By on September 12, 2019

With the reveal of the CT5 out of the way, Cadillac has been working on getting the CT4 ready for the limelight. Debuting the whole fleet today, General Motors’ replacement for the Caddy ATS doesn’t seem too bad on paper. Unlike many luxury models positioned at the entry level, CT4 comes with rear-wheel drive and a minimum of 237 horsepower. It’s also a sedan ⁠— proving that Cadillac has yet to give up on car sales. While we’ve no idea if that’s prudent in a crossover-crazed society, it’s worth applauding.

CT4s will be separated into Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport trims with the CT4-V serving as a mid-grade performance option. Meanwhile, Blackwing variants will replace the V-Series as Cadillac’s top performance line. 

As previously indicated, all models come with rear-drive as standard. However, GM said all-wheel drive will be available across the lineup. Similarly standard is the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder, producing 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and eight-speed automatic. As with the CT5, models equipped with the powertrain will be graced with the 350T badge ⁠— which Cadillac said denotes the vehicle’s torque in “Newton metres.” The last time I heard someone talking about torque in Nm, they had a German accent. Obviously, this isn’t worth dwelling upon but I’m not certainly going to let that stop me since I’ve often accused the brand of copying Deutschland to a fault. Fortunately, this and the car’s gigantic turning circle (37.1 ft RWD/38.0 ft AWD) were the only things that furrowed my brow that didn’t involve connectivity. More on that later.

Optional for Premium Luxury, and standard on the CT4-V, is Cadillac’s 2.7-liter inline-four with a 10-speed automatic. Customers can expect 309 horsepower and 348 lb-ft of torque inside the former and 325 hp with 380 lb-ft in the latter. Active Fuel Management, automatic stop/start, and a sliding camshaft are supposed to maximize efficiency in both of the 4-cylinder engines.

Dimensions are roughly comparable to the ATS. Overall length is 187.2 inches, making it a smidgen longer than its predecessor. But it’s not as wide (77.7 inches with the mirrors) or as tall (56 inches). While not as broad the ATS, CT4 offers a bit more personal space in every direction. Head and leg room don’t change much but there’s actually a marked improvement in shoulder and hip room, even in the rear. Curb weight is roughly 3,500 lb — with the RWD Luxury trim coming in at 3,461 pounds and RWD V-Series hitting 3,616.

Cadillac is promising an “exhilarating driving experience” regardless of which CT4 you choose. MacPherson-type struts in the front, Five-link independent in the back. V-Series cars upgrade by adding Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 and a mechanical limited-slip differential (RWD only). Luxury and Premium Luxury trims get 11.8-inch front rotors, while the Sport and CT4-V trims have 12.6 inchers and Brembo six-piston front calipers. Everybody gets 12.4-inch rotors in the back.

Tech is a big part of the CT4 experience. Obviously, driving modes abound — with the Caddy offering Tour (normal), Sport, Snow, and Track. All are said to tweak the vehicle’s steering and brake feel, shift points, suspension settings, and “sound character.” There’s also a personalized My mode, letting you tailor each characteristic for yourself, and a V-button for badasses who purchased the CT4-V.

Standard equipment across the lineup includes keyless entry and push-button start, dual-zone climate control, 8-inch central display, LED interior lighting, premium audio, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and high-definition rearview camera. The Premium Luxury trim adds leather-trimmed seating, 18-inch wheels, universal remote, and a bunch of safety tech.

CT4 Sport makes the exterior look a bit more menacing by adding some dark bits, body-matching door handles, unique taillamp lenses, and a rear spoiler. A fatter steering wheel with magnesium shift paddles, some alloy pedals, and bolstered seating completes the package. CT4-V puts some carbon fiber on the grille, spruces up the exhaust, and puts V badges just about everywhere there’s room. You also get wireless charging and a Bose audio system.

Ironically, Cadillac is also proudly touted implementing GM’s new digital vehicle platform would allow for “continuous vehicle improvements through over-the-air updates and enhanced cybersecurity measures.” But anyone who’s ever used the internet knows the only surefire way to avoid malware is to simply stay offline. I think always-on internet has little business being in a car but GM promises it will be totally cool and safe. Super Cruise is supposed to become available in 2020.

The automaker seems to think that’s the kind of stuff younger buyers want, as it outright said the CT4 was specifically designed to appeal to “a new generation of sport-luxury customers.” Maybe they do but it would have been nice to see the model focus a bit more on the fundamentals and less on snazzy digital stuff. We’ll have to wait to see what it’s like from behind the wheel before passing judgement. But this feels kind of like the ATS… just with more computers.

