Tuesday, June 1, 2021




After its debut for 2020, the 2021 Cadillac CT4 small luxury sedan gets several updates this year with more standard features and an available Diamond Sky package of extras that provide some much appreciated styling upgrades.

Cadillac also is including what it says is the first “true” hands-free driver’s experience with its Super Cruise with Lane Change on Demand system that will work on more than 200,000 miles of compatible highways in the United States and Canada. The system is scheduled for late summer availability.

Among features added to the CT4 fort this year are a 12-inch digital instrument cluster, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and Cadillac’s Buckle to Drive system that keeps a driver from moving the shifter out of Park for 20 seconds if the driver side seat belt is not fastened.

The system, however, can be turned off, which, at least to me, kind of defeats the purpose, but they didn’t ask me.

The CT4, which as may be deduced from the numerical designation, is a slightly smaller version of the 2021 Cadillac CT5 reviewed in this space in March and has a slightly friendly price tag than the midsize CT5.

It comes in four trims starting with the Luxury model that serves as the base. Other trims are Premium Luxury, Sport, and V-Series, the latter being the performance-geared entrant in the portfolio. This review is based on the CT4 Premium Luxury trim.

At the Premium Luxury level, the CT4 is offered with two engines, both turbocharged, with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder serving as the base and an optional 2.7-liter 4-banger upping the performance.

The 2.7L ups horsepower and torque to 325 and 310 pound-feet, respectively, from the 237/258 for the 2.0L. The 2.0L is paired with an 8 -speed automatic transmission and the 2-7L is mated to a 10-speed automatic.

Fuel economy figures for the 2.7L are 21 miles-per-gallon city, 31 highway with standard rear-wheel drive (29 highway with all-wheel) to 23/34 for the RWD 2.0L (32 highway for AWD) so the difference is kind of negligible. The downside is that the 2.7L comes at an added cost of $2,500.

Standard equipment on the CT4 Premium Luxury includes 18-inch wheels, dual-zone climate control, LED headlights and tail lamps, 12-way adjustable front seats (2-way lumbar), leather seating surfaces, keyless access and push-button start, driver’s seat memory settings, and safety features like automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, front pedestrian alert, HD rear vision camera, rear park assist, and the Buckle-to-Drive system mentioned earlier.

Adding to the $37,595 base MSRP on my test vehicle were options and packages that started with the 2.7L engine and its 10-speed transmission. Other extras included a Navigation and Bose Premium Audio package, a Climate Package (4-way power lumbar, heated front seats and steering wheel, ventilated front seats), and a Driver Awareness Plus package (lane change and blind-spot alert, lane-keep assist, rear cross-traffic alert, following distance indicator).

That, along with the $995 destination charge, ran the bottom line to $45,715.

What I liked about the 2021 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury sedan:
The infotainment system is much easier to use than Cadillac’s early efforts with its CUE system. The  2.7-liter turbo engine performs well and is worth the extra $2,500. It has more punch, plus it delivers good fuel economy.The exterior is sharp looking.

What I didn’t like about the 2021 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury sedan: The interior is nice enough, but doesn’t have much of a luxury feel about it even with the standard leather seats throughout. Excessive road noise detracts from the comfort of the ride.The back seat is small, offering only 33.4 inches of legroom. The trunk also is snug (10.7 cubic feet) even considering its small sedan class.

Would I buy the 2021 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury sedan? Somewhat mixed feelings about this one. The price for the base model does let you get into the luxury class at a bargain level, but unless you add the expensive options and packages, you may feel you really aren’t getting a full-fledged Cadillac.

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