2023 Cadillac CT5 Luxury Car To Avoid, Says Consumer Reports51
The 2023 Cadillac CT5 represents the fourth model year of the first-generation compact luxury sedan. With a model lineup ranging from the pedestrian CT5 Luxury to the fire-breathing CT5-V Blackwing, the CT5 offers a variant for every type of driver. However, Consumer Reports has now recommended prospective buyers to avoid the luxury four-door sedan altogether.
While CR commends the CT5 as a very competitive offering against its European rivals, the publication notes that the luxury sedan has a few significant flaws. These issues are reflected by a few different scores:
- Owner satisfaction rating – 2/5
- Road test rating – 76/100
- Predicated reliability rating – 2/5
- Overall score – 63
An overall score of 63 ranks the 2023 Cadillac CT5 at 10th out of 15, placing it towards the bottom of the luxury compact car segment.
From a predicted reliability viewpoint, the Caddy’s 2 out of 5 rating places the luxury sedan in the bottom tier of rankings, just above the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Polestar 2. CR notes that a majority of CT5 reliability pitfalls are related to its powertrain.
Speaking of powertrain, the road test review lauds the CT5 for its handling dynamics and sporty yet comfortable ride. Where the luxury sedan falls on its face is in the powertrain department, as CR reported that the turbocharged 2.0 LSY I4 gasoline engine, which is equipped as standard, felt wheezy, while the GM 10-speed automatic transmission felt unrefined. It’s worth noting that CR only tested a lower spec’d vehicle.
As a reminder, the CT5 is offered with the LSY engine on Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport trim levels with a 350T designation, while the twin-turbo 3.0L V6 LGY gasoline engine is available on the Premium Luxury trim, wearing the 500T designation. The CT5-V receives a high-output version of the same LGY engine, and the range-topping CT5-V Blackwing features the supercharged 6.2L LT4 V8 gasoline engine. Most trim levels are RWD as standard with an optional all-wheel drivetrain, while the Blackwing is RWD exclusively.
Regardless of CT5 variant, all models ride on the GM Alpha 2 platform, which is shared with the Cadillac CT4 lineup. Meanwhile, production takes place at the GM Lansing Grand River plant in Michigan.
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CR just needs to drop over altogether….
We’ll then consider it a blessing you don’t own / have to drive one….
When CR flames a vehicle, that’s the one for me. They didn’t like the 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix. I bought one, put 263K on it, and traded it in on my CT5. I like the CT5, regardless of what CR says. If I can ring 15 years out of a Pontiac, I should be able to repeat this with a Cadillac.
That Pontiac had the 3800. Probably one of GMs best engine’s ever built. You just never know with some of these boosted engines.
I love my 2023 CT5-V. It is much smoother shifting than my 2019 CTS was. I think the car is a bargain and performs well.
The Cadillac CT5 is not a proper luxury sedan. It is a premium midsize sports sedan like the Acura TLX and Infiniti Q50.
Luxury cars are stuff like the Audi A6/8, BMW 5/7, Mercedes E/S. Even in Germany they don’t consider entry-level E-Class luxury cars, especially the taxi cabs. The CT5 comes nowhere close to an E-Class either. It’s not even an A4/3er/C competitor. Even a loaded Camry or Accord are equally “luxury” items.
Depends on what you mean by a “luxury” car, but the assertion that it’s “nowhere close to an E-Class” is simply false, and the assertion that “it’s not even a C competitor” is ludicrous. I owned a 2018 E-400 coupe and a 2020 C-300. I now have a fully loaded 2023 CT5-V (not the Blackwing). The interior of the E-400 is more dramatic, but there’s no real difference in quality and I find the Caddy more intuitive. Both handle like you’re wearing them. The CT5-V is the better vehicle in any US market where the roads are bad, because the Magneride suspension handles potholes far better than the E-400. The CT5-V is at least $10k less fully loaded compared to the E-400 coupe.
I didn’t find the C-300 to be close to the fully loaded CT5-V in any respect, although to be fair it’s a substantially cheaper car. I can’t compare it to a CT5 with the base engine, as I’ve never tested the CT5 base – there do seem to be widespread complaints that the 2.0 is not quite up to task, which makes sense given it’s a larger car than the C-300. The CT5-V compared to an AMG C43 might be interesting.
