The 2023 Cadillac CT4-V is the "V lite" of the CT4 lineup and sits above the cooking versions of the CT4 range and below the M3-rivaling six-cylinder CT4-V Blackwing. Classified as a subcompact sedan, it crosses swords with the mildly hot performance versions of the competition, and its $46k starting price puts the 2023 Cadillac CT4-V in the company of AWD rivals such as the Audi S3, Mercedes-AMG CLA 35, and BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe M235i xDrive. But the Caddy is also available in a sweet RWD setup, making it stand out in this company; for something similarly light-footed in a fun RWD package, you'd have to look at the similarly priced Alfa Romeo Giulia. The 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the warm Caddy is similar to the one in a Silverado truck, so it sounds a bit like a blender, but it does produce a stout 325 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. If it all still sounds a bit average, the car has an ace up its sleeve, and it's the RWD trim with its excellent handling and Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension, making it a superb driver's car. Is it better than the rest, though?
The 2023 CT4-V cruises into the new model year unchanged except for the addition of three new extra-cost paint colors called Midnight Steel Metallic, Argent Silver Metallic, and Radiant Red Tintcoat.
For the 2023 model year, the price of a new Cadillac CT4-V sedan is $46,595, and that's for the RWD derivative. Adding AWD will cost you just $500 because the deletion of the Magnetic Ride Control suspension in the AWD model partially offsets the price increase. This pricing is MSRP and doesn't include the $1,395 destination freight charge.
Choosing between RWD and AWD should be relatively straightforward. You'd only pick the AWD model if you absolutely have to have AWD for the road conditions in your area, and even then, you're better off with the standard CT4 AWD model, as the AWD CT4-V loses the Magnetic Ride Control suspension and weighs more, sucking quite a bit of the fun out of the package. The RWD car is an excellent driving companion and definitely the enthusiast's choice. Standard spec is a bit skimpy, though, and you'd have to opt for the Climate and Technology packages to get the heated and ventilated front seats, the 12-inch digital gauge cluster, and the head-up display, adding around $2.5k to the price. Even then, you don't get leather, but the leatherette seems a fair compromise in a sporty package. We wouldn't bother with navigation and use the smartphone mirroring for that instead, while the expensive Super Cruise tech is nice but not the focus of this car; standard driver-assist tech is decent as it is. Specced like this, the RWD CT4-V costs around $50k.
The CT4-V's interior design is unexceptional and interior space below par, but it's generally comfortable and reasonably well-equipped.
Though the body is bigger than that of its direct rivals, the CT4-V is surprisingly small inside. It's not a very premium environment either, and although the materials are of good quality, it's not on par with other luxury brands, especially in terms of its rather mundane design and its in-car tech. It has to make do with a small touchscreen atop the dashboard and a traditional analog gauge cluster, and the focus is on sportiness, not luxury, so you get leatherette upholstery and no sunroof or heating for the seats, but at least the seats are 18-way powered, the driver has a memory function, and you get dual-zone climate control with rear-seat air vents, a wireless charging pad, and a premium audio system as standard. Most of the missing features, such as climate-controlled seats, a sunroof, a heated steering wheel, a 12-inch digital gauge cluster, and a head-up display, cost extra.
Despite the bigger body, interior space is a disappointment, and there's less rear legroom on offer in the second row than in subcompact premium rivals such as the Audi S3, despite a wheelbase of nearly six inches longer than that of the Audi. In fact, the CT4-V's rear legroom is the worst in this class, and the rear seat is positively cramped for anyone except children or adults of short stature. There's more rear headroom than in the severely restricted CLA 35, and it has to be said that the more traditionally proportioned body makes it easier to get in and out than in a low-slung coupe-style subcompact such as the CLA, though its low ground clearance means there's still quite a step down to get in, compared to a higher-riding crossover. Rearward vision is fair, and you have a standard backup camera and all-round parking sensors to ease maneuvering, although a surround-view monitor is optional.
Aft of the second row, the CT4-V fails to make up ground to its rivals, and its trunk space of 10.7 cubic feet is beaten by most competitors' trunks except for the tiny 8.3-cu-ft in the S3. Trunk volume can be increased by folding down the 60/40-split rear seat, but Cadillac doesn't provide a number for the cargo compartment in this configuration.
