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2020 Cadillac CT5 Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2020 Cadillac CT5?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 Cadillac CT5? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

To understand the 2020 Cadillac CT5, consumers need to know why it was developed. From 2003 to 2019, the company's hybrid sport-luxury sedan was the ATS. It was their answer to the European competitors drawing their buyers away.

The ATS had some interesting features. For example, touch-sensitive control panels and the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system. Unfortunately, It also had numerous problems. Ones that Cadillac engineers couldn't resolve. Therefore, instead of launching another generation of ATS trims, the manufacturer decided to scrap the whole line create a new one.

One of its results is the mid-size 2020 Cadillac CT5. Along with the smaller CT4, the car company hopes to clean up the issues of its predecessor. Though it has been improved, are the changes sufficient enough to remove the stigma of the ATS?

What's New for 2020?

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 is a new model of this first-generation sedan. Built from the ground up, it's design emulates the lines of similar vehicles from European manufacturers.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 Cadillac CT5 – The Pros

1. Style and Performance in a Single Package

Cadillac's engineers didn't want to simply re-create the ATS. They wanted to do it right the first time, so they only needed to focus on later enhancements. To make this work, they created the 2020 Cadillac CT5 to be both stylish and a performer that straddled both the sport-luxury and upscale mid-size markets.

The vehicle's exterior is a combination of rounded and sharp edges. The front-end is impressive with a double grille, low wheel-base, and a modern take on a LED lamp package. The vehicle's rear is flat and angled with a wide trunk opening. Put side-by-side with an Audi or BMW, consumers may not see many differences.

2. Low Cost Trims for All Budgets

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 comes in four trims. The good news is all of them have a starting MSRP fairly reasonable for a luxury sedan. In addition, they aren't much more than the CT4. Thus, some consumers may want to move up when the two are compared.

The lowest trim, the Luxury, begins at approximately $37,000. The Premium Luxury and Sport trims are $3,000-$4,000 higher. The performance-based CT5-V goes for about $47,000 without any additional options. At only a $10,000 difference, customers might want to level up.

3. Strong Powertrains

The powertrain options of the 2020 Cadillac CT5 offer a cater to different driver types. The first three trims come standard with a 2-liter turbocharged engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. The package provides 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.

The high-end powertrain on the CT5-V trim is a 3-liter 6-cylinder turbocharged engine with direct injection. It also features Active Fuel Management, a proprietary technology owned by Cadillac parent General Motors. When running, it disables half of the operating cylinders in low-powered situations to save fuel.

Power-wise, the 3-liter engine gives out a maximum of 335 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque.

4. Ability to Utilize Super Cruise

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 moves toward the future of automated driving with inclusion of the Super Cruise semi-automated system. Another trademarked technology for GM, Super Cruise uses a series of baked-in sensors on the outside of the vehicle to control vehicle speed and steering under certain conditions. When connected to the in-vehicle wireless router, the system receives alerts on upcoming traffic patterns. This allows Super Cruise to adjust its speed as it reaches that part of the journey.

5. Modern and User-friendly Controls

The ATS had a system of touch-sensitive controls that reminded drivers of the bridge on the Enterprise. Cadillac's engineers noticed the frustration of drivers and replace them with modern and user-friendly controls on the CT5. Thus, it won't be so confusing to disable Active Fuel Control or automated engine start and stop.

The modernization continued on the driver's control panel. Instead of anarchic manual gauges, the manufacturer replaced it with an eight-inch digital display that's much easier to configure.

6. New Touchscreen Interface

The old CUE infotainment system was not a favorite of drivers. Thus, the 2020 Cadillac CT5 features a new 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system that features the ability to tap, swipe, and pinch-to-zoom. It contains all of the options to handle navigation, hands-free calls, and audio streaming.

7. A Quiet Ride Thanks to Noise Cancellation

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 features an active noise control system to quell the sounds created by passing traffic or the wind as it passes over the vehicle. Sensors built into the chassis and exterior detect vibrations and environmental sounds. In turn, they absorb a large amount of the atmospheric debris. It's further reduced when it passes through the acoustic windshield.

