Detroit automakers have had a hard go-at-it over the past decade, and whatever successes have come from the Obama-era bailouts, competing effectively means offering a product that stands out. Enter GM. To be more specific, enter its luxury, upscale, or whatever you want to call it – bougie? – brand, the eponymous Cadillac.
If you’ve driven on the streets of an urban American city, such as Dallas, and you’re a fan of automotive design, you’ve noticed the CT4. Cadillac’s engineers conceived and executed on a visually arresting compact luxury sedan. For an entry-level price, the whip is attainable for those who don’t want to “subscribe” to a BMW i3.
The 2020 Cadillac CT4 V-Series is a whole vibe onto itself, rising from the ashes of the ATS. Although crossover SUVs are the hype, a good-looking Cadillac sedan at the right price point actually makes plenty of sense. CT4 and its larger sibling CT5 were introduced in the current model year, with CT5 being the big boy to the more slim CT4.
We got behind the wheel of a CT4 V-Series in Summit White exterior paint and Sangria with Jet Black accents highlighting the interior. The sedan’s just a slight modification over the ATS, with a similar wheelbase and an extra four inches of length.
Proportions are interesting any way you look at it in a brand new car, and what got our attention was a larger rear-end and front wheels that aren’t squished into corners in the name of that “sporty” facade we’re accustomed to seeing in entry-level BMWs sedans. Cadillac’s brand may be a bit stale and vintage, but there’s enough dramatic flair in the design – the hood’s curve or the boxy LED headlights – to make the CT4 pop out.
Inside the cabin, upscale is epitomized in the feel and sight. Materials are soft to touch, with nice touches extending from the synthetic leather seats to the leather-draped steering wheel, to door panels. There are more thoughtful and elegant touches with chrome trim bands and stitching.
The console’s centerpiece is the 8.0-inch touchscreen and the dash styling is just as fluidly elegant as the panels. The controller dial and drive mode switch panel are easy to work with on the slim center console, thanks to the electronic gear shifter.
The drivetrain powering the CT4 V-Series is anchored by a 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. If we told you it was derived out of a Chevrolet Silverado that made its debut several years ago, would you believe it? Well, whoopty, there it is. The truck-inside-the-sedan engine translates into 325 horsepower and a very respectable 380 pound-feet of torque. Although there’s less raw power here, with 139 hp less than ATS-V, it’s still hefty.
The thing about a truck engine in a sedan is the expected tremble and roar upon start. As the torque calibrates within the engine, the grumbling is a tad bit unbecoming of a luxury whip. Thankfully, it subsides when the car’s idle.
The CT4 V-Series features an optimized induction system and mounts on its three-step sliding camshaft, which is something to brag about for Cadillac, what with the segment-leading torque produced. The engine is synced to a 10-speed automatic transmission that gets into downshift as smoothly as a Mazda, which is an art onto itself.
The engine and the tranny being a smooth pair irons out the robust power, and the steering, we are happy to report, is just as smooth. The interior’s about as well-apportioned and neat as it can be, with access to secondary controls made intuitive. The CT4-V takes it up a notch in performance with Sport and Track mode.
The CT4-V rides posly, regally even, with a refined and responsive suspension. It also carries GM’s Magnetic Ride Control system, which adjusts damper tightness in fractions of a second in response to road conditions.
The CT4-V can go and it can also stop. The Brembo front brakes make sure of that, and caliper paint in blue or red is an option ($595). Electronic assist is also about as dependably clutch as Steph Curry shooting, so there’s that.
Braking overall is decent in the Cadillac, although the placement of the brake pedal above the accelerator will take time getting used to. It’s a GM idiosyncrasy, so be prepared when you get behind the wheel and have to maneuver your foot.
The base price for the 2020 Cadillac CT4 V-Series is $44,495 and it upticks when adding in the interior upgrade (Sangria with jet black accents with leather appointed seats, $1,000). The Climate package ($1,200) and the Driver Awareness plug package ($800) will run the total up to $48,490.
The familiar brands and their nameplates such as the 2020 BMW 3-Series are there to make Cadillac CT4’s market share a tough get. The Beamer is the frontrunner and tried-and-true performance leader, while buyers can also also lean into the Mercedes-Benz C-Class if they want more German luxury under the Benz banner.
Other contenders include cars from Audi, Volvo and Genesis. Where Audi notches a plus for the in-car tech offered for the price – with the wagon something to behold – the Volvo S60 also sits pretty and has the gadgets and features to satisfy a discerning buyer. We’d also be remiss not to point out the Genesis G70, which has a spectacular engine with German-level performance, but much lower price. There’s never a dull moment in the sedan segment competition.
Photo Credit: Copyright 2021 Victor Mosqueda / Car Fanatics Blog