2020 Cadillac CT4 V-Series new car reviews

If you get into a CT4 V-Series expecting the V8 burble of old, you might be disappointed. The CT4 V-Series comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder.

But power output from that 2.7-liter mill is rated at 325 horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque (15 more horsepower and 30 more torques than the Premium Luxury trim) that can be sent to the rear wheels or all four wheels—like our test car—through a 10-speed automatic transmission. It’s like a fancy, four-door Camaro. 

Does this smaller-engined Caddy still live up to V name? You'll have to read our review below.

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David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

The CT4 chassis might be new for 2020 but, yes, it still looks like a traditional Cadillac. Long hood, long lines. The CT4, the smallest sedan in the current Cadillac lineup, replaces the ATS, a model I can barely remember. (Something I just learned by searching for Cadillac ATS: Its predecessor was the Saab-based, Euro-market Cadillac BLS.)

Our CT4 was the performance-minded V-Series: Brembo brakes, summer tires, Magnetic Ride Control dampers and the turbo 2.7-liter engine that makes 325 horsepower along with 380 lb.-ft. of torque.

The engine pulls nicely. Flat torque. No waiting.

There’s some exhaust note, but it’s not something that’s going to stir the soul. Put it in the same class as the Ecoboost Mustang: present but not thrilling. It’s not an LS, not a small-block Ford.

The 10-speed automatic is shifted by a traditional shifter: no buttons, no knob. There are paddle shifters, too.

Around town, the 10-speed auto felt fine, but in all modes, including Track mode, it’s extremely eager to upshift so you find yourself cruising around at 1200 rpm. Even when manually pulled, the downshifts (and upshifts) don’t happen right away, so despite the Track mode, this might not be your next track car.

With better transmission logic, this would be an Audi/BMW/whatever contender. Most customers, though, probably won’t even notice. It’s quick, quiet and comfortable.

Something else that’s a bit traditional: lots o’ buttons for things like the HVAC system. You want to make it warmer or colder, you don't have to navigate a touch screen. The obligatory touch screen is there, but it’s not be able to quickly change the temperature. I’d call the entire interior a near-perfect blend between traditional and modern. Nothing seems dated, but it’s all intuitive. Good, traditional gauges, too.

The chassis feels solid and composed: long wheelbase, good shocks, lots of footprint. Even in Track mode, it’s comfortable. (Hey, it’s still a Cadillac.)

Really good steering wheel, good seat. Not a ton of room in the back, though, but this is still a smaller chassis.

In today's climate, nice to see the Cadillac V-Series machines still out there. I remember when we first heard about the CTS-V. Really, a fast Cadillac? In modern times? Then we drove it. Impressive. Then the supercharged version came along. Fittingly, Cadillac held the press intro at a race track. They were probably smart to add a chicane to the back straight.

Biggest surprise with the new car: Even with AWD, the V-Series package and a grand for destination, our car stickered at $48,615 out the door. In a world where you can drop $65k on a Jeep, that seems like a fair price.

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Shaun
Shaun Dork
9/15/20 10:47 p.m.

I like it!!   Im curious about the big 4 banger...  It makes scene to me that Cadillac back track a little to analogue interfaces for their old retro grouch demographic which of course benefits young retro grouches and nearly all humans generally. 

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
9/15/20 10:49 p.m.

I've seen these on the street and they aren't half bad looking. Better than the Caddy SUV that looks like an XC90 ripoff. 

STM317
STM317 UberDork
9/16/20 7:00 a.m.

Is there a higher spec "V" model coming? 

This car replaced the ATS, and an ATS-V had 464hp/445ft-lbs, was a couple hundred lbs lighter, could be had with a manual trans, and didn't have Cadillac's version of a "Bangle butt" 7 series rear end. If this is the best it's going to get, it seems like downgrades across the board from its predecessor.

Also, if you're going to design a car where there's  only 12" from the base of the rear glass to the trailing edge of the deck lid, it really should be a "lift back" hatch instead of a traditional trunk. What's pictured seems like it would be super difficult to load/unload anything if it's a trunk (as it appears to be).

xflowgolf (Forum Supporter)
xflowgolf (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
9/16/20 8:55 a.m.
STM317 said:

Is there a higher spec "V" model coming? 

This car replaced the ATS, and an ATS-V had 464hp/445ft-lbs, was a couple hundred lbs lighter, could be had with a manual trans, and didn't have Cadillac's version of a "Bangle butt" 7 series rear end. If this is the best it's going to get, it seems like downgrades across the board from its predecessor.

Also, if you're going to design a car where there's  only 12" from the base of the rear glass to the trailing edge of the deck lid, it really should be a "lift back" hatch instead of a traditional trunk. What's pictured seems like it would be super difficult to load/unload anything if it's a trunk (as it appears to be).

