It solely appears as if Cadillac has been struggling within the luxurious compact section since Antoine de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, based Detroit in 1701. It hasn’t been fairly that lengthy, in fact, however it has been almost 40 years for the reason that model launched the wrongheaded Chevy Cavalier–primarily based Cimarron.
It took just a few a long time after that debacle for Cadillac to area a respectable small luxurious sedan—no, not the Catera. We’re speaking concerning the rear-wheel-drive ATS of 2013. That is actually the place the CT4’s story begins. Cadillac says its newest, smallest, and least costly sedan is all-new, however that is a little bit of a stretch. It is extra a redo and refocusing of the ATS.
Whereas the ATS tried to go face to face with the BMW 3-series and Mercedes-Benz C-class, Cadillac has now ceded that territory to the bigger CT5. The rear-drive (or all-wheel-drive) CT4 has been assigned to tackle the front-drive subcompacts from Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz, and it is the one automotive amongst them that may do a John Pressure–model burnout via its first three gears.
Squint and the CT4 seems to be rather a lot like an ATS. The sheetmetal is new, and there are 4.Four extra inches of general size, however the 109.3-inch wheelbase is unchanged. The bottom engine is a 237-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter, however the improve is not a V-6. It is a 310-hp turbocharged 2.7-liter inline-four and a $2500 possibility on Premium Luxurious fashions like our take a look at automotive. The CT4 hits 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and crosses the quarter-mile marker in 13.Four seconds at 103 mph, which places it close to the entrance of its class.
Sadly, this massive four-cylinder idles with the clatter of a diesel and is boomy via the highest half of the tachometer. It appears like John Deere, not John Pressure, tuned the exhaust system. Cadillac “enhances” the engine’s sounds via the audio audio system, however it’s extra noise than be aware.
Our take a look at automotive rode comfortably, with only a little bit of float. Pushing it exhausting on a enjoyable street, nevertheless, amplifies that float. Mid-corner bumps upset the chassis, and there is extra physique roll than we want. It is adequate at a simple tempo, however it’s by no means a lot enjoyable. The all-season tires—solely the CT4-V provides summers—restrict grip to a meager 0.81 g.
The inside is a large enchancment over the ATS’s cabin. It is a nice place to be, and the rethought controls and infotainment system work properly. The Premium Luxurious trim degree begins at $38,490, however the large engine, all-wheel drive, and a protracted listing of add-ons pushed our automotive’s sticker to $46,515. And you aren’t getting a sunroof or a power-opening trunklid for that value.
Sure, Cadillac remains to be struggling to construct an awesome small sedan. The CT4 provides very good acceleration, however refinement deficiencies and tepid dynamics maintain it again. It’s a good automotive, however in Premium Luxurious guise, it falls wanting its extra polished and fun-to-drive German rivals.
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