2021 Cadillac CT5-V

MIAMI — A replacement for the aging CTS when it reached showrooms as a 2020 model, Cadillac’s CT5 — previewed at the 2019 New York Auto Show —  made a rather impressive debut by earning the No. 1 ranking for midsize sedans in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study. For 2021, it is offered in five trims, but this review will concentrate on the 2021 Cadillac CT5 V-Series edition that tops the portfolio at a starting MSRP of $48,700 when the $905 destination and delivery charge is tacked on.

Cadillac’s V-Series gets tuning upgrades from the company’s Performance Division to compete with AMG and M models from luxury competitors Mercedes-Benz and BMW, respectively, in catering to those buyers seeking a little more “go” in their driving experience.

Appropriately enough, the first vehicle to get the V treatment was the 2004 CTS-V, which no doubt help spark the best sales year ever for the CTS with 61,512 in sales for in 2005, according to figures at goodcarbadcar.net.

By comparison, only 6,936 CTS sedans were reported sold in 2019, hence the need for a replacement.

The 2021 Cadillac CT5 V-Series comes with a 3.0-liter, biturbo V6 engine that sends its drive force (360 horsepower, 405 pound-feet of torque) to its rear wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. (All-wheel drive also is available).

The zero-to-60 mph time for the CTS5 V-Series is 4.3 seconds, according to carindigo.com, which is good enough so that if even it won’t win a drag race with one of the Teutonic performance sedans at least it won’t embarrass itself.

If you are interested in a V-Series, fuel mileage may not be high in your priorities, but for the record, the government tabs the CT5 V-Series at 18 miles-per-gallon city, 27 highway, and 21 combined. (I guess that means we should be doing more road trips instead of doodling around town!)

For 2021, the V-Series gets a revised leather-wrapped steering wheel with a new leather horn pad and some suspension upgrades to ensure a smooth, confident ride.

All CT5 models get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard along with a new Buckle-to-Drive safety features that prevents the driver from shifting out of Park for 20 seconds if the engine is started if the driver’s seat belt is not fastened. Fastening the seat belt allows an immediate shift.
The system can be disabled via vehicle settings on the infotainment system.

Standard features on the CT5 V-Series include 18-way, power-adjustable front seats with lumbar support, leatherette seating surfaces, leather-wrapped performance steering wheel with paddle shifters, LED headlight and tail lights, rain-sensitive wipers, keyless entry and push-button start, Bluetooth communications, wireless phone charging, Brembo front brakes, a rear spoiler, and dual quad exhaust tips.

In addition to the Buckle-to-Drive system, other safety features include blind-spot alert, lane-change alert, forward collision alert with pedestrian detection bra
king, and rear cross-traffic alert.

While that list of standard features is pretty extensive, the really go
od stuff comes in optional packages that can run the price tag from the mid-$40,000 range to well over $60,000.

Extras on my 2021 CT5 V-Series for the week included a $6,290 Platinum Package (sunroof, semi-Aniline seats, and parking assist), a $5,290 Premium Package (navigation and Bose Premium sound, and climate and lighting packages), a $1,950 Driver Assist Package (adaptive cruise control, locking fuel door and lug nuts, reverse automatic braking), and other stand-alone items that ran the total to $63,445.

Scheduled for late availability is Super Cruise, a hands-free driver assist system that comes with automated lane changing system that allows a driver to tap the turn signal for high-speed lane changes.

What I liked about the 2021 Cadillac CT5 V-Series: Cadillac’s V-Series is about performance, and the 2021 CT5 V-Series lives up to that mission as a fun lux
ury car to drive. Infotainment features also are much more user friendly than some previous Cadillac models and the 12-inch touchscreen is a nice feature.

What I didn’t like about the 2021 Cadillac CT5 V-Series: Despite solid horsepower and torque numbers, the engine has a rather tinny exhaust tone that can be off-putting. The side mirrors need to be just a tad bigger to give the driver a better view.

Would I buy the 2021 Cadillac CT5 V-Series? Without a doubt, yes.You’ll pay extra to get the V-Series treatment over the standard CT5, but you’ll get more bang per buck.

— Paul Borden