I’ve also owned large Mercedes and BMW SUVs (GLS and X7) and the CT5-V really doesn’t give up much to those vehicles either. It doesn’t have the spiffy multi-colored interior lighting, but that hardly seems like a big deal. I have a hard time thinking of anything else it’s missing. Two potential complaints. The cupholders are shallow and poorly bolstered, and even on the quietest engine setting, it’s not quiet – but I knew that going into a sport sedan.
As far as reliability I have no basis to gauge it yet, but I find CR to consistently be laughably and observably biased in many of its reviews, so I give that no weight at all.
Grim, that 3.0 is solid. Was used in the CT6.
I disagree. The touch points of Benz are far superior. The interior would feel nicer if GM would let Cadillac design their own switch gear. The turn signals and window switches are no different than those found in a Malibu. The overall design of interior is decent.
Mo, I agree and disagree. 😉
I agree that the switchgear in the CT5 is the same as in a Malibu, which is a frequently raised issue. What you get is black plastic with some chrome paint. I’ve had a fairly new GLS, E-Class, C-Class, X7, and Lincoln Nautilus (lots of drivers in my household). All of the switchgear is black plastic with some chrome paint. I think the Benz black plastic is probably the most similar in quality to the Caddy – the others might be a little nicer.
My son, who’s a mechanical engineer, views the identical switchgear in GM products as a feature, not a bug. If you go from his Buick Regal to my CT5, you know how everything works. If you pick up a Malibu rental car at the airport, you know how everything works. I’ve come around to his way of thinking.
Touchpoints below the beltline, which are another frequent area of criticism, are I think a little nicer in the Caddy than in the Benzes (any of them), while the X7 is a little nicer than the Caddy. I don’t perceive the differences as big.
Benz does a really nice job of making their interiors look classy. The silver plastic for the seat controls looks like metal, the layout of the cabin is dramatic with long, sweeping lines, etc. (at least in the E and GLS). So I give the Benzes an edge in appearance but not materials quality – and I have to say the Caddy look has grown on me over time.
@grim I agree it makes ease of use much better to have shared parts. I think what they should do is just develop nicer quality shared parts that don’t look out of place in their higher end products . In my opinion, if you spend 100k on a blackwing or even 60k on a V it should have some nicer bits than a Malibu. I had a ct4 bw and it was really nice interior except the tiny screen and some cheap plastic here and there. My wife has the 2.0 ct5 sport and while it’s not a bad interior it’s just kind of blah when you compare it to direct competition. The platform of car is amazing though and I’m curious to see what they do with the interior redesign. GM has come leaps and bounds in the interior game but still has some work to do.
You CANNOT compare any Cadillac to a Mercedes. Sorry. I’ve have many Cadillacs in my lifetime and upgraded to various Mercedes throughout my time and I would take the lowest class Mercedes anytime.
There are no “luxury” American cars let alone “luxury” Cadillac cars anymore, save for Cadillac Celestiq and Lucid Air which are hyper-expensive and not to the reach of even the middle class.
Gone are the days of the Seville, DeVille, Fleetwood, Eldorado and other ACTUAL E-SEGMENT AND F-SEGMENT cars.
The Cadillac CT5 is a luxury car in the same way a Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger, Toyota Crown, fully-loaded Honda Accord is… period!
Even in regards to the Blackwing version it is still a reskinned Malibu body sitting on a Camaro chassis and a powertrain taken directly from the ZL1. Might as well be a Malibu ZL1.
You are convinced you know what you are talking about do you? Explain to us how the CT5 is a reskinned malibu when it does not share a platform knowing that the Malibu is FWD?
European vans use an identical platform which allow for longitudinal-R and transverse-F layouts. Renault, Ford, Mercedes in particular
These reviewers only love the Japanese and European car makers as a rule. BMW could literally make a cardboard box with wheels and they’d find it amazing. I have an ATS now for 9 years (V6) and it has been amazing.
