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Cadillac CT6-V front 3/4 view

What’s Hot and What’s Not in the 2020 Cadillac Lineup

What to Buy and What to Stay Away From When it Comes to Cadillac in 2020

Published November 16, 2018

It took them years, but after a change in marketing strategy, careful planning, and a complete revision of their entire fleet, Cadillac’s fortunes appear to be turning around. From an uninspiring badge associated with retirees, GM’s top division has once again become cool and desirable by trendsetters. And yet, in the last 30 years, Cadillac’s U.S. sales haven’t amounted to more than 250,000 units or slid to below the 150,000-unit mark – not counting 2009, when total sales stopped at 109,092 units due to the recession. We’ll now focus on the 2020 Cadillac lineup and its sales potential in the coming years.

The luxury GM division is finally coming alive after a few years of stagnation. They marketed 156,440 vehicles in the U.S. in total during 2017, which saw their market share drop below 1 percent for the first time in the brand’s history. During the first quarter of 2018, their U.S. sales amounted to 50,056 units, which is an increase of over 8 percent compared to the same period in 2017 when they marketed 46,282 vehicles. This trend is expected to continue thanks to a number of new models which we’ll cover later on.

The luxury brand’s global sales have also surged during the first quarter of 2018 with March being particularly successful. Cadillac has recorded an increase of 25.6 percent from the same month in 2017, while simultaneously recording its 22nd consecutive month of global sales growth.

GM estimates their top brand’s story of success is only at its beginning as Cadillac’s global sales volume is expected to increase 100 percent by 2021. This will be achieved thanks to an influx of no fewer than five all-new models. In other words, the GM is planning on introducing a new Cadillac every six months from now on. One of them is the new CT5 sedan, which is supposed to stand in for both the current  ATS and CTS sedans, and has already been confirmed for MY 2020. Here’s what else to expect from Cadillac when it comes to MY 2020.

What’s Hot in the New 2020 Cadillac Lineup

06. 2020 CT5

As mentioned, the forthcoming CT5 will be replacing both the compact ATS and intermediate CTS luxury sedans. Size-wise, the CT5 will take the place of larger of the two mentioned models, with a smaller CT3/CT4 likely to arrive in 2021. The 2020 Cadillac CT5 should be built on the same Alpha platform as the CTS but could be a tad bit smaller than its predecessor due to Cadillac’s new positioning strategy. This also means the CT5 could be offered with a reduced starting price, but don’t expect any miracles here. $45,000 is a threshold the Caddy brass simply won’t be willing to break when it comes to their mid-sized sedans. By the time the new CT5 arrives, Cadillac should offer a new infotainment system with modern device integration and a larger display. It’s still too early to speculate on the remainder of its interior, but it’s obvious the CT5 will feature similar exterior lines as the flagship CT6 sedan.

The newest Cadillac sedan will likely retain the same powertrain lineup its predecessor came up with. The base 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder with 272 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of twist should continue serving as an entry-level into the Cadillac world these days. In place of an optional 335-horsepower 3.6L V6, on the other hand, Cadillac might introduce yet another, slightly more powerful turbo four unit. Buyers in need for even more power should opt for a 3.0L or 3.6L (whichever makes the cut) twin-turbo V6 which currently makes north of 400 ponies. This should complete the CT5’s powertrain lineup for MY 2020 as potential performance-oriented V models aren’t due before 2021 or 2022. Most CT5’s will be offered with rear-wheel drive as standard, all-wheel drive as an option, and should be tied to a modern 8-speed automatic transmission.

2020 Cadillac CT5 test mule

05. 2020 XT6

Unless you opted for the humongous Escalade, there was no way to get yourself a three-row crossover SUV in the Cadillac lineup. Until the day the XT6 was announced, that is. The brand’s third XT-branded crossover, after the 5 and 4 chronologically, is the first to offer three rows of seats and some added versatility to boot. The mid-size SUV will be pitted against the likes of the Volvo XC90, Audi Q7, and a bit closer to home, the upcoming Lincoln Aviator. Not only will it be similar to its smaller siblings when it comes to design, but the XT6 will also share the XT5’s C1XX platform. It should also boast a better-appointed cabin with a few more features available from the get-go when compared to smaller units. The 2020 XT6 is expected to be officially unveiled at the 2019 Detroit auto show with sales commencing later that year.

The initial XT6 models will most likely be powered by a naturally aspirated 3.6L V6 engine which is more than capable of moving a vehicle of its weight around with ease thanks to 335 horsepower on tap. Also standard will be rear-wheel drive and a 9-speed auto, while all-wheel drive remains optional. Those in need for more power will be glad to know the Cadillac will also include one of its twin-turbocharged V6 mills into the equation – most likely a 3.0L one. This would provide the mid-size SUV with more than 400 ponies and a healthy amount of torque on the side. Hybrid XT6 versions are also in the works, but these won’t make it in time for MY 2020. Expect the entry-level models to start from below the $55,000 mark and work their way up from there, which would plug a gaping hole in the Cadillac portfolio. At the moment, the more expensive Escalade is starting from $75,000, whereas the more affordable XT5 starts from around $42,000.

