2023 Cadillac CT4 Review – The Cure for the Common Bimmer?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Fast Facts

2023 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury Fast Facts

2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (310 horsepower @ 5,500 RPM, 350 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,000 RPM (with premium fuel))
Transmission/Drive Wheel Layout
10-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Fuel Economy, MPG
21 city / 29 highway / 29 combined (EPA Rating)
Fuel Economy, L/100km
11.3 city / 8.1 highway / 9.9 combined (NRCan Rating)
Base Price
$38,995 (U.S.) / $53,234 (Canada)
As-Tested Price
$53,215 (U.S.) / $60,234 (Canada)
Prices include $1,395 destination charge in the United States and $2,400 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.
2023 cadillac ct4 review the cure for the common bimmer

Last week I wrote about a BMW 3-Series that reminded me of Bimmers of the past, at least in terms of being fun to drive. I also pointed out that it was a relative bargain.

The 2023 Cadillac CT4 heard that and said “hold my beer.”

To be clear, this Caddy isn’t exactly as dynamically sound as the Bimmer. If I were about to spend the morning blasting a back road, I’d pick the BMW every time. But the Cadillac handles well enough to make me at least pause and think about it.

It doesn’t feel quite as light on its feet as the BMW, in part because all-wheel drive adds weight (this car is about 200 pounds more than the 3-Series I tested), but the CT4 is nonetheless a joy to put through its paces.

The 2.7-liter turbocharged four under the hood of my tester (310 horsepower, 350 lb-ft of torque with premium fuel) certainly helps. This car has enough grunt to keep up in traffic.

And it has the handling dialed in well enough that you’ll have fun. Again, other sport-luxury sedans are a bit better, but this Caddy is no slouch. It’s a bit of a sleeper choice, to be sure, but it’s good enough when the road turns curvy that you’ll be in a good mood when you park.

There’s not a huge ride trade-off, either. Yes, this car is on the stiff side, especially on broken pavement, but it’s tolerable.

On the negative side of the ledger, the steering is a bit too artificial in feel. At least the 10-speed automatic is seen and not felt.

Where the CT4 falls a bit short has more to do with creature comfort than driving dynamics. The interior materials below the beltline feel too chintzy for a car that stickers for over $50K, and the cabin just doesn’t feel special enough to earn the Cadillac badge. Also, as with the 3-Series, I found the CT4’s interior quarters to be a little cramped, especially in the rear.

I continue to be confounded by Cadillac's choice to shoehorn an infotainment screen onto the top of the center stack.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention SuperCruise – though my experience with it was limited compared to another test later. The semi-autonomous, hands-free system generally worked without issue, though a poorly-painted exit ramp off Chicago’s famed Lake Shore Drive confused it and required me to take back over. The system is easy to activate and use, though I can never fully relax using these systems – I am always ready to take over.

SuperCruise adds a huge chunk to the MSRP -- $7,700 for the package, which also includes navigation, Bose audio, a climate package, and a technology package. Oh, and it requires a subscription. All-wheel drive adds another $2,000 and the 2.7 turbo costs $2,500. Take away SuperCruise and all-wheel drive, and the CT4 could be a bargain competitor to the BMW. Instead, this car cost $2K more.

Comparisons to BMW aside, the base price of $38,995* gets you 18-inch wheels, performance suspension, satellite radio, remote start, dual-zone climate control, LED headlamps and taillamps, keyless entry and starting, leather seats, wireless cell phone charging, and adaptive cruise control.

*The pricing here is confusing. My test car’s Monroney had a base of $38,995, but the online configurator lists a Premium Luxury – my tester’s trim – at $47,790 before destination. That’s with AWD and the 2.7-liter engine, which were listed as options on the Monroney.

Safety aids include forward-collision alert, front-pedestrian braking, front and rear park assist, teen driver software, enhanced automatic emergency braking, lane-change alert with side blind-zone alert, following-distance indicator, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Fuel economy is listed as 21/29/24. A respectable highway number, at least.