At least Japanese and Koreans make standalone RWD platforms. GM and Ford just don’t know how (their RWD platforms are carried over FWD with a slightly modded version of that chassis) and that’s why their quality and sales are decreasing overtime… RIP american passenger cars
The Ford Crown Victoria was the last proper RWD car of American descent
– I wouldn’t say the same about the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger because they technically still ride on a German platform.
You’re talking nonsense. Japanese and Korean manufacturers’ RWD platforms only apply to their premium or high-performance vehicles. This is no different from other manufacturers such as GM, so what’s the problem? And what does it mean that GM’s RWD platform is a variant of the FWD platform? That is not true at all.
Mercedes and Ford and Renault do the same thing with their midsize and full-size vans in Europe. It is VERY common practice. A transverse FWD and a longitudinal RWD, more often than not, CAN fit in the same platform.
Anyone who calls a modern Cadillac SEDAN a luxury car might as well call a Buick a luxury car. An Escalade is pretty much the best they make, but even THAT is pushing it.
The CT5 is a reskinned Regal/Malibu (Epsilon platform) with a modified chassis. Same with the Camaro and CT4. Neither are designed like a proper RWD car, none drift like proper RWD cars (the slip is very limited on them)
Because Buick got rid of their sedans, Cadillac had to leave that spot open for them… it’s not competing with Lexus or Genesis any more than Lincoln is (and they’re not either), and neither brand is taking after the Germans FOR SURE.. 🤦🏻♂️
Time for Americans to accept the fate of “luxury” passenger cars.
Gone are the days of cars like the Chevy Caprice, Buick Roadmaster/Park Avenue/Lucerne, Pontiac Bonneville, Oldsmobile Aurora, Caddi Seville/DeVille/Fleetwood; and their competitors from the Ford Panther (Crown Vic, Grand Ma, Town Car) and higher-end versions of the Chrysler LH (LHS/Concorde Limited) and Ford D186 platforms (Lincoln Continental)
The Lucid Air is the first real American luxury sedan SINCE the Crown Vic/Town Car, and not reskinned fisher price crap
Brother, the slip of CT5 and CT4 is suppressed because the torque of the basic power train is not strong. Also, if all RWD cars slip like drift, it is a very dangerous factor for the average driver. GM’s judgment is wise, considering that the Hyundai GV60 was controversial in Korea due to its easy drift at low speeds. If you want to slip on the RWD platform, test drive the CT5-V and CT4-V based on the same platform. The vehicles will make you feel that this is an intact RWD platform.
I would love for you to show me how the epsilon and alpha platforms even share anything similar as far as chassis design? Ive owned both and worked on both (Saturn Aura and Cadillac ATS), cant think of anything they share
You are a complete moron the CT5 is based on the RWD Alpha Platform, it shares nothing with the FWD Eplislon platform.
EVERY single Japanese car company is run by Apolistic and Evangelical Christians.
Ford and especially GM are run by neocons, jezebels, controlled by demonic hip-hop culture.
Different strategies for different designs.
Back in the 80s, 90s, and to some degree the 2000s they .. Americans .. had a great sense of degree for design. High value at moderate cost with high quality interior and smooth reliable running engine (horsepower was barely even a priority except in pony cars and literal sports cars).
Most modern Chrysler (since the 1980s) minus the full-frame trucks are NOT American really… not Native American at least. Their running gear are Mitsubishi, Mercedes, Fiat based. Chrysler is a very troubled business.
Ford, Rivian, and Lucid are the only major US companies not taking the globalist route
Tesla literally bought the GM-Toyota plant and builds MOST of the bodies for their cars in CHINA AND THE NETHERLANDS… murican cars
You’re delusional. Ford, Rivian and Lucid stock prices have dropped at least 50% since this time last year. The non globalist route is working real well isn’t it (sarcasm). GM, Honda, Toyota, etc have been able to slow the bleeding buy being global with a 10-30% hit.
You know its good that you just flat out put your crazy on display, now it saves everyone else time replying to you…..see you on the way to your banning.
The article says they only tested the base model with auto transmission. How can that recommendation then be reliable? The base and black wing are on different planets. The article is garbage. I don’t like CR at all. Always been biased towards certain brands and negative about others. I’m not buying what they are selling.
Put a Lexus badge on this car and Scotty would love it.