In the front cabin, there are two cupholders adjacent to the gear shifter, a wireless charging pad ahead of them, a glove compartment, an under-elbow storage bin in the center console, and decently sized door pockets. Rear-seat passengers don't get door pockets at all, only front seatback packets and two cupholders in the fold-down center armrest.
|Cadillac CT4-V||Audi S3 Sedan||Mercedes-AMG CLA 35|
|38.3 in. front|
36.5 in. rear
|36.8 in. front|
36.6 in. rear
|38.5 in. front |
35.7 in. rear
|42.4 in. front|
33.4 in. rear
|41.2 in. front|
35.2 in. rear
|41.8 in. front |
33.9 in. rear
|10.7 ft³||8.3 ft³||11.6 ft³|
There are only two available interior colors for the CT4-V. The standard Inteluxe leatherette seat upholstery is Jet Black by default, but this color can also be had with the optional $1,500 leather upholstery - which adds a second Sangria color choice, but the leather also requires a list of extras that include the Climate Package, climate-controlled front seats, and more to the tune of around $3k. The steering wheel and its horn pad are trimmed in leather, and the seatbelts are black, but they can be rendered in Torch Red for $400. The $550 Sueded Microfiber Wrapped Interior Trim package finishes the headliner, A and B pillars, and sunvisors in faux suede, but requires similar extras as the leather seats.
Standard equipment is fairly comprehensive, but the loss of leather upholstery as fitted to Premium Luxury CT4s will be bemoaned by some, while the absence of front-seat heating is unacceptable at this price level, as is the lack of a sunroof, in many's view. Be that as it may, the performance front bucket seats are 18-way powered, the driver has memory settings, and standard features include remote start, keyless entry and go with push-button start, a manually tilting/telescoping steering wheel clad in leather, dual-zone climate control, and a rash of V-specific performance features, such as adaptive suspension. You pay extra for heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and faux-suede interior trim.
The infotainment system is fully featured, but its eight-inch touchscreen is smaller than is the current norm, and you don't get a 12-inch digital gauge cluster with it unless you dip into the options list. As standard, it gets wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two USB ports, connected apps, voice recognition, and a 14-speaker Bose audio system, but you pay extra for the Technology package ($1,350) that adds that digital gauge cluster and a head-up display, while the Navigation package ($2,100) adds navigation with available real-time traffic alerts.
|18-way powered leatherette front seats|
|Heated and ventilated front seats|
|12.3-inch digital gauge cluster|
|Eight-inch touchscreen with wireless smartphone mirroring|
|14-speaker Bose audio system|
Performance figures are good, but the big four-pot lacks character and aural refinement. The RWD car's ride and handling are superb, but the AWD is a letdown by comparison.
The Cadillac CT4-V's engine is a turbocharged 2.7-liter inline four-cylinder similar to the one in the Chevy Silverado truck. It banks on plenty of boost and mid-range punch to deliver its outputs of 325 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque, but it's neither a charismatic unit nor an exuberant revver, issuing rather industrial noises when pushed. The only available transmission is a ten-speed automatic; the six-speed manual available on the CT4-V Blackwing isn't offered here. Rear-wheel drive is the default, but all-wheel drive is a $500 option, while a mechanical limited-slip rear differential is standard. The engine provides strong performance and, when using the launch-control function, ensures that the RWD Cadillac CT4-V's 0-60 sprint is dispatched in a swift 4.8 seconds (4.9 seconds with AWD). Top speed is listed as 156 mph. This being a sports model, trailering is not on the cards, with no factory tow hitch available and no towing capacity specified.
It might not have the power or performance of the Blackwing, but the CT4-V is still a mighty fine driver's car, with performance that matches that of its key rivals and the excellent Alpha platform of the Camaro ensuring excellent handling dynamics. In terms of driving pleasure, there's a clear winner, and it's the RWD CT4-V. It feels fleet of foot and changes direction with alacrity in response to the quick and accurate steering, even if the tiller doesn't provide much feel. The sharp steering is assisted by the excellent Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension that expertly balances comfort and precision, dispensing with bumps instantly and keeping body roll in check. The powerful Brembo brakes add immeasurably to driver confidence. The engine sounds hoarse but delivers the goods, and the ten-speed auto is incredible for its ability to hook the right gear, obviating the need to use the steering paddles all the time. The whole experience is watered down somewhat in the AWD car, its passive dampers making for a mediocre ride with none of the depth and adjustability of the superb magnetic dampers in the RWD car. It's difficult to launch, and the extra weight blunts its responses and keenness to dance. It doesn't feel like a proper V, and we'd avoid it in favor of the RWD V or a regular AWD CT4.
