As a competitor to Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and BMW, the CT-5 has to look both tough and sophisticated. The designers nailed this one. PHOTO: CADILLAC

As a competitor to Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and BMW, the CT-5 has to look both tough and sophisticated. The designers nailed this one. PHOTO: CADILLAC

Cadillac CT5-V: Performance, style and value

If there’s such a thing as a bargain luxury-performance sedan, this is it

With much talk centred on the coming electric-vehicle revolution, it’s interesting that Cadillac continues to offer an expanding assortment of performance sedans that lean on internal-combustion engines.

Cadillac will indeed be a leader for parent company General Motors’ electrification effort, but in the meantime the new V-Series sedans growl and snort delightful sounds with pistons, turbochargers and gasoline. Bottom line? Enjoy them while you can.

The midsize CT5-V – the subject of this review – and the smaller CT4-V are equipped with higher-output powertrains (plus a number of specialty features) that separate them from their less-sporting relatives.

Being sedans, the pond they swim in is dominated by BMW, Lexus, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. The four brands also offer assorted performance models. For BMW, they get the M badge. For Lexus it’s the letter F, Audi builds S and RS variants and Mercedes-Benz has its AMG models.

For Cadillac, it’s all in the V.

The first-ever CT5-V builds on the precision-focused details of the all-new luxury sedan introduced earlier this year to offer elevated road performance and an engaging driving experience. PHOTO: CADILLAC

The first-ever CT5-V builds on the precision-focused details of the all-new luxury sedan introduced earlier this year to offer elevated road performance and an engaging driving experience. PHOTO: CADILLAC

The CT-5, which was launched for the 2020 model year alongside the CT4, shares styling DNA with Cadillac’s three XT-class utility vehicles, particularly in the shape of the grille. The result is a sharp- and smart-looking sedan with subtly sculpted body panels that will neither offend or cause passersby to point and stare.

The CT5 is about 18 centimetres longer than the CT4 and has a wheelbase that’s greater by the same amount. With the difference mostly going to the CT5’s passengers, trunk room is only slightly greater than the CT4’s.

The gauges, switches and steering-wheel controls are intuitively laid out and the 10-inch high-definition touch-screen has a convenient volume knob (some vehicles make you go to the screen). The fussy pistol-grip shifter isn’t as intuitive as a conventional lever, but it’s better than dials or buttons.

The base CT5 uses a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder producing 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Optional is a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V-6 with 335 horses and 405 pound-feet. A 10-speed automatic transmission directs power to the rear wheels, or optionally to all four.

The CT5-V is something else. You get a 360-horsepower version of 3.0-litre V-6 and the kind of content you would expect/want in a performance sedan, such as an electronic limited-slip rear differential, sport suspension with constantly adjusting (1,000 times per second) dampers, Brembo-brand brakes and a traction-management system originally developed for the Chevrolet Corvette. Each of the modes – Dry, Wet, Race and two Sport levels – vary the traction and stability settings, or the system can be turned off for intervention-free driving.

As with the standard CT5, the V is available in rear- or all-wheel-drive, which is significant in terms of traction and four-seasons suitability. (The AWD test car was shod with winter tires.)

The car makes some fantastic noises during acceleration. Push the “V”-mode button on the steering wheel for custom performance settings including one that makes the exhaust even louder.

It might look like the normal CT5 interior, but there’s a Race mode and two levels of Sport mode, paddle shifters and a little “V” button on the steering wheel the makes the car sound louder. PHOTO: CADILLAC

It might look like the normal CT5 interior, but there’s a Race mode and two levels of Sport mode, paddle shifters and a little “V” button on the steering wheel the makes the car sound louder. PHOTO: CADILLAC

At each gear change under moderate to hard acceleration, there’s a short and sudden ‘BLAAAP’ noise – also common to Audi and Mercedes-Benz competitors – and will likely give CT5-V owners a thrill. Until it gets annoying and they change exhaust modes.

According to Cadillac, the CT5-V can reach 60 mph (96 km/h) from rest in a reasonably quick 4.6 seconds, which feels about right.

