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2020 Cadillac CT5

Performance


MSRP
$36,895
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Cadillac CT5 Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 6.2

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 has a poised ride, but its performance – let down by numb steering and a lackluster engine lineup – doesn’t measure up to the rest of the class.

  • "Whereas nearly every judge agreed that the new turbo-four engine felt underpowered, its 10-speed automatic transmission earned some praise for its smart gear selection and willingness to downshift using the paddle shifters. But even so, the CT5 is not a great choice for driving enthusiasts." -- Motor Trend
  • "The CT5 may bill itself as a sports sedan, but amid today’s excellent competition, we would prefer almost any of its competitors if it were our money" -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "There isn’t much wind or road noise, and it’s firm but comfortable over broken pavement. The overall feeling is one of solidity, with no unwanted vibrations through the seats or steering wheel." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The Cadillac CT5 comes standard with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine is optional. Depending on trim, it makes 335 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, or 360 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission is standard.

Models with the base engine deliver satisfying acceleration, and while the V6 is more powerful, it suffers from slight turbo lag. The automatic transmission generally shifts smoothly, but it occasionally hesitates to downshift.

The CT5's fuel economy is about average for a luxury midsize car. With its base engine and rear-wheel drive, the CT5 gets an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. Add all-wheel drive, and fuel economy dips to 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. The V6-equipped CT5 returns between 19/26 and 17/25 mpg city/highway.

  • "A 10-speed automatic is the only transmission available in the CT5 and CT5-V, and it can be shifted manually using a set of steering wheel-mounted paddles. It’s not the quickest shifter we’ve tested, but it’s smooth and feels refined." -- Autoblog
  • "The 10-speed's shift quality is noticeably good in typical use, upshifting with seamless authority, especially when accelerating hard. … If there's one shortcoming, it's one all non-dual-clutch automatics share: downshifts, especially when triggered by the steering wheel-mounted paddles, are slow, soft, and unsatisfying." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The four-cylinder turbocharged engine is responsive, with barely any delay when starting up from a stop. The 10-speed automatic transmission shifts quite smoothly, although we’ve noticed that it seems to stay in gear longer than expected in between shifts." -- Consumer Reports

Handling and Braking

The CT5 generally strikes a good balance between ride comfort and handling agility, with some composure around corners and comfort-focused suspension tuning. However, critics note that the steering is dull.

  • "The new model doesn't have the same handling lead its predecessors once enjoyed. … The CT5 doesn't feel as powerful or as alert, and the default handling mode is mild understeer. You can get it to rotate, but it takes a lot of provocation. The Cadillac is not as fluid or as adjustable as the 3 Series." -- Motor Trend
  • "The CT5 is enjoyable to drive, showing a good balance between ride and handling. The ride is firm, but not jarring, and handling is eager, which makes the car feel engaging when carving corners." -- Consumer Reports
  • "The CT5's tuning seems to emphasize ride quality and comfort instead of handling precision. Cadillac has made conscious and consequential adjustments to the suspension that serve to soften the car's feel and dull its responses. The steering remains nicely weighted if a bit slower on initial turn-in, and the strong and stiff structure still soaks up impacts well." -- Car and Driver
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Cadillac CT5

MSRP: $36,895 - $47,695

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