Drive: Cadillac’s 2020 CT5 is a high powered and luxurious ride for drivers
Cadillac is running with the big dogs in the European luxury-sport-sedan segment, and seems to be keeping up. The new-for-2020 CT5 competes with the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Jaguar XE, Lincoln MKZ, Genesis G70 and Lexus ES. (Yes, the Japanese, Koreans and even Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln division are in the game, too.) Who says nobody wants to build a sedan featuring sporty handling, high power and maximum luxury?
Having recently tried out a well-equipped version of the smaller, less expensive CT4, we were privileged to spend a week with the CT5-V, the sporty version of this midsize luxury sedan. Sticker-priced at $56,305, it was equipped with a rather vociferous 360-horsepower V-6, which falls nearly silent on the highway but makes itself heard with authority on urban and rural roads, especially in the Sport drive mode. The base CT5, starting price $36,895, is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline Four rated at 237 horsepower.
The passenger compartment and trunk are more spacious than those in the CT4, so the CT5 is more like a traditional Cadillac sedan than its little brother. For true Cadillac tradition, however, the full-sized CT6 is the way to go. Unfortunately, it was discontinued earlier this year. The Hamtramck plant that used to turn out CT6s is being converted to produce electric cars.
The CT5 is both luxurious and sporty, but with some of the same deficiencies we noted in the CT4 a few months ago. The front bucket seats are roomy as can be, but the back seat is fairly tight, and head room is insufficient for passengers taller than 5-11. The trunk is 11.9 cubic feet - bigger than the CT4's, but well short of a number of competing vehicles, including the BMW, Lexus and Audi.
The dashboard controls are logically laid out, but the labels really need to be bigger. Sharp-eyed young folks aren't first in line to buy Cadillacs, and older drivers may have difficulty making out the icons. Buick, a brand that has catered to older drivers over the years, has pleased that demographic with big, easy-to-understand labels on its controls.
Otherwise, we found the CT5 easy to live with. Road feel is excellent, yet the car rides smoothly and comfortably.
Since 2018, Cadillac has been offering on some models a feature called Super Cruise, a self-driving mode that is superior to Tesla's vaunted Autopilot system, according to Consumer Reports magazine. We've been itching to give Super Cruise a try - not just to see how it works, but to find out how we'd respond to this technology in the real world - but it did not become available in the CT4 and CT5 until the 2021 model year. Super Cruise isn't cheap. In high-end vehicles equipped with the Driver Assist and Technology Package as standard equipment, Super Cruise will add $2,500 to the price. Buyers of lower-level models will have to pay extra for the tech package as well as Super Cruise, for a total of $6,150.
2020 Cadillac CT5-V
Engine: 3.0-liter V-6, 360 horsepower, 405 lb.-ft. torque
Transmission: 10-speed shiftable automatic
Weight: 3,974 lb.
Suspension: MacPherson strut front, multi-link rear
Wheels: 19-in. premium painted alloy with pearl nickel finish
Tires: P245/40R19 summer run-flat
Seating capacity: 5
Luggage capacity: 11.9 cu. ft.
Fuel capacity: 17 gal.
Fuel economy: 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway
Fuel type: premium unleaded gasoline (recommended)
Steven Macoy (email@example.com) is a longtime car enthusiast and full-time editor who lives in Bethel, Conn.