The 2021 Cadillac CT5-V is here to stay

By George Kuruvilla

Published: Thu 15 Apr 2021, 6:43 PM

Founded in 1902, Cadillac prides itself in being amongst the first automotive manufacturers in the world. And although it became a subsidiary of General Motors in 1909, it certainly has carved its own niche into the global automotive market over the last 100 years.

The celebrity commuter

Known for churning out iconic models, Cadillac has been a favourite brand among celebrities, both past and present. American actress Marilyn Monroe used to own a 1954 Cadillac Eldorado; and Ben Affleck still drives his Cadillac Deville. Former US president Dwight D. Eisenhower traversed in a Fleetwood Series 75 Armoured Staff vehicle. And the popularity amongst athletes is no less. Footballer David Beckham was known to drive a Cadillac Escalade. But, of course, the most famous of them all was the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ himself, Elvis Presley. He drove a pink Fleetwood Series 60.

For today, we turn our spotlight to the American manufacturer’s latest iteration of the sports sedan, the 2021 Cadillac CT5-V!

CT5-V, the showboat

The angular look for Cadillac vehicles began with Evoq concept in 1999, but the CT5-V also draws great inspiration from the Cadillac Escala concept, which many of you may remember from the 2017 Dubai Motor Show. The CT5-V has a decidedly fastback design with sharp-cut edges and sleek lines, which makes it unlike anything from the German trio of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. The most distinctive part of the front fascia is the stripe LED daytime runners that are split into two; and the large Cadillac coat-of-arms-style badge that is set over the black grille. The rear design is much like Cadillacs of old with its vertical lamps flanking the ends. And a fitting addition to the CT5-V’s rear are the trapezoidal quad exhaust pipes. They not only look great, but also share a loud and sonorous exhaust note that is sure to wake a few neighbours. The fake engine noise that is pumped into the cabin speakers, though… that we choose to ignore!

Whether the purpose is to strike a pose while sipping your karak chai at the local café or driving to the entrance of any of the designer hotels in Dubai, the CT5-V will do the job nicely.

CT5-V, the luxury vehicle

If you are looking for a premium interior, step right into the CT5 without apprehension. Leather-clad surfaces on the seats and door panels with the addition of Alcantara on the steering wheel and shifter remind you what luxury is. The fancy carbon-fibre panels and contrast stitching are all nice details, but what takes the cake is the 10-inch screen — a large and responsive unit, which is a definite improvement over those in past models. We also commend Cadillac for introducing the physical knobs, not just for the volume adjustment, but for frequency tuning as well. And for seamlessly integrating the aluminium covers of the Bose speakers into the cabin aesthetics. Road noise may seem tad harsh at times, but the plushness of ride is noteworthy, thanks to the Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 that keeps the cabin well-damped and comfortable, be it on the highway or on local roads.

CT5-V, the track day tool

While the CT5-V may wear the coveted V-Series badge, this is not to be mistaken for being the spiritual successor of the monstrous 640bhp CTS-V from a few years ago. Cadillac has structured the current range in such a way, the new CT5-V bridges the gap between the tame 237 bhp base model and the yet-to-be-released 668-bhp Black Wing model. That being said, with 360 horses and 550 Nm of torque on tap, this car is not a compromise either. It can hold its own, be it in a straight line or around curves. The CT5-V will hit the 100 kmph mark in about 5.5 seconds from a standstill and will stop on a dime, owing much of that speed shedding abilities to the CT5-V-specific 4-piston Brembo brakes upfront. And it will handle curvy roads between point A and B with great agility and composure. Again, this isn’t a direct rival for track special that needs to be towed to the track. It is more of a well-mannered performance vehicle for the mature. Take it down to the Dubai Autodrome or Yas Marina for a couple of hot laps on the weekends and you won’t be disappointed.

CT5-V, the family car

The CT5 shares the same platform with the outgoing CTS, with a few tweaks. The wheelbase has been stretched by 35 mm, while the overall length of the car has been shortened by 43 mm; and width has been upped by 48 mm. This ensures there is plenty of interior space, front and back, to seat five adults. Although some tall friends might bicker about the slight lack of headroom in the rear. As for comfort, the presence of rear vents on the dual zone A/C will be much appreciated by the passengers. They will also get to enjoy Dubai’s skyline through the split-type panoramic sunroof; while getting their devices charged through the many USB ports and wireless charging station.

As for luggage accommodations, although the CT5-V has a fastback design, the rear boot opens like that of a sedan and not like a hatchback. This adds some difficulty in tossing in larger pieces of luggage in the otherwise cavernous trunk. As far as safety is concerned, the CT5-V delivers. The available ISOFIX points let you mount a child seat hassle-free, allowing you to take your infant or toddler along for the ride, safely, while electronic chaperones like Adaptive Cruise Control, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, etc., each help in their way of keeping the occupants out of harm’s way. And this includes the innovative vibrating seat alert that take instructions from the aforementioned features.

CT5-V, the answer

The 2021 Cadillac CT5-V accomplishes every given task with a great level of individuality and enthusiasm, whether it is being a stylish curbside companion, a driver’s car or a family man’s commuter. It is the rare non-German answer to the perennial question, ‘Which luxury sports sedan?’

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