2020 Cadillac CT5 front

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 makes its public debut at the New York International Auto Show, revealing the brand’s next-generation midsized sedan.

More from the 2019 New York auto show

It is expected to replace the CTS midsized luxury sedan but actually is aimed at taking on the smaller BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It will be followed by a CT4 that is likely to replace the ATS as the brand revitalizes its product portfolio.

The CT5 is a hint shorter than the CTS but about 2 inches wider. Both cars weigh essentially the same, based on data from Cadillac, although the new car has a smaller trunk.

Here is what we know so far.

What it competes with: Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class
What it looks like: Combining the angular styling of current Cadillacs into a coupelike silhouette.
Powertrain: 237-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and 335-hp, 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engines; 10-speed automatic transmission; rear- and all-wheel drive
Price: $45,000-$55,000 (estimated)
On-sale date: Fall 2019

Outside

Cadillac says that the CT5 signals a shift in the design language used by the brand for future models. The wheelbase is 2 inches longer than it is on the CTS, yet the overall length of the car is about 2 inches shorter. This shift gives the CT5 quite different proportions, a new look that’s helped by the sloped, fastback rear appearance.

The bodywork is dressed with LED lights and accent pieces that add visual jewelry. The tone for the exterior trim pieces is darker with the Sport model, not shown here.  

2020 Cadillac CT5 interior

Inside

The five-passenger interior resembles the cabins in other Cadillac models, with a few tweaks. The control layout, including the gear selector, resembles the XT4 SUV’s setup.

A 10-inch touch screen is mounted prominently in the center dash, serving as the infotainment hub. There is a rotary controller, positioned aft of the gear selector, which also echoes the XT4. Phone pairing is possible using near field communication (aka NFC), like the technology that enables keyless entry. Phones can also be connected via Bluetooth and USB.  

What Drives It

The CT5 comes with a 237-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The Premium Luxury and Sport versions can be had with a 335-hp, 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6. Both engines use cylinder deactivation and start/stop systems to aid fuel economy. They are each paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is available on all versions.

The driver can select modes to adapt to performance needs, including Tour, Sport, Snow/Ice, and My Mode, to further personalize the car’s character. 

Safety & Driver-Assist Systems

Standard systems include forward collision warning, low-speed automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and a safety alert seat that ties in with a driver attention monitor. Available systems include enhanced automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic parking assist, rear automatic braking with pedestrian detection, rear camera mirror, and surround-view cameras with a built-in recording function (with an OnStar plan).

Super Cruise will be available on select versions in calendar year 2020. The company explains, “Cadillac’s Super Cruise driver assistance feature enables customers to drive hands-free on more than 130,000 miles of limited-access freeways in the U.S. and Canada, using LiDAR map data, high-precision GPS, a state-of-the-art driver attention system, and a network of camera and radar sensors.” Based on our testing of the system in a Cadillac CT6, we found that Super Cruise does the best job of balancing partially automated driving with ensuring that the car is operated safely and that the driver is paying attention among rival systems. But CR experts stress that such systems are not self-driving and that they require drivers to pay constant attention.

CR’s Take

This American-made luxury car promises to add elegance to the midsized segment. We have praised the CTS as being one of the sportiest cars in the class, citing its firm, absorbent ride and precise handling. Its key weaknesses have been its frustrating infotainment system and reliability. Time will tell how the new CT5 compares.  

2020 Cadillac CT5 rear