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- Highs Undeniably stylish exterior design, intuitive infotainment system, powerful optional V-6 engine.
- Lows Base engine delivers poky performance, handling not as sharp as other sports sedans, interior doesn't live up to luxury price tag.
- Verdict Down-market interior trimmings and some dulled driving dynamics are all that holds the CT5 back from sports-sedan greatness.
As sports sedans go, the 2022 Cadillac CT5 doesn't have the crispest handling and isn't the most luxurious, but its stylish exterior and eager optional powertrains keep it in the hunt with rivals such as the BMW 3-series, Mercedes-Benz C-class, and Genesis G70. The entry-level engine is a turbocharged four-cylinder, but things get more interesting with the optional twin-turbo V-6 under the hood. To maximize speed and agility, consider the V-series trim, which is the sharpest CT5 this side of the high-performance Blackwing (reviewed separately). Inside, the CT5's cabin is spacious and well equipped, but those expecting high-end materials and luxury-level ambiance may be disappointed with what they find here. If you're looking for the latest infotainment and driver-assistance features, however, you'll find them in the CT5, including Cadillac's impressive Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving feature.
Where This Vehicle Ranks
What's New for 2022?
Ordering General Motors's Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving technology on the CT5 will be a little easier in 2022 as two new optional packages bundle that feature in with luxury and convenience items on Premium Luxury and Sport trims. The base Luxury trim receives more standard driver-assistance features—such as blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping assist—but still cannot be had with the high-tech Super Cruise feature. Models equipped with the optional 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 no longer come with volume and selection knobs on the center stack for some reason, but a wireless smartphone charging pad is now standard.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The Premium Luxury trim is worth the extra cash. It adds features such as interior ambient lighting, illuminated exterior door handles, driver-seat memory settings, a power-adjustable steering wheel, rear parking sensors, and power lumbar support for the driver and front-seat passenger. We'd recommend it, but you should note that it also requires that you select the Lighting package, which consists of front cornering lamps and illuminated doorsills.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The standard engine in the CT5 is a 237-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, but you can upgrade to a 335-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6. The performance-oriented CT5-V boasts a 360-hp version of the twin-turbo V-6 as well as adaptive dampers and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential. Both engines pair with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. In our testing, a rear-drive CT5 with the turbo four-cylinder sauntered to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds. The BMW 330i and the Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti, two of the CT5's key rivals, completed the same test in 5.1 and 4.6 seconds, respectively. When it comes to ride and handling, the CT5 is both more softly sprung and less athletic than the CTS it replaces. Body control is sloppier, and the improvements to the car's ride aren't enough to justify what feels like a step backward in driving dynamics.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates the 2022 CT5 with the standard turbo-four is rated for up to 23 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The 335-hp V-6 is rated up to 19 mpg city and 27 highway, with the 360-hp version slightly behind at 18 mpg city and up to 27 mpg highway. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, the rear-drive Sport model managed 31 mpg. For more information about the CT5's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Cadillac corrected some of the CTS's interior flaws with this new sports sedan; namely, the CT5 provides a more user-friendly interface and straight-forward design. Unfortunately, the quality of the cabin materials seems unworthy of the CT5's positioning as a luxury vehicle. Premium Luxury models are available with a nice open-pore wood trim that elevates the interior design, but it mingles alongside cheap black plastic that could've been lifted from the plebian Chevrolet Malibu family sedan. The rear seat is more spacious than the CTS's, but rivals such as the Acura TLX and the Volvo S60 both feel roomier. All three vehicles have similarly sized trunks, though, and each fit five of our carry-on suitcases behind the rear seats.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The CT5 features the latest version of the CUE infotainment system, displayed on a 10.0-inch touchscreen in the center of the dashboard. It's much more logically structured than the old system and swaps some of the touch-sensitive controls for physical ones. You can control the system via a rotary wheel located behind the shifter or by interacting with the touchscreen itself. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration comes standard. Desirable available features include a head-up display, wireless device charging, and an eight-speaker Bose audio system.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
A host of driver-assistance technology is available, including adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. GM's Super Cruise Level 2 autonomous-driving feature—which can manage a vehicle's steering, acceleration, and braking without the driver needing to keep his or her hands on the wheel—will be available sometime after launch. For more information about the CT5's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The CT5's warranty coverage is more generous than that of the German sports sedans, particularly in the powertrain warranty, where it outdoes the 3-series and Mercedes-Benz C-class by two years or 20,000 miles. Better warranties are available in the entry-luxury marketplace with the Genesis G70 and Kia Stinger, both of which offer longer limited and powertrain warranties. The Genesis even comes with three full years of complimentary scheduled maintenance, while Cadillac includes only the first visit free of charge.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers six years or 70,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit
2020 Cadillac CT5 350T
front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
PRICE AS TESTED
$54,590 (base price: $42,690)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
122 in3, 1998 cm3
237 hp @ 5000 rpm
258 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
CHASSISSuspension (F/R): struts/multilinkBrakes (F/R): 13.6-in vented disc/12.4-in vented discTires: Michelin Primacy Tour A/S ZP, 245/40R-19 94V M+S TPC SPEC 3132MS
Wheelbase: 116.0 in
Length: 193.9 in
Width: 74.1 in
Height: 57.2 in
Passenger volume: 99 ft3
Cargo volume: 12 ft3
Curb weight: 3724 lb
Rollout, 1 ft: 0.3 sec
60 mph: 6.6 sec
100 mph: 17.1 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 7.5 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 4.0 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.1 sec
¼-mile: 15.0 sec @ 94 mph
Top speed (C/D est): 130 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 161 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.92 g