The Cadillac CT4-V's mpg figures are nothing special, even if the EPA's city/highway/combined estimates of 20/29/23 mpg for the RWD car seem decent enough. The AWD car loses out by 1 mpg on the highway only and has the same gas mileage of 23 mpg combined - a figure that is beaten by every rival in this class, even those with AWD - by between 1 and 4 mpg. An ample 17.4-gallon fuel capacity is more than the rest can offer, though, and ensures that you'll still get a range of around 400 miles on a tank.
|2.7L Turbo Inline-4 Gas |
RWD or AWD
|20 / 29 / 23 mpg - RWD |
20 / 28 / 23 mpg - AWD
|4.8 seconds - RWD |
4.9 seconds - AWD
Though there aren't any crash scores, there are eight airbags and a long list of driver assists, with a surround-view monitor with a recording function optionally available.
There isn't an NHTSA or IIHS safety review of the Cadillac CT4-V, but it comes with eight airbags, a modern crash structure, all the federally mandated safety features such as ABS, stability control, tire-pressure monitoring, a high-definition backup camera, and a host of driver aids. These include front and rear parking sensors, pedestrian detection, front and rear automatic braking, hill-start assist, lane-keep assist, lane-change alert, adaptive cruise control, automatic LED headlights with auto high beams, rain-sensing windshield wipers, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.
The $250 Lighting package adds LED front cornering lights and LED front turn signals, but the other safety features can only be had as part of either of the two expensive Super Cruise packages. Super Cruise 1 ($3,700) adds hands-free Super Cruise driving on compatible roads, in addition to a surround-view monitor with a recording function and a 12-inch digital gauge cluster. Super Cruise 2 ($8,100) adds to Super Cruise 1's features with navigation, a head-up display, heated front seats, the Lighting package, and a heated steering wheel.
|Adaptive cruise control|
|Automatic braking with pedestrian detection|
|Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving tech|
|Surround-view monitor with recording|
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
There is no JD Power reliability rating for the Cadillac CT4-V, but if the car's recall history is anything to go by, reliability should be good. The 2023 model has so far not been recalled at all, while the 2022 CT4-V was recalled only twice, for curtain airbags that may not deploy properly and for running lights that may not deactivate.
The warranty of the 2023 Cadillac CT4-V provides peace of mind, with generous coverage in the USA. The limited warranty is valid for four years/50,000 miles, the powertrain warranty for six years/70,000 miles, and the rust-through warranty for six years/unlimited mileage. One year's included scheduled maintenance is also part of the deal.
The CT4-V doesn't look ostentatious or overdone, and its sporty styling cues are tastefully integrated into the overall design. It runs on 18-inch alloys, though larger 19s are offered, while the subtle body kit hints at its performance potential, and the mesh front intakes and vertical daytime running lights add some purposefulness. Four aggressive trapezoidal exhausts are integrated into the black rear diffuser panel, and there's a body-color decklid spoiler, which can be exchanged for a bigger black item at extra cost. The $2,395 Onyx package comes with black 19-inch wheels and black mirror caps, but these items can also be had separately. The V doesn't come with a sunroof, but it's a $1,050 option.
The Cadillac CT4-V is an excellent subcompact performance sedan, but the competition is tough in this sector, and cars such as the Audi S3, Mercedes-AMG CLA, and BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe feel more premium for the same money and offer more stylish interiors with bigger touchscreens. The Caddy is bigger than these cars, but the extra acreage has gone to waste, as its rear seat and trunk are small, so this is a missed opportunity to provide better practicality, in our opinion. What sets the CT4-V apart is its RWD chassis and superb ride and handling in this configuration with those trick dampers. Besides the Alfa Romeo Giulia, it's the only other car of this size to provide such traditional RWD driving purity, so it should remain on your shopping list if you love driving, rather than being driven. Just be warned that the AWD model loses all the magic that makes the RWD CT4-V so special.
The most popular competitors of 2023 Cadillac CT4-V: