2023 Cadillac CT4

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2023 Cadillac CT4 Review: Aspiring To Luxury

The compact luxury sedan market is a tough nut to crack, where the Europeans call the shots. Cadillac tries a different approach by offering in-between cars such as the Cadillac CT4 under review here and the larger CT5. The CT5 costs BMW 3 Series money but it's the size of a 5 Series. Similarly, the CT4 replaces the old ATS, but is bigger than typical price rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz CLA, Audi A3, and BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, putting the car a size class up, among the 3 Series and A4. Cadillac tries to attract buyers by offering more car for the money, with a premium badge on the nose. The GM Alpha II platform also gives it decent ride and handling, but some cheap cabin plastics and a tight second row have hamstrung this new Cadillac CT4 compact luxury sedan ever since its launch in the USA as a 2020 model. There's enough power - 237 horsepower from the base 2.0 and 310 hp from the optional 2.7 - but the four-pot engines sound strained and unrefined. So, is there any reason to recommend the CT4, or should you buy a better-qualified rival?

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 10 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 8 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2023 Cadillac CT4 Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 CT4?

The 2023 CT4 sees no changes whatsoever, except for the introduction of three new (extra-cost) paint colors - Argent Silver Metallic, Midnight Steel Metallic, and Radiant Red Tintcoat. There are still three trims in the range - Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport - and with the Luxury's $34k starting price, the 2023 Cadillac CT4 is priced right in the ballpark of its slightly smaller competitors.

Pros and Cons

  • Stylish inside and out
  • Reasonable ride and handling
  • Powerful 2.7-liter engine
  • Gas mileage
  • Good cabin tech
  • Some cheap cabin plastics
  • Coarse engine and ill-tuned 10-speed auto
  • Small second row and trunk

What's The Price Of The 2023 Cadillac CT4?

The price of the new Cadillac CT4 starts at $34,395 for the base Luxury trim. The Premium Luxury retails for $39,295 and the Sport for $40,495. These prices are for the trims in their default configurations with the 2.0-liter engine, eight-speed automatic transmission, and RWD. Specifying any of them with AWD will cost you an additional $2,000, but only the Premium Luxury trim can be upgraded to the 310-hp 2.7-liter engine at a cost of $5,100. Keep in mind that these prices for the Cadillac CT4 are MSRP and exclude the $1,395 destination fee.

Best Deals on 2023 Cadillac CT4

2023 Cadillac CT4 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Premium Luxury
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Cadillac CT4 Trims and Specs

2023 Cadillac CT4 Handling And Driving Impressions

If you don't compare it to a BMW, the Caddy will create a decent first impression, with good ride quality and reasonably athletic responses. If you can get over steering's weighting - which is too heavy - you'll find that it offers decent feedback. But the wooden brake feel doesn't inspire confidence and when you start to throw it around, you'll soon find that this is no 3 Series. Responses are measured, not athletic, and the ride quality isn't quite the promised premium experience, though it's good enough. It soon becomes apparent that everything is in fact just "good enough" and not quite of the same standard as premium rivals. Noise levels are a touch too high as well, and made worse by the coarse and strained sound of the two four-cylinder engines, neither of which sounds good to listen to. The ten-speed automatic transmission can also occasionally put a foot wrong and double-guess itself.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Cadillac CT4 A Good Car?

The smart styling and upsized form factor are not enough to elevate the CT4 to the standard of its class rivals, never mind surpassing them. It has few standout features and the driving experience is a step or two behind the rest. Higher up the lineup, the V and Blackwing halo models certainly up the ante and elevate the CT4 to a new plane, but at the base level, we'd be hard-pressed to recommend the regular CT4 over its better competitors. Any of its BMW, Audi, or Mercedes rivals do fill the compact luxury brief better. Unfortunately, the unchanged 2023 model does nothing to up its game.

What 2023 Cadillac CT4 Model Should I Buy?

The nicest CT4 is the Premium Luxury with its leather upholstery, bigger wheels, and additional driver assists, but mostly because it's also the only trim available with the must-have 310-hp 2.7-liter engine, which elevates its performance from adequate to quick. So if we must, it's the one we'd take. In the real world, it's still a less satisfying drive than a 3 Series, and speccing it like this puts it within $3k of the CT4-V, which at least looks the sporty part, while performing and handling noticeably better.

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