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  • Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell

    First Impressions: 2020 Cadillac CT5

      ...Cadillac takes a middle road...

    2020 Cadillac CT5-3.jpgThe Cadillac ATS and CTS didn't sell well.  They had great handling and a large selection of engines, but they were hampered by interiors that were cramped for the class and infotainment systems that could confound people.  Sedans are dying, Cadillac gets that too. That's why they are consolidating the ATS and CTS onto a single car called the CT5, released last week at the New York International Auto Show. Rumors have it that the CT5 will start in the mid-30s and Cadillac is insisting that, despite its size, the CT5 is aligned against the 3-series and C-Class. But in doing so, where does that leave the car? Could Cadillac be realigning their cars so they become the largest cars in a particular price class?  It would be a very traditionally Cadillac thing to do. There was a time when Cadillac would brag about having the longest production cars in its class. Even the original CTS was sized like a 5-series but priced like a 3-series.  More on that later. 

    2020 Cadillac CT5-4.jpgI'm a lifelong fan of Cadillac.  I want to be excited about the CT5. While I do think the car looks handsome, it doesn't excite me like the CT6 does.  There is no one thing I can put my finger on, not even the black plastic triangle playing the part of a third window.  The car just doesn't command a presence as the CT6 does. And though the overall look of the front is handsome, I get flashbacks of Impala from certain angles. It does look far better in person than Cadillac's or my own photography show.

    Inside, Cadillac has upped their game on the quality of the materials, but they phoned the styling in. As some readers have pointed out, it even appears as if some trim pieces have been repurposed from the CTS. There is a large tablet stuck to the dash for the infotainment system, which is thankfully no longer the old CUE system. It looks to be similar in function and layout to those found in GMC's trucks. I have found that system to work well, so I don't see any problem there. A large dial in the center console can control the unit as well, useful if you're wearing gloves.  Capacitive touch buttons have been replaced by real physical buttons. They are well weighted and feel substantial, indeed even Mercedes-like for the HVAC controls.    Cadillac took to heart all of the criticism over their gauges in the previous cars and produced a good looking set of round dials for tach and speedometer with a driver information screen between.  The seats are firm and supportive, getting into position is quick and easy, but they don't 2020 Cadillac CT5-5.jpgmatch the 24+ way seats that Lincoln is offering these days.  Rear seat room has improved dramatically over the ATS, though feels about the same as a CTS.  Cadillac's Precision Control Shift is there.  I've found it annoying to use, but it has a similar operation to the BMW gear control that many people like, so maybe it is just me.  I think Cadillac (and everyone else) should chuck the shifter knob on their cars and go to something more digital.  One piece of technology in the CT5 that I really love is Cadillac's SuperCruise.  I've used SuperCruise to drive from Pittsburgh to New York, roughly 350 miles, and I was only actively piloting the car for about 10% of the time. 

    Engines in the CT5 seem to be introductory offers, but there is also room to grow. The base engine is a 2.0 liter twin-scroll turbo producing 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. That's a bit light for the class.  The optional engine is a 3.0 liter twin-turbo making 335 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque.  Both engines are mated to a 10-speed automatic with all-wheel drive optional. Both engines also have displacement on demand and can shut down cylinders to conserve fuel in light-load situations.  Cadillac has plenty of room to maneuver here with engines though. For future versions like V-Sport and V-Series, they have the 400hp version of the 3.0TT, or the 420hp 3.6TT, or the new 4.2 liter Blackwing when more performance is called for.  

    Overall, this could be a very compelling car starting at $34,995 and being as long as a Mercedes-Benz E-Class. That's where the size issue comes in. Cadillac would have a hard time moving this CT5 if they price it alongside the same size German models. If this is going to be Cadillac's strategy, offer the biggest car for the price, then they need to drum that mindset into the heads of consumers. That takes advertising dollars.  Otherwise, they are just going to be repeatedly compared to vehicles outside of their price class and lose in every comparison test.  The CT6 being priced just $1,000 more than an E-Class leads me to believe this is what they are intending to do.   

    Read other First Impressions from the New York International Auto Show below:

    First Impressions: 2020 Hyundai Venue

    First Impressions: 2020 Lincoln Corsair

    First Impressions: 2020 Ford Escape

    2020 Cadillac CT5-1.jpg

     

     

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    Just now, regfootball said:

    Just think about this,

    if you asked a bunch of people, 

    would they pick the CT5, or

    the KIA STINGER

    if the answer is 'Stinger', then right there that tells you how much Cadillac botched this.......