Fuel consumption is rated at 12.7 l/100 km in the city, 9.1 on the highway and 11.1 combined.

Pricing starts at $53,300 for the RWD model and $55,500 for the AWD version. Among the option packages is Cadillac’s latest semi-autonomous Super Cruise system that for 2021 comes with lane-change-on-demand capability (which does exactly what you think it would do).

Other extras include a panoramic sunroof, driver’s- and passenger’s-seat lumbar massage, illuminated door handles and sill plates and a 15-speaker Bose-brand audio system. Key active-safety technology is included, such as emergency braking and blind-spot warning, but lane-departure warning and active cruise control are optional.

The question is whether the CT5-V’s attributes put it in the same league with the BMWs and Audis of the world. The answer is absolutely. The bonus is that the Cadillac costs less, which makes it a terrific value.

Compared with the CT4, the CT5 has about 18 more centimetres of space between the front and rear wheels, which means the rear-seat space is quite generous. PHOTO: CADILLAC

Compared with the CT4, the CT5 has about 18 more centimetres of space between the front and rear wheels, which means the rear-seat space is quite generous. PHOTO: CADILLAC

What you should know: 2021 Cadillac CT5-V

Type: Rear- /all-wheel-drive midsize sedan

Engine (h.p.): 3.0-litre V-6, twin-turbocharged (360)

Transmission: 10-speed automatic

Market position: Cadillac is attempting to compete with other premium-level models by offering a range of sophisticated sedans with reasonable levels of luxury plus available performance powertrains.

Points: The CT5’s styling is attractive and Cadillac adds just enough to the V to make it distinctive and athletic. • Potent twin-turbo V-6 and 10-speed automatic transmission make a great team. • Surprising that a complete array of dynamic safety technologies is not standard. • Blackwing model with a considerably more powerful engine is slated for 2022.

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

L/100 km (city/hwy): 12.7/9.1 (RWD)

Base price (incl. destination): $53,300

BY COMPARISON

BMW M340i xDrive

  • Base price: $62,900
  • A 382-horsepower turbo inline six-cylinder is standard, as is all-wheel-drive.

Lexus IS 500 F Sport

  • Base price: $75,000 (est.)
  • Upcoming 2022 RWD model uses a 5.0-litre V-8 that puts out 472 horsepower.

Audi S4

  • Base price: $66,400
  • The sporty version of the A4 runs with a turbo 349-h.p. V-6. AWD is standard.

– written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media

If you’re interested in new or used vehicles, be sure to visit TodaysDrive.com to find your dream car today! Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram

AutomotivecarsSUVsTrucks

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

Just Posted

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
5 more deaths, 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

Those 18-years and older in high-transmission neighbourhoods can register for the vaccine

Rotary Club of Salmon Arm president Norm Brown talks about the work the city’s Rotary Clubs do for the community during a Rotary 75th Anniversary event at the Blackburn Park picnic shelter on Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm Rotarians mark 75th anniversary

Flags placed around Blackburn Park picnic shelter for video shoot

RCMP (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
High-risk takedown on Highway 1 following Anglemont shooting

Upon further investigation, the vehicle and its occupants were not associated with the shooting

Police watchdog find Salmon Arm RCMP have no involvement in head-on collision. (File photo)
Police watchdog finds Salmon Arm RCMP not involved in Highway 1 crash

Woman seriously injured on April 22 after head-on collision

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The southern mountain caribou, an iconic species for the Splatsin First Nation, is threatened with extinction, much to the dismay of the First Nation. (Province of B.C. photo)
Okanagan First Nation band concerned over dwindling caribou herd

Southern mountain caribou at risk of extinction, much to dismay of Splatsin First Nation near Enderby

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
UPDATE: Winfield road open following police, coroner investigation

Pelmewash Parkway closure near Highway 97 connection

Kelowna resident Sally Wallick helped rescue a kayaker in distress a week and a half ago. (Sally Wallick/Contributed)
VIDEO: Kelowna woman rescues capsized kayaker in Okanagan Lake

Sally Wallick is asking people to be prepared for the cold water and unpredictable winds

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Most Read