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SOMETHING FRESH: 2020 CADILLAC CT5 V-SERIES AWD

As the industry continues to be inundated with crossovers and heavy family artillery vehicles, the demand on the sedan market is falling shorter and shorter with each passing year. Despite General Motors slicing the sedans from Chevrolet’s lineup, Cadillac continues to hold on tight to a nearly lost cause.

The all-new CT5 however is not nearly as lost in this premium sedan world as one would suspect. Replacing the previous generation CTS, the CT5 is sleeker, more performance driven and more appealing to a younger crowd. From the exterior, the design cues are an architect’s wet dream with detailed lines and curves that articulate a sensual vibe. The design is consistent as it’s carried throughout the body like the rear c-pillar with its sharp angular cut back that ties fluidly into the body-hugging taillights.

Granted most of its lustrous design is complemented by its V-Series extra poof. Sitting at the top range of the CT5 lineup, the “V” badging dials up its spice level with more muscular intentions as the bumper receives more aggressive lines, a gloss black grille, quad tipped exhaust that snorts and 19-inch wheels wrapped in summer rubber. With pricing starting at $37,890, the V-Series does hold a $10,000 premium over the entry-level “Luxury” starting at $48,690.

Three out of the four-models come standard with a 2.7-liter twin-scroll turbocharged engine. If this engine sounds familiar – it should as it’s the same charming engine found in the Chevrolet Silverado. Developing 237-horsepower with 258lbs-ft of torque with a 10-speed automatic, Cadillac claims it will dash from 0-60-mph in about 6.6-seconds.  

Being two-cylinders short of a proper CT5-V, the V-Series comes standard with Cadillacs fantastically engineered twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6. Producing 360-horsepower and 405lb-ft of torque, the CT5 is quicker than stink on a San Francisco sidewalk as it takes less than 5.0-seconds to 60-mph. Blasting through its 10-speed automatic that gearing is vastly quick with snappy reflects that belches an exhaust burp that turns us into giggling toddlers.

Shuffling its power through its electronic limited-slip rear differential, there is quick traction straight off the line – even when launch control is activated it sustains straightforward momentum without the slightest hence of torque interference. While there are different driving modes such as Touring, Sport, Track, Snow & Ice, the most thrill comes from a single button on the steering wheel – ‘V’ mode. Turning off the babysitting ninnies, V mode transform the CT5 into a street boy racer. The electric tuned steering becomes stiffer with precision that articulates responsive inputs. The large Brembo brakes get gripper and stops quicker. Then there’s the magnetic ride control that handles body motions gracefully as it dances through the corners like a ballet dancer keeping smooth composure while in constant attack mode.

Rear-wheel drive is standard across the board, but should all-wheel drive be on your checklist, you’ll need to pony up an extra $2600. Being that our test vehicle was kindly delivered with the AWD badge, there was no sideways monkey business for us. However, with all this talk of performance, the V-Series manages to maintain an elegant disposition. During the day-to-day, when left in the Touring drive mode, things are subdued and isolating. There is a sense of premium comfort but yet still enjoyable to drive. The steering is tuned nicely to provide comfort but still responds coherently. And the magnetic ride keeps the cabin isolated from obnoxious road chaos.    

Inside, we get the sense that Cadillac is working harder at improving the quality of their cabins as the CT5 is quite the nice place to be. The cabin space is supremely quiet from the atrocities of the outside world. The fit and finish has been executed very well with real metal finishes and a stunning carbon fiber accent with red fiber weaving. Our white leather seats were divine while carrying a sporty trait hugging us tighter than a sumo wrestler jock strap. Cadillac managed to keep things much more simplistic this go around with the high-quality 10-inch infotainment display and far less buttons. While it is odd that the screen uses both a rotary knob and touch-screen antics to be control, it gives the driver an option – we despise fingerprints on a screen in premium products, so having that option is a nice touch.

Suited as a mid-size sedan, the back seat, while comfortable doesn’t’ quite have the legroom we were expecting and the prop shaft that splits down the center of the car is not helpful should there be a third passenger back there. However, the seats fold nicely semi-flat for extra space in the already large capacity trunk.

Leaving some options open however, the CT5 V-Series comes standard will all the regular safety assist features such as blind-spot monitoring, forward collision alert, lane change alert, rear-cross traffic detection and Teen Driver. Should more safety be obliged, there is the Driver Awareness Plus Package at $1300 that will feature lane keep assist, a heads-up display, intellibeam headlights, and 8-inch digital cluster. And the Driver Assist & Advanced Security Package at $1950 that incorporates Cadillac Super Cruise autonomous cruise control, enhanced emergency front and rear braking and a few more security upgrades.

We have to hand it to Cadillac for fighting this uphill battle. The Germans have practically cornered the premium performance sedan market. With Lexus practically bailing out and Infiniti not even on the radar, Cadillac is bringing something fresh and exciting to the table.

VEHICLE SPECIFICATIONS

VEHICLE: 2020 CADILLAC CT5 V-SERIES
BASE PRICE: $37,890
AS-TESTED PRICE: $57,680

PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS

ENGINE: 3.0-LITER TWIN-TURBOCHARGED V-6
HP | TORQUE: 360-HP |405 LB-FT OF TORQUE
TRANSMISSION:10-SPEED AUTOMATIC
DRIVETRAIN: ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
MPG: 17 | 25 | 20 (CITY | HIGHWAY | COMBINED)
AS TESTED MPG: 20.2-MPG COMBINED | 27.0-MPG HIGHWAY (200-MILES AT 75-MPH)
FUEL RANGE: 330-MILES
0-60 MPH: ±5.0 SECONDS

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