The 2020 CT5 provides a refined ride while maintaining the world-class handling and fun-to-drive characteristics that define Cadillac sedans.

The 2020 CT5 provides a refined ride while maintaining the world-class handling and fun-to-drive characteristics that define Cadillac sedans.

Cadillac CT5

Cadillac wasn’t selling a tonne of four-door sedans, so there’s a lot riding on the new ones

The premium division of General Motors is in the midst of a major transformation, and not just in terms of utility vehicles. That’s right, Cadillac has actually developed new four-door sedans for a world that doesn’t seem all that interested in sedans.

The CT5 and the smaller CT4 are both new, as are the seven-passenger XT6 utility vehicle and the king-size Escalade that’s due out later in 2020 as a 2021 model. Cadillac’s mostly new lineup constitutes a full-blown product revolution.

The CT5, which competes with similarly sized premium models from Germany and Asia (think BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Lexus ES), subs for the recently departed midsize CTS and full-size XTS sedans. The CT5’s contemporary styling is straight out of Cadillac’s latest playbook. Smooth noses and fenders and fastback rooflines have replaced big, toothy grilles and the edgy sheetmetal creases of previous models.

Compared with the retired CTS, the CT5 is about five centimetres shorter and wider, and provides an extra 2.5cm between the front and rear wheels. The trunk volume is 20 per cent less than the CTS’s. That means a full load of passengers might have to pack somewhat lighter on road trips, but at least rear-seat leg and shoulder room is on the generous side.

Earlier attempts for this style of electronic transmission shifter in the XT5 utility vehicle resulted in quirky gear selection, but newer versions are improved. The CT5 is about five centimetres wider than the CTS it replaces, but five centimetres shorter. PHOTO: CADILLAC

Earlier attempts for this style of electronic transmission shifter in the XT5 utility vehicle resulted in quirky gear selection, but newer versions are improved. The CT5 is about five centimetres wider than the CTS it replaces, but five centimetres shorter. PHOTO: CADILLAC

The dashboard gauges, switches and steering-wheel controls are intuitively laid out and the 10-inch high-definition touch screen has a handy volume knob. The pistol-grip shifter isn’t as straightforward as a conventional lever, but it’s better than dials or buttons.

Propulsion choices consist of a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder that produces 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Available is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V-6 that makes 335 h.p. and 400 pound-feet.

Spec out the performance-minded CT5-V and the V-6’s output jumps to 360 h.p. and 405 pound-feet, due to different turbos.

A 10-speed automatic transmission is standard for all.

All powerplants come with stop/start technology that automatically shuts off the engine when idling. There’s also cylinder deactivation that shuts down half of the cylinders at steady cruising speeds. Both features help fuel economy, which for the base four-cylinder is rated at 10.4 l/100 km in the city, 7.3 on the highway and 9.0 combined.

Rear-wheel-drive is standard, while all-wheel-drive is optional.

There are numerous CT5 trim levels, of course, but the base car for $42,000 comes with a four-cylinder engine, faux leather seats, all the usual power amenities and standard emergency braking. PHOTO: CADILLAC

There are numerous CT5 trim levels, of course, but the base car for $42,000 comes with a four-cylinder engine, faux leather seats, all the usual power amenities and standard emergency braking. PHOTO: CADILLAC

CT5 pricing starts at $42,000, including destination charges, for the base Luxury trim. Add $2,200 for AWD.

For that, buyers will get faux-leather seat covers, 12-way power-adjustable front seats, reconfigurable driver-information display and a number of active-safety technologies such as emergency braking.

The Premium Luxury model comes with perforated-leather seats, more exterior trim and additional safety tech (blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic backup alert are added).

The CT5 Sport adds carbon-fibre interior pieces, paddle-shift transmission controls, sport-style front seats, exterior rocker moldings, Brembo-brand front brakes and 19-inch wheels (18s are standard).

Along with the more potent twin-turbo V-6, the CT5-V, which rings in at $55,100, includes GM’s run-flat summer performance tires, launch control for quick off-the-line sprints minus the wheel-spin, and magnetic ride control that constantly adjusts the suspension for the road conditions.

Heading the list of options for most models is Cadillac’s Super Cruise. This system allows CT5 drivers limited hands-free capability on 200,000-plus mostly freeway kilometres in Canada and the United States.

To date, Cadillac’s success at competing head-to-head with its offshore-based competition has yielded mixed results, and with claims of parity sometimes falling quite short. Will the CT5, with its leading-edge design and content, be the brand’s best shot to date at getting back into the up-level sedan game?

The CT5 is rear-wheel-drive with all-wheel-drive available as an option. Notice the softening of the body lines and the duck-tail truck lid that’s reminiscent of BMW styling. PHOTO: CADILLAC

The CT5 is rear-wheel-drive with all-wheel-drive available as an option. Notice the softening of the body lines and the duck-tail truck lid that’s reminiscent of BMW styling. PHOTO: CADILLAC

What you should know: 2020 Cadillac CT5

Type: Four-door, rear- /all-wheel-drive midsize sedan

Engines (h.p.): 2.0-litre DOHC I-4, turbocharged (237)

3.0-litre DOHC V-6, twin-turbocharged (335/360)

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

Market position: To compete in the luxury-car field, automakers must offer current and prospective buyers a range of technologically advanced sedans with styling to match. This is Cadillac’s challenge and its opportunity with the CT5.

Points: New styling results in an attractive piece of eye candy. • Interior makeover is straightforward and conservative in appearance. • Range of turbocharged engines provides something for everyone. • Cadillac’s optional Super Cruise semi-autonomous driver assist is one of the most advanced systems of its type available.

Driver assist: Blind-spot warning with backup alert (opt.); active cruise control (opt.); emergency/pedestrian braking (std.); lane-departure warning (opt.)

L/100 km (city/hwy) 10.4/7.3 (2.0); Base price (incl. destination) $42,000

BY COMPARISON

BMW 330i xDrive

  • Base price: $52,300
  • The gold standard in premium sedans is the one that other automakers shoot for.

Audi A4 Quattro

  • Base price: $48,300
  • Good looking and sporty AWD model can be had with up to 354-h.p.

Mercedes-Benz C-Class

  • Base price: $48,500
  • AWD Sedan, coupe and convertible offer plenty of style and performance.

written by Malcolm Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media

AutomotiveAutoscars

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

One of the tractors, loaded on a truck bed to avoid impeding traffic, from the Oct. 17 rally in support of farmers in India. Another rally will be held on Dec. 5 from 9 to 10 a.m. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Rally in support of Indian farmers to drive through Penticton

‘Farmers’ lives are in danger right now’

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

This is how the two-way cycle lane would look like on Martin Street for the Lake-to-Lake route. (City of Penticton)
Penticton to involve residents in detailed planning for new bike route

The city is considered reducing the 200 block of Martin Street to one lane instead of removing parking

The Penticton Vees announced Friday, Dec. 4, 2020 that all players have staff have tested negative for COVID-19. The team has been in isolation since a player tested positive Nov. 28. (Cherie Morgan Photography)
Penticton Vees players and staff test negative for COVID-19

The team has been in isolation since a player tested positive last week

Painted Rock Estate Winery has had their “Red Icon” Merlot blend recognized as one of the country’s best wines. (Painted Rock Winery / Facebook)
Penticton winery’s Merlot blend recognized as Canada’s best

Decanter’s 2020 ‘Wine of the Year’ list includes only one Canadian wine, and its local

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

It was an opening day filled with blue skies, sun and COVID-19 protocols at Vernon’s SilverStar Mountain Resort Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Passholders enjoy sunny opening day at Silver Star Mountain

Resort staff say parking reservations, COVID-19 protocols went smoothly Friday, Dec. 4

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

The Siberian elm is an invasive plant. In Manitou Park in Naramata, crews are working to remove these trees and plant native species instead (File photo)
Crews remove Siberian elms from Naramata park

Invasive plant identified as a problem in region

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Two arrested after attack at Vernon home

Police spotted around 43rd Avenue linked to Wednesday assault

Most Read