Cadillac CT5 to fight BMW 3 Series in the luxury heartland

New model takes out two previous Cadillac sedans

New York, NY – Cadillac’s new-product onslaught continues with the CT5, a rear-wheel or all-wheel drive sedan with a distinctive fastback profile. It’s aimed at the heart of the compact luxury sedan market: BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Lexus IS and more.

The CT5 will replace both the ATS sedan and the larger CTS with a single model, built on a newly upgraded GM Alpha platform. Engines are the turbocharged 2-litre first seen in the 2019 CT6, or a 3-liter, twin-turbo V6. A 10-speed automatic transmission is standard.

New user interface

The CT5’s switchgear and infotainment interface are a departure from those on the outgoing models; the old touch-sensitive buttons are no more. There’s a 10in touchscreen mounted high within the instrument panel, conventional dials and buttons for heating and audio control, and a new, centrally mounted, rotary dial.

Dual-microphone, cloud-based natural voice recognition (assuming an OnStar connection) will help the car to learn the voices of regular drivers and passengers to streamline the selection of names from an address book or route selection in the navigation system

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New CT5 comfort and convenience features such as standard Adaptive Remote Start, cabin air purification ionizer and available front-seat lumbar massage. Photo: Cadillac

The improved connectivity options, including Near Field Communication phone pairing, are part of a wider drive to ensure that the car’s technology, “integrates seamlessly and intuitively with the customer’s lifestyle,” according to Ken Kornas, Cadillac’s global product manager. 

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Other focus areas for the CT5’s development were quality, craftsmanship and reliability.

“We’ve made great strides with our new products recently and we are humbly trying to win back customers, one at a time,” Kornas adds. “We know where we came from and we’re getting back to our roots on the things that are truly important to customers, to earn their respect.”

Driving dynamics: what to expect

Ride and handling should be a step up compared to the CTS. 

“The suspension links are all-new,” says Tom Desautels, CT5 program engineering manager. “We stiffened up the body structure and fitted bigger bushings to improve isolation. The CT5 has the precision and athleticism of the Alpha architecture, but it also has improved ride comfort.”

2020 cadillac ct5 sedan
At launch, the model range will include Luxury, Premium Luxury (shown here) and Sport, with a Platinum package available on Premium Luxury and Sport models. Photo: Cadillac

Premium chassis suppliers include Bosch (steering), ZF (damping) and Brembo (brakes on the Sport model). Drivers will be able to keep mobile even with a puncture thanks to 18in Michelin self-sealing tires or 19in all-season runflats.

Cadillac’s Super Cruise system for hands-off-on-the-highway migrates down to the CT5 from the CT6, part of the expected array of driver assistance technologies.

2020 CT5 Release date

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The CT5 will be built in GM’s Lansing Grand River factory from Q4 of 2019 and will reach its first customers by the end of the year.

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Graham Heeps
Based in Calgary, AB, Graham’s outlets include Autocar, Professional Motorsport World, and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology. A lifelong motorsports fan, he’s a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), the Guild of Motoring Writers and the Motor Press Guild, speaks German and collects Matchbox cars (at the same time).