Cadillac Looks To Rebound With The CT5, But It Is Better Than The CTS?

Cadillac CTS sales have been in falling and the brand only managed to sell 11,219 units in the United States last year. For reference, BMW sold 44,578 3-Series and 43,937 5-Series over here the same time period. While GM hasn’t hesitated to kill slow selling sedans, the CTS is getting another chance in the form of the 2020 CT5.

Unveiled at the New York Auto Show, the 2020 CT5 is a modern luxury sedan as it features upscale styling, rear- and all-wheel drive as well as the Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system. Even though Cadillac insists that the new CT5 “is not meant to replace CTS” and that it’s classifying it as a compact premium sedan, we find its dimensions a near match to the CTS.

While the outgoing CTS looks a bit dull, the CT5 adopts a bolder design which was previewed by the Escala concept. The front end is notably more stylish as it adopts a slimmer grille and smaller headlights. The model has also been equipped with a bulging hood, a dynamic roofline and a trunk with an integrated spoiler.

In terms of size, the CT5 is a tad smaller and wider than the CTS as it measures 193.8 inches (4,924 mm) long, 74.1 inches (1,883 mm) wide and 57.2 inches (1,452 mm) tall. Despite being 1.7 inches (43 mm) shorter than the CTS, the CT5 has a longer 116 inch (2,947 mm) wheelbase.


The CTS’ cabin wasn’t at the top of luxury car standards, but the CT5’s interior should fare much better as it has higher quality materials and an improved design. Speaking of the latter, the CT5’s 10-inch infotainment system is mounted higher up on the dashboard where it’s easier to look at. Unfortunately, the CTS’ stylish switchgear has been replaced by rather boring buttons.

The news isn’t all bad as the CT5’s longer wheelbase means there’s more legroom than in the CTS. Front seat occupants lose 0.2 inches (5 mm) of space, but rear passengers gain 2.5 inches (63.5 mm) of legroom for a total of 37.9 inches (963 mm). On the downside, there’s less headroom on the new model and the trunk has shrunk from 13.7 cubic feet (388 liters) to 11.9 cubic feet (337 liters).


The CT5 comes standard with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces an estimated 237 hp (177 kW / 241 PS) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque. This is a significant drop from the CTS’ turbocharged 2.0-liter which cranked out 268 hp (200 kW / 272 PS) and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque.

The turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 fares better as it produces an estimated 335 hp (250 kW / 340 PS) and 400 lb-ft (542 Nm) of torque. The old 3.6-liter V6 was also rated at 335 hp (250 kW / 340 PS), but it only had 285 lb-ft (386 Nm) of torque.

Speaking of performance, the CT5 is slightly lighter as it tips the scales at 3,660 lbs (1,660 kg). The model also features a ten-speed automatic transmission rather than the old eight-speed unit.

The 2020 Cadillac CT5 will go up for order this fall and former Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen had suggested pricing could start at $35,000.


  • Toronado_II

    CTS, all the way !

  • designer_dick

    It might be a better car, but it certainly doesn’t look better. It’s all stumpy proportions, awkward, unresolved styling cues, and that damn black triangle masquerading as a quarter window. It’s pretty clumsy looking compared to the CTS.


    Give me a CTS any day over that pile of design rubbish…
    What you doin, Caddy…..?

  • Loquacious Borborygmus

    Cadillac Looks To Rebound With The CT5, But It Is Better Than The CTS?

    Yes, it’s a lovely plum color…

  • ErnieB

    Wow! They totally screwed this one up!

  • no25

    When the CT5-V comes out, it better look as sexy as the current CTS-V. Buuuuuut I don’t think that’ll happen. This CT5 is junk when it comes to design. CTS/CTS-V are so much better.

  • SgtBeavis

    The front looks serviceable but the rear looks like utter garbage.

  • LJ I think the problem is the greenhouse… it looks like it was tacked on from another brand.

    Here’s a quick photoshop I did of the CT5 with a more CTS-like window profile. It’s not perfect, but I think it looks a bit better.

  • Bash

    I just hate everything from the rear door handles and beyond.


    Inspired by Civic hatch?

