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2021 Cadillac CT5

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2021 Cadillac CT5 Review

The 2021 Cadillac CT5 comes up short in terms of interior quality, trunk space, and driving engagement compared to many of its rivals. This vehicle does not have an overall score or ranking because it hasn’t been fully crash tested.

Pros & Cons

  • Great legroom
  • Plenty of standard and optional features
  • Underwhelming base engine
  • Dull handling
  • Low-rent cabin
  • Small trunk

New for 2021

  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay gain wireless capability
  • A 12-inch fully digital instrument cluster and the Super Cruise driver assistance system are newly optional

Research & Ratings

The 2021 Cadillac CT5 is unranked in Luxury Midsize Cars due to missing safety data. Currently, the Cadillac CT5's overall score is not available, though its Critics' Rating, Performance score, and Interior score are based on our evaluation of 17 pieces of research and data.

N/A

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 4.4
Performance: 5.9
Interior: 5.7
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. As a result, it doesn't have an overall score and cannot be ranked against other luxury midsize cars.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

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Is the Cadillac CT5 a Good Car?

No, the CT5 is not a good luxury midsize car. The cabin is a little cramped, and most materials are unimpressive. Furthermore, cargo space is lacking. Neither of this Cadillac's engine choices – a standard turbocharged four-cylinder and an optional twin-turbo V6 – are particularly impressive. The base setup can feel weak, while the upgraded mill has a bit of turbo lag. Handling is numb and lacks the athleticism of sportier rival sedans.

The CT5’s positives include a long list of features, a user-friendly infotainment system, a comfortable ride, and expansive rear legroom, but many class rivals share those attributes along with many more.

Why You Can Trust Us: 17 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 17 Cadillac CT5 reviews – along with reliability ratings, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2021 CT5 is the right new car for you.

This 2021 CT5 review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2020.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we never accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an outside firm manages the ads on our site.

Should I Buy the Cadillac CT5?

No, you shouldn't buy the Cadillac CT5. The car's biggest appeal compared to the rest of the class is a sub-$37,000 sticker price and a decent list of standard equipment, but your money is still better spent elsewhere. The Acura TLX has similar pricing, but it’s a better car overall than the CT5. If you can stretch your budget, consider a class leader like the BMW 5 Series instead.

Compare the CT5, TLX, and 5 Series »

2020 vs. 2021 Cadillac CT5: What’s the Difference?

Introduced as an all-new model for 2020, the CT5 sees several changes for 2021. Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay now have wireless capability, and a 12-inch fully digital instrument cluster is newly optional.

Another notable upgrade is the introduction of Cadillac's Super Cruise feature to the CT5 as an option. This partially automated driving assistance system works on certain highways to help maintain a set distance between you and other vehicles while also tracing lane markings to help steer the car. It may sound like a fully autonomous system, but Super Cruise still requires the driver to be in control of the vehicle. You'll also be alerted if more attention to the road is needed.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 CT5 »

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2020 CT5 review to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Cadillac CT5 Cost?

The 2021 Cadillac CT5 has the lowest base price among luxury midsize cars, at $36,995. Only a couple of other segment rivals retail for under $40,000, while more than half of the class starts at over $50,000.

There are three higher trims of the CT5 that start at $40,795, $41,795, and $47,795. Rear-wheel drive is standard in every model, and all-wheel drive is optional for $2,000. The CT5 comes standard with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and it's available with a twin-turbocharged V6 for as little as $45,645.

When loaded up with most major options, the CT5’s price can exceed $69,000.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Cadillac dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Cadillac deals page.

Cadillac CT5 Versus the Competition

Cadillac CT5 vs. Acura TLX

The Acura TLX is also one of the lowest-priced cars in the luxury midsize car class, retailing for only a few hundred dollars more than the base CT5. And while the CT5 can cost almost $70,000, the TLX tops out at around $48,000. Fully redesigned for 2021, the TLX sports a cool cabin that's equal parts high-end materials and sports car-inspired design. You'll get better performance with the Acura, which has a well-balanced ride and handling and a peppy standard engine. By contrast, the Cadillac has loads of rear legroom and more user-friendly features. Both cars have a similar list of standard and optional features.

Overall, the TLX is a slightly better choice than the CT5, but there are some caveats. The Acura's back seat is tight, and the infotainment system has a slight learning curve.

