2020 Cadillac CT5: 7 Pros and 3 Cons

Posted on: September 5, 2020, by :
Side view of a maroon 2020 Cadillac CT5
2020 Cadillac CT5Cars.com photo by Joe Bruzek

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 is a compact luxury sedan uniquely positioned between small luxury sedans (think Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and BMW 3 Series) and their larger, more expensive mid-size stablemates (Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class). Is the Cadillac CT5 the perfect fit for luxury car shoppers torn between big and small? Or does it end up getting lost in the middle?

The short answer is that the Cadillac CT5 offers a lot of luxury car for your money. Upgrading to the optional twin-turbo V-6 and all-wheel drive in the model we recently tested doesn’t mean the base price rockets upward; that’s something that can’t be said in German rivals like the C-Class and 3 Series, where more powerful six-cylinder engines are lumped in with pricey sport packages and stand-alone trims.

To get the complete story on the 2020 Cadillac CT5, you can read our Joe Bruzek’s review by clicking the link above. For a quicker recap on the pros and cons of the CT5 with the optional turbo six and all-wheel drive, keep reading below. (We also spent time with the hotter CT5-V model; insight into that sedan can be found in a separate review.)

Things We Like

1. The Turbo V-6 Engine

The standard engine in the 2020 Cadillac CT5 is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that sends 237 horsepower to the rear wheels. Unlike some rival luxury sedans, adding the CT5’s optional 335-hp, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 doesn’t mean automatically opting for a vastly sportier model. While firmer suspensions and heavily bolstered front seats can be fun, they’re not everyone’s cup of luxury sedan tea. Our Premium Luxury-trimmed test car came with the optional twin-turbo V-6 and all-wheel drive. Power is strong and the engine works nicely with the 10-speed automatic transmission. You won’t be blown away by the acceleration — Cadillac pegs the 0-60-mph time at 4.9 seconds — but it’s a significant upgrade from the urge provided by the base turbo four.

2020 Cadillac CT-5 front row seats and dashboard
2020 Cadillac CT5Cars.com photo by Joe Bruzek

2. Lots of Legroom

The CT5 cabin is spacious whether you’re seated up front or relegated to the second row. In some rivals (we’re looking at you, BMW 3 Series), the amount of rear legroom is at a premium; for taller folks or anyone who travels with space-stealing child safety seats, the extra room in the CT5 is greatly appreciated.

3. Buttons Are Cool Again

The predecessor to the CT5, the CTS sedan, had an infotainment system that went heavy on touchscreen surfaces; it was hard to tell you’d pressed a control, and the screen surface felt flimsy. Behold! Some buttons are back in the cabin of the CT5. There are knobs for volume and tuning, along with a row of silver buttons below the infotainment screen to control heating and cooling functions. Thank you, Cadillac.

4. A Smooth and Quiet Ride

There’s no doubt about it, the CT5 delivers a smooth and quiet ride. There’s little wind or tire noise, making the cabin a refined and relaxing place to spend your time. While we wouldn’t call the CT5’s passive shock absorbers a sport suspension, it does keep you feeling in control without bouncing everyone around over rough pavement.

2020 Cadillac CT-5 backseat
2020 Cadillac CT5Cars.com photo by Joe Bruzek

5. A Bargain Compared With Rivals

The CT5 has a base price approximately $10,000 less than the CTS it replaced. That’s a significant amount of money even to someone looking for a luxury sedan. The base CT5 with the turbo four in rear-drive format starts at $37,890 (destination included), and our test car came to $52,155 with all options and fees. That’s many thousands less than what it costs to upgrade to a six-cylinder and all-wheel drive in an A4, 3 Series or C-Class.

6. Cabin Quality

Cadillac has sometimes lagged behind the competition when it comes to putting together a no-excuses luxury interior. Not so with the CT5; the materials used in the cabin have a premium look and feel to them. There are soft-touch surfaces where you want them most of all, and Cadillac didn’t cheap out by skimping on finishes in the second row. 

7. Tech Touches

Two tech items deserving an honorable mention in the CT5 are the high-resolution backup camera and Wi-Fi hot spot. The resolution of the camera is superb, and while Wi-Fi isn’t always the sexiest topic, the system in the Cadillac works well. It proved extremely handy during pandemic-related video conferences on the road even from the rear seat.

2020 Cadillac CT-5 center stack display screen
2020 Cadillac CT5Cars.com photo by Joe Bruzek