Cadillac CT4 test drive.

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The Cadillac CT4 has been around since 2019 and is heavily based on Cadillac’s previous compact sedan, the ATS.

Even though it is far from new, I think it still looks pretty good, with these classic RWD sedan proportions. It’s not a design that stands out but it does have a rather handsome shape. Although that protruding trunk lid in the back is a bit odd. And maybe reminiscent of some BMW designs from about 20 years ago. You know, the ones later referred to as the “Bangle But”…

The Cadillac CT4 has a very nice interior. All it really needs is a new screen. The current unit is small with a very thick bezel and just doesn’t cut it these days. It would really benefit from the unit Cadillac is putting into the revised CT5 and XT4.

Otherwise, everything is very well put together, and I really liked the color combo in my test car. It’s so good to see something else than “all black”. The seats are comfortable, and the Bose system sounds great.

One thing I noticed was how “hard” many of the controls were, for some reason. I mean they needed more of a hard touch than in other cars. Like the power window switches, the turn signal of all these buttons on the steering wheel. Not that bad, but weird…

Just like in the ATS, the rear seat room is a premium. Once you sit back there you feel a bit locked in. And the protruding part under the seat cushion is pretty odd.

While there are A/C vents, they don’t include any temperature controls. And I couldn’t see any USB or USB-C plug back there either. This is especially bad when you think the new $39,000 Tesla Model 3 has a whole touch screen back there, controlling everything you can think of, as standard equipment.

The big 2.7 Liter Turbo 4 cylinder sounds a bit busy for a few seconds when you first start it, then settles down quickly. It is mostly very quiet and smooth. Although things can sound a bit rougher when you push it. Something you don’t really need to do that often anyway. I would say that about 90% of the time, it is a good replacement for the old smooth 3.6 Liter V6 that used to be available in the ATS.

The 10-speed automatic shafts quickly and smoothly all the time.

The suspension is always very comfortable, although on the firm, even in the “Tour” setting. The drive in general feels more European. Same thing with the steering which is always pretty sharp.

I mentioned earlier the excellent Bose system in my test car, but it seems GM does have a problem with car play (they don’t offer it in their EVs anymore). As it froze a few times, and was slow to respond at other times. This seems to be a GM problem since Carplay works just fine in other cars. GM also insists on making sure you cannot go through your playlists while the car is in motion. You are then stuck in the current playlist, or can only choose among the last 3 or 4 playlists you were recently listening to. Which is infuriating, especially on a freeway trip. The passenger is also “forbidden” to access more playlists.

Of course, GM claims you can always use the voice control to change playlists while driving. (We all know how great that must work).

The CT4 2.7 AWD is rated at 21/29MPG. I did end up averaging 19 around town and did better on the freeway with around 34MPG.

The Cadillac CT4 is one of these cars that hasn’t received much love since it came out. It was also based on a 2012 model, the ATS, and it does remind you a lot of the ATS. ( I even noticed some similar switches inside). Cadillac sold only 9144 of them last year, which seems almost like nothing.

While the larger CT5 is getting improvements this year, I haven’t heard about anything coming for the CT4. Which means it could be the end of the runway soon for the little Cadillac sedan.

At least, we already know that 2 new EV sedans are in the works at Cadillac, with the smaller one possibly replacing both the CT4 and CT5.

The CT4 is a very nice car that is very pleasant to drive. It’s just forgotten by most buyers. Revisions to the larger CT5 won’t help the CT4 either which will soon feel even older…

Conversation 3 comments

  1. Vince – I know that styling is highly subjective … but seriously, you call this car “handsome?”

    I would call it “distorted.” The tail design (especially) is completely off.

  2. Wow, I can’t believe they put that center screen in, it feels so out of place like the same screen from a 2016 Malibu. It’s gotta be so hard for a dealer to sell these things when they updated the XT4 interior with the rest of Cadillac’s lineup. This car feels destin to rental fleet sales.

  3. 54k for a 4cyl sedan is steep. As much as I like the exterior design and overall proportions, the German alternatives are years ahead for the same price.

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