On The Road 4/30: 2021 Cadillac CT5 V-Series


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By Peter Perrotta

If you live in New Jersey you already know that when it comes to cars and music our biggest ambassador is The Boss himself – Mr. Bruce Springsteen.

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One of the many gems he penned was Pink Cadillac.

A small bit of that song proclaims: “I love you for your pink Cadillac. Crushed velvet seats. Riding in the back. Cruising down the street. Waving to the girls. Feeling out of sight. Spending all my money. On a Saturday night.”


The vision you get from that song is almost perfect.

But that was then when the brand was noted for being the ultimate big cruiser mobile.

The 2021 Cadillac brand has morphed into something a lot more performance and technology oriented than what it once was.

The new Escalade is a technological wonder, featuring one of the world’s most advanced infotainment screens.

Last year, Cadillac stuffed its former CTS sedan and replaced it with the CT5 – a more sculpted version with a sportier stance.

And, this year, it pivoted even more in the direction of offering a more performance lineup by coming out with the CT5 V-Series sedan.

The CT5 V-series sedan features a high output 3.0 liter twin turbo V-6 engine which uses low inertia turbochargers to enhance power production across the rpm band. It is rated at 360 horsepower and 405 pound feet of torque.

Cribbing from the press release offered by Cadillac on the new CT5: “CT5 recasts the concept of American luxury with a distinctive fusion design, performance and comfort, supported by the brand’s latest technologies.”

I recently jumped behind the wheel of the 2021 Cadillac CT5 V-series for one week to see where this fairly new offering stands among its competition in this segment.

The problem is this segment of the sports sedan market features some stiff competition – namely the BMW 3 series, Mercedes C class and the Audi A-5.

The folks at Car and Driver said: “When compared with its rivals the CT5 doesn’t have the sharpest reflexes or the poshest cabin, but its handsome styling helps it stand out from the crowd.”

In this case the CT5’s main rivals are all German imports. So, does the CT5 V-series drive like a German import with its stick-to-the-road handling?

Absolutely not. The CT5 V-series has its own personality.

Overall, I would say that the CT5 V-series is a good-looking sports sedan with plenty of Wow! factor. It is fast enough to make it an exciting ride and luxurious enough to impress.

Personally, I found it to be comfortable in the fit category, albeit I could have used a tad more leg room. Its interior ergonomics are good and its infotainment system works well and isn’t confusing to use.

Here’s the rub with the CT5 V series. It doesn’t handle like a German import performance sports sedan.

What I mean by that is that in the ride and handling department you get a much different feel than a 3 series BMW or a C class Mercedes.

The BMW and C Class give you a tight handling ride you can take through some hairpin turns at high speeds in confidence, and like most European cars, you feel the road under you a bit more.

If you harken back to Springsteen’s vision, the DNA of the Cadillac just isn’t the same.

If you are looking for that Euro sports car feel then the CT5 V-series just may not be for you. But, if you are more comfortable with a bit of a softer, more pillowy ride that still gives you some power pizzaz, then the CT5 may just be the ride for you.

The all wheel drive CT5 V-series sedan I drove carries a base sticker price of $47,795. With added options and $995 for destination and delivery the bottom line sticker price on my tester came in at $65,445.

Added options included: $6,290 for the Platinum Package; $5,290 for the Premium Package; $2,000 for the all wheel drive; $1,950 for driver assist and advanced security; $635 for Satin Steel metallic paint and $500 for the driver awareness plus package.

The Platinum Package includes: an ultraview sunroof; leather seats and a parking package.

The Premium Package includes: lighting package; navigation and Bose premium; climate package and a technology package.

The EPA fuel consumption rating for this model comes in at 21 miles per gallon overall – 26 mpg in highway driving and 18 mpg in city driving.

The EPA estimates that it will cost about $2,300 a year in fuel expenditures to run that CT5 as it uses about 4.8 gallons of gas per every 100 miles you drive it.

In the government’s 5-star safety ratings it did not get an overall score yet or a score for the frontal crash test. It received 5 stars for the rollover test and 5 stars for the side crash test.

Later this year, Cadillac will introduce the “Super Cruise” feature for the CT5 V series. It will be the world’s first true hands free driver assistance feature.

Peter Perrotta’s On the Road column appears weekly. For questions and comments he can be reached at pperrotta@comcast.net.

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