Drive: Cadillac 2020 CT4 offers plenty of luxury and refinement
There’s something reassuring about seeing the Cadillac crest on a fairly diverse collection of sedans. It’s as if the old Sedan de Ville, Coupe de Ville, Fleetwood, Eldorado and Seville were still with us. Today, Cadillac offers no fewer than six sedan models, all with “CT” prefixes and numerical suffixes. They’re built in Lansing, Mich., where Cadillac has been assembling cars since 2001. Cadillac’s nomenclature may not be quite as sexy as those French and Spanish names implied, but the Cadillac crest still signals power, luxury and quality on every vehicle that wears it.
While some automakers are curtailing or even abandoning sedans, Cadillac remains fully committed. The CT series runs from the midsize CT4 — the model we test-drove this month — to the big CT6. Within each line lurks the “V” trim, denoting high power and sporty handling.
The base 2020 CT4 replaces the ATS and starts at $32,995. The base CT4 is no slouch where luxury and refinement are concerned. Its standard features include acoustic windshield and side glass to cut wind noise; leatherette upholstery; a 237-horsepower turbocharged inline Four; 8-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive; 8-inch color touchscreen; satellite radio; and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.
Our test car was a high-end Premium Luxury CT4 that carried a sticker price of $49,665. It featured a more powerful engine, 10-speed automatic gearbox, all-wheel drive, leather upholstery, navigation system, adaptive cruise control, heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warnings, and lane-keep assist. We were disappointed to note that the latter safety systems cost $800 extra even in Premium Luxury trim, and are unavailable in base models. Adaptive cruise control, another desirable safety feature, came with the $1,200 Driver Assist Package.
Engine choices range from 237 horsepower in the base CT4 to 325 horsepower in the CT4-V.
We were surprised to discover the CT4 had a number of similarities to the Genesis G70, a Hyundai luxury spinoff — not all of them to the good. Both cars have ample room in the front seat, but skimpy trunk space and tight quarters for rear-seat passengers. We were able to slide a set of men’s golf clubs in the CT4’s trunk without difficulty, however.
In other qualities that matter, the CT4 delivered a pleasing combination of sport and luxury. The 310-horsepower engine was quiet and moved the car effortlessly. The car’s ride was on the soft side, yet it handled well and could be adjusted for sportier characteristics. Its Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system was supple and easy to operate. We were especially impressed by the car’s fuel economy. Remember those 300-horsepower, V-8-powered Cadillacs of old, that delivered 12 mpg on a good day? Rated at 20 mpg city, 28 highway, our CT4 exceeded 32 mpg in mostly highway driving. Cadillac recommends, but does not require, premium unleaded gasoline.
While sedans have declined in popularity, the luxury midsize sedan segment remains competitive. The major players are the Acura TLX, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Jaguar XE, Audi A4, Lexus ES, Infiniti Q50, Lincoln MKZ and Volvo S60.
2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury
Engine: 2.7-liter turbocharged inline Four, 310 horsepower, 350 lb.-ft. torque
Transmission: 10-speed shiftable automatic
Weight: 3,461 lb.
Suspension: MacPherson strut front, multi-link rear
Wheels: 18-in. alloy with sterling silver painted finish
Tires: P235/40R18 all-season
Seating capacity: 5
Luggage capacity: 10.7 cu. ft.
Fuel capacity: 17.4 gal.
Fuel economy: 20 mpg city, 28 mpg highway
Fuel type: premium unleaded gasoline (recommended)
Steven Macoy (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a longtime car enthusiast and full-time editor who lives in Bethel.