2020 Cadillac CT5 V-Series new car reviews

In case you couldn’t tell, the CT5 V-Series is, essentially, a slightly bigger version of the CT4 V-Series we reviewed the other day.

Naturally, there are few more differences than size alone, the most notable being that the CT5 V gets two extra cylinders and an extra turbocharger—which makes the Cadillac good for 360 horsepower and 405 lb.-ft. of torque.

Besides that, both cars get GM’s Magnetic Ride Control 4.0, a 10-speed automatic, Brembo brakes and your choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.

What's the larger sibling of the CT4 V-Series like to drive? Keep reading to get our review.

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David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Initial impression of this one: four-door Camaro. And I mean that in a good way, like a fast, modern pony car vs. a ’77 model sitting on air shocks and hanging out at the DQ.

But the Caddy’s too big to be a pony car? Fine, call it a four-door muscle car.

Dive deeper? It’s like a bigger version of the CT4 V-Series: similar cockpit feel, similar driving ergonomics. Even the sport modes feel similar. It’s like they’re related or something.

While the CT5 is bigger, it’s still not a big car. Anyone my height or taller is going to bump their head when getting into the back seat. (Also, no a/c controls for the rear seat passengers.)

But those up front get treated nicely. Lovely seats. Darn fine steering wheel. Just the right amount of buttons. Good touch points. A gas pedal that operates as intended.

Yeah, it doesn’t come with a stick, but GM’s automatics deliver crisp, solid shifts.

Ours wore a color called Evergreen Metallic. It almost looks black at first but it’s a deep green. Looks good.

So, where does this one fit in our world? It’s not the fastest sedan in the Cadillac lineup, but it’s quick. And it has rear-wheel drive.

Is it a BMW competitor? The forthcoming BMW M4 offers more power, but it also costs a lot more: The CT5 V-Series starts at less than $48,000, with the M4 costing at least $69,900. (With options, though, our tester stickers a tick north of $63k.)

The Caddy might operate in its own little world: a pretty quick, rear-drive performance sedan that’s not going to blend in.

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ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Reader
10/6/20 11:39 a.m.

I just don't get it.  For years GM diluted the Cadillac brand into bland fogey-mobile territory.  Nobody under 60 wanted to own one.  The Escalade came out and filled a hole in the market, and gave Cadillac a reason to exist.  Then they came out with the V, a fire-breathing monster that was essentially a Corvette that family guys could own with a straight face.  All of a sudden Cadillac was a respected enthusiast brand again.  And as soon as that happened, they started to reshape their line back into bland crossovers and old fogey sedans again.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/6/20 12:10 p.m.

And let's not forget one dumb-ass naming convention after another.

Duke MegaDork
10/6/20 12:19 p.m.

I'm not sure what you'd consider "bland old fogey sedan" about this car.


It does sure play into the modern trend of jamming yet another just-slightly-different-sized model between any two existing vehicle sizes.

There used to be subcompact, compact, midsize, and large chassis.  Now there is a smooth continuum of like 12 different models between the two ends of the spectrum.


mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
10/6/20 12:35 p.m.

The first gen CTS-V was just silly. Corvette motor and a manual and we don't quite know how to build a differential that will handle it. Go knock yourselves out. 

Second gen was all the boosts and a wagon and yes, 3 pedals. I bought one of these new. 

You could even argue that the 3rd gen was bonkers, but it didn't grab ahold of the psyche quite the same. The ATS-V almost did, but it didn't have the right sound track. 

I find it hard to really get excited about the current offerings. They're spectacular cars to be sure, but I can't figure out why I would want to buy one. Maybe I'm just not the right buyer any more? 

wvumtnbkr PowerDork
10/6/20 12:41 p.m.

Wait, we are complaining about 350+hp rwd family sedans?


Bring em on, please!

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
10/6/20 1:17 p.m.

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

We live in a world where you can go buy a 300hp Camry at the dealer. We're jaded. 

Jordan Rimpela (FS)
Jordan Rimpela (FS) Dork
10/6/20 1:21 p.m.

Strangely, there's a hotter version set to debut later. Why debut the more pedestrian model first? Who knows. And thanks, Cadillac, for ensuring confusion in perpetuity over CTS/CT5. 


DirtyBird222 UberDork
10/6/20 1:24 p.m.

The Cadillack naming convention is one of the worst things in the automotive world. Who thought that was a good idea? I have know idea how to delineate any of their offerings from one another. 

Will UltraDork
10/6/20 1:50 p.m.

I owned on 05 CTS-V. Maybe I'm an old fogey now, but I'm becoming acutely aware of how much better modern cars are at being actual cars than some of my older enthusiast vehicles. Even rental cars seem like a spaceships compared to any of my cars.

This looks pretty sharp to me. Yeah, I'd prefer a manual, but I'm not seeing a lot else wrong here. 

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Reader
10/6/20 3:57 p.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:

In reply to wvumtnbkr :

We live in a world where you can go buy a 300hp Camry at the dealer. We're jaded. 

I bet the Camry has a similar hp/weight ratio to this Cadillac "V".  350hp is nice, but if the car weights 4000+ pounds...

MotorsportsGordon HalfDork
10/6/20 11:41 p.m.
Jordan Rimpela (FS) said:

Strangely, there's a hotter version set to debut later. Why debut the more pedestrian model first? Who knows. And thanks, Cadillac, for ensuring confusion in perpetuity over CTS/CT5. 


Pretty much every manufacturer debuts the more pedestrian versions first.

and the ct5 v replaces the cts v sport. The blackbird will have a supercharged v8 like the last cts v had.

Carbon (Forum Supporter)
Carbon (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
10/7/20 7:41 p.m.

Cad-stang style front end. 

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