    CT5. I've driven a Stinger. I don't need to drive an Alpha based CT5 to know the Cadillac will drive and ride better than the Stinger.

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    And if the answer is 'CT6' over '740i' - does that tell you how badly BMW botched that?

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    21 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    CT5. I've driven a Stinger. I don't need to drive an Alpha based CT5 to know the Cadillac will drive and ride better than the Stinger.

    i am actually not a Stinger fan, but it gets so much press in the buff books, and it seems to have so many fanbois.  On social media anyways.  But i think my question was as much about style as anything.  Again, not a Stinger fan myself, but I don't think the CT5 will trump the Stinger  on the style question for most folks.......

     

    and, if cadillac truly did put a small trunk in the CT5 then that's another something unforgivable that Cadillac keeps doing on the CTS / ATS etcc....

    Edited by regfootball

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    20 minutes ago, balthazar said:

    And if the answer is 'CT6' over '740i' - does that tell you how badly BMW botched that?

    In that one, the Cadillac drives you.

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    On 4/26/2019 at 12:52 PM, ccap41 said:

    This is how you do the coupe styling on a sedan. 

    CLS.jpg

    CLS2.jpg

    It is, but they botched the 2019 model, I think that is the worst looking car they make now.  Gen 1 and 2 were spot on though.

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    On 4/27/2019 at 8:12 PM, smk4565 said:

    It is, but they botched the 2019 model, I think that is the worst looking car they make now.  Gen 1 and 2 were spot on though.

    Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the newest one.. Pretty sad because they truly created this segment and now it looks worse than the Audi 7 and BMW 6.

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    8 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the newest one.. Pretty sad because they truly created this segment and now it looks worse than the Audi 7 and BMW 6.

    The idea of 4-door coupe is so played out now, Mercedes should drop the CLS after this generation.  They have an E-class sedan and E-class 2 door coupe, as a coupe should be.  That is enough, and the AMG GT 4-door is there is you want something else and that has actual performance, where as the CLS is like an oversized, overweight E-class at this point.

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    A third grader needs to cobble together a photoshop of a CT5 with an actual trunk and send it to Cadillac.  Maybe they'll get a clue.

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    Now you know why there is no trunk!  Look at the size of that hood!

    the gray luxury one looks like an accord a little bit

    c pillar still sucks  these were fresh off caddy’s web site  

    A5FCF228-82B5-418B-8A4A-9582ABC13E44.png

    C9068048-747F-4781-A54A-8D519DC89C14.png

    E4800932-4A1F-4EB7-A174-D11BDA346D57.png

    Edited by regfootball

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    Cadillac was being late to everything and slowly destroyed as Johan was just a German wanna be executive and clearly only cared about Germany and not the US.

    While I am sure the CT5 will drive nice, Cadillac should have made sure to be tops in all departments and this is where they screwed the Pooch!

    image.png

    Turbo I4 should have been at least 285HP / 300 lb-ft of torque with the Turbo V6 at the 400 / 400 level and then give the CT6 a  retune to push it to at least 450/450 or close to 500 level. The cars would move and people would be on notice that you had luxury sedans that could drive and move their solid feeling weight!

    As @ocnblu has stated, someone needs to photoshop a CT5 with a real trunk. While it is nice that it has more rear leg room, a luxury auto still is supposed to have a trunk. Adding a few more inches in the rear would have given a better sized trunk and they could have increased the pathetic headroom in the rear.

    Thanks to @regfootball for the links to the interesting reads. I like the Engineering story, but I still say they cut corners on the rear C pillar. I do love the camera in the shark fin and the whole auto is Cadillac / GMs first to allow over the air updates on all electronic modules in the auto. This is the future that Tesla has shown every OEM should embrace. Why GM did not think of this from the beginning of On-Star is beyond me.

    CT5 Trunk is Pathetic for a Luxury Car.

    See the source image

    Side Profile for comparison.

    image.png

    V-Edition of the CT5?

    image.png

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    2 hours ago, dfelt said:

    As @ocnblu has stated, someone needs to photoshop a CT5 with a real trunk. While it is nice that it has more rear leg room, a luxury auto still is supposed to have a trunk. Adding a few more inches in the rear would have given a better sized trunk and they could have increased the pathetic headroom in the rear.

