The 2020 Cadillac CT5-V is priced from $49,798 in Canada, $47,695 in the US.
It is the perfect blend of speed, style, and luxury.
I’ve heard and can hear it now: the all-new Cadillac CT5-V is no BMW, Audi or Mercedes-Benz competitor! It’s not powerful enough, it’s not fast enough, it doesn’t have history, pedigree, or a cult following. On some of these points, I’ll have to agree, I don’t.
See, only a shrinking portion of consumers remain fiercely loyal to one brand. Most buyers want something that’s got tech, styling and it matters little what logo’s on the front grille so long as they get their money’s worth. And this may be the 2020 Cadillac CT5-V’s finest trick. But it’s no trick.
Considering that for about $52,000, an AWD CT5-V is more powerful, better equipped, as refined and stylish, as any equivalently priced German competitor and you have yourself an underdog that is better at its job than the others.
First and foremost, the CT5-V’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 is a gem. With 360 easy horsepower at 5,400 rpm and 405 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,350 to 4,000 rpm, it effortlessly takes the midsize sedan to 100 km/h in about 4.8 seconds thanks to the included launch control. The 10-speed automatic transmission is a pro at keeping the V6 in the middle of its powerband ensuring maximum use of the available power.
Also making the best use of momentum is a chassis and mechanical components that match or surpass what you get, once again, in an equally priced German competitor. The main element is the included performance suspension with Magnetic Ride Control. This damping system provides a huge spectrum of possibilities, from comfortable dampening to extremely focused on limiting body movement. For daily use, the comfort setting is ideal.
A must to make the best use of the available power is the optional AWD system. Coupled with the V-standard electronic limited-slip rear differential, the CT5-V is perfectly suited for all-weather driving conditions. Also included are front Brembo brakes which deliver better than average stopping power. There are two settings for brake pedal feel and the sportier of the two limits travel and progressive control – This mode is a mistake in my opinion.
Elegant and racy
To focus on the 2020 Cadillac CT5 and CT5-V’s styling is to discover and appreciate its smart 4-door coupe-like profile. I say smart as, despite its sleek profile, ingress and egress into the cabin is “headache” free even for the second row. The only missed-opportunity here for GM is that Cadillac designers opted to not make the CT5 into a hatchback.
The CT5’s styling is unlike anything that’s come from Caddy, something as novel or interesting, since possibly the 4th generation Seville back in the early 1990s. Like it, the CT5’s European flair gives it a visual edge that even if Lincoln and Chrysler still sold premium sedans, they’d have no chance. Same for the Japanese brands. And against the Germans, it nothing less than on equal footing, especially from the front. The V adds lovely BBS-like 19-inch wheels (painted as an option), subtle aero bits, and optional Jet Black accents, all for a truly convincing look.
The cabin is undoubtedly premium in every respect. The restrained use of carbon fibre appliques mesh beautifully with leather and the optional suede microfibre steering wheel. The standard sport seats are supportive and comfortable and there’s plenty of room for four adults on board.
The level of technology offered onboard is plentiful starting with the lovely standard 10-inch touchscreen which features the Cadillac user experience with optional navigation. The menus flow seamlessly into each other thanks to the responsive screen. The combination analog gauge with central digital display is a superb blend of traditional meets modern.
It’s all here
The new Cadillac CT5-V is a truthfully good car, in all aspects. If I was to make two comments, I’d start by asking GM to tone down the exhaust note slightly if only because it takes away from what is otherwise an extremely refined high-performance luxury sedan. The other is about packing on options. With all options, my tested CT5-V’s price tag rises over $65,000 which chisels away one of its advantages.
It’s also value-packed. This, for some, may have a slightly negative connotation but the fact of the matter is that, with AWD, at $52,000, this car runs circles around the likes of the $50,000 BMW 330i xDrive, the $46,000 Audi A4 ($51,000 for the A5 Sportback) and the $46,000 Mercedes-Benz C 300 4MATIC sedan. These three cars have less equipment, 4-cylinder engines and for the most part, are not as spacious. To come close power-wise, pricing for these cars rises to $60,000 but they’re still down on amenities.
If the Cadillac CT5-V was like the Germans, it wouldn’t be as good.