hp version of this engine. All engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available on all models. Available safety features include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, teen driver monitoring system, forward and reverse collision warning with automatic emergency braking, rearview camera mirror, and 360-degree surround-view camera display with recording capability. Other available features include Magnetic Ride Control, heated/ventilated/massaging front seats, automatic heated steering wheel, semi-aniline leather upholstery, and a 15-speaker Bose audio system. Also available is Cadillac’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system, which enables hands-free driving on select limited-access highways when certain conditions are met.
After its launch as a 2020 model, the CT5 gets a number of upgrades for 2021, among them an available 12-inch high-definition digital gauge cluster, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, and, on Premium Luxury and V-Series models, Cadillac’s Enhanced Super Cruise system (which includes hands-free lane-change capability). A Diamond Sky special-edition package on Premium Luxury models includes unique features such as Diamond Sky Metallic paint, special interior trim, and Brembo brakes with blue brake calipers.
With the 4-cylinder engine, EPA-estimated fuel economy is 23 mpg city/33 mpg highway with rear-wheel drive and 21/31 with all-wheel drive. The V6 is rated at 19/28 with RWD and 18/26 with AWD. The higher-horsepower V-Series V6 is rated at 18/27 with RWD and 18/26 with AWD. Premium-grade gas is recommended for all engines. In Consumer Guide® testing, an all-wheel-drive CT5-V averaged 18.6 mpg in 60-percent city driving.
VALUE IN CLASS
Compared to the car that preceded it in the premium midsize car segment—the Cadillac CTS, which was retired after the 2019 model year—the Cadillac CT5 represents a step down in size, power, and price. And that’s just fine. The CT5 is sized to more directly compete with its European rivals, and it stacks up very well. It offers competitive space, power, and upscale style at bottom-line prices that are significantly more affordable than comparably-equipped class competitors.