Its funny to read this today, because two days ago, I leased a 2023 CT5 Premium Luxury, 3.0 RWD with every option available. Although, its too soon to know for sure, it seems like a very nice car. I avoided the CT5 for several years because I didn’t like the looks, but they’ve grown on me and I’ve finally decided that I really don’t need a big car. The CT5 is small and sporty. My wife likes it because its a more manageable size than the CT6 we traded in. The Twin Turbo V6 is peppy and it sounds pretty good. Ours is Crystal White with Maple Sugar interior, its a great color combination. Its also our 19th new Cadillac. I wish Cadillac would offer a four seat option…4 bucket seats with a full length console. I think that would be classy and cool. I also wish Cadillac would offer a burgundy leather interior, like the one in my 91 Seville. Are you listening Cadillac??
I take your point on making it a full-on four seater. The drive tunnel is already intrusive enough that the third person in the back seat is going to be pretty uncomfortable.
There is or was a dark red interior color called Sangria available, I’ve seen it on the CT4.
Frank: Congrats on your new CT5. It sounds like a beautiful car.
Yes, CR chose to test a base model. They never know what they’re doing.
As for their reliability surveys, all data comes from their subscribers. I’m no statistician, but even I know that’s a sampling error.
Back when I was mostly buying Chryslers (which CR hated) there was some pretty robust analysis on the Chrysler forums about flaws in CR’s measurement. It included both methodology issues, as you describe (also cognitive dissonance effects such as people buying a brand “known” to be reliable being unwilling to report it to be unreliable), as well as cases where two brands would share a component (e.g., powertrain) and it would be rated vastly differently in one brand vs. the other. You could also see a huge amount of subjectivity in their descriptions – I once saw them describe the exact same size backseats (at least by the numbers) in two different vehicles as “spacious” in one and “cramped” in the other.
GRiM: I too could give (and have in the past on here) story after story like yours. CR is just another source of info that isn’t really that good. Like I’ve said in the past, we use CR when it’s to our advantage and bash them when it’s not (I’m in the auto business now for just over 22 years).
Bottom line, I don’t really take what CR says when the buyers who drive them seem to be saying something different. Plus, I find JD Power to be more realistic in life.
Toyota Matrix and Pontiac Vibe. Same assembly line. I’ll let you all guess which was recommended and which wasn’t.
Pretty sure that was also the last time I read a CR review of a car.
Buick_regal: Yup. But guess which one of those two cars rated higher in JD Power (at least for one of the years)? The Pontiac.
Lets be real here. There always be naysayers and negative nancies. But – and it is a big but – anyone who is a gearhead or performance car/fun driving enthusiast cannot debate or contest that Cadillac is giving those buyers an option no other manufacturer or midsize/large performance sedans offers any more – a kick ass – purist – MANUAL TRANSMISSION.
I am not 100% sure but I don’t think many of the competitors (BMW, Audi, MB, etc) offers this any more in a sedan format other than maybe the M2/M3/M4 still. MB for sure does not make any manuals anymore and i think Audi may be the same. Albeit, the Blackwing it is only in the most expensive model of the CT4 and CT5 but nonetheless it is there to be had for the two models. I know it is a old school way of thinking, but I have and believe always will prefer to row my own gears rather than a computer doing it for me. And yes, I know one day in the very near future it will be a non issue and simply unavailable so I will be silenced – but for now, I want to give credit where credit is due – Cadillac gave gearheads something to chew on instead of leaving abandoning us. Kudos to the brass there for that. CR failed to acknowledge that but that does not surprise me as their articles have always seemed to be aimed at a certain demographic that sees vehicles as appliances to get to where you are going with the least amount of involvement, fanfare, stress……zzzzzzz. Thanks but I will take a pass on that philosophy.
CR blows. Four years ago they rated the Colorado/Canyon as worst of the mid-sized trucks while praising the Tacoma and Ridgeline. You might remember that not long (like a week or less) after that Motor Trend named them Truck(s) of the Year. That and other CR recommendations are why I put no stock whatsoever in what CR has to say.
I guess consumer reports makes mistakes at times. I bought my 2015 GMC Canyon new and read their report an said oh no what did I do. Still own the truck and only put gas in it and change oil, never had any problems ever. Runs great.
