2021 Cadillac CT4 Review: Expected Price, Release Date, MPG and Performance

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John Bedrow 

Automotive Journalist

August 6, 2020  at 11:20 AM

Launched in 2020, the CT4 is known for its edgier and aggressive styling and sporty on-road manners. Fresh into the family, the 2021 Cadillac CT4 is most likely to get no major changes. However, some cosmetic and tech additions along with an all-new performance-oriented CT4-V Blackwing model is on the cards for 2021 though.

In recent times, GM’s luxury arm Cadillac has been consistently riding the “change” train to place itself higher than its competition. The results of those evolutionary efforts have come up with the likes of the new XT6 and the next-gen Escalade. Apart from the utilitarian SUVs, one such latest entrants into the Caddy family is the all-new CT4 which replaces the earlier ATS. Launched in 2020, the Cadillac CT4 is the smallest among its sedan siblings and eyes to lure buyers looking for a fun to drive sports sedan.

Though the CT4 misses the old 6-banger of the ATS, it's powered by refined and punchy turbo engines. It also offers better styling, upscale interiors and a playful character that feels even better than its famed predecessor. The major loophole which the ATS which the CT4 has seamlessly tried to fix is the overall comfort and refinement along with an enhanced tech-suite. Being on sale for a few months now, the CT4 is all set to enter its second model year. However, still fresh icing on the cake, the 2021 Cadillac CT4 is very unlikely to gain any significant change. That being said, conceptualizing the 2021 CT4 here was not a gruesome task at all.

What’s New with the 2021 Cadillac CT4?

  • New optional packages and tech introduced
  • An all-new top-of-the-line CT4-V Blackwing model

What are the Expected Price and Release Date of the 2021 Cadillac CT4?

While Cadillac is yet to speak a word on the 2021 CT4 launch and price but we do have some optimistic calculations in our minds. Based on Cadillac’s previous launches and the ongoing market condition amidst the pandemic, the 2021 Cadillac CT4 is not coming out anytime before fall 2020. Since the compact sports sedan would remain mostly unchanged for its new model year, the price bump is very unlikely. Expect the 2021 Cadillac CT4 to start around a familiar $33,000.

What to expect in the engine department of the 2021 Cadillac CT4?

The 2021 Cadillac CT4, will be powered by its familiar duo of turbo four-cylinders. A 237 hp 2.0-liter pot standard across the line-up and a 2.7-liter unit optional in the Premium Luxury and standard in the V model. The smaller inline-4 engine comes mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission while the larger one comes hooked with a 10-speed automatic. Both the standard and the optional engines in the CT4 offer one of the best outputs in its class and power is never an issue in any of the CT4’s. 

While the standard 2.0-liter pot feels very adequately powered for daily-driving, the optional 2.7 turbo does bring some added spirit and enthusiasm. Both the 8 and 10-speed transmissions drop down quickly with a smooth and linear power delivery right from the lower rpm range. What further exaggerates the power-pulse in a CT4 is its compact and tight proportions which its powertrains work very well with. The only complaint that we had was with the 10-speed automatic transmission which is certainly good and efficient but lacks the refinement of its rivals. 

Models

2021 Cadillac CT4 (Expected)

Jaguar XE-S

BMW 330i 

Mercedes-Benz C300

MSRP

$33,000

$39,900

$41,000

$42,000

Engine

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0L Turbocharged Inline-4 

Drivetrain

RWD

RWD

RWD

RWD

Transmission

8-Speed Automatic 

8-Speed Automatic

8-Speed Automatic

9-Speed Automatic 

Power

237 hp @ 5000 rpm

247 hp @ 5500 rpm

255 hp @ 5000 rpm

255 hp @ 5800 rpm

Torque

258 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm

269 lb-ft @ 1300 rpm

295 lb-ft @ 1550 rpm

273 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm

0-60 MPH (seconds) 

5.2 

6.2

5.7

5.3 

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

13.8

14.7

14.1

13.8

*2020 figures used for reference.

Among its competition though, while all the other cars have a similarly powered engine, the CT4 falls shorter to all in concrete numbers. However, a straight-line performance sheet has a different story to speak of. Despite being marginally behind on power, the 2020 Cadillac CT4 is the quickest among its rivals with a 0-60 mph time of just 5.2 seconds. Thanks to its peppy engine, compact and aerodynamic and lighter body.

How will the 2021 Cadillac CT4 handle?

From on-ground reports and tests, the cleverly designed CT4 is quite a good performer. The chassis is robust and well built and holds up extremely good at high speeds and sharp turns. Thanks to the Mcpherson struts at the front and five-link independent suspension at the back. The CT4 also gets ZF MVS (Modular Valve System) passive dampers which help the compact sedans body movements under check while cornering. Tuned into a bit stiffer state, the standard dampers do provide grip and confidence around straight sections. While the overall ride is quite comfortable conversations with harder bumps are quite audible inside the cabin. 

With the new Magnetic Ride Control the CT4 does glides over minor undulations with minimal vibrations but when pushed harder over grainy surfaces or twisties, the ride does get a bit floaty. Though Cadillac says that the new CT4 uses enhanced cabin isolation, it's not actually as isolated as Cadillac states it is. The steering wheel has a nice thickness and weight into it and though it's not very talkative it is very precise in its job. Along with its compact proportions, the steering does help the CT4 move around easily in spaces. 

How many miles to the gallon will the 2021 Cadillac CT4 deliver?

A generous fuel-efficiency is something that you should look for in a compact sedan and the CT4 doesn't disappoint either. However, owing to its high-performance adrenaline, the CT4 might not be as frugal as your expectations. That being said, a 2020 Cadillac CT4 offers a 25 combined mpg which is not very overwhelming but fairly acceptable for sure. 

Models

2021 Cadillac CT4 (Expected)

Jaguar XE-S

BMW 330i 

Mercedes-Benz C300

MPG (City)

22

25

26

24

MPG (Highway)

31

34

36

35

MPG (Combined)

25

28

30

28

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

17.4

16.6

15.6

17.4

Range (City/Highway) (miles)

382/539

415/564

406/562

441/650

*2020 figures used for reference.

With no probable changes to its powertrain or dynamics, the 2020 Cadillac CT4 should also deliver somewhat similar efficiency numbers to its 2020 model. Among its class though, the BMW 330i turns out to be the most efficient with its 30 combined mpg.  Thanks to the Bimmer’s refined powertrain and efficient aerodynamics. 

What to expect from the 2021 Cadillac CT4 ’s interior?

Refined and plush are the two exact words that best describe the interiors of the Cadillac CT4. One of the major areas where its predecessor struggled was its interior quality and layout and that's where the CT4 seems to have significantly worked upon. The interior layout is clean and minimal with thin pillars and a large windshield that also accounts for good outward visibility. Not the best in class but the cabin materials now feel more smooth and plush than before. 

There's also a new infotainment display sitting atop the dash alongside a redesigned center-console compared to the outgoing ATS. Things are the same with the seats as well. While the bolstering and padding does feel more comfortable than its predecessor but again nothing very lustrous. You can also grab the front seats with 10-way power-adjustability alongside heating functionality as well. The rear seats too have a comfortable recline angle and are nicely bolstered for optimum support over long distances. 

Models

2021 Cadillac CT4 (Expected)

2020 Jaguar XE-S

2020 BMW 330i 

2020 Mercedes-Benz C300

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

38.2/55.2/42.4

37.0/56.8/41.5

38.7/56.0/42.0

37.8/55.9/42.5

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

36.5/53.9/33.4

37.0/54.7/35.0

37.6/54.6/35.2

37.5/55.5/35.8

Cargo Capacity (cu.ft.)

10.4

14.5

17

12.8

*2020 figures used for reference.

While the CT4 does have an extended sense of spaciousness inside its cabin, thanks to its extended length over its predecessor. However, things do not reciprocate well inside its cabin. While room at the first row is adequate of even taller sized occupants, the rear seats are cramped and offer the least headroom and legroom in its class. Not by a greater margin but all its other three rivals do offer better space at the back seat. Even in terms of cargo space, the CT4 stands at the bottom of its league with just 10.4-inches of cargo space.

2021 Cadillac CT4: Infotainment and Connectivity

The 2021 Cadillac CT4 would continue to flaunt its 8.0-inch floating touchscreen that comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Built-in navigation, wireless device charging, and Amazon Alexa compatibility are also some notable add-ons with the system. A 14-speaker Bose premium audio is also one of the available goodies paired with the system. 

The infotainment can either be controlled by touch-inputs or the rotary-controller on the center console. While the infotainment screen is not as large compared to its rivals, it has a clean interface with good graphics and is also pretty energetic in its responses. Fiddling with the system on the move is fairly easy and convenient. 

Will there be any changes in the exterior for the 2021 Cadillac CT4’s exterior?

No probable changes and with still being only months old, the 2021 Cadillac CT4 will most likely most its familiar sleeve unveiled in 2020. What it means is that we will get to see the same longer-than-ITS body with angular curves and straight edges all-around. Nevertheless, the CT4 does look more chiseled and sporty than its predecessor. 

While the CT4 does retain the signature design cues of its family, it does that with a mix of style and sleekness. Be it the signature front grille which can be had with chrome surrounds or blacked-out, or the slim LED headlamps with vertical DRL’s. Most of the exterior elements of the CT4 are inclined towards sporty edges. The minimalist rear-end is highlighted by slim vertical tail lamps and a redesigned lip-spoiler. At the side though, its long body paired with a sloping roof makes it a real looker. 

Models

2021 Cadillac CT4 (Expected)

2020 Jaguar XE-S

2020 BMW 330i 

2020 Mercedes-Benz C300

Curb Weight (lbs)

3460

3385

3590

3472

Length (in)

187.2

184.2

185.7

184.5

Width (in)

71.5

77.4

72

71.3

Height (in)

56

55.7

56.8

56.3

Ground Clearance (in)

5.5

4.8

5.7

3.9

Wheelbase (in)

109.3

111.6

112.2

111.8

*2020 figures used for reference.

For a car of its class and intentions, the Cadillac CT4 seems to have just the right amount of everything. Its proportions work very well with its profile and segment placing and even the design elements have the right combo of style and athleticism. While its other rivals in the segment emphasize upon classy and premium appeal, the CT4 does the same with some added sportiness. 

Will the 2021 Cadillac CT4 be worth your time and money?

There may be better alternatives if you are looking for more power and performance in the German brands, but for the not so huge price tag of $34,000 the Cadillac CT4 serves well to the needs of its segment. It provides plenty of features, offers a comfortable ride, looks sporty and stylish, is an agile-handler and offers good efficiency as well. Master of none but the CT4 provides the right mixture of all your daily needs. However, if you are looking for generous cabin space and even better driveability, the BMW 3 series wouldn't disappoint you at all.

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