The 2020 Cadillac CT5 V Review: For When Your Car is All About You

Cadillac Ct5 V

I like having some things all to myself.

I am a mom, a wife, a dog mom, a business owner, a daughter, a sister and a friend. I don’t get many things to myself. What do I get to indulge in? Well, shopping, for one. And alone time, which is a close second (and they usually go hand in hand). The 2020 Cadillac CT5 V performance-focused sedan with a price tag of about $50,000 reminded me why I love my alone time, and why it’s so critical. 

Alone time was important to me before kids, when I was a hard working journalist, house fixer-upper, wife and busy social planner. It became more important when I had kids, and now, it’s a pursuit: creating the space where I can spend time with my thoughts, where I can unplug, unwind and recharge. 

For me, the mundane routine of shopping means hours alone in the car. Stopping by Sephora to pick up a mascara, Nordstrom to quickly browse the sale rack, a quick trip to Home Goods for a candle to freshen up the house and hitting Trader Joe’s can add up to a relaxing day. (And you wonder why women love shopping…) 

On these weekly trips my car plays a critical role: my haven, my respite, my salon. I can choose who I allow in, or who I invite in. I need room for all the things I gather along the way but unlike my mom car, I don’t want the stuff, or storage of it, to dominate the space. 

My car needs to be my haven.

Related: 2020 Cadillac CT4 Review: A Little Less Power, but a Little Less $$$ In this Elegant Luxury Sedan

Cadillac Ct5 V

Me with the CT5 V in one of my favorite places. ? Scotty Reiss

Choosing a Car Just For You

When I was able to transition from my mom car into my ‘me’ car, I chose a sports sedan. Spending time in the Cadillac CT5 V brought me back to the glory of that moment, where the experience is most fabulous in the driver’s seat. The CT5 V, with a twin turbo V6 engine producing 360 horsepower and 405 lbs-ft of torque, delivers all that. It’s fast and responsive, but not overwhelmingly so. The drive experience is tempered by magnetic ride control, which allows smooth but fast acceleration without the jarring bumps that can be typical of a sports car. Overall, it lets you roar onto the highway, soar past minivans and tractor trailers, and when you get to the mall, whip into the closest parking spot.

A couple of additional details make time on the road even easier and more fun: Heads-up display, which projects key driver information on the windshield in front of you, and driver assist features like adaptive cruise control (not on the model I test drove, unfortunately) and lane keep assist. Eventually, buyers will also be able to add SuperCruise, Cadillac’s premium hands-off highway-only driver assist technology, but not yet. 

Related: Step on the Accelerator and Free Your Soul: How an All Girls Driving School with Cadillac V-Performance Academy Changed Me Forever

Cadillac Ct5 V

The center console has a place to put your phone so you can keep the cup holders, under a retractable cover, free. Notice also the infotainment dial controller, the wireless charge pad and Apple CarPlay! ? Scotty Reiss

Intuitive and Indulgent Details That You Expect From Cadillac

Inside, the CT5 V has the leather seating (and that fragrance!) and fine details that you expect. But the interior has been redesigned, and for good: the layout of technology, controls and function is intuitive and easy to reach. It hasn’t always been that way with Cadillac, but the company has really stepped up its game lately.

There are three USB ports: a standard port and a USB-C fast charger inside the center arm rest and one USB-C port on the rear of the console for rear seat passengers. There’s also a very clever phone cubby tucked inside the arm rest so you don’t have to hide your phone inside or leave it in the cup holder, because we all know how that goes. 

On the rear of the center console next to the USB-C charger is a 12-volt cigarette lighter-style adapter; if you need a standard USB charger you can pop one in there. There’s also a wireless charge pad available. It sits in the cubby just under the infotainment console, making for a fourth charge spot if you need it.

The infotainment system is newly redesigned and easy to use. It can be controlled both by touch or by a dial on the center console. And there are hot buttons for everything: click buttons to control the climate, radio, menu, phone, map, you name it. This is a good thing, and something that the auto industry has united on: giving you fast control at your fingertips without forcing the use of the touch screen. If you need to dig deeper, like finding a destination or setting a radio station, you can poke around the touch screen or hit the voice control button and ask for it. It’s that easy.