Yup that still bothers me.  The higher spec hot rod "V" model will be rebranded to "Blackwing".  The Blackwing is also a new engine... which they have discontinued... and won't be used in Blackwing models. 

So now they've not only ruined the pedigree of "V" that they had spent three model generations building, they've named their top spec model after a new branding of an engine name they won't use in the car and already axed.  #foreheadslap

It seems like a solid car overall in and of itself, but calling it anything other than a V-sport is just cringe-worthy.  

Duke
Duke MegaDork
9/16/20 12:00 p.m.

In reply to xflowgolf (Forum Supporter) :

That all sounds like typical GM behavior.

So, to complete the profile, as soon as they get all the bugs worked out of this car, they will cancel it?

 

Placemotorsports
Placemotorsports Reader
9/16/20 12:16 p.m.

Hopefully they don't play out the "V" the way BMW has branded the "M" on every model car although they aren't really "M" cars.

xflowgolf (Forum Supporter)
xflowgolf (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
9/16/20 12:53 p.m.
Placemotorsports said:

Hopefully they don't play out the "V" the way BMW has branded the "M" on every model car although they aren't really "M" cars.

too late

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
9/16/20 4:00 p.m.

Cadillac's calling everything a CT-something is also pretty weird branding. The ETC was the Eldorado Touring Coupe, the STS was the Seville Touring Sedan, and so on. There were two Cadillacs with C model names prior to the the name realignment - the Cimarron and Cattera. So, are we dealing with nostalgia for "Best of all, it's a Cadillac" or "The Caddy that Zigs" here?

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
10/6/20 12:50 p.m.
STM317 said:

Is there a higher spec "V" model coming? 

This car replaced the ATS, and an ATS-V had 464hp/445ft-lbs, was a couple hundred lbs lighter, could be had with a manual trans, and didn't have Cadillac's version of a "Bangle butt" 7 series rear end. If this is the best it's going to get, it seems like downgrades across the board from its predecessor.

Also, if you're going to design a car where there's  only 12" from the base of the rear glass to the trailing edge of the deck lid, it really should be a "lift back" hatch instead of a traditional trunk. What's pictured seems like it would be super difficult to load/unload anything if it's a trunk (as it appears to be).

Some variation on Bangle Butt is forced on modern cars by rear end crash regulations instituted because there are so many trucks and SUVs on the roads now.

STM317
STM317 UberDork
10/6/20 1:35 p.m.

In reply to GCrites80s :

I loves me an integrated, duck tail spoiler. But the different surfaces that I've highlighted don't mesh in anyway. The bumper cover has sharply carved indents, while the trunk lid has a rounded, contoured edge that makes the whole panel protrude away from the body and appear as if it's molded play-doh, or a cap that's been placed over the actual trunk lid. The shape of the opening could probably be better too. As is, the smooth curves don't really fit the rest of the more angular and upright styling of the rest of the car. Giving it a more squared look would probably make it fit the rest of the design better while also making it more functional.

 

I thought it might just be the angle of that car, or the color or something so I went sleuthing and it's just as awkward in every other color/angle that I've seen:

Maybe it's because this car is based on the ATS, so they had certain hard points they couldn't modify like they otherwise would've, and so they tried to visually separate this car from it's predecessor, but it's not working for me. I think the ATS was a more cohesive design:

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
10/6/20 1:51 p.m.

I see what you mean; it's like it has an '80s NASCAR mustache.

klipless (Forum Supporter)
klipless (Forum Supporter) Reader
10/6/20 1:53 p.m.

I don't think your car was AWD, just RWD.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
10/6/20 1:56 p.m.

Or it kinda pops up like when a trunk was called a "turtle".

klipless (Forum Supporter)
klipless (Forum Supporter) Reader
10/6/20 2:08 p.m.

In reply to klipless (Forum Supporter) :

Never mind, I realized that the pics of the gray car are probably just press photos. If it was AWD, then it didn't have MagnaRide. That only comes on the RWD variant. 

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon HalfDork
10/6/20 11:38 p.m.
STM317 said:

Is there a higher spec "V" model coming? 

This car replaced the ATS, and an ATS-V had 464hp/445ft-lbs, was a couple hundred lbs lighter, could be had with a manual trans, and didn't have Cadillac's version of a "Bangle butt" 7 series rear end. If this is the best it's going to get, it seems like downgrades across the board from its predecessor.

Also, if you're going to design a car where there's  only 12" from the base of the rear glass to the trailing edge of the deck lid, it really should be a "lift back" hatch instead of a traditional trunk. What's pictured seems like it would be super difficult to load/unload anything if it's a trunk (as it appears to be).

This car replaces the ats v  sport. Sounds like the blackbird will be a v6 turbo like the ats v was.

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