Having technically replaced the ATS, the 2021 Cadillac CT4 continues to be a symbol of the new era of Cadillac, since it is the entry point to the brand. The first-gen model is a big improvement on the stuffy old cars from the US automaker, with a more athletic and contemporary design philosophy as well as two turbocharged inline-4 engines with access to up to 310 horsepower. Riding on the revised Alpha II platform, the CT4 sedan boasts improved handling and ride comfort. This sets it up to challenge the Mercedes-CLA Class, BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe, even though it's closer in size to the larger C-Class and 3 Series. This means it has more power than the smaller competition, but a more appealing price tag than the rivals who outmuscle it. Will this novelty be enough to draw attention away from the Europeans, though?
For 2021, the CT4 receives quite a few updates, despite having only been released the year before. These include some really nice modern touches like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. You can also option on the new Super Cruise function. On the Premium Luxury and Sport models receive a larger 12-inch digital instrument cluster, and the Sky Special Edition emboldens the Premium Luxury with a sporty body kit, upgraded interior and exterior trim, and performance Brembo brakes.
See trim levels and configurations:
The Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport trims come with the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine as standard. While no slouch, this power plant develops only 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It comes mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, which sends outputs to either a rear- or all-wheel drivetrain, Overall performance is adequate, if not thrilling, but getting up to highway speed is quick and easy, and overtaking takes little effort. There is room for improvement, though, especially if you want to go toe to toe with the Germans.
To get the most out of your 2021 CT4, you'll want the 2.7-liter turbo-4 gas engine, which is good for 310 hp and 350 lb-ft. It's only available on the Premium Luxury model, so you'll need to be willing to pay. It's a significant improvement, though, enabling a 0-60 mph sprint time of just 4.8 seconds. It gets the 10-speed auto box, which gives you a few more ratios to play with and better manage fuel economy, but the lack of refinement means that it sometimes fumbles when selecting the right gear for the situation.
Cadillac has seen its reputation dragged through the mud in recent years, with serious issues revolving around the quality and reliability of its cars. Luckily, that time has passed, and the latest offerings from the brand have done a lot to restore some of the brand's sheen. Apart from the very-popular crossover and SUV nameplates, the latest lineup of sedans is impressive, too. With its 'tweener size and choice of two very competent engines, the CT4 sedan is well-positioned to compete with the German brands on multiple fronts. However, it still falls short in several areas, such as interior quality and luxury, and overall refinement. That said, it is still a great 4-door vehicle.
There is no safety rating review of the 2021 Cadillac CT4, but the addition of even more advanced driver-assistance features for the new year should help to alleviate any concerns. That's not to say it's perfect. Apart from the sub-par cabin quality, the rear seats are not as spacious as they could be. It's also not as engaging to drive, though it does come close. If you're not a fan of the European brands, and want something a bit more local, this is one of the better options in this segment and price range.
If you're buying a 2021 Caddy CT4, then you would be doing yourself a disservice by not getting the best driving experience you can. That's what the sedan is all about, after all. For that reason, we suggest getting the Premium Luxury with the 2.7L turbo four-pot. It's the engine we're really after, but this is the only trim that allows you to spec it. Unless you really need AWD to deal with poor road conditions, we'd stick with the RWD, but we would add the Driver Assist and Driver Awareness Plus packages for the additional safety features they bring. The price of the 2021 Cadillac CT4 sedan with these added specs will come to $45,745 before destination fees.
The most popular competitors of 2021 Cadillac CT4:
Check out some informative Cadillac CT4 video reviews below.