Cadillac CT5 3.0 test drive.

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The Cadillac CT-5 is one of these cars that does look much better in real life. It is a modern and rather simple design. A very good-looking sedan with very nice RWD proportions. 
The only letdown is the black plastic rear side window. Which, of course, should really be a bit larger and made out of glass.
Although it was harder to notice on my black-colored test car. And, IMO, it also should have been a hatchback, like the gorgeous Escala concept.

At first, I thought the interior looked a lot like the smaller and cheaper CT-4. But it is actually very different. As soon as you get in, it feels like a much more expensive car than the CT4. (My loaded CT5 was only about $3000 more than the CT4-V I was driving a few weeks ago).
Everything feels really solid and well made. 
It also looks really good, especially with the color combo I had. Too bad it came (again) with this carbon-fiber lookalike (or is it real?) finish on the dashboard and doors. It seems every Cadillac has this now (Although I have seen the CT-5 with real wood finish) 
The interior is a great place to be. But in late 2020, its main problem is the recent competition.
Especially the one from the new Genesis G80 sedan. And the fantastic interior of the redesigned 2021 Jaguar XF. When compared to these, the CT-5 is just not up to that level.
Cadillac really needs to revamp all its interiors with a design similar to the new Escalade. 
Which is one of the best and most modern around…
As it is, the CT5 has a very nice interior, but it needs to be a bit more special.
The rear seat is actually surprisingly roomy. And very comfortable. But again, the rear of the center console isn’t as upscale as in some of its newer competition.
The model I had for a week was powered by the 3.0 Liter V6 Turbo, which is a $3500 option on all CT5 models (Except the CT5-V). 
With 360HP, there is basically always more power than you need. 
While the 10-speed auto is very responsive, it is also not invisible. While the shifts do feel very smooth, you do hear and feel them quite a bit. As the engine revs up quite a bit with every upshift. And that is in the normal mode, not in sport.
This makes the engine a bit noisy around town, where there is a lot of shifting going on.
It would be fine in Sport mode of course.  But not in the regular mode. This makes the car feels a bit too sporty for a luxury sedan.
In general, the 3.0 V6 isn’t as quiet as it was in the CT6 I test drove last year.
The whole thing is a bit sportier than expected. Which, at least to me, doesn’t make much sense in the “Premium Luxury” version. Especially when Cadillac offers a “V” and “Sport” version.
This should just be super luxurious…
( I guess this is still the result of previous years under Johan de Nysschen who was trying hard to turn Cadillac into BMW…)

Once on the road, the CT5 is extremely quiet and comfortable.
It has a very nice steering feel. And the suspension soaks up almost all bumps.
The CT5 V6 is rated at 19/26MPG.
As usual, I did struggle to match the city rating with only 17 to 18MPG. But easily got over 31MPG on the FWY.
The CT5 is a great car to drive and be driven in. 
But the competition isn’t resting. At around $37 000 to start, it is priced well under other sedans in its class. (It is even cheaper than the new Acura TLX!)
My loaded car was priced at $56 770. Or around $53 000 with the 2.0 Liter engine. 
Which is still less than the new G80 (the Genesis can also get much more expensive w options) 
And a bit more than a loaded TLX.
And Jaguar lowered the price of the XF to $45 000, with that great interior. 
Otherwise, all of its German competition costs much, much more.
I think the CT5, like most current Cadillacs, is too afraid to just be a luxury car. And is trying too hard to be sporty. Sport should be for the “V” models.  But anything called “Premium Luxury” should just be luxurious. There is nothing wrong with that, especially for a Cadillac.
No one would blame a Cadillac for being focused on Luxury…
As it is the CT5 is a great sedan. It just needs a more spectacular interior, like the Escalade.
I was told at the Escalade event last year (Or was it early 2020?) that it will happen. All Cadillac models will eventually be getting a similar interior. 
Let’s hope it comes soon…


Conversation 6 comments

  1. The CT5 in black is a incredible looking car. Only in black though, since it blends with that black plastic fake window so well. Dark tints would probably make any color CT5 look better also though.

  2. That black plastic fake window is AWFUL. Cadillac has had such gorgeous concept cars over the years, and the CTS and CT6 were great looking cars IMO. The problem is, they should have been making an Escalade sedan, not a wanna be-BMW. People who want BMW's buy BMW's. Cadillac should have built something that was a luxury hot rod. Big, comfortable, fast, and with a real presence like an Escalade has. A 4-dppr Elmiraj would have been perfect. An American luxury car, not a pretend German car.

  3. I like that fact that it is sporty. The steering feel could make it best in class too as BMW has let the steering feel slide. I like fun to drive cars, why not sport and luxury?

  4. I think you have to get the Platinum package to get wood trim, and only the V has the stitched horn pad. All of the carpets, headliners, steering wheels, and dash tops are black. I suppose there aren't enough sales to justify more choices, but how many sales does that lose, besides mine?

  5. It’s a fine car. Looks fine, drives fine, has a fine interior. But this segment is brutally competitive, and GM is playing it painfully safe. Drive a Cadillac home, and you’ll constantly be asked why you bought one instead of an (insert Audi/BMW/Mercedes/Tesla and maybe Genesis model name here.) There’s absolutely no reason to buy one of these unless you land a very deep discount. Which is a losing market position for any brand.n

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