When Cadillac released the ATS-V and CTS-V, America experienced a renaissance in locally-produced sport sedans: these were cars that could genuinely compete with class-leading vehicles from BMW and Mercedes-AMG. The 2020 Cadillac CT5-V, then, has some big shoes to fill, and unfortunately falls a bit short of competing with big names such as the BMW M3, but instead sets its sights on the Audi S4, Mercedes-AMG C43, and BMW M340i. Under the hood, you'll find a gas-powered 360-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 and a chassis that tries to strike a balance between performance and comfort, but the latter ends up taking preference. This all-new machine gets some decent features and is a capable performer, but is it enough to scare the big dogs? With the price of the 2020 Cadillac CT-5 V sedan falling shy of its direct rivals, it does at least present as good value for money.
The 2020 CT5-V is an all-new first-generation model from the US manufacturer, as is the CT5 on which it's based. While in size, it straddles the line between a 3 Series and a midsize 5 Series sedan, it's not even a genuine replacement for the ATS-V or CTS-V, instead occupying a performance middle ground that more directly replaces the old CTS V-Sport. Under the hood, it gets a twin-turbo 3.0-liter 6-cylinder and a 10-speed automatic gearbox, sending power to either the rear wheels or all corners.
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3.0L Turbo V6 Gas
The 2020 model year Cadillac CT5-V misses out on the excellent Blackwing twin-turbocharged V8 engine and instead gets a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine developing 360 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard, as is a ten-speed automatic transmission, but AWD is optionally available. This engine offers minimal turbo lag and a strong surge of power that will get you over the legal speed limit faster than you're likely to realize - 0 to 60 takes just 4.9 seconds.
Those expecting a new and improved ATS-V will be disappointed: the CT5-V is no M3 fighter, not by a long shot, but then again, it doesn't carry the same cost, either. The new V-badged contender left us a little underwhelmed when we found out about its 360 hp output and auto-only transmission option, but the CT5-V does not pretend to be a hardcore sports sedan. Yes, it has a finely balanced chassis and beautiful handling dynamics, but it's far from being as focused as an Audi S4 or BMW M340i. Do note that we're not saying it's slow; this car hauls booty. Another disappointing aspect is the interior, which lacks the polish of its German rivals, and lets down a handsomely styled exterior. It doesn't help that the trunk is small too. If you can overlook the few faults this car has, you're still left with a competent performance vehicle that will keep you comfortable on a daily basis and entertain when asked to.
There aren't many options to review for the 2020 Cadillac CT5-V with just a single trim on offer for 2020, so we'd look at the options list for some added personalization. Firstly we'd get ours in Shadow Metallic for that extra stealthy look, but we'd keep the stock wheels, and they look mean enough. On the inside, leather upholstery raises the cabin up a notch or two in terms of luxury and refinement. The Driver Awareness Package adds some much-needed driver assistance tech, and individual options such as a Bose 15-speaker sound system and a head-up display will also make the list.
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