Cadillac is GM’s luxury brand and is as such positioned to compete against the top luxury marques in the world. These include Audi, BMW, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and a more recent addition, Genesis. Like its competitors, Cadillac offers a wide range of utility vehicles, the most popular body style of this era. But the brand hasn’t given up on sedans, long its mainstay. For 2023, Cadillac offers a pair of sedans in the compact CT4 and the midsize CT5. We’ll compare and contrast these models as well as mention the direct competitors.
History of the Cadillac Sedan
Cadillac was founded in 1902 and seven years later it was purchased by General Motors. Its first models were two-seat horseless carriages, transitioning to larger cars powered by V8, V12, and even V16 engines.
The Fleetwood model name arrived in the late 1920s, although most early Cadillacs sported numerical designations such as 70, 75, and 90. By the 1960s, Cadillac pushed oversized luxury sedans such as the DeVille and Eldorado, followed by the smaller Seville in the 1970s. These nameplates, along with Fleetwood, carried the Cadillac marque through the remainder of the century.
A New Century
A new century brought a fresh direction for the brand as well as a new naming convention. The DeVille became the DTS, the Seville was renamed the STS, and a European-styled CTS joined the model line. At the same time, the full-size Escalade SUV rolled out, although it would be years before utility vehicles would overtake sedans in popularity.
In more recent years, the Cadillac marque has undergone another nomenclature change with its most models defined by two letters followed by a single number. For instance, Cadillac crossovers are called the XT4, XT5, and XT6. As for the sedans, we’ve seen CT4, CT5, and CT6 models, although the latter disappeared in 2020.
Cadillac CT4 and CT5
Cadillac’s nomenclature changed in the 2010s, with the previous three-letter arrangement replaced. The sedans currently offered, the CT4 and CT5, were originally known as the ATS and CTS, respectively. The ATS replaced the previous BLS, although the latter was only sold in Europe. In the US, Cadillac briefly offered the Catera, an Opel-based small sedan sold from 1996 to 2001. The Catera followed on the heels of the 1980s Cimarron, Cadillac’s smallest model of the modern era.
As for the CT5, it was previously known as the CTS. This sedan rolled out in 2002 and also spawned the SRX utility vehicle, essentially a tall wagon version of the CTS. The CTS launched a new direction for Cadillac as the brand eschewed its big-time American sedan roots for new models better equipped to tackle Europe’s finest.
Cadillac CT4 v. Cadillac CT5
The Cadillac CT4 and CT5 debuted in 2020, models that share a common platform with the Chevrolet Camaro. Both come in standard rear-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive. Notably, there are no Lincoln equivalent models, thus leaving Cadillac as the sole traditional U.S. luxury make. Homegrown Tesla is also worth a mention, but its fleet is fully electric while the Cadillac sedans are gas-only.
When comparing the two Cadillacs, the designs are similar, there is a foot difference in length, and both share a common base engine. From there, the distinctions in available engines and equipment offer further separation. Of course, the price differential becomes apparent, especially between V-Series Blackwing models.
The CT4 and CT5 are based on the most recent version of Cadillac’s Art & Science design philosophy. Chiseled good looks with sharp edges, expansive LED lights and a Euro style body are front and center. Inside, the look is decidedly upscale, although base versions of the CT4 with synthetic leather seats look low rent. Opt for one of the two available leather treatments for a better look.
Both models seat five, though the CT5 does so without compromise. The CT4’s rear seat is cramped with limited leg and head room. Both models have smaller than average trunk space, however the rear seats fold down to extend the storage space.
The two Cadillacs offer a lengthy list of standard driver-assist technologies. These include the requisite rearview camera. Also, automatic high-beam headlights, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, and forward collision warning come standard. Further, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, and following distance indicator are included. Both models offer front parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, and a head-up display as upgradeable features. By the way, rear parking sensors come standard with the duo.
The CT4 comes with an 8-inch touchscreen display; the CT5 has a 10-inch display. An 8-speaker audio system is included with the CT4, while the CT5 has nine speakers. Other features common to these two include wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, two USB ports, satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and wireless device charging. Optionally, both models offer high-end audio systems with at least 14 speakers and navigation.
Among the Cadillac CT4’s prime competitors are a trio of German models: Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. You might also cross-shop the Genesis G70, Lexus IS, and the Volvo S60.
