Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

2021 Cadillac CT5

Overview

The 2021 CT5 is Cadillac’s sports sedan, a crucial role in any luxury automaker’s portfolio. When compared with its rivals—the BMW 3-series, Mercedes-Benz C-class, and Genesis G70—the CT5 doesn’t have the sharpest reflexes or the poshest cabin, but its handsome styling helps it stand out from the crowd. A turbocharged four-cylinder comes standard, but buyers can upgrade to a twin-turbo V-6 with up to 360 horsepower. The Caddy’s cabin is more spacious than many of its rivals, making it easier to use as a family car. And all models come with touchscreen infotainment, basic driver-assistance technologies, and plenty of convenience features.

What’s New for 2021?

Like the smaller CT4, the CT5 receives a new Diamond Sky Metallic Edition package for 2021, which offers unique exterior and interior design elements including distinct wheels. A new 12.0-inch digital gauge display is newly available, and Cadillac will offer its Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving mode as an option on 2021 CT5s.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

The standard engine in the CT5 is a 237-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, but you can upgrade to a 335-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6. The performance-oriented CT5-V boasts a 360-hp version of the twin-turbo V-6 as well as adaptive dampers and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential. A more track-ready model is also in the works, with a prototype already spotted testing. Both engines pair with a 10-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. In our testing, a rear-drive CT5 with the turbo four-cylinder sauntered to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds. The BMW 330i and the Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti, two of the CT5’s key rivals, completed the same test in 5.1 and 4.6 seconds, respectively. When it comes to riding and handling, the CT5 is both more softly sprung and less athletic than the CTS it replaces. Body control is sloppier, and the improvements to the car’s ride aren’t enough to justify what feels like a step backward in driving dynamics.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The EPA estimates the 2021 CT5 with the standard turbo-four is rated for up to 23 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. The 335-hp V-6 is rated up to 19 mpg city and 28 highway, with the 360-hp version slightly behind at 18 mpg city and up to 27 mpg highway. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, the rear-drive Sport model managed 31 mpg.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Cadillac corrected some of the CTS’s interior flaws with this new sports sedan; namely, the CT5 provides a more user-friendly interface and straightforward design. Unfortunately, the quality of the cabin materials seems unworthy of the CT5’s positioning as a luxury vehicle. Premium Luxury models are available with a nice open-pore wood trim that elevates the interior design, but it mingles alongside cheap black plastic that could’ve been lifted from the plebian Chevrolet Malibu family sedan. The rear seat is more spacious than the CTS’s, but rivals such as the Acura TLX and the Volvo S60 both feel roomier. All three vehicles have similarly sized trunks, though, and each fit five of our carry-on suitcases behind the rear seats.