By Frank S. Washington
DETROIT – When it comes to the Cadillac CT4 V Series, there is good news and there is bad news.
Let’s start with the bad news. During our weeklong test drive, a GM retiree with more than 30 years in the company asked us what kind of car it was. Worse, a woman in a grocery store parking lot asked us the same question. She still lamented turning in her Cadillac CTS and was looking for a replacement. She had never heard of the CT4.
We don’t see this car on many urban streets. Yes, we know it is a crossover market but there should still be more copies of the CT4 rolling around. We see so few that it is memorable when we do. The point is that the marketing plan for this sedan is lacking.
Now to the car, it was great. We had the V-Series and that demands we start with the engine.
Under the hood was a new to the entry luxury segment dual scroll 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. For our CT4-V, this engine had been tuned to make 325 horsepower and a whopping 380 pound-feet of torque from an outstanding 1,500 to 4,000 rpm.
It was mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission that could be shifted manually using the gear selector or the paddle shifters. The car got 20 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg combined.
Mileage didn’t sound that great for a four cylinder but factor in 325 horses, the torque and the fun that came with it and we forgot about the mileage. On city streets the CT4-V was tame but the few places in town where we really get on the engine speed was almost instant from any velocity. Handling was precise. It was too early for snow; thus, we didn’t get a chance to check out the all-wheel drive. And we found the brakes better than average.
The CT4-V had that Cadillac front end with the grille that was framed by what we call vertical light blades. It was a rear-wheel drive platform that created an aggressive stance and great handling.
The V Series had a unique dark mesh grille, fascia, rocker extensions and a rear spoiler. It had LED lighting all round including headlamps, taillamps and the vertical lamps at all four corners. Cadillac seems to have mastered the aggressive yet stylish look and now it has given the public a luxury performance sedan that is up to the task.
We climbed inside and found that somebody over in the design and engineering departments was thinking. Instruments were analogue with a TFT screen between the odometer and speedometer. There was a menu of information that could be displayed on the head up display.
The interior was black and “sangria,” a sort of light maroon. They’ve managed to soften the angles in the interior and put in some control buttons for the audio system. There were three different ways to control the volume or select a station on the sound system.
Of course, the car was keyless. We were impressed that you could open any of the four doors by pushing a button on the door handle. There was also stop start, heated, and cooled front seats with manual extenders, and a heated steering wheel.
And that equipment didn’t default when the car was turned off. In other words, we didn’t have to turn that equipment like the heated seats back on when we restarted the CT4 V-Series. That is the thinking we were referring to. That makes a difference in really cold weather and when using remote start on the FOB.
Getting in and out of the back seat was delicate. Cadillac still has not mastered having enough room to slide your feet underneath the front seat without encumbrance. But once in, there was a good bit of head and hip room. The tunnel prevented anybody from riding the ample hump. We checked the trunk and found it cavernous.
The CT4 V-Series was crammed with the usual culprits: voice controls, lane centering, satellite radio, a navigation system, a premium audio system, a high definition rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, a Wi-Fi hotspot, automatic headlights, and high beams.
The 2020 Cadillac CT4 V-Series was packed with performance, practicality, and good looks. It hit the trifecta. The car was base priced at $44,495. Add $6,550 worth of options and a $995 freight change and the total came to $52,040 as tested.
Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com