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2021 Cadillac CT4

Starting at $34,590

2021 cadillac ct4 front

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  • Highs Distinctive exterior, sharp handling, quick acceleration with optional engine.
  • Lows Short on passenger space, mainstream-car interior materials, 10-speed automatic occasionally stumbles.
  • Verdict Athletic and handsomely styled, the Cadillac CT4 is a solid entry-luxury compact car with legitimate appeal.
By Drew Dorian


As the sole American offering in a European-dominated segment, the 2021 Cadillac CT4 has a lot to prove. Luckily, its sharp styling matches its playful driving demeanor, and the CT4 serves as a desirable entry-level Caddy that doesn't ignore the wants and needs of enthusiast drivers. Two turbocharged four-cylinder engines are on offer: A 237-hp 2.0-liter comes standard, but we'd recommend the optional 309-hp 2.7-liter mill. Buyers looking for even more performance should hold out for the CT4-V Blackwing (reviewed separately), which debuts for 2021. Unfortunately for Cadillac, the CT4's somewhat down-market cabin doesn't quite hit the same target as entry-luxury compact cars such as the BMW 2-series Gran Coupe and Mercedes-Benz A-class.

What's New for 2021?

The CT4 enters its second year on the market with a few upgrades, namely a newly optional 12.0-inch digital gauge display and an available Diamond Sky Edition package. The latter adds a lower body kit, Brembo brakes, model-specific wheels, an aluminum-trimmed center console, and two-tone leather upholstery, among other things. Cadillac has also made previously optional driver-assistance features—such as automated emergency braking and pedestrian detection—standard and added a Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving mode as an option.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

The mid-range Premium Luxury trim marks the high-value spot in the CT4 lineup. Moving up from the base Luxury model to the Premium Luxury brings niceties such as genuine leather upholstery and 18-inch wheels. We'd splurge and add the Bose premium audio system, which includes navigation and a 14-speaker stereo system along with a wireless smartphone charging pad. No matter which option packages you choose, do yourself a favor and spec the more powerful turbocharged 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine.


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Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Buyers can choose between two turbocharged four-cylinder engines: A 237-hp 2.0-liter powers the base Luxury and mid-range Premium Luxury and Sport models, while a 2.7-liter is optional in the Premium Luxury and standard in the CT4-V. It makes 309 horsepower in the former and 325 horses in the latter. The smaller of the two engines is paired to an eight-speed automatic while the larger four gets a 10-speed. Rear-wheel drive is the standard arrangement and rare in this segment. Rivals such as the Audi A3, BMW 2-series Gran Coupe, and Mercedes A-class are all based on front-drive chassis. The CT4 offers all-wheel drive on all models as an option. We've driven the CT4-V and found it to be athletic, eager, and quick, although we would have preferred more refinement from the 10-speed gearbox. Even in this sportiest guise, the Caddy's suspension handles potholes without punishing occupants and delivers sharp, rewarding handling that any car enthusiast can appreciate.

2021 cadillac ct4 rearView Photos

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

Both of the CT4's turbocharged four-cylinder engines provide decent fuel economy. Rear-wheel-drive models with the 2.0-liter are rated as high at 23 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, and 27 mpg combined. Opting for all-wheel drive drops the highway number by 2 mpg and the combined number by 1. The more powerful 2.7-liter engine is less efficient but not by much, with the rear-drive model coming in at 20 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined. The CT4's key rivals—the Audi A3, the BMW 2-series Gran Coupe, and the Mercedes-Benz A-class—all boast similar fuel-economy ratings.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

Inside the CT4, Cadillac has wisely switched to a more user-friendly control setup versus the largely touch-sensitive interface found on the ATS. Although the interior design and the quality of the materials at first appear attractive, they are ultimately unremarkable. Cabin space is tight for adults, especially in the rear seats, but Cadillac makes several luxury features standard even on the base trim, including 12-way power-adjustable front seats and dual-zone automatic climate control. Moving up through the range provides more desirable features, such as leather upholstery, magnesium paddle shifters, ambient interior lighting, and memory settings for the driver's seat and exterior mirrors.

2021 cadillac ct4 interiorView Photos

Infotainment and Connectivity

All CT4s come with an 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with the latest CUE software. The Apple CarPlay and Android Auto interfaces come standard, as does an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot. Cadillac offers navigation on all models. It comes bundled with a wireless smartphone charging pad and a 14-speaker Bose stereo system that replaces the car's standard eight-speaker arrangement.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have published crash-test results for the CT4. Cadillac offers a host of driver-assistance features, but few are offered as standard, a curiosity given mainstream small cars such as the Toyota Corolla and Mazda 3 offer such features gratis. Key safety features include:

  • Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Available lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
  • Available adaptive cruise control with a semi-autonomous driving mode

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

Cadillac outdoes its rivals with two more years and 20,000 more miles of coverage on the powertrain part of its warranty, but buyers of the 2-series Gran Coupe are treated to three years of complimentary maintenance whereas the CT4 offers only one free visit.

  • Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers six years or 70,000 miles
  • Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit



2020 Cadillac CT4-V

front-engine, rear- or all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan


turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
166 in3, 2727 cm3
325 hp @ 5500 rpm
380 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm

10-speed automatic

Wheelbase: 109.3 in
Length: 187.2 in
Width: 71.5 in
Height: 56.0 in
Curb weight: 3650–3800 lb

60 mph: 4.9–5.1 sec
100 mph: 11.6–11.8 sec
¼-mile: 13.4–13.6 sec
Top speed: 165 mph

Combined/city/highway: 23/20/28–29 mpg

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