Car Review: 2021 Cadillac CT4 AWD
Cadillac says it’ll be one of its last two sedans with an internal-combustion engine
Consumers are increasingly looking at SUVs, and automakers are increasingly looking at electrification. That makes the Cadillac CT4 an endangered species, at least in its current configuration.
It’s one of only three sedans still offered by GM overall, alongside the Cadillac CT5 and Chevrolet Malibu; and beyond that, Cadillac says the CT4 and CT5 will be its last new gasoline-powered sedans, because from here, any it makes will be plug-ins. Having owned an internal-combustion Cadillac “Sedanette” for the last four decades , I’m calling for a moment of silence.
The CT4 is a compact sport sedan, introduced for 2020 as a successor to the ATS. It comes in rear-wheel drive, starting at $36,198, and can be equipped with all-wheel drive. I had the Premium Luxury, the middle of three trim levels, which starts at $38,998. Mine was further optioned up to $49,018 before freight and taxes.
Those options included $2,200 for AWD, and an engine upgrade. The base engine is a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder, making 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. My car was topped up with a 2.7L turbo four-cylinder, cranking out 310 horses and 350 lb-ft of torque, for an additional $2,875.
If that isn’t enough, you can then move up to the CT4-V, which tunes the 2.7L to 325 horsepower, or to the limited-edition CT4-V Blackwing, track-ready and with a twin-turbo V6 that makes 472 horsepower.
It’s a shame about the shifting, because this car handles really well. The all-wheel is biased toward the rear, the steering is sharp, and the car is beautifully balanced and corners almost flat. On its handling performance, I’d confidently pit it against competition from the German automakers.
As is the norm with sport sedans, the CT4 has good legroom in front, far less for those in the rear, and a decent if not spectacular amount of trunk space.
The entry Luxury trim includes such items as an 8-inch touchscreen, LED lighting, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 17-inch wheels, and “leatherette” upholstery. My next-step-up Premium Luxury further includes 18-inch wheels, real cowhide chairs with driver’s-side memory, auto-dimming mirrors, garage door opener, and rain-sensing wipers. My car’s option list then included unique diamond-cut wheels, premium stereo, navigation, tri-coat paint, and a sunroof — and since I don’t care for sunroofs, and I’m probably not the only one who doesn’t want another window up top, I like that it’s a choice, and not automatically included as so many of them are.
Also available is Super Cruise — not added to my tester — a hands-free assist that can handle the driving duties on divided highways in Canada and the U.S. that have been mapped out for the GM system (with more being continually added). It’s a pretty impressive system, but like any of these systems from any manufacturer, including a certain electric-car one that named it as if it’s an automatic-pilot version, it’s only an assist. So far, absolutely no one makes a true self-driving car.