Thursday, October 22nd a black 2020 CT4-V became mine!
A little background, my local dealer decided to not stock the CT4-V as it is a “specialty” car. The salesman could not find one equipped the way I wanted, most were fully loaded or minimally equipped packages, not much in between. I made the decision to order a 2021, put down a refundable deposit and went on with my day. A few days later Rober1969 made an offhand comment about Autotrader. I took a look, to my disbelief a dealer a half hour from me had three with $7k on the hood. I still almost did not call the dealer as I thought it was a scam, their own website did not show the deal. Curiosity got the best of me and I called. The $7k was real! Made an appointment to see the car that weekend and the rest is history. All three choices were fully loaded except for the $2,300 19" rim package. There was a blue, a red and a black one. I thought heavily about the blue, but black always calls to me – black it is!
I will cut to the chase; this car is fun! Eager, powerful, and refined!
The engine is a beast! For those wanting Cadillac to be “more American”, this engine has that made in the USA feel. Huge torque down low, just like those old Caddies your grandpa had. If you are looking for an engine that will scream to redline, this is not it. Go see your German car dealer for that. Yesterday I was on the highway early morning, was cruising at 80 mph. I put it in sport mode and floored it and she rewarded me with powerful acceleration – no wait to build rpms or downshifts.
A comment about the engine sound/exhaust note. I will agree with the professional reviewers that this is not the beautiful music of a V8. But the sound is not bad either. If you do not like the engine note, the software wizards gave the options to create your own driving experience. “My Mode” allows you to personalize engine sound, steering, brake response and suspension (though no suspension adjustments for those like me with AWD which deletes the MRC shocks). You can select one of four choices for the engine note – stealth, tour, sport and track. Obviously “stealth” is the quietest and “track” is the loudest.
The 10-speed transmission is fantastic. Very willing to shift and does so very nicely. GM used to make transmissions for BMW. This transmission demonstrates that engineering excellence worthy to be in a Bimmer. Under hard acceleration the shifts have a very satisfying, crisp feel. Nice job GM!
I was expecting my V to ride more firmly than my 2013 ATS. To my surprise it does not. While firm, it feels a little more compliant than my ATS, better absorbing bumps but handling just as well. The real test will be when I hit a big pothole. In my ATS big potholes made awful sounds, like someone just dropped a 50-pound rock on the roof. But I am not going to experiment and try to hit something like that. I’d say this rides more luxuriously than my ATS, it feels more sophisticated.
Note that in the below picture the sangria color looks brighter red than they do in real life.
Sangria is my interior color with white piping on the seats, it is a deep “wine” red, darker than the red in my ATS. Seats are very comfortable – plenty of adjustments for everyone. I find the interior to be a nice place to be! Though the interior dimensions are the same as my ATS, with a trick of styling it looks a lot wider. The new user interface is very easy to use and not a lag to be seen. Quibbles are they volume knobs below the screen could have a stronger feel of quality to them. Tons of user data available in the DIC, g-forces, turbo boost as well as a host of other options. The stop-start has a disable button near the gearshift for those that do not like it. Overall, I like the interior, it looks luxurious; the steering wheel feels nice in my hands and commonly touched places feel “quality”. And when I say “commonly touched” I AM inferring that there are some hard plastics, but only if you go looking for them. The silver HVAC buttons and the silver one's on the steering wheel (including the "V" button) are made of metal.
The V badge is tastefully placed throughout the vehicle, enough to remind you what you are in, but not in a tacky way. The V appears etched into the doorsill, on the underside of the front hood, badges on the side and back of the car, and my favorite subtle reminder right in front of the driver - the V button on the steering wheel
One area I was pleased with is, with all the safety nannies, my insurance dropped $150 a year vs. my outgoing ATS!
Headlights – wow! I can see at night! Unlike my ATS’s poor headlights, these are excellent! They light up the night almost as well as my wife’s Grand Cherokee and her headlights have the advantage of being mounted a foot or more higher!
Another neat feature is that I can see my trip in the MyCadillac phone AP. Give you your start point, end point, # of times you accelerated hard and braked hard. I assume this is a way to keep tabs on your kid when he takes the car, but I find it to be neat. Another neat feature is I could pick my XM Radio favorites from my phone.
I’m really happy I bought this! GM did well. After driving this I can see some of the not-so-obvious failures of the ATS. The ATS was to much of a driver’s car – it felt more immediate but at the expense of luxury. My CT4, while a performance beast somehow manages to feel more luxurious. I suspect the shocks are more advanced (again not MRC) and perhaps they softened the suspension a tiny bit. And the steering, while still communicative, is a little more muted. I think my ATS was focused too much on the driving experience, something I’d say most drivers are not looking for, nor will they appreciate them.
And, last but not least, it passed the car wash test. The owner and a customer both gave it the thumbs up!
And a last goodbye to my 2013 ATS, still looked good at 109,000 miles: