PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — This isn’t the Cadillac CT5-V we were expecting. After years of successively higher horsepower and world-beating performance statistics, Cadillac flipped the script with the CTS-replacing CT5 by making the reborn car’s first V-badged sedan a middle performance tier that will slot below a new model that hasn’t yet been released. The outgoing CTS-V pounded the pavement with 640 horsepower; the CT5-V we’re discussing here offers up a seemingly paltry 360 ponies. The CT5’s styling aligns with recent models like the XT4, XT5, XT6 and CT6, but is another major departure from the CTS it replaces. The automaker’s abandoned Art and Science design philosophy culminated in a CTS that looked modern and distinctive. Crisp lines, clean edges and sharp features have given way to the CT5’s more flowing sense of style, and with the exception of its gracefully curved pseudo-fastback greenhouse that results in an unfortunately awkward C-pillar transition, it’s right on the border of blending in instead of standing out. As you would expect, the CT5-V has a more aggressive look than other CT5 models. Bits that are bright on the standard car are blacked out on the V, and the sportier car has a more chiseled front face with a mesh grille that flows more air than if it were just wide open. Similar changes are seen in the cabin, where the V replaces wood trim with carbon fiber. We’d prefer some other trim options in the V, like maybe brushed aluminum, since the monochromatic dark leather with dark trim leads to — you guessed it — a starkly dark interior. Cadillac has a brand-new infotainment system that will be launching soon in the upcoming Escalade SUV, but the CT5 sticks with the brand’s oft-maligned CUE. As much as customers and journalists like us have complained about CUE, the latest (and likely last) version found in the CT5 works pretty well. All the necessary functions are easy to find, and the touchscreen is quick and responsive. And if you really don’t like the interface, there are physical buttons for the climate control and a pair of dials for audio. An available rear camera mirror offers a wider field of view, or can be used as a regular mirror. Forward collision alert, automatic braking and pedestrian detection are standard. A 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control, automatic parking assist and rear auto braking are available. At 193.8 inches long on a 116-inch wheelbase, the CT5 is a tad shorter overall than the CTS, but with a wheelbase that’s about an inch and a half longer. It’s bigger in every significant exterior dimension than the segment-defining BMW 3 Series. With the exception of 2.7 additional inches of rear legroom, which is a solid notch in the CT5’s favor, it’s about the same size inside. The most glaring surprise of the CT5 spec sheet is its tiny 11.9-cubic-foot trunk. That’s 43% less cargo space than the BMW. It’s even smaller than the trunk in the subcompact sedans like …
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|MPG||18 City / 26 Hwy|
|Transmission||10-spd auto w/OD|
|Power||360 @ 5400 rpm|
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