Although it has been teased and rumored for some time, we recently got our first good look at the 2020 Cadillac CT5 and the first impression is remarkable. This is a luxury sedan that places an emphasis on performance, with something for pretty much everyone. While Cadillac has in the past seemed to shoot for a market niche between what some of its competitors offer, with the CT5 they are stepping away from that and going toe-to-toe with the other luxury sedans on the market.
Details are still being released and some specs could still change in the next few months before the first of these beauties start rolling out, but we know a good amount so far. There are two different engines to choose from, three trim levels with their own options and features, and a couple different drivetrains. The interior features we know about are decadent and rich, dripping with luxury while still providing exquisite functionality. Seriously, this thing is gorgeous.
And even though the first draft of the Cadillac CT5 hasn’t even hit dealerships yet, there are already some details and teases about what to expect in the future. But you’ll have to keep reading to find out about all that…
Thing #1: The Engines
From what we know so far, there will be two engines available for the 2020 Cadillac CT5, both of which offer impressive power and performance. The standard engine will be a 2.0L 4-cylinder beauty based on the one that first showed up with the 2019 CT6, which can offer up to 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. While that should be good enough for a lot of drivers, Cadillac is not resting on their laurels here.
Word is there will also be an available 3.0L twin-turbo V6 that provides up to 335 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. Both engines will have active fuel management to help reduce costs and improve fuel efficiency, and they are paired with 10-speed automatic transmissions. Of interesting note is that Cadillac is also discussing these engines in terms of Newton-meter values for torque, rather than only lb-ft as they look to the future and possible electric options.
Thing #2: A New Design
A lot of people wondered if the 2020 Cadillac CT5 would aim at replacing the previous ATS models or the larger CTS, which is coming to an end. For the most part, it looks like the CT5 is a replacement for the CTS, but it really is its own beast, designed to be an all-new experience for Cadillac-lovers. There’s a good reason they didn’t just label this as an update to an existing model, as it deserves to be in a class of its own.
Cadillac approached the design of the 2020 Cadillac CT5 with an eye toward improvements everywhere possible. In particular, new strut mounts were designed and a lot of attention was put into how the car interacts with the road. The goal was to give drivers complete control with a responsive feel, while also improving isolation to cut down on road noise and make the experience better overall.
The 2020 Cadillac CT5 has a wide stance that is pretty aggressive for a luxury sedan, and a fastback profile indicative of high-performance vehicles. It is still unmistakably a Cadillac, but there’s no doubt this monster is coming out ready to meet the competition head-on.
Thing #3: Two Drivetrains
To really emphasize the focus on performance, the 2020 Cadillac CT5 comes with rear-wheel drive, which is typically considered standard for sports cars. That keeps it responsive and helps push it faster and harder than a lot of other sedans out there. To offer plenty of options for drivers, however, all three trim levels of the CT5 will have available all-wheel drive for folks who prefer that greater level of control. People in sunny climates will probably stick to the standard drivetrain, but all-wheel drive will be welcome in places that get a lot of snow and mud.
Thing #4: Interior Details
The inside of the 2020 Cadillac CT5 is absolutely stunning and you know you’re in a luxury sedan from the first moment. Even at the starting trim level, nothing about the CT5 is basic, from the 10-inch touchscreen display in the updated Infotainment center to the use of active noise cancellation. Speaking of the Infotainment center, Cadillac has listened to its drivers and gone back to proper volume knobs for audio, rather than touch controls on the screen.
The driver screen on the instrument panel is 4 inches standard, with an option for a larger 8-inch display. Everything is well planned out and designed, including a slot in the center stack for your phone and a wireless charging pad. Ultimately, words simply don’t do it justice; you have to see the inside of the CT5 for yourself.
Thing #5: Three Trim Levels
As far as we know, there are three trim levels that will be available for the 2020 Cadillac CT5, starting off with the Luxury level. This is far from a barebones option and includes a 10-inch Infotainment display, a safety alert seat, and voice recognition. There are numerous fine details inside and out that make this baseline trim anything but basic.
From there you can step up to the Premium Luxury trim level, which adds numerous leather touches throughout the inside. The Premium Luxury includes LED interior ambient lighting and LED illuminated outside door handles. It also has auto-dimming mirrors, a memory driver’s seat, and a visually warmer interior thanks to additional leather details and wood features throughout.
By contrast, the 2020 Cadillac CT5 Sport option focuses more on performance and a more industrial feel. The Sport trim level includes unique grilles, fascia, and spoiler outside to set it apart from its siblings. It comes with Brembo performance front brakes and a performance steering wheel with magnesium paddle shifters. Interior details focus more on carbon fiber over wood, and it includes 18-way adjustable sport seating for greater comfort up front.
Thing #6: The Safety Features
With all its focus on performance and power, the 2020 Cadillac CT5 thankfully doesn’t lack in terms of safety. The baseline Luxury trim level will include forward collision alert and automatic emergency braking. We also know it will come with a safety alert seat standard, which uses vibrations to indicate different alerts rather than relying only on audible warnings.
Additional safety features found in the Premium Luxury and Sport trim levels include rear park assist, lane change alert with side blind zone alerts, and rear cross traffic alert. While I’m generally not a fan of tying important safety features to trim levels, it’s still nice to see so much offered on a performance-heavy sedan.
Thing #7: Future Plans
While there’s a lot to look forward to with the 2020 Cadillac CT5, there are already some future plans leaking out of Cadillac. For one thing, we know that Super Cruise will be available, but that is likely to be on 2021 models, rather than the first run. This is a hands-free driving system useable on certain freeways, so it’s not surprising to see it’s not quite available yet.
The 2020 Cadillac CT5 only has an automatic transmission, and Cadillac has been playing coy when asked about the possibility of a manual transmission. Everything seems to indicate that we will see a super high-performance CT5-V model announced in the not-too-distant future, most likely for the model year 2021, which could feature the aforementioned manual transmission.
Until then, the 2020 Cadillac CT5 is a gorgeous piece of engineering that beautifully melds sophisticated luxury with high-performance power and handling. You’ll just have to wait until this fall to drive it for yourself.