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2020 Cadillac CT4 takes another crack at entry-level luxury

The ATS is dead. Long live the CT4.

2020 Cadillac CT4
The CT4 wants a slice of the entry-level luxury sedan market.

Despite the public's unwavering appetite for crossovers, Cadillac isn't giving up on the sedan segment. Where's the proof? First there was the CTS-replacing CT5 sedan, and now we have an ATS replacement.

The 2020 Cadillac CT4 made its debut on Thursday and it represents the brand's second crack at an entry-level luxury sedan. Unlike some of Cadillac's rivals, this small sedan is rear-wheel drive, and Cadillac promised it's a hoot to ride. Recall, this isn't our first look at the CT4. The brand actually showed the racier CT4-V months ago and teased an even more raucous CT4 above the V-Series too. But this is the CT4 you're most likely to see on the road.

To start, the car's dimensions aren't too far off from the old ATS. It's actually longer by about three inches, but it's not as wide, nor as tall by a couple inches. Inside, headroom and legroom increase over the ATS every so slightly as well. Strangely, the CT4 weighs 43 more pounds over its departed ATS brethren in base form.

This time around, Cadillac is going totally turbo for all trims. The standard engine for CT4 models is a 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine that makes 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Those who spec a Premium Luxury trim or opt for the CT4-V will be treated to a 2.7-liter turbo-4 engine. Minus the V badge, it makes 309 hp and 348 pound-feet of torque; with the V, expect 325 hp and 380 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic bolts to the standard 2.0-liter engine, while 2.7-liter-equipped models get a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The CT4 Sport trims get standard Brembo brakes up front.


Every single CT4 comes in rear-wheel drive, but Cadillac says that no matter which model a buyer chooses, all-wheel drive is optional.

Inside the CT4, Cadillac worked to cover all touchpoints with high-quality material brushed with metal elements to underscore the technology packed into the sedan. In the center of the dashboard, there's an 8-inch touchscreen, and under the skin, the CT4 makes use of a new digital architecture. Over-the-air updates will be possible for convenience. Standard equipment for all CT4s includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keyless entry with push-button start LED lighting and dual-zone climate control. Drivers can use a selector to choose from a few different drive modes as well that change how the CT4 behaves.

Oh, and Super Cruise will be optional. Finally, Cadillac's incredible highway driving system will make its way to the masses. Expect it sometime next year.

About the exterior styling: it's an evolutionary take on Cadillac's long-running "Art & Science" theme. The headlights go from vertical to horizontal with long daytime-running lights drooping down the front fascia. Drama is basically absent from the side profile for a clean look and the rear evokes a baby CT6 look of sorts with reimagined vertical taillights. If you like modern Cadillac design, you should love it. If Cadillac isn't on your radar, it's probably not the ideal cup of tea.

Ah, but Cadillac really wants this car on your radar -- especially the youngsters. Like the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Audi A3, the CT4 will do its best to sway buyers into the luxury brand with swanky looks and more luxurious materials inside. Cadillac's ace is that the CT4 is larger than the aforementioned entry-level sedans.

Cadillac will open the order books for its reborn entry-level sedan later this year. Look for prices to show up as we approach the CT4's production start.

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