Sporty 2020 Cadillac CT4-V Joins Luxury Lineup

Sporty 2020 Cadillac CT4-V Joins Luxury Lineup

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By adding its new compact CT4, Cadillac is looking to replace the ATS as it realigns its sedan lineup this fall.

The first look we’re getting of the new compact luxury sedan is the high-performance version, dubbed the CT4-V. Additional, more mainstream, versions will follow in Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport trims.

Cadillac is withholding details on the rest of the CT4 line until closer to the on-sale date early next year, shortly after the debut of the midsized CT5. However, there are enough images and details about the CT4-V to get a fairly clear picture of what this car will be like. 

Here’s what we know so far:

Outside

The CT4 looks like it is straight from the same design team that penned the outgoing ATS and CTS. That is to say, it looks like a modern Cadillac, complete with giant vertical LED headlights and crisp lines. The face is distinguished by the signature mesh grille design used on all V-Series models.

The rear pillars are sharply angled and give the sedan a coupelike profile. The creases in the trunk lid create a sophisticated shape, where most decklids are simply flat. The CT4-V is distinguished by its four exhaust tips.

The dimensions for the CT4 are similar to those of the ATS sedan. It’s about 4 inches longer, riding on a similar 109-inch wheelbase.

Inside

The five-passenger CT4-V interior features deeply sculpted bucket seats, lots of leather surfaces, and color accent stitching throughout. Two traditional gauges (tachometer and speedometer) flank the center information display. The large, center-dash screen houses the latest Cadillac infotainment system, promising improvements over the previous frustrating Cue system.

There is an electronic gear selector, as in other newer Cadillacs and competitors. Enthusiasts will note the paddle shifters behind the steering wheel that enable the driver to manually override the transmission.

What Drives It

The CT4-V is powered by a 2.7-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing a Cadillac-estimated 320 hp. The company estimates peak torque to be 369 lb.-ft. at 1,800 rpm.

We expect the regular CT4 to use a less powerful turbocharged four-cylinder, such as the 237-hp, 2.0-liter powerplant planned for the CT5.

Safety and Driver-Assist Systems

Cadillac has not announced the advanced safety equipment for the CT4. We do know that the CT5 will include forward collision warning, city-speed automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and a safety alert seat that vibrates to warn the driver when needed. However, the XT4 SUV made these kinds of safety features part of some option packages or on more expensive trims.

GM’s Super Cruise, a partially automated system that maintains steering and speed control, is confirmed as an option for the CT4. This driver-assist system has impressed us on the CT6 for its ability to balance partial automation with trying to ensure that drivers are paying attention to the road. Such systems are not self-driving and require drivers to pay constant attention.

CR’s Take

Cadillac’s ATS was a capable sports sedan with enjoyable handling. But its appeal was dampened by its frustrating controls, uneven power delivery, and cramped quarters. The ATS did not find favor with owners—both its owner satisfaction and reliability, based on our surveys, are below average.

The CT4 is slightly bigger. If it can preserve the fun-to-drive handling and improve on interior comfort while simplifying the controls, it will be a good step forward. Like the ATS, the CT4 will compete in the entry-level luxury category, which is largely filled with front-wheel-drive models. Its rear-drive platform sets it up to deliver driving dynamics that should appeal to enthusiasts.

We look forward to seeing whether the CT4 lives up to its potential when we buy one to test.



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