2021 Cadillac CT4

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor
November 16, 2020

Buying tip

The base CT4 represents the best value here, though we can’t blame you for finding appeal in the optional 2.7-liter turbo-4.

features & specs

4-Door Sedan Luxury
4-Door Sedan Premium Luxury
4-Door Sedan Sport
MPG
23 city / 34 hwy
MPG
23 city / 34 hwy
MPG
23 city / 34 hwy
MSRP
$33,395
MSRP
$37,595
MSRP
$38,695

The 2021 Cadillac CT4 is well-equipped and fun to drive, making it a good small sedan choice.

What kind of vehicle is the 2021 Cadillac CT4? What does it compare to?

The 2021 Cadillac CT4 is the brand’s smaller sedan, in a lineup that also includes the CT5—but has waved goodbye to the big CT6. The compact CT4 squares off against German stalwarts such as the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class, not to mention the Volvo S60 and Genesis G70. 

Is the 2021 Cadillac CT4 a good car?

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The 2021 CT4 is a fine smaller luxury car, and some safety upgrades this year make it an even better buy than before. Overall, we give the 2021 CTS a TCC Rating of 6.2 out of 10 (read more about how we rate cars).

What's new for the 2021 Cadillac CT4?

For its sophomore year, the CT4 spent the off-season regrouping its safety features to correct last year’s glaring deficit. For 2021, automatic emergency braking is standard across the line, and the automaker’s trick Super Cruise that allows for limited hands-off highway driving is newly available. 

The CT4 may be Cadillac’s smallest model, but with an overall length of 187.2 inches between its bumpers, it’s a bit larger than its competition. Its lines are clean and conservative, with a relatively low roofline and swept-back headlights echoed by similar treatment at the rear suggesting sportiness. Interior comfort is high in front, but the rear seat skimps on head and leg room, and the trunk’s undersized.

For the most part, the car delivers on its performance promise. The standard 2.0-liter turbo-4 puts out 237 horsepower, though all of our drive time has been with the optional 2.7-liter turbo-4 rated at 310 hp in most trims and 325 hp in the performance-oriented V-Series. This big turbo-4 is a winner, delivering excellent thrust and a refined feel. 

Power is hustled to the rear wheels, and the balanced chassis shared with the Chevy Camaro delivers predictable handling, though more luxury-oriented trims have more body roll than we expect. V-Series versions aren’t rocketships akin to BMW Ms and Mercedes AMGs, but the magnetic dampers provide an even better ride in normal use and can tighten up for performance motoring. 

Optional all-wheel drive ensures wintry weather ability, though plan on swapping tires since the standard setup is decidedly summer-friendly. 

Fuel economy is just so-so for a car of this size; expect a smidge over 30 mpg on the highway and mid-20s in mixed driving. 

The CT4 fares far better this year when it comes to safety thanks to its newly standard automatic emergency braking and its optional Super Cruise. That said, no crash-test results are available yet for the small Caddy. 

How much does the 2021 Cadillac CT4 cost?

A base CT4 runs about $34,000, while a highly-equipped V-Series runs closer to $60,000 with every option selected.

Where is the 2021 Cadillac CT4 made?

In Lansing, Michigan.

6

2021 Cadillac CT4

Styling

Clean and conservative against its rivals, the Cadillac CT4 flies under the radar.

Is the 2021 Cadillac CT4 a good-looking car?

There’s not a bad line on the 2021 Cadillac CT4, though it is upstaged by its slightly larger and far more evocative CT5 sibling. We grant the CT4 6 out of 10, a point above average for its exterior but nothing for its dull interior.

The CT4’s pinched lights front and rear add intrigue, but its profile is ordinary. Bigger wheels spice things up, albeit at the expense of ride quality.

Inside, the CT4 is well-equipped but no dazzler. Its dash is light on adornment, and even higher trims do little to correct that. At least controls are easy to sort through and the 8.0-inch touchscreen is bright and well-positioned.

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8

2021 Cadillac CT4

Performance

The 2021 CT4 is plenty muscular, with a gearbox and a chassis to match.

Is the Cadillac CT4 4WD?

It can be. For about $2,600, Cadillac offers all-wheel drive on all four CT4 trim levels. 

How fast is the Cadillac CT4?

The base CT4 makes use of a 2.0-liter turbo-4 rated at 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, which is sent rearward or to all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic. We’ve not driven this engine in the CT4, though prior experience with it in other General Motors cars has largely been favorable. 

The optional 2.7-liter turbo-4—rated at 310 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque in Premium Luxury trim, or 325 hp and 380 lb-ft in V-Series trim—is a strong performer. The transmission is matched with a responsive 10-speed automatic that zips through gears with ease. Run hard and you’ll find a little turbo whistle and plenty of low-rpm grumbling, but nothing objectionable at a cruising clip. A standard stop/start system cuts out the engine at stoplights almost imperceptibly. 

