2020 Cadillac CT5-V review: The new meaning of V

For enthusiasts, the arrival of the 2020 Cadillac CT5-V requires a brain recalibration. It is natural to think that it is a substitute for the 640 horsepower CTS-V, but you’d be wrong. In 2020, the V no longer represents the pinnacle of performance in the Caddy stable. Now it’s up to the upcoming new V Blackwing designation and relegates V to represent the middle artists, what we previously knew V-Sports. Done? Good.

Like it

  • Excellent driving dynamics
  • Stellar CUE infotainment system
  • Base price fits your wallet

I do not like

But don’t cheat the CT5-V. With its edgy looks, cabin pack and safety technology, lively V6 turbo and good driving manners, this Caddy has a lot to offer.

Elegant Caddy

The CT5-V it is one of the most beautiful Cadillacs in recent history. It has a long hood line and fastback silhouette that is particularly more aggressive with my test car’s Velocity Red paint job and contrast black trim. 19-inch dual-spoke wheels, a tasteful rear spoiler and quad tailpipes complete this sedan with exterior dimensions that bring it closer to those of the Audi A6 / S6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Surprisingly, the history of the CT5-V interior tape shows dimensions more comparable to the Audi A4 /S4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, despite its longer 116-inch wheelbase, which is about 4-5 inches wider than the German trio. Front space is useful with plenty of head and leg room, while rear leg room is generous. Second-row headroom, however, is narrower thanks to the sleeker roofline.

Unfortunately, things inside the Cadillac aren’t as trendy as the outside. It’s not bad, but on the milder side of the style spectrum. The layout is simple with a center console consisting of traditional, clearly marked buttons to adjust climate settings, as well as three-stage heated and cooled front seats. And there are some elements that liven up a touch, like tan stitched leather, carbon fiber trim, matte silver elements, and metal gear levers.

The sitting position is comfortable, the support seats find the right balance between softness and firmness. Storage cubbies are sufficient, including a stylish phone compartment on the center console. Materials throughout the cabin, including hard plastic parts, look fine, but there are still some cheap elements like the clunky gearbox that looks like the top of Biff’s old stick. Back to the Future Part II, not to mention the lousy plastic wrap surrounding the central infotainment screen.

Brown leather seats and carbon fiber finishes dress the cockpit of the CT5-V.

Jon Wong / Roadshow

Strong technological game

Speaking of infotainment, it is one of the strengths of the CT5. The latest iteration of the Cadillac User Experience is a far cry from the train wreck it was when it first debuted. CUE it loads quickly, the 10-inch touchscreen responds to commands and is simple to use with crisp graphics. CUE is also chock full of features, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, navigation and a lovely sounding Bose sound system. And no matter where someone is sitting in the CT5, there is some sort of power outlet close at hand, be it a wireless charging cradle, USB-A, USB-C, or 12-volt socket to prevent devices turn off.

On the safety front, the CT5-V comes with front collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear parking sensors and rear cross traffic warning as standard. It also has Adaptive Cruise Control and Reverse Auto Braking that are part of an optional $ 1,950 Driver Assist and Advanced Security Package. There’s also lane keeping assistance and a head-up display, but again, they’re options amassed in a $ 1,300 Driver Awareness Plus package. Anyone looking for The Cadillac Super Cruise we will have to wait until the 2021 model year.

V performance

What exactly does it do Cadillac’s V stand up for now? In the CT5 it means a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 sits under the hood that produces 360 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque on 18 pounds of boost pressure. It runs on a 10-speed automatic transmission that combined returns an estimated 18 EPA miles per gallon in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

A twin-turbo V6 delivers powerful 360 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque.

Jon Wong / Roadshow

On the road, this feels like just the right amount of punch for a fast, fun everyday driver with a low exhaust rumbling. There are no boost lag issues and boost is available almost everywhere throughout the rev range. Caddy claims the CT5-V will hit 60 mph in 4.6 seconds putting it behind the Audi S4 (4.4 seconds), BMW M340i (4.1 seconds) e Mercedes-AMG C43 (4.5 seconds).

The manual shifting mode is passable with a slightly damped response in the upper and lower gears, but kudos for the super-smooth speed pairing when downshifting. It will stay on the gears and bounce off the rev limiter, which I often encounter considering the disappointingly low 6,000rpm red line. This, combined with the delays in shifting in manual mode, makes me leave the shift in fully automatic mode most of the time. With Track mode activated, gear swaps are quick and timely.

To make things better in the driving department, the V gets a Magnetic Ride Control suspension, GM’s performance traction management system, an electronic limited-slip differential, and four-piston front Brembo brakes. With everything in the Track setting and some warmth in the 19 inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, locks firmly when cornering. The steering is very thoughtful and communicative, letting you know when the front tires are approaching their limits.

Magnetic Ride Control, an electronic limited-slip differential, and Brembo brakes improve the V.

Jon Wong / Roadshow

For normal driving, the suspension’s Track mode is solid, but tolerable, but Sport is a nice middle ground between handling and ride comfort. If you just want to cruise home, the Tour setting is your ticket to comfortable driving and lighter driving behavior. What needs work are the brakes. They slow things down, but a more aggressive bite will instill a lot more confidence in me to dive deeper into the braking zones.

How would I specify it

At $ 63,045, including $ 995 for the destination, my full-zoot CT5-V Platinum is maximum optionally available with infotainment equipment and active safety technology. And it shows why its price tag represents a substantial jump from this Caddy’s $ 48,690 base price. All-wheel drive is available for an additional $ 2,000.

When building my CT5-V, I prefer the cheaper $ 4,190 Premium package, mainly for the heated and cooled front seats and heated steering wheel. The Premium package option also requires the purchase of the $ 1,300 Driver Awareness Plus package. Tack on $ 625 for the Wave Metallic blue paint job and $ 1,500 for leather seats instead of leatherette results in a $ 56,305 vehicle.

As tested, this Cadillac CT5-V costs $ 63,045.

Jon Wong / Roadshow

The new center

With direct competitors like the S4 starting at $ 50,895, M340i at $ 57,690 e C43 at $ 56,945, the CT5-V is arguably the bargain hunter’s choice in the high performance sedan category. While its interior design lags behind the others, the Caddy’s dynamic qualities are comparable to those of the BMW except for the brakes and its technological hand is certainly comparable, although it lacks the decidedly interesting factor of The Audi Virtual Cockpit or the luxury of the Mercedes C-Class. If it was my money, Audi is still the most complete and champion of the bunch, but even so, the CT5-V still deserves your consideration.

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