Compare the CT5 and TLX »

Cadillac CT5 vs. 5 Series

The BMW 5 Series is an excellent car that has practically everything you could want from a luxury sedan, including a welcoming back seat, a huge trunk, and class-leading performance. The 5 Series handles with agility and offers up a half-dozen very capable engine choices. The only thing that might give you pause is the 5 Series' high base price of about $54,000, and upper performance-oriented trims eclipse six figures.

Compare the CT5 and 5 Series »

Compare the CT5, TLX, and 5 Series »

CT5 Interior: Misses the Mark

CT5 Cargo Space

The 2021 Cadillac CT5 has just 11.9 cubic feet of trunk space. Among luxury midsize cars, only a handful of rivals have less storage room, and that's because they're either coupe, convertible, or hybrid models. To make things worse, the trunk is narrow and has some odd sculpting that can hinder fitting items of a certain size when the second-row seats are folded down.

How Many People Does the CT5 Seat?

This Cadillac sedan seats five people. The front positions offer plenty of power adjustments, but side support is a little lacking. Rear-seat accommodations are decent for a car in this class. There's about 38 inches of legroom, a total surpassed by only a few rivals. However, the sloping roofline cuts into headroom.

CT5 and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the CT5’s rear outboard seats, along with a tether anchor for the rear middle seat. The lower anchors are easy to find, and most types of child car seats fit easily in the second row with plenty of space.

CT5 Interior Quality

One of the CT5's most glaring weaknesses is its use of hard plastics and other materials that don’t stack up favorably compared to class rivals. Some controls and pieces look like they were borrowed from a GM parts bin, and the so-so overall design is more reminiscent of a nonluxury brand.

CT5 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Technology is one of this Caddy’s strong suits. The 10-inch touch screen has impressive details and graphics, and it's very responsive to your touches. The menu structure is also straightforward.

A rotary control knob on the center console provides another way to command the infotainment system. Additionally, there are buttons on the center stack for things like climate adjustments. Audio volume and tuning are also controlled by knobs, but these dials are placed right next to each other and may cause some inadvertent mistakes.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 10-inch touch screen, voice recognition, three USB ports, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a nine-speaker stereo, satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth, and a Wi-Fi hot spot
  • Available infotainment features: navigation, a 15-speaker Bose premium stereo, and wireless device charging
  • Additional standard features: proximity keyless entry, remote start, a universal garage door opener, and dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Other available features: a 12-inch digital instrument cluster, a dual-pane sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient interior lighting, and cabin air ionization

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

CT5 Performance: Snoozefest

CT5 Engine

The Cadillac CT5 comes standard with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine good for 237 horsepower, which is one of the lowest ratings in the class. Reviews are mixed; some critics say acceleration is sufficient, while others find it a little underpowered.

A better option is a twin-turbocharged V6. In the CT5 Premium Luxury, it puts out 335 horsepower, and in the V-Series trim it makes 360 horses. After a split-second of turbo lag, power comes on strong and steady.

Both engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. This is a high point of the powertrain, as it's responsive and knocks off timely shifts.

CT5 Gas Mileage

Outfitted with its base engine and standard rear-wheel drive, the 2021 CT5 gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Those figures are about average for the luxury midsize car class. Getting the four-cylinder engine with all-wheel drive results in fuel economy of 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

The CT5 with its twin-turbo V6 engine gets between 19/28 mpg city/highway and 18/26 mpg city/highway, depending on trim and whether you get rear- or all-wheel drive.

CT5 Ride and Handling

The best part about the CT5's driving dynamics is its plush ride. However, don't look to this Caddy for an engaging experience. Steering lacks feedback from the road, and handling is pretty uninspiring overall.

Read more about performance »

CT5 Reliability

Is the Cadillac CT5 Reliable?

The 2021 CT5 has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Cadillac CT5 Warranty

Cadillac covers the CT5 with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

CT5 Safety

CT5 Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 Cadillac CT5 an overall safety rating of five out of five stars, with five stars in each of the frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests. V-Series models received five stars in the side crash and rollover tests, but these Cadillacs were not tested for frontal crash safety nor were they given an overall safety rating.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not evaluated the CT5 since the car's introduction.

CT5 Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Forward collision warning
  • Forward automatic emergency braking
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Rearview camera
  • Safety alert seat
  • Teen Driver (lets you do things like set speed and audio volume limits for secondary drivers)
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers

Available advanced safety features:

  • Super Cruise (maintains speed with traffic and provides automatic steering on some highways)
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Reverse pedestrian detection
  • Reverse automatic emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Head-up display
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Adaptive headlights
  • Following distance indicator
  • Automatic parking assist
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rearview mirror camera
  • Automatic seat belt tightening
  • Surround-view parking camera system

Read more about safety »

CT5 Dimensions and Weight

The CT5 is 16.2 feet long, and its curb weight ranges from 3,659 to 3,974 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Cadillac CT5 Built?

