The 2022 Cadillac CT4-V may not have the firepower of the previous ATS-V or the new CT4-V Blackwing, but don't be too quick to write it off. Compared to the discontinued ATS-V with 464 horsepower, the CT4-V's tame 325 hp seems like an immediate step in the wrong direction. It is only when you take a step back to examine Cadillac's larger plan that the lack of power starts to make sense. The 2022 Cadillac CT4-V and its large sibling, the CT5-V, were not direct replacements for the ATS-V and CTS-V. In fact, both have now been surpassed by the new Blackwing models.
Without the Blackwing's performance credentials or the CT5's size, the CT4-V is the brand's most attainable performance sedan in the US. While it technically offers similar space as the old ATS-V, the turbocharged four-cylinder under the hood means this is a V model that competes less with the M3s and C63s of the world and more with smaller competition in the likes of the Mercedes-AMG CLA35 and Audi S3. The 2.7-liter turbo four-cylinder unit produces 325 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque, all of which is controlled by a 10-speed automatic that sends power to the rear wheels in standard configuration or to all four if you're willing to spend around two grand more. Is it worthy of the "V" nomenclature? Our Cadillac CT4-V review of an AWD model aims to answer that question.
Last year, the CT4-V received upgrades to its infotainment systems and some new features. This year, the big news revolves around the availability of Cadillacs semi-autonomous Super Cruise driver-assistance technology, which is bundled with various other luxury and tech features in either of two newly available packages - Super Cruise 1 and Super Cruise 2. Still on the inside, the V loses its physical tuning and volume knobs that used to be situated below the infotainment screen. Standard equipment has been improved with the addition of the Driver Awareness Plus Package and the Driver Assist Package (which includes adaptive cruise control). Blaze Orange Metallic is added to the paint palette this year and several other colors disappear.
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2.7L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
Since the CT4-V rides on the same Alpha platform as the Camaro, we weren't surprised to find that it drives exceptionally well. The steering is direct and precise, and the chassis feels playful and connected when you push it through corners. Opting for the V model gets you GM's fabulous Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension. Sadly, when you opt for AWD like our tester, this is deleted. With fixed ZF passive dampers, the CT4-V's ride feels lackluster and the AWD system feels like it strips away more fun than it adds. We can tell there is still an enjoyable platform here, but opting for AWD limited our pleasure considerably. Driving enthusiasts should stick to RWD, while buyers with weather concerns might as well opt for the standard CT4 with AWD, as it seems silly to get the V model with four driven wheels.
The brakes are also very good, as you'd expect from Brembo units, with good initial bite and easy modulation whether slowing to a sudden stop or just stopping in traffic. In addition, you can get the discs lined in a fade-resistant coating that helps with both short- and long-term responses. This makes them easier to use in traffic than carbon-ceramics, which need heat to operate effectively and are also notoriously expensive. Overall, the CT4-V is comfortable, smooth, athletic, and well-balanced. The only downside is a slight weight problem, which you'll only really notice if you drive something like a CLA 35 or S3 just before or after a run in the Caddy. What is telling is that the CT4-V is now compared to these smaller, lesser models from a performance perspective, whereas the ATS-V it technically replaces was always a bona fide M3 rival. Since the CT4-V is the only RWD-based vehicle in that class, it could lure in some driving enthusiasts who don't want to pony up for the larger options.
The CT4-V is competitively priced for the segment in which it competes. It's also a solid performer with very attractive styling, a classy interior, respectable fuel economy, great handling, and many safety features. The Camaro's rear-drive platform that underpins this car has made it an absolute delight to drive, and the gearbox - when in Sport mode at least - is a perfect companion for the boosted four-cylinder motor. We simply can not recommend this car with all-wheel-drive, as it loses one of the components that make it a great-driving sports sedan.
As an entry-level luxury sedan though, it's less compelling. Despite being longer than rivals, it's no more spacious nor more practical. It's also a little concerning that many of the niceties on the options list are just that - options. With that said, Audi, Mercedes-AMG, and BMW aren't exactly known for cramming everything into one car unless they're going to make the base price accordingly high, and the CT4-V is more affordable than the likes of a CLA 35 when both cars are fully loaded with options. We think that options like the CLA and 2 Series GC feel more premium than the Caddy, but neither offers the same level of driving purity. For enthusiasts who value the driving experience over other concerns, the CT4-V is an intriguing option.
In terms of raw power, the brand-new Audi S3 is beaten by the Caddy here, with the 2.0-liter four-pot in the German producing 306 hp and 295 lb-ft, which is 85 lb-ft less torque than the Caddy manages but it does have a considerably smaller engine. However, the Audi sprints to 60 mph in a faster 4.5 seconds. The Audi is also cheaper to buy, and scores significantly better economy figures, with 23/32/27 mpg. However, the Audi's all-wheel-drive system is your only option, so no power sliding in the S3, and the trunk is smaller at 10 cubes. Still, it can justify this by managing to keep weight down, with the Caddy weighing around 300 pounds more in AWD guise. That makes the S3 more eager to change direction. The new S3 is not only more powerful and fuel-efficient than the old one, but also very refined and faster than the Caddy, despite its power deficit. The 2022 CT4-V has the upper hand in standard driver-assistance features though. It is close-run, but the Cadillac offers better value and the Audi a more modern package.
Another German competitor to the American newcomer is Mercedes-AMG's CLA. A '45' version is available with more power, but the CT4-V is best suited to doing battle against the CLA 35. Despite it being smaller, the Merc is $2,000 more expensive than the Caddy. The Merc produces a respectable 302 horses and 295 lb-ft of twist, but, like the S3, no rear-wheel-drive option is available. Its economy figures are almost identical to those of the CT4-V too, but the Caddy has the biggest gas tank of the lot, so you'll get more range than the Mercedes, but no more than the more thrifty Audi. The Merc wins in terms of cargo volume, but only just. 11.6 cubic feet worth of space is available behind the rear seats, and the stunning interior with its dual screens is worth buying the car on its own. The CLA also boasts a panoramic sunroof. Overall, the CLA 35 is a better car in every metric. The only reason to skip it and opt for the Caddy would be brand preference, personal taste in terms of the styling, or the Caddy's more generous standard safety spec.
The most popular competitors of 2022 Cadillac CT4-V: