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2020 Cadillac CT5: Reviving the American Sport-Luxury Sedan

  • Inspired by the Escala concept, the 2020 Cadillac CT5 is the replacement for the CTS.
  • Cadillac’s Super Cruise system for the CT5 utilizes LiDAR map data and high-precision GPS.
  • Two engines and three different trim levels will be offered when the CT5 becomes available. 

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 needs to fulfill a demanding role. It strives to resuscitate the dying sports sedan segment while giving buyers a worthy alternative to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A4, and BMW 3-Series. Unfortunately, it is also battling with the wonderful Genesis G70, Audi A5 Sportback, and the beauteous Alfa Romeo Giulia, which are not exactly pushovers, to begin with.

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 is the venerable replacement for the aging CTS. Despite having smaller dimensions, the CT5 wants to address the shortcomings of the existing CTS by having more room, sportier handling, and the latest tech gadgets to match.

The 2020 Cadillac CT5: Designed To Impress

First and foremost, a sports sedan should look the part. How else would it attract potential buyers who are otherwise looking to purchase a crossover or SUV? Thankfully, the new Cadillac CT5 has all the bases covered with its sporty and luxurious vibe in terms of styling. The model range at launch includes the Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport trims. Each is graphically different, but each retains the aggressive and sporty styling of the Escala concept car. For example, the luxury versions of the CT5 receive brighter exterior accents and unique grille inlays. On the other hand, the Sport model has darker accents, performance-inspired detailing, 19-inch wheels, and a rear spoiler.

“From every angle, the CT5 exudes athleticism, sophistication, and confidence,” said Andrew Smith, Executive Director of global Cadillac design. “Cadillac’s signature hard-edge cues have evolved to a more sculptural and fluid expression of the brand’s design language.”

The sportier profile of the Cadillac CT5 is due in large part to the longer, 116-inch wheelbase and the sweeping fastback profile, which is remarkably similar to the silhouette of the Kia Stinger. The new CT5 sits on top of GM’s Alpha platform. The result is a sedan with lower proportions, taut character lines, and shorter overhangs in the front and rear.

“The first-ever Cadillac CT5 showcases Cadillac’s unique expertise in crafting American luxury sedans,” said Steve Carlisle, Cadillac President. “Its details elevate every drive and reward the senses.”

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2020 Cadillac CT5 in Premium Luxury trim. Photo: Cadillac.

Turbocharged Power

Based on looks alone, the Cadillac CT5 is a welcome relief from the angular styling cues of the CTS. When viewed entirely from the front, the new CT5 has subtle hints of the Mazda 6 and Chevrolet Camaro. Meanwhile, the controversial rear pillar design is lifted directly from the aforementioned Cadillac Escala concept car.

But all this beauty is for naught without a powerhouse motor. The 2020 Cadillac CT5 is available with two engine options. The Luxury trim receives a 2.0-liter four-banger with twin twin-scroll turbocharging to produce 237 horsepower. This engine benefits from a three-step sliding camshaft for greater torque delivery across the power band.

Higher trim models get a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 335 horsepower and 400 lb-ft. of torque. Both engines are connected to a 10-speed automatic with standard rear-wheel drive and an optional all-wheel drive system. Cadillac went further by equipping both engines with direct injection, cylinder deactivation, camshaft phasing, and an automatic stop/start system.

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2020 Cadillac CT5 Sport. Photo: Cadillac.

Related: Cadillac enters the “Goldilocks zone” with the new XT6.

Enhanced Driving Dynamics

Performance, comfort, and refinement: these are the qualities that define the new CT5, according to Cadillac. In order to achieve all this, the CT5 makes good use of the double-pivot MacPherson front and five-link independent rear suspension. It also comes with ZF MVS passive dampers and a Bosch rack-mounted electric power steering system to further enhance handling, ride comfort, and steering feel.

The car even gets selectable drive modes to make it run with the rest of the German and Japanese pack. Drivers can select Tour, Sport, Snow/Ice, and My Mode to calibrate the transmission shift points, steering firmness, braking feel, and the torque split in the front and rear wheels (for AWD models). Toggling between each mode will also alter the audible character of the CT5.

Plush Interior

Cadillac wasn’t looking to reinvent the wheel in designing the interior of the CT5. The primary focus is on material quality, attention to detail, and overall craftsmanship. You’ll find carbon fiber, open-pore wood trim, and soft leather inside the CT5. The Platinum Package adds heated and ventilated front seats, upgraded leather trim in the armrest and center console, magnesium paddle shifters, and alloy pedals. Perhaps the most prominent part of the instrument panel is the standard 10-inch touchscreen.

The new Cadillac CT5 will also come with AppleCarPlay and Android Auto, wireless charging, and a premium Bose audio system.

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2020 Cadillac XT5 interior layout. Photo: Cadillac.

Super Cruise Hands-Free Driving

If Tesla has Autopilot, Cadillac has Super Cruise. I don’t know about you, but Super Cruise sounds better and is less geeky. Whatever the case, Super Cruise allows CT5 drivers to enjoy the benefits of a self-driving car. First seen in the CT6 sedan, the 2020 CT5 is the first Cadillac to have Super Cruise since then.

Cadillac is planning to make Super Cruise available on all models beginning next year, with other GM brands to follow after that time. Super Cruise can automatically steer, brake, and keep the vehicle positioned on the highway in certain, optimal conditions. This driver assistance feature utilizes LiDAR map data, high-precision GPS, and an innovative driver attention system, along with radar sensors and data from a network of cameras. The technology gives you the freedom to drive the Cadillac CT5 hands-free on more than 130,000-miles of limited-access freeways in the United States and Canada.

If this means cruising on the highway while eating a cheesesteak sandwich, I’m all in.

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 also features adaptive remote start technology and a hands-free, foot-activated automatic trunk. The former allows you to remotely activate the ventilated seats, climate control system, and heated steering wheel, so the CT5 is all cozy when you enter the car.

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The new Cadillac CT5’s interior benefits from softer and more luxurious materials. Photo: Cadillac.

2020 Cadillac CT5 Pricing & Availability

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 is built at GM’s Lansing Grand River plant in Lansing, Michigan. It will be available for ordering this fall. No word yet on pricing, but we’re guessing the CT5 will start between $47,000 and $50,000.

Alvin Reyes is the Associate Editor of Automoblog. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his younger years and is still very much smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He also likes fried chicken, music, and herbal medicine. 

2020 Cadillac CT5 Gallery

Photos & Source: Cadillac.