CT5 Puts Cadillac Back on Course

The question I get asked all the time is “What are you driving this week?” During my time with this week’s tester I answered the question as such: The Cadillac CT5. To which someone responded, the CT5-V? And I said no. Then they retorted the CT5 Blackwing and I said no again. “Just the regular CT5.”


Immediately interest seemed to fade and that brings me to what I want to discuss for the 2023 Cadillac CT5. The perception is Cadillac has lost its way since the days of the Cadillac CTS. When they made that minor change to their vehicle nomenclature, moved their headquarters out of Michigan, it seemed to have all gone downhill. At least that’s the perception, and you know what they say about perception (it’s often reality).

However, in the case of the “plain old” variant of the 2023 Cadillac CT5 that perception is unfounded and definitely not reality. Case in point, my tester wasn’t the “V” but still had a twin turbo V6 engine that produced 335 horsepower. This is nearly 30 horses short of the more powerful, more tuned-up V version, but it still is a peppy, high-performance sedan. It honestly reminded me of the glory days of the CTS (which if you’ve read my column for years you know I have a strong fondness for).


The 3.0-liter V6 engine has a 10-speed automatic transmission that is one of the best gear boxes in the industry. There’s no turbo lag and the shifts are smooth and confident. The rear-wheel drive (RWD) adds to the sporty performance and will scratch enthusiasts where they itch. You can add all-wheel drive (AWD) for $2,000. Usually I’m a proponent of AWD but in this car, I would save the $2,000 and keep it as a RWD sedan.

Overall the CT5 seems to be slightly more well behaved than the CTS was in the way it handles and steers. It’s slightly less responsive and lacks a little bit of that personality that oozed from the CT5. Perhaps that exists in the CT5-V or the Blackwing version. I sure hope so, because that kind of swagger is the only thing missing from this sedan.


On looks, the styling remains intact from the previous model year, although the Radiant Red paint coat (an extra $1,225) of my tester is a new color offering for the 2023 model year and it looked sexy. The fastback styling of the CT5 is a bit of a throwback (in a good way). As cars are being phased out, the aggressive exterior looks show that sedans like the CT5 are going out with a bang. The longer hood also adds to the persona of this sedan. For sure the looks will appeal to enthusiasts, although the grille could be more aggressively styled.

The fascia near the bottom almost looks like a smile which detracts from the aggressive nature of the rest of the vehicle and is a little too cutesy for this type of car.

Inside, the interior holds true to what makes Cadillac the luxury standout in the General Motors family. Fine touchpoints, a refined cabin and amazing creature comforts hold true to Cadillac’s luxury reputation. It’s well deserved in my tester with leather seats and ambient lighting.


My tester came with the Platinum Package ($9,100 addition) that included an ultraview sunroof, Sedona Suavage accents, alloy accents, heated and ventilated seats and a premium sound system. A 10-inch touchscreen runs Cadillac’s intuitive CUE infotainment system. This remains one of my favorite systems in the industry and provides a great combination of responsive touch commands and knobs. Plus smartphone integration is simple and smooth.

My tester also came with GM’s semi-autonomous system called SuperCruise. This provides hands-free driving on certain mapped highways and roads where the driver doesn’t have to hit the pedals or touch the steering wheel and the car will maintain a speed (or keep a safe speed in traffic). SuperCruise will even allow for hands-free lane changes (if you put the turn signal on).

I’ve used both Ford’s BlueCruise and GM’s SuperCruise and the GM version is better with less ping ponging between lane lines. It keeps a straight, smooth line and you feel more confident trusting the technology (which takes a big leap of faith). SuperCruise costs an additional $6,940.


The 2023 Cadillac CT5 has an EPA rating of 18 mpg/city and 26 mpg/highway which is decent fuel economy for a sporty V6.

Base price of my tester which was the Premium Trim was $42,195. With all of the added features mentioned, the final MSRP of my tester was $66,355 with $20,000 worth of options.

No this wasn’t the ultra-sporty CT5-V or the 668-horsepower Blackwing version, but the 2023 CT5 is still fun, sexy and luxurious enough. It’s up to you if all those options are worth it, but the car in its base setup is pretty value driven and could get the Cadillac brand back on course.


Jimmy Dinsmore is the Automotive Editor The Weekend Drive, a nationally syndicated automotive journalist and published author of two books including Mustang by Design (available now) and Ford Trucks: A History of the Ford F-Series (available this fall)