Monday, May 3, 2021

IN THE DRIVEWAY: The 2021 Cadillac CT4

If you are in the market for an American compact luxury sedan - it' slim pickens. So slim in fact, there is just one car to choose from - the Cadillac CT4. Out since 2019 as a 2020 model, the CT4 replaced the ATS and sits below the larger CT5. Being the sole American in a Eurpoean-dominate market means the CT4 has a lot to prove. This week I am driving one to see if the Cadillac has what it takes to take on the others, including the Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe.

Like the ATS before it, the CT4 is a rear-wheel drive sedan, with all-wheel drive available as an option.  It's exterior styling isn't groundbreaking, but it's sleek profile and athletic stance certainly makes it an attractive car.

Under the hood, buyers can choose from two turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The base Luxury model as well as the mid-range Premium Luxury and Sport models get a 2.0 liter 237 hp engine. Optional on the Premium Luxury and standard in the hot-rod CT4-V is a 2.7-liter engine that cranks out 309 hp, unless it's in the CT4-V where power is upped to 325 hp. The 2.0 liter uses an eight-speed automatic transmission whereas the 2.7 uses a ten-speed automatic.

Both the 2.0 liter (237hp) and the 2.7 liter (309 hp) provide plenty of power to move the CT4 quickly. They are not the smoothest engines around, but they get the job done. The 2.7 is the recommended way to go, as it allows the CT4 to hit 60 mph in just 5 seconds. If you're looking at the CT4 as a sport-luxury sedan, the CT4-V should be considered. Not only does it get more power, but it also gets a more aggressive suspension set up.

While it's hard to find fault with the styling and the way the CT4 drives, the cabin is a different story. Definitely  an improvement over the ATS, the interior of the CT4 just doesn't give off that vibe that makes you feel as if you were in something special - like a Cadillac. The design is nice and the controls and switches are smartly placed and easy to use. It's nice to see the use of physical buttons for the climate control and radio. A wireless charging pad along with being both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard. It's all set up nicely, but just lacks a little bit of extra flash.

Being a small rear-wheel drive sedan means backseat room gets compromised - and that's the story with the CT4. Backseat legroom is in short supply and the rear bench seat is narrow. Front seats, on the other hand, are extremely comfortable and perfect for long road trips.

The CT4 that I am is a Premium Luxury with option 2.7-liter engine. It carries an MSRP of $47,365.

After my initial drive, I came away thinking that the CT4 is a nice, spirited car to be in and drive. While the interior doesn't say, "Wow this is nice!", it's still pleasant.  With a starting price of $38,000, it definitely competes and remains a great alternative to its German competitors.