2020 Cadillac XT6 test mule

04. 2020 XT5

Having debuted back in 2017, the best-selling Cadillac model is due for a mid-term makeover in 2020. This should provide the luxury compact crossover with a boost in sales which already amounts to around 70,000  units a year. Like most upcoming Cadillacs, the XT5, too, is bound to don the Escala concept’s design cues – most notably a wider grille and revised bumpers. The interior is also up for a makeover but the most notable change is actually the introduction of the highly-advanced Super Cruise self-driving system. The partial self-driving aid is currently only available with the flagship CT6 sedan and costs $5,000. Considering the XT5 crossover isn’t as luxurious as the CT6 sedan, the actual price might be even higher there. Expect the entry-level models to start from around $42,000 which is their current price, but fully equipped units should warrant a much higher price tag from now on.

Arguably the biggest issue XT5s had until now was a lack of powertrain choices. Every model was condemned to a 3.6L V6 with 310 horsepower and an 8-speed auto. The 2020 Cadillac XT5 will offer a 9-speed unit to begin with while the sturdy V6 should be joined by an optional 2.0L turbo four that’s producing 272 ponies in the brand’s smaller sedan offerings. We’ll have to wait for the official figures to arrive in order to find out whether the old numbers will stick or if the luxury automaker has plans to boost its engines’ ratings after the upcoming facelifts across the range. The Chinese market XT5 is even available with a mild-hybrid system tied to the turbocharged 4-cylinder in question. Again, we’ll have to wait for official details in order to find out if the U.S. market models are also in for a similar treatment.

Cadillac XT5 test mule

03. 2020 XT4

The subcompact XT4 completes Cadillac’s newest lineup of crossovers and SUVs. Being introduced for MY 2019, the smallest of Caddy crossovers is still far from requiring a mid-cycle update. Instead, it’ll carry over virtually unchanged with only some minor revisions like additional color options and equipment rearrangements taking place. Priced from around $35,000, the XT4 represents a relatively affordable way of owning a luxury crossover. However, the most expensive units can warrant a price tag as high as $58,000 if fully loaded with factory options. Needless to say, there are a lot of better (and larger) options out there for that amount of money. Still, the Cadillac XT4 offers a good value for money and passenger space that borders on class-leading. Moreover, things can only improve for the subcompact from here on out.

The 2020 Cadillac XT4 will almost certainly remain a single powertrain affair. The subcompact’s sole engine, a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder, is rated at 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of rotational force. It’s paired with a modern 9-speed automatic gearbox and comes in either front or all-wheel drive configurations. The future, however, promises to be interesting for the small crossover. Apparently, GM is working on putting some performance emphasis to Cadillac models which, in the XT4’s case, means a possible V-Sport unit. The XT4-V is probably not due for a MY 2020 debut, but if GM engineers do manage to speed things up, it’ll be a welcome addition for Cadillac. Especially considering all of their German competitors have similar models of their own. It’s still unclear which engine the proposed XT4-V would use, but it’ll have to be good enough for north of 300 horsepower. Let’s wait and see how things develop from here.

Cadillac XT4 front 3/4 view

02. 2020 Escalade

Introduced back in 2015, the fourth-generation Cadillac Escalade has been overdue for a full redesign for quite some time now. The fifth-gen models are, incidentally, set to make their debut in time for MY 2020. The 2020 Cadillac Escalade will remain a hulking beast with its hallmark boxy shape remaining mostly intact. However, next-gen models will feature a completely redesigned interior with an even bigger emphasis on comfort and technology. The downside is that this might have a detrimental impact on the Escalade’s current price range. The new models could be as much as $10,000 more expensive than the outgoing units. This, in turn, would put the entry-level unit’s starting price around the $85,000 mark. Of course, GM will have to justify such a hefty price hike by adding more standard features and we believe that’s exactly what they’ll do. Whether the vaunted Super Cruise will make it as well remains to be seen.

The biggest news about the next-gen Escalade lies in the revised powertrain department. The 2020 Escalade will apparently be available with no fewer than three different options. The 6.2L small-block V8 will carry over and likely get a performance boost as well. It currently generates 420 ponies and 460 lb-ft of torque. The upcoming CT6-V will be the donor car for the big Caddy’s first new powertrain. Its 4.2L twin-turbocharged V8 should be good enough for 550 horses and 627 lb-ft of rotational force. Finally, the last option could also be borrowed from the CT6 sedan – the plug-in hybrid this time. A turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder paired with two electric motors is good enough for 335 horsepower in the flagship sedan which might not be enough for the massive Escalade. However, expect something similar in the hybrid Escalade with the possibility of a larger powertrain being used as a donor. We’ll know more closer to the official reveal date. Most Escalades will likely be offered with 10-speed automatics.

Cadillac Escalade front 3/4 view

01. 2020 CT6-V

As the current flagship of the legendary Cadillac sedan lineup, the CT6 represents the best money can buy – at least when it comes to Cadillac cars. Since the CT6 dates back to 2016 and isn’t all that “young” anymore, GM had to find a way to freshen things up. Their answer is the V-Sport performance model which comes in to replace the vaunted CTS-V muscle sedan. The all-new Cadillac CT6-V will also benefit from the substantial facelift that conventional models went through during MY 2019. Apart from a whole different level of performance, the V-models also get a revised stiffer suspension and retuned steering. This should help it perform much better around corners and eliminate any unwanted body roll. Price-wise, the CT6-V is expected to be some $10,000 to $15,000 more expensive than the CTS-V which last started from the $87,000 mark. In other words, expect it to become the most expensive model in the Cadillac range with a potential starting sticker already in the six-digit range before extras.

The all-new Cadillac CT6-V serves as an instrument for debuting GM’s all-new 4.2L twin-turbocharged V8 engine. Code-named “Blackwing,” the new “hot V” mill is reportedly good enough for 550 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of twist. It’ll be paired with a contemporary 10-speed automatic gearbox and mandatory all-wheel drive, and should help the CT6 achieve marvelous acceleration figures. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering about 90 percent of the total torque is available from as low as 2,000 rpm. The same engine will be available across the non-V range as well, where it’ll manage to crank up a still-overwhelming 500 ponies instead. Although the CTS-V and its ludicrous 640 horsepower will obviously be missed, the CT6-V is more than a worthy successor. Who knows what else the future holds? It wouldn’t surprise us if GM decided to introduce an even more powerful version of the hot sedan further down the line. One that would eclipse the outgoing CTS-V in every way conceivable, including the total output department.

Cadillac CT6-V front 3/4 view

What’s Not in the New 2020 Cadillac Lineup

02. 2020 XTS

The full-size XTS sedan is not long for this world. It’s one of three current models (alongside the ATS and CTS) that are expected to make way for the CT(insert random number here) line of future sedans. Being a better seller than both of its smaller cousins, the XTS is expected to bow down last. At $46,500, the large luxury sedan obviously represents a good value for money – once again, as evident from its total sales which amounted to 16,275 units in the U.S. during 2017. Actually, it’s one of the cheapest options in its class and provides an ample amount of space for both the passengers and their cargo to boot. Then again, the Cadillac XTS comes with a number of downsides as well. It’s far from being the most refined vehicle in its class and comes with very few tech features in its base form. Expect the XTS to bow down during MY 2020 without any significant updates being performed, because why squander resources on a soon-to-be goner? Note also that the XTS is expected to coexist with the car brought in to replace it – at least for a short duration.

The 2020 XTS’s powertrain lineup is also expected to remain largely unchanged. Most models are offered with a naturally aspirated 3.6L V6 engine available in both front and all-wheel-drive configurations. They’re all good enough for 304 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque, and are paired with a somewhat outdated 6-speed automatic transmission. It wouldn’t hurt GM to at least ease the XTS’s suffering by upgrading its gearbox, but no official confirmation has yet been made on that matter. The one XTS that doesn’t come with the normally aspirated motor sits atop the lineup and starts from almost $75,000. It’s the V-Sport model with a 410-horsepower 3.6L twin-turbo V6 mill and mandatory all-wheel drive. It still comes with a six-speed, though. Both models are expected to remain in stock until the very end, although the high-performance model might get rebranded so there’s no confusing it with the upcoming CT6-V and other subsequent V-badged Cadillac vehicles.

Cadillac XTS front 3/4 view

01. 2020 CTS

As already mentioned a couple of times, the CTS is nearing the end of its 15-year-long run. This is the luxury brand’s second sedan scheduled to get the ax after the ATS sedan already disappeared from the lineup. Unlike the smaller ATS, which is currently only available in coupe form, the CTS will feature throughout MY 2019. Also, a number of leftover models are expected to remain in stock in spite of its successor’s arrival during MY 2020. Needless to say, Cadillac won’t do anything about their outgoing intermediate sedan and will instead focus on future projects. The CTS will remain as is, having received its last update during MY 2017. With conventional units ranging from $47,000 to $72,000, and the ultimate CTS-V costing at least $87,000, the CTS sedan is probably a bit over the top in terms of prices. Especially considering it has no real future.

At least the luxury sedan is available with a wide selection of engines, though. Not counting the performance-oriented CTS-V and its 640-horsepower supercharged 6.2L LT4 V8, the conventional lineup offers no fewer than three additional choices. Base models are available with a fuel-conserving 2.0L turbo four capable of producing 268 ponies and 295 pound-feet of torque. A conventional 3.6L V6 is a step up the ladder with 335 ponies and 285 lb-ft, while the V-Sport trims benefit from a 3.6L twin-turbocharged V6 mill which produces 420 horsepower. All models are paired with 8-speed autos, with the V-Sport getting a high-output version of the gearbox. While every single one of them has a strength of its own, neither is devoid of downsides either. The four-banger isn’t as refined as its German counterparts, the normally aspirated six struggles to compete with its own competitors, and the turbocharged V6 is simply too expensive and inefficient for its class, despite being the best performer.

Cadillac CTS is not long for this world

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Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much.

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