2023 Cadillac CT5

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2023 Cadillac CT5 Review: Big Where It Counts

The Cadillac CT5 arrived in the USA as a 2020 model after three generations of CTS, sitting on an evolution of the CTS's GM Alpha platform. But it's not an easy car to pigeonhole. Classified as a compact luxury sedan, the new Cadillac CT5 is as big on the outside as the mid-size Camry - and bigger than rivals such as the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and Genesis G70. But buyers want brand prestige and luxury finishes, not necessarily a large car, prompting Cadillac to develop a proper compact in the form of the ATS. But the ATS was never replaced after 2019, so it's up to the larger CT5 once again to battle it out in the compact class. At a $38k starting price, the 2023 Cadillac CT5 does look like an awful lot of car for the money then. And with outputs that range from 237 to 335 horsepower and a RWD drivetrain, the under-the-skin engineering seems to support its sporty aspirations. But is it better than a 3 Series, and does its size hamstring its prospects or give it an unexpected edge?

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 8 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 10 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
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2023 Cadillac CT5 Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 CT5?

Cadillac has left the 2023 CT5 virtually untouched and only adds three new paint colors this year: Argent Silver Metallic, Midnight Steel Metallic, and Radiant Red Tintcoat. Five colors from last year's palette have been discontinued: Satin Steel, Garnet, Velocity Red, Shadow, and Diamond Sky. Some changes are also made to the interior options, trim, and color availability, while the options and packages have also seen a tweak here and there.

Pros and Cons

  • Attractive styling
  • Lots of tech and safety features
  • High-value starting price
  • Powerful V6 engine
  • Available Super Cruise
  • Base 2.0-liter lacks verve
  • Small trunk
  • Tight rear headroom
  • Lacks a premium cabin

What's the Price of the 2023 Cadillac CT5?

The base price of the new Cadillac CT5 sedan is $38,195, and that is for the Luxury trim. After that comes the Premium Luxury at $42,695 and the Sport at $43,895. These prices are for the RWD configurations with the base 2.0-liter engine. Adding AWD on the Luxury costs $2,000, and adding it to the Premium Luxury will cost you $3,090 because it also requires the Climate package. Adding it to the Sport will cost you $2,600 because it goes with the Cold Weather package instead. The V6 engine adds $4,590 to the price of a Premium Luxury. These prices for the Cadillac CT5 are MSRP and don't include the $1,395 destination fee.

Best Deals on 2023 Cadillac CT5

2023 Cadillac CT5 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Premium Luxury
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Cadillac CT5 Trims and Specs

2023 Cadillac CT5 Handling and Driving Impressions

Whereas the V and Blackwing models are proper performance sedans that can trade blows with the best from Europe (we review these models separately), the regular CT5 is a totally different kettle of fish and doesn't feel like a sport sedan. It's not sloppy, and the well-judged damping and precise steering response will see it corner with more composure than you expect, but it does lean more and doesn't feel nearly as athletic as a V - or a 3 Series, for that matter. Stable and predictable, yes, but fun - not quite. It's very comfortably sprung while being smooth and silent on the move, but don't expect the rabid corner carver the reputation of performance trims might have led you to expect of the regular CT5. The base four-cylinder is a lot slower than similarly engined rivals, but the V6 is smooth and punchy, though it still won't keep up with a four-cylinder 330i. Rather sit back and enjoy the refined ride and utterly unobtrusive and smooth-shifting ten-speed auto.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Cadillac CT5 A Good Car?

The regular CT5 lives in the shadow of its brilliant V and Blackwing sports models and fails to inspire or ignite the senses. It's as anodyne as the performance flagships are exhilarating and, unlike a 3 Series that carries its brand ethos and sporty genes to all trims in the lineup, the normal Cadillac CT5 we review here feels like a different car altogether by comparison. It has value going for it, is very comfortable and quiet, and comes with very good rear legroom, but the interior is not as premium as those of European rivals. The trunk is also disappointingly small, considering the size of the body. Things get a lot sharper with the Sport trim's available magnetic dampers and V Performance package, but that's not enough to push it to the front of the line.

What 2023 Cadillac CT5 Model Should I Buy?

The base engine is disappointing, so we wouldn't consider the Luxury or the Sport, which doesn't act as its name would imply at all. The Premium Luxury with the V6 engine and RWD will do nicely and brings a satisfying turn of speed to the CT5, in addition to desirable features such as leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control, ambient lighting, automatic high beams, and front parking sensors. We think it has all the important features and driver assists, and not adding extras keeps you under $48k, at which point the car makes the most sense within the CT5 range.

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