2020 Cadillac CT5-V: 7 Pros and 3 Cons

The CT5-V sports sedan is all-new for 2020, and it’s just one of Cadillac’s latest entries into the decidedly not-so-hot compact luxury sedan category.

Related: 2020 Cadillac CT5-V Test Drive: Great Car, Awful Timing

To catch you up to speed, the CT5-V is part of Cadillac’s strategy to redo its sedan lineup. The “V” used to denote a super-high-performance variant, like the outgoing 640-horsepower CTS-V. Now, the V-Series cars are more accessible, mid-level performance sedans. It should also be noted that the CT5-V is not a direct replacement for the CTS-V despite the latter not being part of Cadillac’s 2020 lineup. In all, the 2020 CT5-V is a solid sports sedan — but who’s in the market for that these days?

There is a lot to unpack here, so if you want the full rundown on the CT5-V, check out Aaron Bragman’s test drive via the related link above. For the quick list of hits and misses, here are the pros and cons of the 2020 Cadillac CT5-V:

Pros

1. Engine Feels Just Right

The twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 under the hood puts out 360 hp and 405 pounds-feet of torque — nowhere near the levels of power in the outgoing CTS-V. However, this engine feels right for this vessel thanks to some much-needed finesse. Power feels easy to tap into.

2. Magnetic Ride Control

Used in everything from the Chevrolet Camaro to the Cadillac Escalade, GM’s Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension brings balance to ride and handling. The CT5-V gets the fourth-generation version, which provides a magic combination of a smooth ride and body control.

3. Transmission

The standard 10-speed automatic is the fruit of a joint effort between GM and Ford, and the result is a remarkably good transmission. Superior gearing and tuning make it much better in the CT5-V than in many Ford cars, according to reviewer Bragman.

4. Sport Mode

Putting the CT5-V in Sport mode doesn’t drastically change the driving experience, which is sporty as is. However, it does enhance what’s already there: The suspension is firmer and steering effort is bumped up. The powertrain response is much quicker in this mode, and exhaust noise is delightfully louder.

5. Improved Multimedia

The CT5-V gets the latest version of the Cadillac User Experience multimedia system on a 10-inch touchscreen. The display is bright and easy to use with either the native system or Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity. The buttons on the steering wheel and for the climate controls are also much improved over the old touch-sensitive ones.

6. Exhaust Sounds Awesome

The V-6 sounds good enough on its own, but Cadillac has “enhanced” the exhaust noise as heard in the cabin. Depending on the driving mode you select, it gets louder or softer — and despite being somewhat fabricated, it really gives the car a performance feel.

7. Interior Space

The CT5 has a few inches of length on its competitors, making it a little roomier inside. Up front, the driver and passenger get a lot of headroom, while the backseat has a good amount of legroom.

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Cons

1. Interior is Nothing Special

Compared to other luxury cars (or even the new 2021 Cadillac Escalade), the CT5-V’s interior simply lacks pizazz. This is especially apparent when it comes to the quality of materials. The tan stitching and carbon-fiber trim are a nice touch, but the little details aren’t as noticeable in black. The result just feels lacking compared to a Mercedes-Benz or Lincoln.

2. Space Issues

While the cabin is overall quite roomy, there are a few pitfalls. A wide center console makes for front seats that feel tight at the hips. And in the back, headroom is very limited, which might be an issue for taller passengers.

3. Where’s the Market?

This “con” doesn’t have as much to do with the truly interested buyer as the others, but it’s worth noting most people aren’t buying sedans anymore. The majority want crossovers or SUVs. Cadillac’s decision to introduce two compact luxury sedans this year seems odd, but it’s a bold choice nonetheless.

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