General Motors builds the 2021 Cadillac CT5 in Michigan.

Which Cadillac CT5 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Cadillac CT5 comes in four trims: Luxury, Premium Luxury, Sport, and V-Series. A turbocharged four-cylinder engine is standard in the three lower trims, and a twin-turbocharged V6 is optional in the Premium Luxury model. The CT5 V-Series comes standard with the V6. All models feature a 10-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is available for $2,000.

It's worth spending a few thousand dollars more to get the Premium Luxury trim. With this model, you'll get genuine leather upholstery, blind spot monitoring, and wireless device charging. The Premium Luxury also gives you access to a lot of packages and options, including the twin-turbo V6 engine.

Cadillac CT5 Luxury

The 2021 Cadillac CT5 Luxury starts at $36,995. Standard features include synthetic leather upholstery, a 12-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a 10-way power-adjustable passenger seat, proximity keyless entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote start, a universal garage door opener, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Also standard is a 10-inch touch-screen infotainment system with voice recognition, three USB ports, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a nine-speaker stereo, satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth, and a Wi-Fi hot spot.

Standard driver assistance features include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, a rearview camera, a safety alert seat, the Teen Driver system, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

The Sun and Sound package costs $2,800 and adds a dual-pane sunroof, navigation, a 15-speaker Bose premium stereo, and wireless device charging. For $600, the Cold Weather package includes heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

Cadillac CT5 Premium Luxury

The CT5 Premium Luxury retails for $40,795 and comes with genuine leather upholstery, 14-way power-adjustable front seats, wireless device charging, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient interior lighting, and memory settings for the driver's seat and steering wheel.

There are a number of packages and individual options available. The $2,090 Parking package includes a rearview mirror camera, reverse pedestrian detection, automatic parking assist, a hands-free trunk lid, cabin air ionization, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and a surround-view parking camera system with recording function.

The Climate package costs $1,090 and adds heated and ventilated front seats, as well as a heated steering wheel. You can get navigation and a 15-speaker Bose stereo for $1,350, and adaptive headlights cost $600. The Platinum package combines the Parking package and all of the above options with semi-aniline leather upholstery, massaging front seats, alloy pedals, and a dual-pane sunroof for $9,400.

The Driver Assist and Advanced Security package ($1,950) includes adaptive cruise control, reverse automatic emergency braking, and automatic seat belt tightening. For $1,100, the Technology package adds a 12-inch digital instrument cluster and a head-up display.

The Driver Awareness Plus package costs $500, and you'll get automatic high-beam headlights, a following distance indicator, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. Cadillac's Super Cruise driver assistance system is also optional in this trim.

For $4,850, you can add a twin-turbocharged V6 engine, navigation and the Bose stereo.

Cadillac CT5 Sport

The Cadillac CT5 Sport (MSRP: $41,795) comes standard with 18-way power-adjustable front seats, sport pedals, and unique exterior styling. This trim offers most of the optional features from the Premium Luxury, in addition to some extras.

The V Performance package costs $1,950 and includes the Magnetic Ride Control adjustable suspension and a limited-slip differential. Brembo performance front brakes are optional for $1,595.

Cadillac CT5 V-Series

The performance-oriented CT5 V-Series starts at $47,795. It comes standard with the twin-turbocharged V6, an electronic limited-slip differential, performance traction control, launch control, Brembo front brakes, and summer-only tires. Super Cruise is optional for $2,500.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Cadillac dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Cadillac deals page.

See 2021 Cadillac CT5 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Cadillac CT5 tries to make a splash in the competitive luxury midsize car segment, but it barely causes a ripple. Its weaknesses, which include a subpar interior, dull performance, and tiny trunk, are too glaring to ignore in the face of excellent competition.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The CT5, all-new only last year, struggles to make its case in a class populated by superb machines. There are no particular attributes that out-perform any of its rivals." -- Autotrader
  • "Although the CT5 is meant to be Cadillac's prize fighter, missteps with chassis tuning and interior richness knock it out of contention." -- Car and Driver
  • "The CT5’s basic turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is down on power, its driving dynamics are not as enjoyable, and the interior and technology feel a step behind the competition." -- Kelley Blue Book
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