2023 Cadillac CT5 Sport: A Beautiful and Luxurious Sedan in a Sea of Crossovers
Cadillac’s vehicles once carried names that had some gravitas: Eldorado, Seville, Deville. However, those were deemed old and outdated. The brand needed a refresh and clearly, the names had to go. The first casualty was of no real consequence. The Catera sedan that was recently introduced in the US as a rebadged Opel product from Europe never really struck a chord with American buyers. Therefore when launching a new design direction for the entire brand with a new naming structure along with it, the Catera bowed out and the CTS came racing to the scene.
Spurred on by its use in the first sequel to The Matrix, the CTS made quite the splash with its edgy “Art & Science” design language, European-style name, and the option of a manual transmission. Cadillac put the world on notice that they were aiming to once again be the “Standard of the World” when it came to luxury vehicles. It wasn’t long before the Corvette loaned its beating heart in the form of the small block V8 in the high-performance V version of the CTS.
Other vehicles in the lineup began to follow suit. Seville became STS, a new crossover was dubbed the SRX, a reskinned Corvette roadster wore the XLR name, and the Deville rode off into the sunset. We got even more excitement from a smaller sport sedan dubbed the ATS that shared a lot of components with the Chevy Camaro, which was making a name for itself by posting amazing lap times at Germany’s famed Nürburgring. We also got a rebadged Impala as the XTS. Clearly, the brand was torn between its stated mission of becoming the “Standard of the World” and churning out products that would sell to the crowd that was faithful to the wreath and crest.
GM turned to outsiders to remake the brand once more, and once more the naming structure had to change. Gone were CTS, ATS, and SRX in favor of CT5, CT4, and XT5, respectively. Sensing a new theme? It made things a bit clearer, CT for cars, XT for crossovers. We even got a smaller and larger crossover in the XT4 and XT6, though both of those were riding on platforms borrowed from the Buick Envision and Enclave…not quite setting the world on fire with those.
However, CT4 and CT5 were something special. Built on RWD platforms that were torture-tested on the track and out through their paces. Like the ATS and CTS before them, these sedans had some serious chops when it came to handling. Put the right engine and transmission in them and they would sing. Unfortunately, no one is really buying sedans at the moment, and converting these platforms to a larger crossover didn’t seem to be in the plans or budget of GM.
So what we have here is a brilliant vehicle that seems to be a bit out of time. This 2003 CT5 Sport model is genuinely a looker. Perhaps the best a Cadillac sedan or any of the vehicles have looked in a long time, no matter the trim level. Cadillac’s current design language deserves to be on a car of this size. It just works in all areas, from the sleek but aggressive grille and headlights to the long and sloping roofline that almost gives this a fastback profile.
Our model has GM’s 2.0L twin-scroll turbocharged 4-cylinder under the hood powering the rear wheels through a 10-speed automatic. On premium fuel, this small but mighty engine will make 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque good for mid-6-second sprints to 60 mph. Our model also had the V-Sport brake package which included Brembo ® front brakes that really bite.
The future of the brand is stated to be all-electric, and names do seem to be on the menu once again as we have now seen the production version of their first EV in the LYRIQ SUV and their extremely opulent and hand-built CELESTIQ sedan. Sense another naming theme? We have yet to get time in either the future of the brand in the LYRIQ or the highest-powered version of their current vehicles in the CT5 V Blackwing but did really enjoy our short time touring this CT5 Sport. Who knows what the brand will look like 10 years down the road or what they will call their vehicles, but from our time in this CT5 we really like where the brand is at this moment and want a little more like this.
2023 Cadillac CT5 Sport Specs:
2.0L Twin-scroll Turbocharged 4-cylinder Engine
258 lb.-ft. of Torque
10-speed Automatic Transmission
Brembo® V Performance Front Brakes
Drive Mode Selector
Independent MacPherson Strut Front Suspension with a Double-pivot Design Along an Independent 5-link Rear Suspension
19-inch All Season Run-flat Tires
19-inch Alloy Wheels
Heated 18-way Adjustable Front Seats with 4-way Lumbar
2-position Memory Driver’s Seat
Power Tilt and Telescoping Steering Wheel
Adaptive Cruise Control
10-inch Cadillac User Experience Infotainment
12-inch Digital Gauge Cluster
Dual-zone Automatic Climate Control
Proximity Key with Push Button Start
EPA Fuel Economy 23/33/27 (city/hwy/cmb)
Starting Price: $39,590 (Luxury Trim)
Price as tested: $51,965
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