    At that point you just move up to the next car. You can't have all the open space in a smaller car and expect it to be as roomy as their next vehicle up the ladder. 

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    Have to get something large like a Mustang, Yaris or Accent to get more cargo space.

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    1 hour ago, ccap41 said:

    At that point you just move up to the next car. You can't have all the open space in a smaller car and expect it to be as roomy as their next vehicle up the ladder. 

    I understand moving up, but we have shrunk cars and what is full size today is anything but full size when looking at real size cars of the 70's and early 80's before the shrink it all down happened. CT6 could stand to grow in size too.

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    far too much length in the hood, wasted, that could be returned to trunk overhang.  RWD chassis does not have to mean the cabin is so far rearward that there is no trunk.  CT5 has increased WB that was returned entirely to rear seat leg room, which is good.  So the end equation is remove some length between the front axle and firewall and tack it on to the rear overhang.  And then put a hatch on it.  BS from Cadillac on that.

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    56 minutes ago, regfootball said:

    far too much length in the hood, wasted, that could be returned to trunk overhang.  RWD chassis does not have to mean the cabin is so far rearward that there is no trunk.  CT5 has increased WB that was returned entirely to rear seat leg room, which is good.  So the end equation is remove some length between the front axle and firewall and tack it on to the rear overhang.  And then put a hatch on it.  BS from Cadillac on that.

    So one question that has not been brought up, when we move to solid state denser power holding batteries that reduces the over all size of battery packs and sedans from Cadillac, MB, BMW, etc. go electric, could we like Tesla move to having a Frunk and Trunk that make up this size issue?

    If so, would people want a bigger trunk of a big Frunk pr a balance between the two?

    I truly believe that we can have bigger interior room and trunk / frunk size with EVs. Bolt does show this as I can fit in it and behind the seat in front that is set for me.

    🤔🤔🤔

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    image.png

    image.png

     

     

    image.png

     

    LOST IN TRANSLATION, NOT A LOT OF ESCALA ON THAT CT5

     

    Image result for escala

     

     

    Edited by regfootball
    • Haha 3

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    1 hour ago, KevinW said:


    That's a CT6 2.0E.

    Really? OK, it was listed on the Google search as a CT5 trunk. Thank you

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    Front end is 90% Escala. I would not expect a lower series sedan to bring 100% of the concept to market as is- it's not the spot for what is more clearly a upper tier model :
     

    Screen Shot 2019-05-10 at 7.03.58 PM.png

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    smk4565

    Posted (edited)

    Cadillac needs to start comparing that CT5 to the ES350, MKZ, and Q50, hell maybe a Kia Stinger or Acura TLX.  Change the narrative, they look bad in any comparison they do with BMW and Mercedes.  And plastic on the C-pillar a la the Cruze is just terrible and shouldn't have black plastic on a pillar of a luxury car.  

    Edited by smk4565

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    balthazar

    Posted (edited)

    On April 27, 2019 at 7:53 PM, regfootball said:

    ...why is the 3.0 tuned down so much on horsepower???

    base 2.0 has less power and CT5 is heavier.

    Question is; will BMW upgrade the torque on their 3.0 ???
    And when will they get on the 10-spd train???
    And the 2 cars basically weigh the same- 78 lbs is nothing???

    ???

     

    ?

    Edited by balthazar

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    12 minutes ago, smk4565 said:

    Cadillac needs to start comparing that CT5 to the ES350, MKZ, and Q50, hell maybe a Kia Stinger or Acura TLX.  Change the narrative, they look bad in any comparison they do with BMW and Mercedes.  And plastic on the C-pillar a la the Cruze is just terrible and shouldn't have black plastic on a pillar of a luxury car.  

    So then you agree that all MB products need to be compared to the same products from Chevy and Toyota since they use allot of cheap materials, hard plastics and over all have gone from a Luxury product line to a Toyolet product line with the cheap cars and vans, etc.

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    1 hour ago, balthazar said:

    Question is; will BMW upgrade the torque on their 3.0 ???
    And when will they get on the 10-spd train???
    And the 2 cars basically weigh the same- 78 lbs is nothing???

    ???

     

    ?

    Since BMW doesn't make their own transmission and they buy ZF units, I guess they will get 10 speeds when ZF makes it.  

    Mercedes ran 81 billion simulations in 2015 and found that a 10 speed has no benefit over a 9-speed however.  So they have already done ZF's work for them, no reason to make a 10-speed.

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