The Cadillac CT5, a medium luxury sedan with an entry-level pricing, is neither a performance sedan nor a luxury cruiser. The CT5 is a good choice if you want a mid-size sedan with good performance, modern electronics, and all-wheel drive.
Cadillac is leaning into sedans despite the fact that high-riding crossovers dominate the market. Cadillac CT4 and Cadillac CT5 successors were introduced to replace the out-of-production ATS and CTS sedans, respectively.
The CT5 for 2021 is a midsize sedan with considerable performance and technology changes, such as new engines and a 10-speed automated transmission. The latest in onboard technology is included on all CT5s, including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. A new 12-inch high-definition (HD) gauge cluster is available on Premium Luxury, Sport, and V-Series cars equipped with the Technology package. The most significant technological development in the new CT5 is Super Cruise. The latest version of Super Cruise not only provides hands-free driving on more than 200,000 miles of US and Canadian roads, but it now changes lanes on demand.
Although the CT5 is around the same size as midsize German sedans like the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series, its price puts it closer to the smaller Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series.
Trims and Pricing
The CT5 comes in four different trim levels: Luxury, Premium Luxury, Sport, and V-Series. The most popular trim level is Premium Luxury, which fits our recommendation with one caveat: Choose the 3.0-liter V6 with dual turbochargers. We’ll explain why in a moment.
The base CT5 starts at $38,190 (plus a $1,195 destination tax) and comes standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission that transfers power to the rear wheels. Imitation leather trim, a 12-way power-adjustable driver seat, a 10-way power passenger seat, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel are among the inside features. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, as well as a Wi-Fi hotspot and three USB connections, are all available on the 10-inch HD touchscreen display.
The CT5 Premium Luxury adds distinctive wheels, full leather seating, 14-way power-adjustable front seats, ambient interior lighting, and a wireless charging pad to the base model, which starts at $41,990. The optional six-cylinder engine is also available, making this trim our top pick. The CT5 feels like a proper sports sedan thanks to the more powerful engine.
The CT5 Sport ($42,990) features a new exterior design, 19-inch wheels, 18-way power-adjustable sport seats in the front, carbon-fiber inside trim, a bigger steering wheel with paddle shifters, and aluminum pedals.
The improved V6 engine is standard on the V-Series ($48,990), as is a sport suspension with Cadillac’s Magnetic Ride Control adjustable shocks. The V-Series package also includes a limited-slip differential and a more aggressive traction control system.
Performance and Engine
All CT5 models come standard with rear-wheel drive and a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, with the exception of the CT5-V. All versions come with all-wheel drive as an option. The CT5’s standard engine, which produces 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, compares favorably to the Audi A4 and BMW 330i. With smooth, well-timed shifts, the Cadillac’s 10-speed automatic transmission makes the most of the four-power, cylinder’s though its larger size means it’s not quite as speedy.
The CT5 Premium Luxury comes with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 engine, which is optional on the CT5 Premium Luxury and standard on the CT5-V. In the Premium Luxury level, the engine produces 335 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque, while the CT5-V produces 360 horsepower. Although the increased muscle makes the CT5 seem more like a performance sedan, the base model is still less agile than the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The CT5-V’s more aggressive tuning pushes it closer to true performance sedan territory.
The CT5’s modest outward dimensions translate to a roomy cabin that’s pleasant for both the driver and the passengers. The front seats are extensively adjustable, making it simple to find a comfortable position, and the good outward visibility adds to the spacious sense. The back seats, on the other hand, are just average in terms of head and legroom, making it less accommodating than the Genesis G80. The cabin has a sleek, modern style thanks to aluminum highlights, although certain plastic surfaces distract from the premium sensation. Most buttons and controls are immediately recognized and straightforward to operate, and the overall design is user-friendly.
The trunk is modest for this segment, measuring only 11.9 cubic feet. The trunk space in the Infiniti Q50 is 13.5 cubic feet, while the BMW 3 Series has 17 cubic feet.