As for the CT5, its competitors include the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Other models for consideration include the Volvo S90, Genesis G80, and Lexus ES.
These Cadillac sedans won’t be around for long. The brand recognizes that customers want utility vehicles. Further, electrification means new models are in the offing. We believe, however, that at least one sedan will be offered going forward, but it may be the lone sedan from a brand that at one time was defined by them.
2023 Cadillac CT4 & CT5 Specifications
|Segment||Compact Luxury Sedan||Segment||Midsize Luxury Sedan|
|Price Range||$33,395 to $72,290||Price Range||$38,195 to $101,400|
|Destination Charge||$1,395||Destination Charge||$1,395|
|Drivetrain||Front engine, rear- or all-wheel drive||Drivetrain||Front engine, rear- or all-wheel drive|
|Engine No. 1||2.0-liter Turbo I4||Engine No. 1||2.0-liter Turbo I4|
|Horsepower||237 @ 5,000 rpm||Horsepower||237 @ 5,000 rpm|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||258 @ 1,500 to 4,000 rpm||Torque (lb.-ft.)||258 @ 1,500 to 4,000 rpm|
|Bore x Stroke (in./mm)||3.26 x 3.63 / 83 x 92.3||Bore x Stroke (in./mm)||3.26 x 3.63 / 83 x 92.3|
|Compression Ratio||10:1||Compression Ratio||10:1|
|Transmission||8-speed automatic||Transmission||10-speed automatic|
|Engine No. 2||2.7-liter Turbo I4||Engine No. 2||3.0-liter TwinTurbo V6|
|Horsepower||310/325 @ 5,500 rpm||Horsepower||335 @ 5,400 rpm|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||350/380 @ 1,500 to 4,000 rpm||Torque (lb.-ft.)||405 @ 2,350 to 4,000 rpm|
|Bore x Stroke (inches/mm)||3.63 x 4.01 / 92.25 x 102||Bore x Stroke (inches/mm)||3.39 x 3.38 / 86 x 85.8|
|Compression Ratio||10:1||Compression Ratio||9.8:1|
|Transmission||10-speed automatic||Transmission||10-speed automatic</td|
|Engine No. 3||3.6-liter TwinTurbo V6||Engine No. 3||6.2-liter Supercharged V8|
|Horsepower||472 @ 5,750 rpm||Horsepower||668 @ 6,500 rpm|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||445 @ 3,500 rpm||Torque (lb.-ft.)||659 @ 3,600 rpm|
|Bore x Stroke (inches)||3.70 x 3.37||Bore x Stroke (inches)||4.06 x 3.62|
|Compression Ratio||10:2||Compression Ratio||10:1|
|Transmission||6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic||Transmission||6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic</td|
|Curb Weight (pounds)||3,422 to 3,732||Curb Weight (pounds)||3,659 to 4,144|
|Wheelbase (inches)||109.3||Wheelbase (inches)||116.0|
|Length (inches)||187.2||Length (inches)||193.8|
|Width (inches)||71.4||Width (inches)||74.1|
|Height (inches)||56.0||Height (inches)||57.2|
|Headroom (f,r…inches)||38.3/36.5||Headroom (f,r…inches)||39.0/36.6|
|Legroom (f,r…inches)||42.4, 33.4||Legroom (f,r…inches)||42.4, 37.9|
|Shoulder room (f,r…inches)||55.2, 53.9||Shoulder room (f,r…inches)||56.7, 55.7|
|Hip room (f,r…inches)||53.0, 52.5||Hip room (f,r…inches)||53.7,53.7|
|Cargo Storage||10.7||Cargo Storage||11.9|
|Gross vehicle weight (pounds)||N/A||Gross vehicle weight (pounds)||N/A|
|Towing (pounds)||NR||Towing (pounds)||NR|
|Payload (pounds)||N/A||Payload (pounds)||N/A|
|Fuel Tank (gallons)||17.4||Fuel Tank (gallons)||17.4|
|EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway/combined)||15/23/18 to 23/34/27||EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway/combined)||13/21/15 to 23/33/27|
|Manufacturing Plant||Lansing, Michigan||Manufacturing Plant||Lansing, Michigan|
Specifications and images supplied by the manufacturer.