Review: The 2023 Cadillac CT4-V is a semi-autonomous American sports sedan
Cadillac CT4-V It’s very much designed to be a driver’s car, but he can drive himself… sometimes.
The compact sports sedan is available with the latest version of the Cadillac Super Cruisewhich provides hands-free adaptive cruise control.
Super Cruise uses high-resolution cameras, ultrasonic sensors, and radar to monitor its surroundings, while super-accurate GPS mapping helps put it on the road.
It now operates on more than 400,000 miles of certified roads across North America and can also check for traffic and change lanes with a tap of the turn signal or automatically if a slower car is ahead.
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Drivers need to pay attention to the road ahead for it to work, and a facial recognition camera that can tell if they’re alert with their eyes open ensures that. Additional capabilities may be added in the future, but Cadillac is launching its new Ultra Cruise system with the $300,000 Celestiq that adds Lidar and will eventually be able to handle 95% of driving on all types of roads, according to the automaker.
I took the CT4-V for a ride along the New Jersey Turnpike and back, about four hours, and the results were surprising.
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During the entire trip, the system only asked me to take back control twice, once in each direction as we were passing through a major construction zone, which it was aware of through map updates. It lets you know it’s attached to a green light strip across the top of the steering wheel and starts blinking red when it’s your turn to drive a bit.
The data is updated “regularly,” according to Cadillac, though it wouldn’t say exactly how often. However, when the car encountered a few temporary construction projects that were on the sides of the highway, it only informed me that it was on its digital dashboard, but continued as if it was no big deal.
There was also light rain along the way and heavy traffic in which she made dozens of lane changes without any excitement. It also handles well with other cars cutting through it, even from the right.
It’s happened a few times because he might be a bit of a left-handed bandit, and he doesn’t immediately return to center after making a pass. It’s never clear what the strategy for that is, but it’s something that might need a little work. The car also has no idea where it’s going, other than straight ahead, so you need to control splits and exits, which is back to the thing that pays attention.
At first, this makes it seem like it’s redundant. What good is it if you have to be ready to jump into action if something goes wrong like you had a baby sitting on your lap, like in the good old days? But the level of confidence it instills quickly becomes apparent, and it takes the edge away, leaving you free to practice some quality air guitar drills during your downtime.
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Pricing for the Super Cruise is $2,500, but it’s only available on the CT4-V as part of a $3,700 or $8,100 option package. After three years, you’ll have to pay a $25 per month data subscription to keep it working.
This isn’t a huge knock on a Cadillac Escalade or $100,000 GMC Hummer EV, which uses the same technology, but the CT4-V starts at $47,690, so the Super Cruise’s value really comes down to how boring your daily commute or road trip can be. But the CT4-V isn’t boring at all. The Sport trim sits in the middle of the CT4 lineup, which is booked by the entry-level 237-hp $35,790 luxury and high-performance 472-hp $62,390 CT4-V Blackwing.
Its 2.7-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is rated at 325 horsepower, and it gets suspension, brakes, and tire improvements to get the most out of it. The CT4 is based on the same platform as the Chevrolet Camaro and comes standard with rear-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is only a $500 option.
The interior is adequately designed for the price, but has a comfortable back seat compared to ambitious competitors like the BMW 3-Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The infotainment touchscreen is also small by today’s standards, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Most controls still work using the many switches, buttons, and knobs available underneath. Car cameras also provide a 360-degree parking view and can be used to record while driving or if the vehicle is disturbed.
Rear-wheel-drive cars are equipped with computer-controlled suspension, but the all-wheel-drive CT4-V I tested didn’t have it. It wasn’t a huge loss, as the ride quality is great. I ended up covering over 800 miles in it and it was no worse for wear. Bucket seats have adjustable thigh extensions and deep side bolsters for when the road gets windy.
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The CT4-V is full of fun when you do it. An AV button on the steering wheel sets the accelerator, transmission and steering to their most aggressive positions to enhance the experience. With 380 lb-ft of torque, it’s good for sprinting to 60 mph in less than five seconds, and the power is perfect for a car this size. Even the all-wheel-drive model handles like a rear-wheel-drive car that’s ready to drift until you need that extra traction up front. Fuel economy is rated at 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, but I averaged over 30 mpg on my trip through Tony Soprano country.
Getting that much power and performance in a European car would cost about $10,000 more. While that might come with another degree of luxury and a less grubby Cadillac engine, the Michigan-made CT4-V doesn’t leave you wanting more. But she may leave completely soon.
The CT4 is one of the few four-door “cars” GM still sells in the United States. Together with the CT5and the Chevrolet Malibu, and all of their days are numbered as the brands shift toward SUVs and electrification.
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Enjoy driving it to the end. Or in the case of the CT4-V, he doesn’t drive it.
It’s a fun ride either way.
2023 Cadillac CT4-V
Base price: $47,690
As tested: $57,790
Type: 5-passenger, 4-door, four-wheel drive sedan
Engine: Turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder
Power: 325 horsepower, 380 lb-ft of torque
Transmission: 10-speed automatic
Fuel consumption: 20 city / 28 highway.