The CT4 is relatively lithe at around 3,400 pounds for a base car, which is less than its competitors. That weight savings is paired with a balanced chassis to deliver good handling. 

V-Series versions add an adjustable and adaptive suspension with trick struts that do an even better job shrugging off road imperfections. Steering feel in all is great, with reasonable heft and excellent highway tracking. 

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5

2021 Cadillac CT4

Comfort & Quality

Comfortable up front, the 2021 CT4 loses points for its slim rear-seat space.

The 2021 Cadillac CT4 rates just 5 out of 10 for comfort. It gains a point for front-seat comfort, but loses it because of skimpy rear-seat room.

Front-seat riders are treated to comfortable seats with 12-way driver and 8-way power adjustment, while higher-trim versions swap in 14-way adjustment with massaging lumbar. Synthetic leather upholstery is standard fare, while two grades of leather are optional depending on the trim.

Rear-seat riders have little leg room, and the sloping roof line cuts into head room for taller passengers, too. The trunk offers just under 11 cubic feet, which isn’t much for a car of this size. 

At least interior trim mostly feels bucks-up, with padded surfaces throughout though none of the woodgrain or carbon fiber trim we expect to see in cars costing upward of $40,000.

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2021 Cadillac CT4

Safety

The 2021 CT4 adds considerable collision-avoidance tech to its roster this year.

How safe is the Cadillac CT4?

Though we can’t rate the 2021 Cadillac CT4 until federal and independent testers crash a few into walls in the name of science, we do have good news to report this year.

Automatic emergency braking is finally standard across the line, albeit with a notable asterisk. You’ll have to add a package including adaptive cruise control and reverse automatic emergency braking for a full high-speed automatic emergency braking system.

Newly optional this year—and absolutely worth it if you spend a fair amount of time on the highway—is Cadillac’s Super Cruise system, one of the most advanced driver-aid setups available. The system allows for limited hands-off driving, but its real forte is in its ability to reduce driver fatigue and to help prevent collisions. Among chief rivals, the system is comparable to those available on the Volvo S60 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

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2021 Cadillac CT4

Features

The 2021 Cadillac CT4 undercuts rivals’ price tags while delivering a similar level of features and tech.

We rate the Cadillac CT4 lineup at 7 out of 10 overall, with points above average for its standard equipment and its user-friendly infotainment system. 

Which Cadillac CT4 should I buy?

Most drivers will be perfectly satisfied with the $34,000 CT4 Luxury, which comes with synthetic leather upholstery, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and LED lighting. 

The $39,000 CT4 Premium Luxury tosses in leather upholstery and a few more goodies, plus it opens up the option for far more safety tech. We’d spend our money here, and add about $5,000 in collision-avoidance and convenience features to land at somewhere in the mid-$40,000 range, depending on color selections. 

Cadillac offers a typical luxury car warranty:  four years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first, for basic coverage. 

How much is a fully loaded 2021 Cadillac CT4?

Go all in and the CT4 can tickle $60,000, though a judicious shopper can avoid hefty surcharges for paint colors and upsized wheels.

Review continues below
5

2021 Cadillac CT4

Fuel Economy

The 2021 Cadillac CT4 is just so-so when it comes to fuel economy.

Is the 2021 Cadillac CT4 good on gas?

The 2021 Cadillac CT4 earns an average 5 out of 10 for fuel economy, a smidge below most of its rivals. 

Base 2.0-liter turbo-4s top the range at 23 mpg city, 34 highway, 27 combined. Subtract 1 to 2 mpg with all-wheel drive.

The optional 2.7-liter turbo-4 slides those figures to 21/31/25 mpg with rear-wheel drive, and 21/29/24 mpg with all-wheel drive. More powerful V-Series cars are rated separately, bottoming out at 20/28/23 mpg with all-wheel drive.

All CT4s use premium fuel.

Review continues below
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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$33,395
MSRP based on 4-Door Sedan Luxury
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6.2
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 8
Comfort & Quality 5
Safety N/A
Features 7
Fuel Economy 5
Compare the 2021 Cadillac CT4 against the competition
  • 2021 Audi A4

    6.7
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  • 2021 BMW 3-Series

    7.7
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  • 2021 Mercedes-Benz C Class

    7.2
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  • 2021 Volvo S60

    7.7
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  • 2021 Genesis G70

    6.8
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2021 Cadillac CT4 Pricing Insights

  • 2021 CT4 supplies improving; 2020s almost gone
  • Lease: From $349 for 36 months
  • Rebates: Up to $4,500 off 2020s; $3,000 off 2021s
  • Finance: From 0.9% APR for 60 months + cash rebate
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