Way back in the 1990s, we remember having fond memories of Craig’s grandfather, Staker Olsen, who would always be driving a Cadillac of some sort or another. We mostly remember the 1995 Eldorado two door that he drove for a couple of years.
Over the years, Cadillac has morphed from what we would have thought of — and remember as a vehicle that our grandfather would be driving — to new and exhilarating products that now offer an awesome level of extreme excitement, to owning a luxury sedan no matter what your age may be.
Once again, as one product is replaced by another, the designers and engineers at Cadillac have come up with a winner in the all-new 2020 CT4.
The CT4 replaces the outgoing Cadillac ATS, which has been the manufactures midsized sedan for the past 8 years and was the first time they had come to market with a midsized luxury sedan.
The company is looking to get younger, according to Andrew Smith, executive director of global Cadillac design.
“We developed CT4 to appeal to youthful buyers in the luxury market who may be new to the Cadillac brand,” he said in a statement. “The vehicle was intended to draw attention, using a combination of great proportions, taut surfacing and Cadillac family details that hint at the athletic driving experience this vehicle offers.”
After a week with the new model, we were impressed with the entire package, from the power plant to the design. The vehicle had heads turning and questions being asked where ever we went from both young and old drivers.
Coming on a week when we had an extended three-day road trip planned to St. George was a bonus for us, allowing for some extra seat time in the CT4.
The new, compact sedan handled beautifully on the freeway while traveling to St. George, with the 80 miles per hour speed limit adding an even better bonus for the trip down south.
As the Premium Luxury trim comes standard with the new 2.7 liter turbocharged engine, producing 309 horsepower and 348 pounds-feet of torque, that is all tied to the rear wheel drive via a segment-exclusive, 10-speed transmission.
For those that might be missing the ATS-V, there is also now a CT4-V that uses the same engine but ups the ante to 320 ponies and 380 pounds-feet of torque. We were perfectly content in the Premium Luxury trim and would rip from zero to 60 in a mere 5.2 seconds, with the V only upping that to 5.1 seconds.
In either case, it is currently the quickest-to-60 model in its class but has been outpaced by the BMW 3 series in the quarter-mile run. However, any way you slice it, it was just plain fun and engaging to drive, be it on twisty canyon roads or on flat out freeway runs.
On the safety side, the CT4 comes standard with forward collision warning and mitigation, and with a small $800 upgrade of the Drive Awareness package, we got intelligent cruise control, blind spot monitoring, intelligent headlamps, lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert and a lane keep assist with departure warning.
These all made the trip to St. George even more enjoyable. About the only extra we would have liked would be a lane keep assist.
Cadillac has a system that is coming to the CT4 called Super Cruise, which is as close to autonomous driving as we have seen. This will definitely make up for the lack of lane keep assist.
Time in southern Utah is always time well spent, especially in late-September. We were able to do some exploring and hiking in Kolob Canyon and some shopping in St. George, and of course, just some overall relaxing, even though it was very relaxing just driving down in the new CT4.
Inside the CT4 was everything we would have expected from Cadillac, featuring cinnamon brown leather seats with jet black accents that were almost like sitting on pillows for the trip, and of course, were both heated and cooled, along with our ever popular heated steering wheel.
An 8-inch touchscreen was the center star in the dashboard that controls everything from radio to climate and was both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible.
Another great addition was that of the full-color, heads-up display that came with the Technology Package ($1,150). We always love the addition of a HUD, as it allows our eyes to stay on the road while all pertinent information is displayed on the windshield.
Even though Cadillac is looking for a more youthful audience, we found ourselves — and our slightly age-advanced status — really enjoying the new CT4. It even comes with all the great teen driver functions that we would have loved to have had when our kids were younger.
The vehicle can be geo-fenced, so drivers can only go to certain areas and certain speeds, with notifications coming back to the parents if it get out of the fence or the rules are bent. How great that would have been with our boys.
It turned into a fantastic weekend in mid-September as luxury and style combined in the new Cadillac CT4 sedan making a vehicle that is both energetic and refined that anyone young or old would be perfectly comfortable in out on the road, especially us on the way down and back to St. George.
Base price: $37,495
Price as Driven: $48,645