I like the CT4 a lot as a sleeper alternative to the BMWs and Audis of the world, though it can’t win on value unless you skip SuperCruise and all-wheel drive. The BMW is a better car for performance driving, but the Cadillac is right there in the conversation.

Moving away from comparisons and evaluating the CT4 in a vacuum, you find that if you can overlook some flaws in terms of interior-material quality and lack of space, you’ll find that it’s plenty engaging to drive. It’s a quality entrant in the compact luxury/sport sedan space. It won’t sway you away from the BWM showroom – at least, not equipped as my test car was – but it will, on its own merits, be a satisfying sedan.

To answer the question posed by the headline, this car is not the cure for the common BMW. And that is OK – it doesn’t have to be. It just has to be a very good Cadillac.

Which it mostly is. A nicer interior would be appreciated, but the car’s performance lets us forgive those sins.

The CT4 is in the conversation, and that might just be enough.

[Images © 2023 Tim Healey/TTAC.com]

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2 of 79 comments
  • Anish Anish on Aug 16, 2023

    Oh Jeff but they do. A good chunk of bmw owners switched over to Tesla. Why wouldn't they. They do have published statistics

  • Conundrum Conundrum on Aug 17, 2023

    Pretty good review. Told me enough to read between the lines, and not bother looking at Cadillacs. The 2014 ATS was no match for my 08 Legacy GT when I test drove it. The ATS interior was also meh then.and hasn't improved.

    Don't know if Genesis has bothered to stick their 2.5T engine in the G70. The 2.0t sucked big time when I drove one four years ago, as did the tranny. And the interior was lovely. The back seat however was worse than any other sedan of the nominal size. The road noise from the rear tires dominated the noise the driver heard. Saying this as my brother got a '23 2.5t GV70 and all my criticisms of the G70 were gone. However, it's no handler, merely competent. The interior is still amazing.

    Not a BMW or Audi fan, and Cadillac CT4 is obviously useless for the money. Not much left in the sedan field, so you can ignore my advice like my pal did and buy a squeaky rattling Kia Stinger V6, a cheapo extended wheelbase G70. Didn't even check that the Stinger is discontinued for '24. No wonder it was the only new Kia sitting on the lot. Everyone else at least read the write-ups.

    Finally a few Tesla 3's around here. Joke interior, and the word is the suspension is useless on our frost-heaved roads, Never settles. VoGhost lives in lala land. A cheap tin box isn't a premium car, and California roads don't exist here. Go charge yoursel Superly.

  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )
  • Thehyundaigarage Yes, Canadian market vehicles have had immobilizers mandated by transport Canada since around 2001.In the US market, some key start Toyotas and Nissans still don’t have immobilizers. The US doesn’t mandate immobilizers or daytime running lights, but they mandate TPMS, yet canada mandates both, but couldn’t care less about TPMS. You’d think we’d have universal standards in North America.
  • Alan I think this vehicle is aimed more at the dedicated offroad traveller. It costs around the same a 300 Series, so its quite an investment. It would be a waste to own as a daily driver, unless you want to be seen in a 'wank' vehicle like many Wrangler and Can Hardly Davidson types.The diesel would be the choice for off roading as its quite torquey down low and would return far superior mileage than a petrol vehicle.I would think this is more reliable than the Land Rovers, BMW make good engines. https://www.drive.com.au/reviews/2023-ineos-grenadier-review/
  • Lorenzo I'll go with Stellantis. Last into the folly, first to bail out. Their European business won't fly with the German market being squeezed on electricity. Anybody can see the loss of Russian natural gas and closing their nuclear plants means high cost electricity. They're now buying electrons from French nuclear plants, as are the British after shutting down their coal industry. As for the American market, the American grid isn't in great shape either, but the US has shale oil and natural gas. Stellantis has profits from ICE Ram trucks and Jeeps, and they won't give that up.
  • Inside Looking Out Chinese will take over EV market and Tesla will become the richest and largest car company in the world. Forget about Japanese.