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2021 Cadillac CT4 Performance


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2021 Cadillac CT4 Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.8

The 2021 Cadillac CT4 is pleasant to drive. The turbocharged engines move the car easily, and the CT4's sharp handling lets you cut loose a bit on winding roads. This sporty feel doesn't come at the expense of a smooth ride, and the CT4 also gets good gas mileage.

  • "The CT4 is enjoyable to drive, well balanced, and with a nicely judged blend of handling and ride comfort." -- Autotrader
  • "We've only driven the CT4-V so far, but we found it to be athletic, eager, and quick, although we would have preferred more refinement from the 10-speed gearbox. Even in this most-sporting guise, the CT4's suspension is compliant enough to handle potholes and cracked pavement without punishing occupants, while still delivering sharp, rewarding handling that a car enthusiast can appreciate." -- Car and Driver (2020)
  • "… there's absolutely no slop or hysteresis in the steering, which makes threading the CT4-V through a favorite set of esses both intuitive and joyful." -- Motor Trend (2020)

Engine Options, Horsepower, and Acceleration

  • Base engine: turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque
  • Available engines:
    • turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder with 310 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque (available in Premium Luxury)
    • turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder with 325 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque (standard in CT4-V)
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic with 2.0-liter engine; 10-speed automatic with 2.7-liter engine

The base engine won't blow you away, but it has plenty of juice for your daily commute. The larger engine is more authoritative when accelerating at low speeds or on the highway. The only issue with the larger engine is that the accompanying 10-speed automatic transmission doesn't always time its shifts perfectly.

  • "These days, 2.7 liters is a huge four-cylinder, especially one that's boosted. But thanks to loads of technology and a sound basic design, this engine is incredibly smooth and very responsive. Not only is it nearly free of nasty vibrations, it comes on strong just off idle and pulls like a bulldozer throughout the remaining rev-range, its enthusiasm only waning as it nears redline." -- CNET (2020)
  • "… the 2.7 feels good and strong, and smooth at part throttle. At higher speeds and in higher gears – there are a lot of those with a 10-speed auto – the engine's flattening output above 5000 rpm becomes more apparent. In those gears, you find yourself manually short-shifting to keep things moving." -- Car and Driver (2020)
  • "While the dual-volute turbocharger and large displacement deliver torque for days, the 2.7-liter feels a bit awkward when accelerating slowly from a stop. This is probably at least somewhat down to the gearing of the CT4-V's 10-speed automatic. In Touring mode especially, the engine seems to generate a disproportionate amount of noise for the power it's putting out at lower throttle openings. It sounds overworked, which is the exact opposite of what you'd expect from an engine being asked merely for mild acceleration, making it all the more noticeable." -- Autoblog (2020)

MPG Estimates

The CT4 gets above-average gas mileage for the luxury small car class when equipped with its base engine and rear-wheel drive. Ratings are a bit worse with either of the larger turbocharged engines. Regardless of engine choice, ratings drop by about 1 mpg if you opt for an all-wheel-drive model instead of a rear-wheel-drive model.

  • 237-horsepower, RWD: 23/34 mpg city/highway
  • 237-horsepower, AWD: 23/32 mpg
  • 310-horsepower, RWD: 21/31 mpg
  • 310-horsepower, AWD: 21/29 mpg
  • 325-horsepower, RWD: 20/29 mpg
  • 325-horsepower, AWD: 20/28 mpg

Handling and Braking

Thanks to its accurate steering, sharp brakes, and buttoned-down feel, the CT4 is fun to drive. The performance-oriented CT4-V model ups the ante. And all models provide a comfortable ride. Rear-wheel drive comes standard. All-wheel drive is available.

The CT4 Sport trim comes with Brembo brakes, and CT4-V models feature Magnetic Ride Control, an adaptive suspension system that allows you to tailor ride quality for improved handling or a smoother ride.

  • "This Cadillac has engaging driving manners and a standard rear-wheel-drive setup like a true sport sedan." -- Autotrader
  • "Building on the ATS' dynamic excellence, the CT4-V also drives like a thoroughbred. … The CT4-V's steering itself is nicely weighted and particularly hefty when you put the car in Sport or Track modes. Unlike so many modern vehicles, this Cadillac actually provides a bit of road feel, with some pavement textures being detectable through the wheel. In spite of its sporting intentions, the CT4-V's ride quality is superb, far better than what the ATS-V provided. Yes, it's firm, but it's also incredibly well controlled and refined with no grittiness or harshness." -- CNET (2020)
  • "We only got to drive the CT4-V this go around, but on the road, we found it strikes a near-perfect balance between luxury and performance. Its eagerness and athleticism never encroach on its luxury mission until you ask them to." -- Autoblog (2020)
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