Plug in your phone for Apple Car Play, which you’ll need to authenticate the first time you connect. And if you want turn-by-turn directions displayed in the heads-up display, plan to add the navigation package. 

Related: What Drives Her: Melissa Grady, Cadillac’s Chief Marketing Officer, Carves New a Path to Passion  

Cadillac Ct5 V

A view of the front cabin in the CT5 V. ? Scotty Reiss

What This Car Costs

  • Base Luxury model with 4 cylinder turbo charged 237-horsepower engine, paddle shifters, leatherette seating, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, smart key, HD rear view camera, three USB ports (one standard and two USB-C fast chargers) and a 10” infotainment display system: $36,895
  • Premium Luxury model adds leather seats, wireless phone charger, premium wheels, lane change alert and blind zone alert: $41,690
  • Upgrade to the V6 turbo 360 horsepower engine: $4,850
  • The V Series model includes the V6 turbo 360-horsepower engine, quad exhaust, magnetic ride control and V-series customizable settings: $48,690
  • Add the Platinum package with a panoramic sun roof, rear view camera mirror, carbon fiber trim:$6,290
  • Add the Premium package with heated seats, navigation and Bose premium sound: $4,190
  • Add the Driver Assist package with adaptive cruise control, reverse automatic braking and automatic seat belt tighteners: $1,950
  • Add Driver Awareness package which includes heads-up display, configurable driver information display, lane keep assist and automatic high beam headlights: $1,300
  • Add all-wheel drive: $2,600
  • Price of the model we drove, which did not have a panoramic sun roof, including delivery and most of these features: $56,30
Cadillac Ct5 V

The steering wheel in the CT5 V; the V button instantly accesses your custom drive settings. ? Scotty Reiss

What We Loved

  • The new elegant exterior silhouette
  • The demure black front grille and monochromatic V badging that is distinct but not too blingy
  • The V series engine; put it in sport, or customize the V settings and let it do its thing
  • Fun and easy to drive
  • The elegant Euro-style gear selector
  • Cadillac leather seating; this is always special
  • The new CUE Cadillac User Experience infotainment system
  • USB-C fast chargers—these are great; but I also loved that there’s a standard charger too for those of us with old charge cords
  • The phone cubby under the arm rest
  • The smart key. Just, yay.
  • The HD rear view camera. It’s super sharp.

Keep in mind that to get all the top driver assist and safety features, including adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, you’ll need to check the packages carefully. These features are not bundled together in a single package.

Cadillac Ct5 V

A rear view of the Cadillac CT5 V, which keeps the signature “wing” shape of the tail lights. ? Scotty Reiss

Cadillac CT5 V: The New Life of Caddy’s C Line Sedans

It was a brand that was always known more for elegance and luxury, but in recent years Cadillac spent time beefing up its performance abilities. Building massively fast cars that took on world-class brands on the track, Cadillac became very competitive (just ask any gearhead race fan). The company added all that performance to their production sedans, to the joy of fans, but it was pricey. The CTS-V, the prior incarnation of the CT5 V, carried a price tag of $90,000. 

That’s a lot of engine, and a lot of money to spend, for a fun day of shopping and solo driving. Clearly, Cadillac thought so, too. So, the C -line, which includes the CT5, brings the power and a price more in line with what makes sense for daily driving. The 360-HP engine is plenty of power for this size sedan; the V-tuned suspension and motor give it a bit more growl and thrill. And the V button on the steering wheel allows you to quickly pop the system into your custom settings, which can be assembled via menus on the infotainment system. It all adds up to a lot of fun, luxury and space to pamper ourselves. Even if we are just running to Sephora for a mascara and Trader Joe’s for dinner. 

What We Listened to in the Cadillac CT5 V

Modern car, modern tunes. This sounds great in the Caddy.

Disclosure: The Cadillac CT5 V was provided for this test drive; all opinions are my own.

Cadillac Ct5 V

A side view of the Cadillac CT5 V shows the sedan’s elegant new silhouette. ? Scotty Reiss

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss