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  7. 2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury

Derek Shiekhi | Dec 11, 2020

Exterior view of the 2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury

Do you ever listen to a song just to hear the background singers? I do that sometimes. One of the reasons Walter Egan's song "Magnet and Steel" is such a sonic addiction for me is that Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks adds her distinctive vocal texture to the chorus. Ditto for Chaka Khan belting out her parts in Steve Winwood's "Higher Love."

That's not taking anything away from the main names attached to those songs. They're the primary forces behind those hits, but the featured performers added a wonderful contrasting layer to them. In a way, that's kind of how things are at Cadillac. I think it's safe to say that the Escalade is its most iconic modern model, especially given how popular high-end SUVs are these days. But there's more to GM's luxury car brand than that. In addition to a variety of posh two- and three-row utility vehicles, Cadillac also produces sedans that add depth to the lineup and give buyers who don't need the cargo space of a crossover or just want the driving experience of a traditional four-door attractive options.

The smallest of those is the CT4, which has a starting price of $32,995. New for the 2020 model year, it replaces the outgoing ATS and offers sharp styling, new engine and transmission options, and updated technology. Rear-wheel drive is standard across the range, but all-wheel drive is available.

At one end of the CT4 spectrum, there's the entry-level Luxury model. At the other is the performance-focused CT4. In the middle are the Sport and Premium Luxury variants. I recently tested the latter of those two. Cadillac equipped it with all-wheel drive and a long list of options packages that took it from a base price of $37,495 to an as-tested price of $50,265.

2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury Exterior

Exterior view of the 2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury

There's no mistaking the CT4 Premium Luxury for anything else, except perhaps its larger sibling, the CT5. What distinguishes the CT4 the most is its lighting. Up front, the Y-shaped LED headlight casings form a sort of gilded edge to the front fenders.

In the back, the taillights jut out from the top of the rear body panels like rubies poking through the surface of the Earth. Some of the credit goes to the CT4's grille, which features chrome highlights in the shape of the Cadillac crest. There's more brightwork on the greenhouse frame and door handles. Cadillac goes with a more subdued finish, Sterling Silver paint, for the CT4 Premium Luxury's 18-inch wheels.

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2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury Interior

Interior view of the 2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury

Another one of Cadillac's strengths - one that it shares with other GM brands - is that it makes all of its major and frequently used controls easily accessible. Certain European cars make you dive through touchscreen menus to do something like adjust the head-up display's positioning.

In the CT4 Premium Luxury, the controls for that and other HUD settings are to the left of the heated steering wheel. Controls for the optional 14-speaker Bose premium audio system, cruise control and 8-inch multi-information display are on the steering wheel. If I wanted to access functions on the 8-inch Cadillac User Experience touchscreen, such as the navigation system, I could either tap it with my finger or use the control knob on the center console.

Directly below the main screen was a volume knob and a dedicated hard home button for the infotainment system. Further down was the switchgear to heat and ventilate the front seats and adjust the dual-zone automatic climate control system. I didn't have to bother connecting my iPhone XR to a cable to fill it with juice thanks to the wireless charging pad behind the shift lever.

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2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury Performance

View of the engine block of the 2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury


Cadillac offers the CT4 Premium Luxury with two turbocharged four-cylinder engine options. The base engine is a 2.0-liter unit that generates 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. It routes that through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Upgrading to the 2.7-liter engine gets you a ten-speed automatic and the same power plant in the athletic CT4.

To keep some breathing room between the two cars, Cadillac tuned the I4 in the CT4 Premium Luxury less aggressively so that it produces 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. Although the CT4 Premium Luxury lacked the ultimate punch packed by the V model, its dual-volute turbo spooled up with an urgency similar to what I felt behind the wheel of the 2020 CT4 I tested earlier this year (2020 Cadillac CT4 Test Drive Review | AutoNation Drive). When I called on that forced-induction power, the CT4 Premium Luxury had the pleasant ride every Cadillac outside of the hardcore V models should have.

According to the EPA, the most potent CT4 Premium Luxury with all-wheel drive is capable of getting 20 mpg in the city, 28 on the highway and 20 combined. That last figure turned out to be a little pessimistic. I put 303.9 miles on my test car and averaged 20.9 mpg.

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2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury Safety

View of the safety features of the 2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury

In base trim, the CT4 Premium Luxury comes equipped with features designed to protect everyone inside of it, and even around it. Those include Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, high-definition rear camera feed and Safety Alert Seat that pulses the driver seat's bottom cushion to notify you when you're getting close to something you should stay away from.

Nearly half of the optional features on my CT4 press loaner made its Cinnamon and Jet Black cabin a safer place to be. The Driver Assist Package added Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control, Enhanced Automatic Emergency Braking and Reverse Automatic Braking.

The bulk of the safety upgrades were in the Driver Awareness Plus Package, which contained add-ons such as IntelliBeam automatic high beams, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.

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2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury Overall

Exterior view of the 2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury

There's no denying the Escalade's prominence in Cadillac's lineup. It's a striking, luxurious tech fest that sails down the road on an (available) air suspension. But if you look beyond it at the rest of Cadillac's vehicles, you'll see the 2020 CT4 Premium Luxury. If you happen to do that at an AutoNation Cadillac dealership, you can take the uniquely styled sedan for a test drive and experience its thoughtfully designed interior and responsive turbocharged powertrain yourself.

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2020 Cadillac CT4 Premium Luxury Specs


4-door, 5-passenger, AWD


2.7L turbo I4, 310 hp, 350 lb-ft
Eight-speed automatic


20/28 mpg (city/hwy)

NHTSA Safety Rating


AutoNation Drive Test Drive Review: ★ ★ ★ ★

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*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

**Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending on specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.