    • Perry F. Bruns

      I see more Accord, but they’re in the same design language.

  • CJKnox

    2nd gen CTS still the best even in wagon form it was a beauty! Not to mention that CTS-V

  • wonderdallas

    The writer says: “The CTS’ cabin wasn’t at the top of luxury car standards, but the CT5’s interior should fare much better as it has higher quality materials and an improved design. Speaking of the latter, the CT5’s 10-inch infotainment system is mounted higher up on the dashboard where it’s easier to look at. Unfortunately, the CTS’ stylish switchgear has been replaced by rather boring buttons.”

    As an owner of a CTS, the materials look pretty much the same. So I’m not sure why they think the materials are “higher quality”…they are high quality in the CTS. And the one big problem in the CTS was the lack of physical buttons….”boring” or not, I’d trade my haptic buttons for “boring” real buttons if I could. And they look good.

  • Ron

    An article about a GM vehicle. Bring on the Hyundai driving patriots and their hatred for all things American…

  • TheBelltower

    I guess I’m in the minority here, but I think the new car looks better than the CTS. I like the design of the CTS, but it tends to look really generic in all but the upper trim levels. Hopefully the CT5’s that we see most commonly on the road will have a more impressive curb presence. Cadillacs should turn heads.

  • Stephen G

    Not a fan of the current “Fastback”, “Hatchback”, “Coupe” trend that everybody feels they need to be a part of. It came and went in the 40’s, late 60’s, early ’80’s and this shall past also.

  • NO

  • SteersUright

    Side rear window is a deal breaker. Its not ugly, its ghastly. Interior is also way behind the nicest in class, looks like an upscale Chevy or Buick and not a true, modern luxury car. What a swing and a miss Cadillac. Wtf is going on with this brand?

  • Thando_Gqabaza

    Cadillac Accord

  • StrangerGP

    Nope, CTS looks like a proper Cadillac limousine. I don’t like the liftback/fastback/4doorcoupe trend.

  • KRogers86

    The Escala styling theme looks dull and generic: Cadillac should have stuck to their guns and continued with their more radical Art & Science styling. The second generation CTS embodied styling that set the automotive world on fire back in the day, and I believe represents the peak of modern Cadillac design. However, I feel the magic that model had was lost when Cadillac decided to soften the look on the ATS and current CTS, making them look less distinctive and a bit more homogenized.

  • john1168

    The new CT5 is a styling disaster! The short front door, the too long rear door, the hatchback looks without it having a hatchback and that hideous C-pillar. I’d much rather have a slightly used and well deprecated CTS V or V Sport

  • Mr Nobody Important

    Cadillac continues to be a joke.

  • Elpatore

    this car has so many examples of styling mediocrity it should be used as an example of what not to do on ANY car. the black plastic behind the rear doors, the window surround, the side by side, off centered volume and (tune ?) knob in the bottom of te main screen…Im just sad because Cadillac makes some of the best, if not THE best concepts in the industry, but in the end they are still just rebadged GMs…

  • FunctionForm

    I partially fault the designers, but most of the problems at GM are obviously the CEOs who allowed this to go into production as is. I’m dumbfounded.

    This is what the Chinese copycat version of the Escala would look like.

  • d’Aforde

    The Camaro LS has a 275-hp 2.0L engine and a standard 6-speed manual transmission or available 8-speed paddle-shift automatic. That is the engine and transmission that the base CT5 should have. Heck they should boost it to 300-hp. The Camaro 3LT has a 3.6L 335-hp V6 engine. That should be the middle engine. The Camaro ZL1 has a supercharged 6.2L V8 engine with 650 horsepower and 650 lb.-ft. of torque and a 6-speed manual transmission or an available paddle-shift 10-speed automatic transmission. That should be the top engine. With tuning to burn up the Ring and these engine options, the CT5 would absolutely destroy everything out there. GM go back to the drawing board and give us a 4-door a$$-kicking Camaro.

  • pcurve

    improved a lot. But profile looks too close to Genesis g80, which is just much better looking car.

  • Tinky-Winky

    I really liked the Elmiraj and Ciel concept, don’t get why Cadillac changed their design direction.

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