Cadillac plans to start taking orders for CT4 later this year. While that’s probably going to be relatively soon, expect a handful of updates between now and then — as there are still a few stones left unturned.

[Images: General Motors]

 

 

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57 Comments on “2020 Cadillac CT4: GM’s Gateway to Entry Level Luxury...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    “But this feels kind of like the ATS… just with more computers.”

    And less power!

    A bunch of low-reving turbo-4 chuggers on offer. Not exactly sport sedan material IMO. Also for all the “tech talk”, no hybrid, PHEV, or BEV offerings. Just the HT2000 and something from a mid-level Silverado.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Honestly, I don’t think losing the 3.6 is that big a deal – that mill was a disappointment. It was rough, and it made the car front-heavy. I liked the 2.0T version a lot more – it felt lighter on its’ feet.

      This just feels like a phoned-in effort to me.

      Oh well. At least it’s going to be better than that P.O.S. XT4.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        That 2.0T you liked is gone too. This now will have the lo-po XT4 engine.

        GM’s best current propulsion systems are pushrod V8s or electrics and right now Cadillac doesn’t offer much of either.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Well…I didn’t *like* the 2.0T per se (it had plenty of power, but it was unrefined); I just liked it better than the V-6 version. It felt more eager.

          Sounds like you get more power if you pop for a higher-priced version, though. 300+ hp is pretty good for a turbo-four. But I bet that’ll be priced at $50,000-plus, and that puts it in the same league as something like your Stinger or a top-spec G70 price-wise. Either of those cars would walk this Caddy easily.

          Still, it feels like Caddy’s playing out the string with this model.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            2.0T – producing 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque.

            How is the “old” 2.0T (250 hp, 295 lb ft) unrefined?

            I was waiting on my car to be wiped down after a full service car wash and had to look at the tach to see that the engine was running. I don’t think they mysteriously somehow put more sound deadening in a German Buick than they put in a Cadillac (that thinks it’s German.)

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Compared with the best stuff in this class (I’d go with the A4 and the old 328/330), the Caddy was rather loud and boy racer-ish. Power delivery was very good, though.

            The biggest problem with that engine was that it was straight out of the Chevy catalog. That’s ok on a lesser car, but not on a Cadillac.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      There will be a CT4-V w/ a turbo-6 and an even more powerful variant (likely will be called something other than Blackwing).

      Plus, despite its size, the CT4 is slotted by Cadillac to go up against the likes of the A Class and A3 and not the C Class, etc. like what the ATS failed miserably (in large part due to its cramped interior).

      Should also be getting some sort of electrification down the road.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Looks like a heavily refreshed ATS to me. That’s not a bad thing – the ATS was a really, really good driver. Hopefully, this improves on where the ATS came up short – engine refinement and interior quality.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Looks good but it goes without saying the powertrain options are a huge let down. Why build a car with sporty look cheque that it’s drivetrain cannot cash?

    I’m sure it’s a good starter car for some high schooler that needs a low powered safe car though.

    Either go electric or build it with a proper drivetrain but doing this in-between 4 cylinder crap is just dragging this brand down more and more.

  • avatar
    Acd

    This would have made a good Pontiac or Oldsmobile.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    2.7T Luxury?

    I might be interested. I know “softly sprung” isn’t as softly sprung as it was in 1965. “Luxury” in our current era likely means “tolerable” instead of “teeth jarring”.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I think your current Buick will make you happier than any Alpha platform vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        Unfortunately here in 2019 “new wagons Under $40K” could be written on a post-it note.

        In say 2026 or so it might be “Sports Sedans under (the inflation adjusted equivalent) $50K” that could be written on a post-it note.

        To quote Professor Farnsworth – “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.”

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          I’m really glad I don’t drive much and have a bunch of cars. I could probably not buy another car for the rest of my life with a little luck. There is so little I have any interest in at this point it isn’t even funny anymore.

  • avatar

    we won’t know how well it sells since the General keeps secrets…

    the latest iteration of a new product that marketing will kill.

    brought to you by the management that ZIGS.

  • avatar

    Cadillac needs to keep up its performance reputation. It is now the only advantage they have over Lincoln. This is why the black wing engine needs to be produced. Hopefully, after the UAW negotiations the CT6-V will stay in production. It is still Cadillac’s best car.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      The weird thing is that Lincoln has quietly been putting 400 hp engines in their cars for years now, but hasn’t made much noise about it. Sure, the MKZ is a just a fancy version of the Fusion, but the 3.0TT makes it go fast.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “It is now the only advantage they have over Lincoln.”