Not surprised. My issue is that I was shopping for a Colorado and read CR and bought a Subaru Forester instead. Almost the next day my MT showed up with the GM trucks at TOY. I was so pissed for not going with my gut and getting the Chevy. We have a 21 year old Avalanche that still runs great and Is driven every day so the Colorado will be mine when this Av finally dies.
CR reported that the turbocharged 2.0 LSY I4 gasoline engine, which is equipped as standard, felt wheezy, while the GM 10-speed automatic transmission felt unrefined.
CR got the Trans Wrong. The 2.0 has the 8-speed trans. The 10 speed trans with the 3.0, in the V or BW and
in the CT4 V, BW or Prem Lux 3.0 is awesome.
Art: Good catch. Once again, this reminds me of when I was at the Buick, Cadillac, GMC and Honda store. I oversaw the product training for the GM brands and had to take the Honda tests as well. We spent hours every week in training or watching videos or whatever to keep our product knowledge at the top. One year my aunt stopped in and handed me a brand new off the shelf CR “new car edition”. Within 5 minutes, I found several blatant mistakes just in the Cadillac section alone.
From that point on, I said that if CR can’t even publish numbers that are given by the different brands, then they would never have my trust. What you just pointed out is a prime example.
Sources to confirm the 8-spd. is used in the CT5?
A quick check on Cadillac’s site (and any other trustworthy outlet) says…
CT4 with the 2.0T gets the 8-spd.
CT4 with the 2.7T or BW gets the 10-spd.
ALL CT5 have the 10-spd., ever since the launch for 2020
There’s a lot of issues with CR’s approach, but this small detail isn’t one of them. I have a bigger issue with GM for continuing to refer to a 194″-long car as a “compact”.
Eric: You are correct. Bad on myself and Art. Maybe Art was referring or thinking of the CT4? I just checked on Cadillac’s website for the 2022 and 2023 and the 2.0L and 10 speed is standard. I’ve never driven the 10 speed, but I had the 2020 CT4 with 2.0 and 8 speed and can tell you that I feel there’s zero need for all those extra gears. I had 2 separate XT4 loaners for a total of nearly 11 days. They had the 2.0 and 9 speed. I hated every second of driving those turds. That dealer couldn’t find the noise in my CT4, so I ended up going to another dealer who had my car for 3 days. They were going to give me an XT4, but I refused and they brought me an XT5 instead. It was better than the XT4, but I was never happier than when I got back into my CT4. Anything over 6 speeds is just overkill for the sake of being “competitive”. Nothing more.
Thanks, Dan, and confusing the details on these 2 models sure is easy to do! I’ve been living happily with the 6-spd. behind a 3.6L in my ATS for some time now, and have no complaints. Mo’ gears = mo’ problems, some (or many 8AT owners…lol) might say. In theory, having more gear ratios definitely has its advantages for economy and performance, which is fine as long as it works as advertised.
From the beginning, the poor XT4 needed more motor. Part of me wants to like it, but the powertrain is just so “meh”, no matter how many speeds they put behind that engine.
Eric N: I hear you. Many bring up the idea that more gears = better economy and performance, but I don’t buy that and my opinion here is based on real life experiences and from sales. All I know is after I had those two XT4 loaners, I would not purchase a car with the 9 speed. That thing was all over the place and constantly confused. MPG was terrible. The ride was terrible and crashed over humps and dips. It was sloppy driving and just total disgrace to the Cadillac brand. And they were both like that. Honestly, I didn’t really like the 8 speed in my CT4, but I recall getting out of those XT4’s and back into my CT4 and feeling like I just went from a Vega to a Rolls Royce.
I ques GM has to kickback more money to CR so they can receive better reviews ,,But really CR eats dirt git rid of mind years ago
Consumer Reports is a joke. Always have been and always will be.
I’ll use them for things like toasters, where there tend not to be a lot of reviews or emotion (although I think looking at the Amazon reviews may be better these days). As Dan B. said, they’re a data point, and not a particularly great one.
That’s a disturbing article. I ordered a CT5 premium luxury model on November 1st, looking forward to owing it………