Many of us would go so far as to call Cadillac’s Blackwing cars heroic, iconic, and legendary sports sedans. GM’s luxury brand might not lead the realm in the world’s fancy department but it sure knows how to build chassis and a saloon that drives like a much smaller car. But not everyone wants or can afford a Blackwing, and Cadillac hopes those looking for a compromise between all-out performance and sporty luxury find a middleground in the 2024 CT5 V-Series. Does the CT5-V feel watered down or does it deserve its own recognition?
Some power, but not all of it
It’s been a long road from Cadillac’s first “V” series cars to today’s CT4 and CT5, with the 2024 CT5 V-Series representing a sort of a middleground in the lineup. It has more power than the base, non-V cars at 360 hp and 405 lb.-ft. of torque from its 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. It’s a far cry from the Blackwing’s 668 hp and 659 lb.-ft via supercharged 6.2L V8, but more than a standard CT5’s standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 237 hp / 258 lb.-ft and optional 3.0L TTV6 that makes 335 hp and 405 lb.-ft of torque. The sole transmission is a 10-speed automatic, except for the Blackwing which has an optional six-speed manual.
The CT5-V runs 0-60 MPH in 4.6 seconds (4.8 for the AWD car like that seen here), a far cry from the Blackwing’s 3.4 but still quick enough to feel faster than a standard luxury car. It accelerates pretty hard from any speed below around 50 MPH, but it must be said again that a V6 is very rarely (if ever) a good thing to pair with a V6 and that’s no exception here. There’s no lack of volume from the CT5-V’s pipes but it’s not a particularly pleasant sound. Keep it to the middle or quieter end of the tunable sound spectrum and leave the aggression to the throttle, steering, and brake settings.
Alpha 2, meet 450 miles
With any assortment of settings, the chassis is still great even without a bulking V8 under the hood. The CT5-V drives beautifully, the Alpha 2 platform always up for a spirited run while simultaneously being great at isolating out harshness and unwanted impacts along with its Magnetic Ride Control. This car rides the way a luxury sedan should, while still managing to have what seems like nearly no body roll for a car weighing a portly 3,974 pounds.
To put the CT5 V-Series to the road trip test, we embarked on a 450-mile adventure to my best friend’s wedding. The car performed admirably, providing a comfortable and spacious interior that accommodated both passengers and luggage, although it was a tight squeeze fitting my kiddo’s stroller in the trunk along with all of the other accouterments that accompany a small baby.
Solid interior, even better tech
Thankfully there was more than enough space for the mongo rotating car seat to fit behind my wife who was still perfectly comfortable in the passenger seat. The Bose stereo isn’t great, but the infotainment is so simple and straightforward that you almost forget about the subpar sound quality. Wireless CarPlay worked flawlessly, with Waze and/or Google Maps running in the background seamlessly.
Yet it’s Super Cruise, GM’s “hands-free driving-assistance technology for compatible roads,” that steals the tech show here. I’m a self-admitted backseat driver, overly neurotic and nervous passenger, and perpetual skeptic of Skynet and the world of AI taking over our potentially less intelligent species, so the concept of a car driving itself with me behind the wheel terrifies me a fair amount. However, Super Cruise is absolutely fantastic. I used it only briefly on the drive down to the wedding but somewhat extensively on the return trip. It never faltered short of one moment when approaching a bridge, and it managed lane changes and radar cruise control better than nearly every Uber driver I’ve experienced has. The fuel economy was solid, too, if not a bit underwhelming. Oh well.
That whole money thing
The elephant in the room is the price. The 2024 CT5 V-Series has a base price of $51,495 and the car seen here was optioned up quite a bit with some pricey big-ticket items. Among these are the Super Cruise 2 package ($4,600), All Wheel Drive ($2,000), Parking Package ($1,790), Jet Black interior ($1,500), Velocity Red paint ($625), 19” diamond cut wheels ($600), and Premium Package that includes kit like Launch Control, Heads Up Display, a 12” digital gauge cluster, and massaging front seats ($3,920). The total MSRP ticked in at a healthy $67,925 including $1,395 worth of Destination.
It’s not that the CT5-V isn’t worth that much money, because it absolutely is in today’s world of inflation and rapidly rising new car prices, but nearly $70k for a car with this powertrain makes you look around a bit. The brand’s own CT4-V Blackwing can come in less pricey, and even the highly-optioned car I tested last year only cost a few grand more than this CT5-V. A CT5-V Blackwing is quite a bit more expensive at $93,495 base price, but for $70k you can get into a beautifully optioned, equally comfortable and substantially more rowdy Dodge Charger Scat Pack Widebody. Then there’s cars like the Audi S5 Sportback and RS3, BMW M340i, Genesis G70, and Lexus IS 500. And that’s only considering new models; look used and the options for a sporty, luxurious sedan in the $65-75k range are plenty, despite what everyone says about sedans dying.
Still, buyers looking for a rear-wheel-drive based, sizable sedan that can be had with optional AWD and that delivers decent performance and a good compromise of style, speed, and tech will find a lot to like here. I and my passengers certainly enjoyed it on the road trip and around town here, even if the shouty exhaust made a scene a few times when I wished it hadn’t. The CT5 V-Series may not deliver the same level of thrills as its Blackwing sibling, but it doesn’t need to; as-is, this car stands out as a great option for those who value a comfortable and capable daily driver that is also a fantastic road-tripper and that can turn up the wick when the driver so desires.