Some auto manufacturers are streamlining their product lines – mainly sedans. Sure, SUVs and Crossovers are still in high demand, but sexy sporty sedans continue to turn heads. The demand for those sleek rides is significant enough for companies to find ways to aptly fill their product lines.
Cadillac is a good case study, as their SUV/Crossovers sell well. The new 2020 CT5-V replaces the outgoing CT5-V Sport. It’s a good sweet spot being roomier and peppier to battle a very competitive upscale entry sports sedan category.
The CT5-V has the looks and luxury appointments to draw interest into the showroom. It looks cool in the driveway and the neighbors will beg to play with the delicious gadgets. Keep in mind it’s not the V that delivers a V-8 and gobs of horsepower. That is rumored to be the V Blackwing scheduled for release next year. Still, it’s another signal Cadillac is firmly targeting a younger consumer without scaring away the AARP buyers. Bravo!
The CT5-V is a big longer and wider than the outgoing V-Sport. But the crisp lines and streamlined silhouette gives it a beautifully balanced sporty stance. Goodbye land yacht snickers. The tester’s gorgeous Velocity Red paint combines with contrasting 19” Gloss Black rims. Add some flash with either blue or red painted brake calipers (my new fav accessory). The front includes Cadillac’s signature bold vertical bladed LED headlights. It exhibits a bold attitude with black mesh grilles mated with a glossy black diffuser. A substantial but tidy rear includes quad exhausts, attractive subtle spoiler and holds a decent trunk. Chrome accents are tastefully limited with most trim blacked out. Illuminated door handles and kickplates adds to the appeal. It draws admiring smiles from any angle. And yes, the kids think it’s pretty darn cool.
The base model includes a peppy twin turbocharged 3.0 liter with 360hp and a robust 405lb-ft. torque (0-60 in a quick 4.6 seconds). As former GM exec Bob Lutz said, “Americans buy horsepower, but drive torque.” It’s thoroughly enjoyable in Sport Mode with enhanced steering, suspension and higher-rev shifts (you also can select Tour, Sport, Track and Snow/Ice modes). The 10-speed transmission shifts effortlessly, and the usually annoying Auto Stop feature thankfully can be turned off. Choose the standard rear-wheel drive or optional All-Wheel Drive delivering grippy handling and cruising capability given its lighter aluminum frame. Excellent braking with robust high-performance Brembro brakes and Collision Warning are reassuring.
The handy V button on the steering wheel drops the gearing a notch, increases the exhaust note and tightens the steering and suspension. You can mix and match these via individual settings for your desired tastes. I like it a lot.
The excellent Magnetic Ride suspension soaking up most asphalt irregularities. The thick leather-wrapped (and heated) steering wheel feels just right, and the paddle shifters are quite responsive. Gas mileage is decent for this category as I observed 22.5 mpg overall (rated 18/26) You’ll appreciate the gas plunger design requiring no gas cap too.
The Jet-Black interior is sumptuous, surrounding you in tasteful contrasting hand-stitched leather and lovely Carbon Fiber trim (Sport). Fit and finish are outstanding. The dash instrumentation panel is well laid out and bright however it’s more old-school analog gauges versus newer programmable layouts. Optional heated/cooled/massaging leather 18-way power Sport seats are comfortable, supportive and for long hauls double-panoramic Ultra-View roof gives the cabin a beautiful airy feel.
I’d recommend the Driver Awareness Plus (includes Head Up Display) and Premium Packages (Nav, Bose Premium Audio, Heated/Cooled/Massaging Seats and Climate and Lighting packages) for $5,490.
The center console houses an improved and simpler infotainment cluster. The tester included Backup and Surround Camera, dual-zone climate control, Remote Start and adaptive high-intensity LED headlights. Safety measures include Ample Blind Spot warnings, multiple camera views and handy full-color Head-Up display complete with speed limit signs, tachometer and navigation turn-by-turn directions in the windshield. It’s a welcome addictive option to keep your eyes on the road. Interior storage is generous decent.
Visibility is good as well for a low-slung sedan. Back seat room is vast as that’s where the extra room is evident. Trunk space is an okay 11.9 cu.ft. but the rear seats do fold down for additional storage. A full golf bag with driver fits horizontally. There’s also a secret storage area underneath the trunk floor.
There’s no shortage of stupendous technology. The updated 10-inch diagonal infotainment touch screen is clear, easy to read and manage. It mimics hand motions like an iPad as you can move icons, shrink or enlarge the data and display bunch of preset radio/XM satellite stations and phone numbers. It includes 3-D Navigation maps, Doppler radar and Natural Voice Activated prompts work instantaneously to any voice. They will even read aloud your text messages. It also delivers 4G/LTE Wi-Fi service via an OnStar subscription. You’ll appreciate the terrific Apple CarPlay/Android Auto synching up your smart phone to display your home screen apps. There’s a handy slot wirelessly charge your phone. Even the vent power noise is lowered when receiving a call.
Thankfully, positioned under the screen are the most used climate control buttons. I appreciated the radio channel dial in the console to swiftly change stations without continually hitting the screen. Redundancy is abundant with no less than three volume controls
The 15-speaker Bose Performance Series Sound System is excellent with four programmable distinct cabin sound settings. It’s crystal clear and delivers near perfect audio acoustics.
The 2020 Cadillac CT5-V is a good package of eye-candy, comfort and abundant technology (including Cadillac’s Premium Care Maintenance 3 years/36,000 miles). The base model at $47,000 will pique interest and around $60,000 with the recommended packages. Bottom line is the CT5-V is worthy of your time when contemplating a very good sports sedan without killing your budget or excessive trips to the gas pump.
Golf bags: Two
Curb Appeal: Attractive upscale sports sedan belies attractive starting price
0-60: 4.6 seconds
Gas Mileage: 18/26. Observed 22.5 overall.
Must-haves: Enhanced night vision, Head Up display, massaging seats
Warranty & Free Maintenance: 48 mo/50,000 miles warranty; 3/36K maintenance.
Base Price: $47,695
Price as Tested: $60,700
Who Buys It? Those looking for a price-competitive sports sedan
Finish Line: Patriotic package of style, performance, and luxury
Test-drive the 2020 Cadillac CT5-V at Crest Cars in Frisco.