      Well, to be fair, Cadillac has better quality too:

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2019/09/report-widespread-2020-ford-explorer-and-lincoln-aviator-quality-issues-has-automaker-scrambling/

  • avatar
    Rick Astley

    It seems pricing isn’t available yet, but I would be cross shopping this with the Mazda6 GT premium.

    The Mazda will probably cost $3-5K less, drive better, look better, softer touch surfaces and better ergonomics. If you can get past a FWD which drives quite well as opposed to RWD which will most likely drive on the wrong side of “spirited”.

    As a nearly 40-year-old who can purchase cars in this category, I have no clue why a car like the CT4 would exist or enter my consciousness come car-buying time. And i’m probably about 20 years younger than the average current-Cadillac owner and in the age range they are seeking to get in touch with.

  • avatar
    KingShango

    Real talk; Cadillac needs to fire everyone in their marketing departments. Regardless of the actual quality of the car, “CT4 350T” seems like the worst possible scenario of all this alpha numeric naming nonsense.

    And who’s idea was it to ruin the V series brand? They spent years building that as a credible performance competitor to the M’s and AMG’s of the world only to throw it all away and start over with Blackwing which I’m sure will get replaced with something else in 5 years.

    It’s depressing to watch Cadillac keep floundering like this.

    • 0 avatar

      I went looking for a VSport. In the NY Metro area, there was one (one) cpo in the area. Nothing new. If they made more than one production run they never told anyone about it.

      The V series as over the top Godzillas made perfect sense with the VSport the DD version. Since no one ever saw a VSport except on line or in magazine, well…..

      Cadillac dealers all got one or two V cars, and put them on a pedestal with ADP stickers. This isn’t any way to run a railroad or build a performance brand. You can build brillance (and the ATS-V is brilliant) but the dealers all think they have a limited Ferrari.

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    The front clip would look 100% better without the ‘tears’ but from the C-pillar back it’s just awkward as hell. I get the feeling this was a de Nysschen leftover that they were just too far into the development process to abandon.

    And you think the ATS was a failure on the sales charts well I have to believe you ain’t seen nothing yet.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Why is Cadillac building “entry luxury” vehicles? If you are a luxury brand, build luxury vehicles.

    Every one of these you sell drags the brand down from what you say you want to be.

    (Who is the target customer for this vehicle – the college-age kids of the Cadillac executives? That’s a segment of like 15 people.)

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    That Newton metres jazz is so pathetic. We wanted to put a 350 on it to get you thinking of the 350 SBC of old, but wait not its turbozzz!

  • avatar
    MKizzy

    My first impression is that this is CT4 is the first Caddy under its new design language that actually looks really good.

    Then I saw the rear view featuring a trunk which looks like it came from a car one size larger. How unfortunate.

  • avatar
    downunder

    So this is what has been seen lurking around Melbourne lately. Possible replacement for the Insignia/Commodore? How would have thought that a rwd sedan would make it down under, Oh that’s right we had one! On a more somber note, if this is the replacement for Commodore and it comes in as a Cadillac, that’ll be when Holden disappears altogether, and we get the GM badges back on the dealerships.

  • avatar
    ThomasSchiffer

    The hate for this car is interesting and confusing to me.

    From my point of view the power output is very high. Where are you going to exploit this power on your speed-limited roads and highways?

    I had a low opinion of 4-cylinders until I experienced the latest and current versions on the market. Suffice to say the refinement and NVH characteristics have made a quantum leap with these engines coming incredibly close (if not even surpassing) the refinement of some 6-cylinder engines.

    In my humble opinion this is a good move by GM. An entry-level, sporty and fast Cadillac is bound to attract new buyers. If the car and ownership experience are any good these buyers will very likely stick with Cadillac products in the future. Mission accomplished. That is what matters, is it not?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      This is the engine going into the CT4

      youtu.be/4wJCw7jDikI

      It is a very undersquare large displacement 4-cylinder that GM claims was specifically developed for use in a pickup. I don’t see how it belongs in a luxury car or a sports sedan. But if you’re into it, knock yourself out, it’s your money.

      Our roads also aren’t so speed limited that you can’t use a higher power engine. My car makes 365hp and I can still go WOT several times a day without breaking any speed laws.

      • 0 avatar
        ThomasSchiffer

        I do not live in the USA, so I will never have any real-world experiences with this car unless it somehow makes its way to Germany. That is very unlikely.

