Cadillac has a long history with sedans—although sometimes it helps to have a short memory.
The 2020 Cadillac CT5 is a mid-size sedan that’s smaller than its predecessor, but right-sized for car buyers around the globe—not just folks in the U.S.
Dimensionally, the 2020 CT5 fits between the outgoing compact ATS and mid-size CTS. A smaller CT4 sedan is due later to complement the CT5.
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With the CT5, Cadillac has a competitor for a bevy of luxury competitors from Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW. Ultimately, a performance version of the CT5 may arrive later to take on high-powered versions of those cars, something Cadillac has done very well in the past.
Style and performance
The CT5 bears some resemblance to the company’s outgoing full-size sedan, the CT6, and borrows inspiration from the 2016 Escala concept.
The new sedan sports a more upright nose, wider grille, vertical headlights, and chiseled looks. The hood and body sides are deeply creased and skip the Art & Science jaggedness for a blockier, but ultimately more contemporary look.
The CT5’s rear roof pillar may be the most recognizable shape compared to the outgoing sedans; it kicks up quickly toward a high tail and black plastic mimics the look of a rear quarter-window and meets a plunging roof at the rear end.
Under the metal, the CT5 is distantly related to the Chevrolet Camaro—a relationship that has served other Cadillac sedans well in the past.
The 2020 Cadillac CT5 initially will be available with a choice between two turbocharged engines, a 2.0-liter inline-4 or a 3.0-liter V-6. Cadillac didn’t say how powerful either engine would be, although it’s likely that both engines are related to similar units found in the CT6 that make 265 and 404 horsepower, respectively.
The engines will pair exclusively with a 10-speed automatic transmission and drive the rear or all four wheels. All-wheel drive will be available with either engine.
Initial performance figures weren’t immediately available, although V-6 versions should sprint to 60 mph in around five seconds and Cadillac says that the CT5 would use “unique sound calibrations” for both models.
Safety and features
The 2020 Cadillac CT5 will be available in Sport and Luxury trim levels when it goes on sale later this year. Like other Cadillacs, the two trim levels are separated by small styling differences outside, and equipment differences inside and under the hood. Cadillac hasn’t yet said how much the sedan will cost.
The CT5 will come equipped with Cadillac’s latest and greatest for infotainment and convenience, including available SuperCruise driver-assistance tech that can reduce fatigue on long trips.
The CT5 will use Cadillac’s latest infotainment system that offers a touchscreen and clickwheel controller, likely with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.
Cadillac also has promised premium sound from Bose in the CT5.
The Tesla Model 3 includes most of the same features you’d find on a well-equipped mainstream model or a basic offering from a luxury brand. All Model 3s come with Tesla’s very advanced entry system, with custom driver profiles.
The 15-inch touchscreen on all Model 3s is basically a giant, very responsive tablet with its own quick 4G connection—one that can be used to provide updates to core car systems. It includes phenomenally quick navigation and mapping abilities, with none of the lag of rival systems, and it responds to voice prompts with natural-language commands just like smartphones.
There’s one big issue that will affect how some use this system: It’s not compatible with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The audio system has built-in streaming services, via TuneIn, that let you play radio stations, podcasts, or specific artists/channels, and the latter feature responds very well to natural voice commands.
Another detail about the Model 3 that takes some getting used to is that there’s no keyfob for getting into the vehicle and there’s no ignition or power switch. You merely carry your phone with you; as you approach the vehicle the driver’s door unlocks, and as you get into the vehicle it turns fully on. Exiting the vehicle, as you walk a few paces away, the car switches off and signals that it’s locking up (depending on your menu settings).
You store the RFID keycard that serves as the actual physical key away in a wallet, or at home in a drawer, and the only time you’ll need it is when you add new devices (then it functions as an admin password for the vehicle, essentially).
The Model 3 is also one of the few vehicles on the market that enables full over-the-air updates, not just for the infotainment system but for core vehicle performance and safety systems. Get into the car after an update, and it might accelerate or brake differently than before, or other features like the interior lighting might react a bit differently. Look ahead five or more years, and this is likely another feature that many more vehicles will have.
After several hours with the Model 3 we found glancing to the corner of the touchscreen for the speedometer and warning lights second nature, but it took us a couple of days to stop thinking that there should be a head-up display.
Tesla says that you can charge the battery at a rate of 150 miles of regained range in 30 minutes (or 170 miles for the Long Range model), or via a home-charging rate of about 37 miles per hour.
The new Standard Range Model 3 has a basic interior with cloth seats, base trim, and a base audio system—a combination we haven’t seen yet in person, while the Standard Range Plus upgrades to the premium seat material and the immersive-sound audio system we’ve experienced in other Model 3 sedans—not especially powerful but good for clarity and frequency response.
We award the Model 3 a total of 8 points out of 10 in the feature category, because of its “killer app” entry system, a great tech-feature set, and the sheer lag-free functionality its interface. We even threw in another point to represent Tesla’s knack at customer service, as you have to look long and hard to find any Tesla customer, so far, who’s unhappy with after-sales support. The only demerit we gave it relates to that lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Lots of seemingly normal details in the Model 3 have a learning curve—for instance, the exterior door handles demand that you tease them out with your fingers before pulling the door open, and inside you press a small button to release the door. Adjusting the steering wheel alone takes some fiddling with a menu and then the thumb toggles on the steering wheel.
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The 2019 GMC Canyon is a mid-size pickup with hints of upscale flair, enough for a 5.2 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Like its platform mate, the Chevrolet Colorado, the 2019 Canyon can’t quite stack up to its full-size companions, but at nearly 19 feet from end to end, it’s no small fry. The Canyon comes in several trim levels, SL, Canyon, SLE, All Terrain, SLT, and Denali, ranging from utilitarian to near-luxury. Those who opt for the All Terrain trim will get a helping of off-road styling details, but this is no rock climber like the Colorado ZR2.
For 2019, the Canyon got a mild refresh, including a new infotainment system with cloud-connected navigation and automatic software updates. There’s also the option for parking sensors, a 6-way power-adjustable driver seat on several trims, a new 17-inch SLE wheel design, and four new colors: Dark Sky Metallic, Smokey Quartz Metallic, Blue Emerald Metallic, and Sedona Metallic.
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The Canyon comes in a variety of sizes, including extended- or crew-cab bodies with a short 5-foot-2 bed or long 6-foot-2 bed, with the long bed the only option on the extended cab version. Engine options include a 2.5-liter inline-4, 3.6-liter V-6, or turbodiesel 2.8-liter inline-4. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard on some inline-4 models, and a 6-speed automatic is optional for the gas and diesel 4-cylinder engines, while the V-6 can be had with an 8-speed automatic. The Canyon comes in either rear- or four-wheel drive like most pickups.
Though it’s no athlete, the Canyon is quiet and agreeable on road, and with the diesel can deliver up to 30 mpg on the highway. The mighty diesel also tows up to 7,700 pounds, meeting the usual needs for many pickup buyers.
While they share engines, platforms, and more, the Canyon and Colorado differ greatly in their trim levels and intended buyers. Where the Colorado ZR2 off-road bruiser represents the best Colorado money can buy, GMC’s Canyon Denali piles on chrome trim and luxury features for those looking for a posher pickup experience.