Cadillac is upping the ante on the CT4 and CT5 for the 2021 model year. As both cars were introduced last year and the upgrades represent fairly comprehensive changes to both vehicles, this refresh is quite curious. Either General Motors spent the pandemic being more productive than we initially presumed or this is a desperate effort to make these cars more appealing to Americans. U.S. Cadillac sales decreased by 41.4 percent in the second quarter of 2020, so we're inclined to believe either scenario.

The biggest change the manufacturer would like you to know about the ability to option GM's Enhanced Super Cruise system. While still limited to divided highways, it technically offers hands-free driving on a limited basis… though that's technically true of all vehicles with decent wheel alignment. Super Cruise is a bit fancier than that and will offer the ability to changes lanes and is no longer limited to the V-Series trims, starting in 2021.

General Motors will also be equipping both cars with wireless Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity and its new 12-inch digital instrument cluster with driver-selectable themes. This includes a fairly traditional touring theme, a performance-oriented sport theme, and a minimalist stealth theme. There's also a track theme for CT4-V and CT5-V models that's allegedly different than the aforementioned sport.

Customizing your display not scratching the correct itch? We hear you and are happy to say that the CT5 has opened the door for a performance package that adds Magnetic Ride Control and a mechanical limited-slip differential on Sport models. Customers can also throw on a set of Brembo brakes. Premium Luxury CT4 and CT5 trims can go an alternative route by selecting the Diamond Sky package that attempts to dazzle occupants with an interior light show and some unique rims. It also gets those fancy stoppers for good measure.

The rest of the updates seem safety focused. Cadillac wants to make buckle-to-drive mandatory (though it can be disabled after purchase) to ensure people aren't putting around unrestrained. The system basically immobilizes the car until you've buckled up and is part of GM's ever-expanding attempt to reign in teen drivers. Ultimately, the company sees "teen mode" as an opportunity to limit a vehicle's function through speed limiters, geofencing, and the constant tracking of driving behaviors. If it sounds pretty good until you put yourself in the shoes of the teen driver that's going to have to contend with constant reminders to drive safe as it transmits their every move back to home base.

a version of this article first appeared on TTAC