        So I cannot comment on its 4-cylinder, but I would have thought that based on current technological progress its 4-cylinder engine would have the refinement and NVH characteristics of its rivals.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        This. I have no problem with Cadillac sharing basic engine designs with other GM products – it only makes sense. But the basic 2.7T design should be the starting point for Cadillacs. Use different tuning and components. Build it by hand or on a line exclusively meant for Cadillacs. Do SOMETHING to make it special to the car, because otherwise, you’ve got a Caddy with an engine that’s straight out of a cheapo truck, and in the end, I don’t car how it performs – that’s bulls**t. This is the same mistake they made with their ENTIRE line of car engines – save the V-sport and V models, they’re all straight out of Chevys. Not acceptable.

        • 0 avatar

          Literally the flaw of Caddy is the parts bin. GM needs to make the normal car special, not just the V or Blackwing, none of which see the light of day save magazines and car shows.

        • 0 avatar
          ThomasSchiffer

          I was unaware that the motor came from a truck. But generally I am not opposed to 4-cylinder engines in luxury vehicles, which are quite good these days in their NVH characteristics and power delivery.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      “In my humble opinion this is a good move by GM. An entry-level, sporty and fast Cadillac is bound to attract new buyers. If the car and ownership experience are any good these buyers will very likely stick with Cadillac products in the future. Mission accomplished.”

      That’s what this car’s predecessor was all about, and it was a total flop. This is just version 2.0, with a different name and worse engines. Mission failed.

    • 0 avatar
      Snooder

      The power output is garbage.

      I used to drive an ATS coupe with the 2.0t. My sister wanted something more reliable, so she got a Lexus RC200t.

      The difference in driving dynamics was night and day. Enough so that she complained bitterly about it after we switched cars one day since I was the one who convinced her the Lexus would be a good choice.

      This new CT4 has less hp and torque than the RC200t.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    It looks OK, which at this point in time is a huge thing in it’s favor, but I don’t think I’ll ever be old enough to drive a Cadillac. Looks like Dodge is going to be my pick until the end of my driving days, unless they lose their way with the next gen Challenger.

  • avatar
    Best_Ever

    Lol.

  • avatar
    deanst

    So the optional engine is from GM’s pickups?

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    Looks like a first gen Cruze. Ridiculous super size styrofoam console eating up space inside.

    Over and out in three years

  • avatar
    Drew Cadillac

    The exterior looks pretty good, but this car is tiny and should in no way be called a “Cadillac”. I thought that Cadillac had learned its lesson regarding tiny cars when they presented the Cimarron in the early 1980’s.

    For some reason there’s a belief that Cadillac has to offer “entry level” vehicles. As if someone is going to buy a Cadillac as their first car and then stick with the brand for the rest of their life. If that theory were valid, then Cadillac should offer tricycles for kiddies. Or maybe even baby strollers. After all – customer for life!

    The reality is that Cadillac has rightly meant the top of the line car, for people who frankly have a lot of money to spend. It meant a very roomy car, plush ride, first class interior, with all the bells and whistles (i.e. latest electronic gadgets). When you rode in a Cadillac, you were experiencing something different and great, that you’d aspire to own yourself, if/when you too had the big bucks.

    Instead of sticking with a very successful plan, Cadillac decided that their path should change to being an imitator of BMW, but at a cheaper price. So if BMW gives the public cramped, hard-riding cars, then so will Cadillac. If BMW sells cheap entry level cars, then so will Cadillac. One problem of following BMW is that by the time Cadillac has copied an existing BMW product and brought it to market, it’s 5 years or so behind that product, due to development and production time. The other glaring problem is that if the public wants to buy a BMW, they’ll buy a BMW, not a car that screams “BMW wannabe for the budget minded”.

    If GM wants to sell cramped, hard-riding, cheap little cars – they should do so under that Chevrolet name. By putting this mediocrity on the market under the Cadillac name, people will think “Oh I’ve been in a Cadillac, it’s nothing special”. Yet, they really will not have experienced what Cadillac is supposed to be, or at least what it was back when it was the leading luxury brand in the US market.

    IF Cadillac is going to make a dimensionally small-ish car, it should still be very roomy for driver and all passengers. How can this be accomplished? Really the only way would be to make it a two seater. But that would take original thinking, something clearly lacking at GM, especially Cadillac.

    I’m sure if someone suggested making this a 2 seat only, “personal luxury” car, someone at GM would say “but but but BMW makes a small 4 passenger car, they don’t make a small 2 passenger car”. Which is exactly the point. Let the other brands cheapen themselves for “entry level” while Cadillac retains actual luxury standards. Cadillac should stand out in the luxury field, as a pioneer of its own course, rather than being a meek follower of others. It’s so sad to see the decline of this once-great brand, run into the ground by unworthy idiots who don’t have a clue about what Cadillac means or should be. Or frankly how to be a profitable brand, since this is actually a business, not a plaything.

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