Caraganza First Drive Review 2020 Cadillac CT5 Premium: What day is this?

 

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We are living in such confusing times. Few of us commute anymore. Instead, we work from home. Leaving the house only on a rare occasion. One day runs into the next: Monday? Friday? Who cares?

It’s an even more confusing time for me. Truth is I’m at the age where I sometimes can’t remember why I came into the kitchen.  What day is it? Heck, I gave up trying to figure that out months ago.

Cadillac certainly isn’t helping.

Yes, I still get vehicles to test every week. And yes, for the record, I’m still grateful to of course. And yes, despite my lack of commuting time I still find time to put out and put miles on them.

Cadillac is making it somewhat difficult, however. You see, in the last month Cadillac has sent me several vehicles, the XT4, a very nice SUV, and the CT4-V a high performance mid-sized luxury sedan. I liked both very much.

Then they decided to send me the CT5 for a recent week. Suddenly it was like I was all Cadillac, all the time.

But that’s not a bad thing.

The entire CTS lineup is new for 2020. It replaces the ATS line. Instead of simply replacing the ATS however, the Cadillac people (smart people by the way), branched out to two different variants, the CTS-4, and the CTS-5.  A few weeks ago, I had a turn with the CTS-4, the V model which has a bit more under the hood. For my most recent week it was the CT-5, the bigger model.

I was confused.

Would the CT-5 be any better than the CT-4 with the extra horses? Would they be the same? Different? Could I even tell?

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Sigh.

The 2020 CT5 comes in three trim levels: Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport.

Like the CT-4, the base, Luxury, CT-5 is nicely equipped with dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, and a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. Tech includes a 10-inch infotainment display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot atop 18-inch alloy wheels. The standard driver assist features include automatic emergency braking and Teen Driver mode.

Moving up to the Premium Luxury and Sport basically opens you up to a list of options like the Platinum package I had on my Premium Luxury tester which added leather and front, heated, ventilated and lumbar massage seats with 18-way adjustability. The package also has upgraded leather-trimmed armrests and center console, carbon fiber trim and a thicker-rimmed steering wheel with magnesium paddle shifters and alloy pedals. Other options I had included a heads-up display, adaptive cruise control, and lane assist. There was also navigation, Bose premium audio, a heated steering wheel, and a Driver Awareness package with automatic high beams, a following distance indicator, and an 8-inch color gauge cluster.

Sadly, my tester didn’t have the “Super Cruise” driver assistance feature that lets you drive hands-free on more than 130,000 miles of limited-access freeways in the U.S. and Canada, using LiDAR map data, high-precision GPS, a state-of-the-art driver attention system and a network of camera and radar sensors. Being old school, I’m not sure if I would have had the guts to try it out, so it’s just as well.

My tester did have the wireless charging and a cool feature that will automatically pair your phone via Bluetooth the first time you get in. Not that it’s all that difficult to do for someone who changes cars every week, but a nice feature, nonetheless.

Under the hood the standard offering on the CT-5 is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder powerplant paired with a 10-speed transmission with 237 horses and 258-foot pounds of torque. My tester had the optional 3.0-liter turbo V6 with 335 horsepower and 400 lb.-ft of torque. All wheel drive in another opting, rear wheel drive is standard.

As with the CT-4, the CT-5 looks great on the outside, and the interior is a very nice place to be. Since the CT-5 is bigger than the CT-4 (116-inch wheelbase as opposed to 109.3) there is a bit more room inside. And I liked that very much. On the road I didn’t notice too much of a difference. The CT-5 with its 3.0-liter V6 and its 335 seemed just a zippy and responsive as the CT-4 with the 325 horse 2.7 liter 4-cylinder.  That seemed a bit well, confusing, to me at first until I did a little digging. The CT-4 I had just a couple of weeks ago was the V model with a base curb weight of 3975 pounds. The non-V CT-5 comes in at 3660 pounds for the rear-wheel-drive model. A bit lighter with nearly identical horsepower and torque; makes sense.  There is a CT-5 V with things such Brembo brakes, performance chassis and other high-performance addons, but with the same 3.0 engines. Sure, I miss the old ATS-V these replaced with the 3.6-liter V-6 Twin-Turbocharged engine with 464 horses under the hood. But there are som
e whispers that a Blackwing variant with just such a thing might be coming.

I could wax poetically for days about all the goodness of the Cadillac. After all, I’m an old school guy who can fondly remember the days when the Caddy was the king on American luxury motoring. And after my weeks with the CT-4 and CT-5 there is little doubt in my mind it still is. At the end of the day, if I had my choice the larger CT-5 would be the one I’d put in my driveway, though I might be tempted to wait on the Blackwing.

Now, if I could just remember what day it is.

The 2020 Cadillac CT-5 Premium Luxury
MSRP: $40,695
MSRP (as tested): $59,395
Engine (as tested): 3.0-liter twin turbocharged V6 360 horsepower @ 5400 rpms, 405 lb-ft. pounds torque @2350-4400 rpms.
Transmission: 10-speed shiftable automatic
Fuel Milage (as tested, mixed conditions): 24 mpg
Base Curb Weight: 3660 lbs.

Exterior Dimensions (Ins.)
Wheelbase: 116
Length: 193.8
Width, without mirrors: 74.1
Height: 57.2
Front Track Width: 62.8
Rear Track Width: 63.9

Interior Dimensions (ins.)
Passenger / Seating Capacity: 5
Front Head Room: 39
Front Leg Room: 42.4
Front Shoulder Room: 56.7
Front Hip Room: 53.7
Second Row Head Room: 36.6
Second Row Leg Room: 37.9
Second Row Shoulder Room: 55.7
Second Row Hip Room: 53.7
Trunk Space (cubic feet): 11.9

Warranty
Powertrain: 70,000 Miles 72 Months
Full Warranty: 50,000 Miles 48 Months
Roadside: 70,000 Miles 72 Months

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Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.

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