2020 Cadillac CT5-V One-Day Test Drive
One day is not enough with a car like this.
Some of the staff at Automobile have already driven the 2020 Cadillac CT5-V, but my first sampling entailed a one-day drive of a pre-production CT5-V. Powered by a 360-horsepower, twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, the new CT5-V is smooth and quiet, leaving the "track-ready" edginess for next year's Blackwing version, though the car's rumbly exhaust note initially was a bit distracting.
The new Cadillac V Series, limited to these two sedans for now, are "tweener" cars akin to the entry Mercedes-AMG and BMW M Performance models. The CT5-V's closest Mercedes competitor would be the E53 with the "AMG-enhanced" 3.0-liter turbo I-6, rather than the full-boat AMG E63 S, powered by a hand-built 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8.
Daily Driver Manners
Once underway, the Caddy's twin-turbo V-6 settles in to a low-register rumble. The car is smooth and sufficiently quiet on freeways and city streets, thanks in part to the test car's 19-inch wheels instead of optional 20s, though upgraded, appearance-wise, to a set of 10-spoke "diamond-cut" alloys for a $600 upcharge. While there's a button to disable the stop/start system, there's no need to turn it off. GM continues to have the smoothest, least obtrusive stop/start systems in the business, even when paired to relatively high-performance engines like this.
Engine & Traction Control
Floor the throttle from a full stop and the rear tires momentarily break loose, consistently, until the traction control catches it. Nice. Cadillac has long been a leader among luxury brands, especially compared with Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus, in tuning traction and stability controls to be as unobtrusive as possible, while still being able to catch mistakes before anything untoward happens. Because I had just a few hours to drive the car, I didn't dial up all the traction and stability control variations-the 405 pound-feet could chirp the rear tires even with all the nannies on, in either "sport" or "tour" mode.
Benchmark Steering Quality
Steering, as usual with Cadillac these days, is quick and responsive with excellent feedback. This positive feedback sounds like a broken record by now, but yes, Cadillac benchmarked BMW's steering quality from what must be four or five generations ago, and has stuck with it. BMW itself is only beginning to work its way back to its own standard.
Ride & Handling
As for the chassis itself, which in this test car includes the FE3 magnetic ride suspension, "sport" felt oh-so-slightly stiffer than "tour" on Metro Detroit's beat-up freeways. There was only time to find a couple of halfway decent on- and off-ramps, but from that little exposure, the Cadillac CT5-V turned in nicely, taking in a predictably slight amount of lean and carving its way through neutrally. This midsize sport sedan weighs just under two tons, but manages to feel light on its feet.
At the End of the Day
My seat-of-the-pants guess is that with more time in the car—enough for a drive around Hell, Michigan and its tighter two-lane country roads, at least—I would have had every bit as much fun in this Cadillac sedan as in any sport sedan from Mercedes-AMG or BMW.
2020 Cadillac CT5-V Quick Facts
- 360 horsepower
- 405 lb-ft of torque
- 4.6 seconds 0-60 mph (RWD)
- 3,975-pound curb weight
- $48,690 MSRP, including destination fee
|2020 Cadillac CT5-V Specifications|
|ENGINE||3.0L DOHC 24-valve turbocharged V-6/360 hp @ 5,600 rpm, 405 lb-ft. @ 2,400-4,400 rpm|
|LAYOUT||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, RWD sedan|
|EPA MILEAGE||18/26 mpg (city/hwy)|
|L x W x H||193.8 x 74.1 x 57.2 in|
|0-60 MPH||4.6 sec|