8. Driver Assist Aids to Minimize Accidents

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 offers a good number of driver assist tools across all trims to help in the effort to eliminate vehicle collisions. Besides the standard HD rear-view camera, the CT5 comes with alerts for forward collisions. These are in the form of a warning signal as well as a flashing heads-up icon on the windshield. The Rear Park Assist mechanism helps the driver to avoid cars and other objects behind them. Meanwhile, Front Pedestrian Braking executes an emergency stop when a person is detected in front of the car.

9. Two Drivetrain Offerings

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 gives the consumer the ability to choose from two drive train options. That is, as long as their willing to increase their purchasing budget. The first three CT5 trims come standard with rear-wheel-drive (RWD). This is a bonus in itself, as RWD provides more road stability.

Should the customer want to move to the CT5-V, they can select from RWD to all-wheel-drive (AWD). The main reason to choose this drivetrain is to drive safely through snowy or muddy areas without a major risk of skidding or generally losing control.

10. Connectivity Options Abound

Connecting to the internet is a simple affair in the Cadillac CT5. One-touch Bluetooth pairing links a streaming device to the vehicle’s sound system without looking through a long list for the right device or network. With Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, the driver can bring navigation and other tools into the infotainment touchscreen.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 Cadillac CT5 – The Cons

1. A Lackluster Powertrain

While the powertrain of the CT5 is strong, it's not as powerful as the former ATS. Let alone the CT4. Maximum horsepower and torque on the ATS were over 400. Compared with the CT4, the hp and pound-feet movement are only slightly higher. This could draw customers to the smaller version instead of the mid-size CT5.

2. No Built-in Hotspot

It seems ironic that the CT5 has a wireless connection for Super Cruise messages yet doesn't have a built-in hotspot. Other General Motor vehicles that are less luxurious than this Cadillac provide a 4G LTE hotspot on all trims. So, while the CT5 has some amazing connectivity options, the lack of a built-in hotspot is disappointing.

3. Not Enough Standard Driver Assist Tools

The Cadillac CT5 has an impressive driver assist suite. Unfortunately, the ones that many drivers want, like adaptive cruise control, blind zone alert, or cross-traffic warnings, are considered upgrades. Not only in the basic trim but also in the upper-end CT5-V. For a $10,000 price difference, at least the tools mentioned above should be part of the top-line trim.

4. Lack of regulation for Super Cruise

Super Cruise is an enormous improvement in semi-automated driving. However, it won't do much unless regulations connected to the technology are reviewed and approved. Without it, sedans like the CT5 are hampered from using it full-time.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition

Its position as a hybrid sport-luxury mid-size send allows the CT5 to be paired to several competitors. For instance, when matched with the BMW 5 Series, the CT5 is behind in ride quality and comfort. However, it excels handling. The main reason -- the 5 Series is not a sports sedan.

In a review between the CT5 and Audi A6, the Cadillac stays toe-to-toe in design and technology. Where it excels is in price point. A fully-loaded CT5 will cost the consumer as much as a no-frills A6.


After the disaster of the ATS, Cadillac wants the CT5 to draw customers back from the likes of Mercedes-Benz and Audi. It looks like it can stand up to the hype for a few reasons.

First, the 2020 Cadillac CT5 is a sharp-looking vehicle. Its clean lines and angles make it look like a classic Caddy with a continental flavor. Second, the CT5's starting MSRPs are lower than its counterparts across the pond. See the Audi A6 example in the comparisons.

Third, it's a fun car to drive in the city and on the highway. Regardless if it's the basic Luxury or the premium CT5-V, customers will enjoy the vehicle's pickup and handling, an ability some European manufacturers have lost. Partnered with a quiet interior and user-friendly controls, it's a vehicle that anyone can use.

The downsides, while minor, may still turn off customers. For instance, lower horsepower and torque capabilities could stop consumers from going further than a basic look. Furthermore, they might seek out another vehicle with more standard driver assist tools to maintain their investment.

Overall, consumers can't beat the price or the finesse of this vehicle. Those could be the main considerations that transform observers to those who buyers.