In my young career as an automotive journalist, cars that promised to deliver a drive capable of facing the German machine, I saw several. But very few models have really overcome it.
More recently, I was blown away by the Genesis G70, a hyper-accomplished sports sedan that has slapped Germanic brands where it counts, despite very little experience in the matter. Would Cadillac be able to replicate what Genesis did?
From the first laps of the wheels in this Cadillac, I was touched by the precision of its steering, the rigidity of its chassis and the power delivered by its V6 engine. I can confirm it to you: the Cadillac CT5-V is of the same caliber as a Mercedes-AMG, a BMW M or even an Audi S when it comes to driving.
But what's all the more charming about the CT5-V's way of delivering its stuff is that it does it its own way, with a personality of its own, and without trying to match the competition.
For example, the sound of its V6 engine is not the most pleasant. It always feels like the engine is moaning. But at least that's how it sounds. In other words, Cadillac engineers did not attempt to modify it with sound amplifiers or an ultra-complex exhaust system. That's the sound of a CT5-V, period.
Then there is the handling which is certainly reminiscent of the CTS by its desire to waltz its rear end, but also by its happy mixture of comfort and performance. Magneride's adjustable shocks are also partly responsible for this exquisite calibration, which has nothing to envy of the German ones.
In Tour mode, the CT5 is downright more comfortable than anything in this category. In Sport and Track modes, you can feel the car strengthen. Its rear differential also changes its configuration to allow the driver to better feel the car when exiting a corner. In short, this Cadillac is calibrated like the best sports cars in the industry and, most importantly, just as fun to drive.
As for the 10-speed automatic transmission, it is remarkably efficient. We can see how GM has mastered the art of software calibration of its transmissions. Although it always gives the impression that the car is constantly changing gears due to its 10 gears, I admit that it was effective throughout my test period, so much in relaxed and sporty driving. I also have nothing to say about the operation of the selector levers on the steering wheel.
However, I blame the damn Cadillac gear selector, which is so ergonomic. I stuck in this selector a few times, only to inadvertently end up in neutral. And you can't use it to switch between gears, despite the little arrows on the selector. But why ?
Finally, don't expect a fuel efficient car. Of course, we understand that this is a sporty sedan and we forgive its average fuel consumption, which has never fallen below 10.8 liters / 100 kilometers. But it is difficult to ignore the frugality of European engines.
Click on Conclusion for the rest of the test.