2020 Cadillac CT4-V front

Cadillac will replace the ATS with the all-new CT4 sedan. The automaker introduced this model by showing the performance-focused CT4-V in June. Today it is revealing the regular version and sharing more details.

The CT4 is slightly longer than the ATS, and it will be offered in rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive configurations. There will be two turbo powerplants and a long roster of available technology.

Here’s what we know so far.

What it competes with: Audi A3, BMW 2 Series, Mercedes-Benz CLA.
What it looks like: A small Cadillac sedan
Powertrain: 237-hp, 2.0-liter; 309-hp, 2.7-liter; and 325-hp, 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines. Eight- and 10-speed automatic transmissions. Rear- and all-wheel drive.
Price: $36,000 to $45,000 (estimated).
On-sale date: Early 2020.

Outside

The CT4 looks like it is cut from the same cloth as the outgoing ATS and CTS. That is to say, it looks like a modern Cadillac, complete with giant vertical LED headlights and crisp lines. The face is distinguished by the signature mesh grille design on performance-focused V-Series models.

Sedan Road Tests

The rear pillars are sharply angled and give the sedan a coupelike profile. The creases in the trunk lid create a sophisticated shape, where most decklids are simply flat. The CT4-V is distinguished by its four exhaust tips.

The dimensions for the CT4 are similar to those of the ATS sedan. It’s about 4 inches longer, riding on a similar 109-inch wheelbase.

2020 Cadillac CT4 Sport interior
2020 Cadillac CT4 Sport

Inside

The five-passenger cabin has luxury touches, such as leather accents and LED interior lighting. Two traditional gauges (tachometer and speedometer) flank the center information display. The center-dash screen houses the latest Cadillac infotainment system, promising improvements over the previous frustrating Cue system. It features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, along with HD Radio, SiriusXM, and OnStar telematics with 4G LTE WiFi.

There is an electronic gear selector, as in other newer Cadillacs and competitors, that tilts for gear selection and returns to a center position.

The Sport uses “leatherette” (faux leather) upholstery, and the Premium Luxury upgrades the seating to leather.

The CT4-V interior features deeply sculpted bucket seats, lots of leather surfaces, and color accent stitching throughout.

2020 Cadillac CT4 Sport
2020 Cadillac CT4 Sport

What Drives It

The standard engine is a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder producing 237 hp and matched with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Premium Luxury trim will feature a 309-hp, 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This engine is a significant upgrade, bringing 90 more lb.-ft. of torque than the base engine, consequently promising more immediate thrust. This engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The sporty CT4-V uses a 325-hp version of the 2.7-liter engine.

There are driver-selectable modes, including Tour, Sport, Snow/Ice, and Track, to fine-tune the car’s responses. There are also My Mode and V Mode (for the CTS-V) that allow further adjustments for shifting, suspension, steering and brake feel, and other elements.

Continental self-sealing tires are available, allowing the car to continue to be driven after minor punctures without needing a repair. Traditional run-flat tires that can be driven limited distances after road damage will also be offered.

Every CT4 can be configured with a choice of rear- or all-wheel drive.

2020 Cadillac CT4-V rear
2020 Cadillac CT4-V

Safety and Driver Assist Systems

The CT4 will offer a comprehensive roster of advanced safety and driver assist features, but they won’t be available on the base Luxury trim level.

Stepping up to the Premium Luxury, Sport, or V-Series trims nets standard forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and a safety alert seat that vibrates to warn the driver when needed. Adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and rear cross-traffic alert with automatic braking are optional.

GM’s Super Cruise, a driver assistance system that maintains steering and speed control, will be available later in the 2020 calendar year. This driver assist system has impressed us on the CT6 with its ability to balance partial automation with trying to ensure that drivers are paying attention to the road. Such systems are not self-driving and require drivers to pay constant attention.

2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury
2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury

CR’s Take

Cadillac’s ATS was a capable sports sedan with enjoyable handling. But its appeal was dampened by its frustrating controls, uneven power delivery, and cramped quarters. The ATS did not find favor with owners—both its owner satisfaction and reliability, based on our surveys, are below average.

The CT4 is slightly bigger. If it can preserve the fun-to-drive handling and improve on interior comfort while simplifying the controls, it will be a good step forward. Like the ATS, the CT4 will compete in the entry-level luxury category, which is largely filled with front-wheel-drive models. Its rear-drive platform sets it up to deliver driving dynamics that should appeal to enthusiasts.

The lack of standard advanced safety systems on all trim levels is surprising for a new luxury model. There are cars at half the expected starting price that come with forward collision warning.

We look forward to seeing whether the CT4 lives up to its potential when we buy one to test.