Ahead of its debut at the 2019 New York Auto Show, Cadillac has formally unveiled the 2020 CT5 sedan online, with the new model showing how commited Cadillac really is to simplifying its sedan lineup in the wake of increasing CUV demand.
This step towards simplifying the lineup means that the CT5 will resurrect its role as a tweener offering for buyers, with the car replacing both the 3-Series sized ATS sedan, as well as the bigger CTS, which also initally performed this same duty when the second generation version first debuted back in 2008. We are still scratching our heads here on this move since that model (while very good in its own right) was never truly able to nail a definitive place for itself in either segment in terms of sales. We hope that Cadillac will find a way to help the CT5 truly be on target with both segments this time around, given its role as a gateway model for the brand.
As it sits, the car largely falls in step with Cadillac’s recent design language, and adopts features such as the shield shaped front grille, angular headlights, and vertically posistioned LED daytime running lights. There’s a strong resemblance to the XT6 here, but the CT5 embraces more of its Escala inspired DNA to allow itself to truly be a distinct offering.
A fastback roofline also adds a bit of unique flair to the CT5’s profile, versus the traditional three box setup that was a firm underpinning for Cadillac’s other sedan offerings. The rear styling is admittably a love it or hate it affair, but the thin vertical taillights do allow it to be very recognizable as a Cadillac entry. Our lone complaint is in regards to the trunk lid and rear bumper design which lacks some of the tidy proportions that we liked in the ATS sedan, though it is an improvement over the decidedly plainer rear look that embodied the outgoing CTS.
Unlike the plethora of trim levels that bloated ATS and CTS ordering sheets, CT5 buyers will have a much simpler format, and can only choose from two basic models (Sport and Luxury.) Like its German rivals BMW and Mercedes, each CT5 model will bring a unique enviroment to the consumer, with Sport embracing a bold athletic inspired motif, while Luxury models prefer a more traditional approach to the way they offer luxury features.
Cadillac only released one lone image of the interior, and it focuses on the shifter which confirms that the rotary style of shifting gears has not entered into Cadillac’s radar as of yet. The image also confirms a physical knob for the volume control, as well as a very I-Drive-esque control dial for the CUE infotainment system. The brand promised a more driver-centric layout for the cabin, but we will definitely need to see more photos to find out if Cadillac truly suceeded in meeting this key requirement. Especially since part of Cadillac’s statement focuses on the interior being a space that “blends high tech and high touch for an exceptional blend of control tactility.”
Cadillac was also mum on key performance details, but it is known that the CT5 will ride on a highly evolved version of the same Alpha platform that underpinned the ATS and CTS, and is also currently used on the Chevrolet Camaro.
A 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine will be the base engine offering, with an optional twin-turbocharged V6 engine adding more spice to the driving experience. A 10-speed automatic is the sole transmission choice, with all-wheel drive being limited to higher level trims. Speaking of trims, Cadillac’s metric based torque naming system will be used to denote engine size versus older badging that denoted this by formal displacement.
Production of the 2020 CT5 is expected to kick off later this year, with pricing being revealed closer to its on sale date. For now, we can safely assume that the CT5 will most likely undercut the bigger CT6’s $50,495 base MSRP, with the defunct CTS boasting a lower $46,995 sticker. Either way, the 2020 Cadillac CT5 comes at a key time for the brand, and it will be interesting to see if it can help Cadillac stand out against German rivals in a rapidly shifting luxury vehicle market.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.