By on September 10, 2020

Cadillac is upping the ante on the CT4 and CT5 for the 2021 model year. As both cars were introduced last year and the upgrades represent fairly comprehensive changes to both vehicles, this refresh is quite curious. Either General Motors spent the pandemic being more productive than we initially presumed or this is a desperate effort to make these cars more appealing to Americans. U.S. Cadillac sales decreased by 41.4 percent in the second quarter of 2020, so we’re inclined to believe either scenario.

The biggest change the manufacturer would like you to know about the ability to option GM’s Enhanced Super Cruise system. While still limited to divided highways, it technically offers hands-free driving on a limited basis… though that’s technically true of all vehicles with decent wheel alignment. Super Cruise is a bit fancier than that and will offer the ability to changes lanes and is no longer limited to the V-Series trims, starting in 2021.

General Motors will also be equipping both cars with wireless Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity and its new 12-inch digital instrument cluster with driver-selectable themes. This includes a fairly traditional touring theme, a performance-oriented sport theme, and a minimalist stealth theme. There’s also a track theme for CT4-V and CT5-V models that’s allegedly different than the aforementioned sport.

Customizing your display not scratching the correct itch? We hear you and are happy to say that the CT5 has opened the door for a performance package that adds Magnetic Ride Control and a mechanical limited-slip differential on Sport models. Customers can also throw on a set of Brembo brakes. Premium Luxury CT4 and CT5 trims can go an alternative route by selecting the Diamond Sky package that attempts to dazzle occupants with an interior light show and some unique rims. It also gets those fancy stoppers for good measure.

The rest of the updates seem safety focused. Cadillac wants to make buckle-to-drive mandatory (though it can be disabled after purchase) to ensure people aren’t putting around unrestrained. The system basically immobilizes the car until you’ve buckled up and is part of GM’s ever-expanding attempt to reign in teen drivers. Ultimately, the company sees “teen mode” as an opportunity to limit a vehicle’s function through speed limiters, geofencing, and the constant tracking of driving behaviors. If it sounds pretty good until you put yourself in the shoes of the teen driver that’s going to have to contend with constant reminders to drive safe as it transmits their every move back to home base.

[Images: General Motors]


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14 Comments on “Cadillac Enhances 2021 CT4, CT5 With Digital Delights...”

  • avatar

    That’s “rein in”, not “reign in”. No Monarchs are involved, and millions of horses over the centuries have been reined-in.

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry


      If you are going to be pedantic, you might want to improve your own writing.

      The period and comma always go inside the quotation mark. Additionally, monarch does not need to be capitalized.

      • 0 avatar

        The period does not go inside a quotation, which is treated as a word in itself, obviously, not as in written-down conversation. So you’re incorrect there.

        I capitalized Monarch on purpose to emphasize reign. Put it this way, I disable spell checkers on all my devices because in 70 odd years I’ve read enough to know how to spell. Some amateur Apple or Google spell checker, like Microsoft’s old “Encarta”, is a joke.

        How’s your Mazda6 doing? I like mine a lot.

        • 0 avatar
          R Henry

          The M6 is perfect for my needs, and dead reliable after 5 years and 120k miles.

          As for the period outside the quotation mark, I repectfully maintain my position.

  • avatar

    Maybe I’ll be fortunate enough to see one of (either of) these models on the road before they’re cancelled. I’ve literally only seen them on dealer lots…perhaps they’ll try some more aggressive lease programs for a change.

    • 0 avatar

      “perhaps they’ll try some more aggressive lease programs for a change.”

      That’s exactly what came to my mind along with the question, “How do these Digital Delight frills translate into actual sales?

      An individual has to be predisposed to want to drive a Cadillac product, whether bought or leased, and hasn’t that been the problem with the Cadillac brand since before and after Carmageddon in 2009?

      For the kind of money that Caddy wants, I can think of far better cars with German or Japan name plates.

      • 0 avatar

        “For the kind of money that Caddy wants, I can think of far better cars with German or Japan name plates.”

        Korean maybe. A CT5-V starts at $47,600. A C43 starts at $56K, an M340i starts $55K, and an S4 begins at $50K. So GM is giving you 15% off out of the gate versus Mercedes and BMW. The Audi is closer but it is also AWD only. It might still be worth going German, but at least Cadillac isn’t pricing at parity anymore.

        I’m not sure if there is any direct Japanese competition right now. The ES350 F-Sport is about the same price but considerably down on performance while the GS-F is over $75K and plays in a different class. The Acura Type-S isn’t out yet, but it is supposed to start over $50L

        • 0 avatar

          I don’t know much about Korean cars. I did visit their factory with my brothers when Hyundai first opened up many years ago but have only actually owned one 2013 Hyundai Elantra, bought new for my grand daughter’s HS grad.

          If I was in the market for this type of vehicle, my first choice would be a Mercedes or Lexus, second choice a BMW, and third an Audi.

          Mercedes, BMW and Audi require expensive maintenance intervals while Lexus will soldier on even if regular maintenance interval is missed or neglected.

          When my brothers took in off-lease Lexii, they often had not been serviced for the entire lease period.

          True dat.

          It’s disgusting what people do to cars they don’t own.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            “It’s disgusting what people do to cars they don’t own.”

            LOL, yep…but I thought buying CPO, off lease cars was the smart buy here. People lease for a reason. People buying off lease vehicles should keep that in mind.

            while I maintain my leases as good as I do the cars I own (by the book except for oil changes which are full synthetic at 5k regardless of what the monitor says remains), and keep them impeccably clean as I was a detailer long ago, I drive them like the 2-3 year rentals they are. They all see red line, track time, drag strips, and general hoonery regularly.

            I don’t lease them because I want that lower payment or any of that nonsense…I lease them so they are out of my life in 2-3 years. They are all typically cars that I don’t want to own long term because they are German or Italian and bring expense and headache after a few years, or they are cars that I intend to drive in the manner that they are generally driven in their marketing materials. Not long term relationship material.

            I’m not sure why the CPO crowd sees it as my responsibility to baby a car for them so they can get a sweet deal when I’m done with it. Don’t like it, buy new.

      • 0 avatar

        spot on HDC.

  • avatar

    What flavor of exciting 3 cylinder engine will we be getting?

    • 0 avatar

      You put your finger on the reason they don’t sell, or get good reviews. The last review of a Cadillac I read cited the electronic wizardry and the good handling, along with the endemic lack of visibility, but noted the pedestrian drivetrain as unworthy of a “luxury” car.

      Cadillac used to have the biggest, most powerful V-8 engines available, but now even V-6 engines are scarce in their lineup. GM apparently saw the combination of emissions and fuel economy standards tightening to the point that using small, turbo-charged engines was the only solution.

    • 0 avatar

      No, no, these are CADILLACS. You get 4 cylinder luxury

  • avatar

    Nissan and Honda called. They want there hind quarters back.

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