The new 2020 Cadillac CT4 was not received well, with performance figures far below the outgoing generation of Cadillac sedans. But there’s still hope for Cadillac, because the 2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe is the CT4's new competition, and it may not be much better.
(Welcome to Who Ya Got, a series where you get to vote on car rivalries, some more notable than others.)
The Cadillac CT4 is the result of a confusing strategy of downgrading the performance of Caddy’s sedan lineup and seemingly jumbling the letters and numbers around at random to come up with the new CT4 and CT5 as replacements for the ATS and CTS.
The 2020 CT4 and CT4-V’s measurements are almost identical to the outgoing ATS, which puts it in competition with the likes of the Audi A3, Mercedes-Benz CLA and A-Class (bet you forgot the latter of those was sold in the U.S. now), and now the new BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe.
Neither of these cars are actually out yet, so it’s hard to really put them to scale from the photos. Just looking at them, the 2 Series looks like it would be a significantly smaller car than the new CT4, but that’s not exactly true. On paper, almost all of the measurements are pretty close:
- Wheelbase: The CT4 has a wheelbase of 109.3 inches; the 2 Series has a wheelbase of 105.1 inches.
- Overall Length: The CT4 is 187.2 inches long; the 2 Series is 178.5 inches.
- Overall Width: The CT4 is 71.5 inches wide without mirrors; the 2 Series is 70.9 inches wide without mirrors.
- Overall Height: The CT4 is 56 inches tall; the 2 Series is 55.9 inches tall.
From the exterior, the CT4 is measurably larger than the 2 Series, though despite being nearly 9 inches longer overall, the Cadillac is only 4 inches longer in the wheelbase, where it counts the most for interior space. Let’s compare those numbers:
- Headroom: The CT4 has 38.3 inches front, 36.5 inches rear; the 2 Series has 38.2 inches front, 35.6 inches rear.
- Legroom: The CT4 has 42.4 inches front, 33.4 inches rear; the 2 Series has 41.4 inches front, 34.4 inches rear.
- Shoulder Room: The CT4 has 55.2 inches front, 53.9 inches rear; the 2 Series has 55.5 inches front, 53.1 inches rear.
- Cargo Volume: The CT4 has 10.7 cubic feet; the 2 Series has 12 cubic feet.
While the exterior dimensions of the Cadillac make for a larger vehicle, inside both cars are only ever at most an inch apart in how much space they offer passengers, which makes the 2 Series much more efficient at utilizing its overall footprint than the Cadillac. Especially when it comes to cargo volume.
Performance is where the Cadillac gains a fairly significant edge over the 2 Series, though:
- Engine: Both cars feature a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, in both standard and performance spec.
- Power: The CT4 can be had with either a 237 HP, 258 lb-ft 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder or a 309 HP, 348 lb-ft 2.7-liter turbo four-cylinder; the CT4-V gets a 325 HP, 380 lb-ft 2.7-liter turbo four-cylinder.
- The 2 Series gets a 228 HP, 258 lb-ft 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, and the M235i gets a 301 HP, 332 lb-ft 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder.
- Curb Weight: The CT4 weighs in at 3,461 lbs, the CT4-V at 3,616 lbs; the 2 Series weighs in at 3,534 lbs, the M235i at 3,605 lbs.
Any way you cut it, the CT4 is going to be a more powerful car compared to its closest 2 Series equivalent. The base CT4 with the 2.0-liter has 9 HP over the base 2 Series and the same amount of torque, and the 2.7-liter non-V CT4 has 8 HP over the M235i and 16 more lb-ft of torque. There’s no announced M-version of the 2 Series Gran Coupe yet, but it wouldn’t be too hard for that to beat the CT4-V.
We also need to keep in mind that the 2 Series is only available with all-wheel drive from a front-wheel drive platform, but the Cadillac is rear-wheel drive unless optioned with all-wheel drive for a premium.
So, the final thing left to consider here is price, with the CT4 starting at $33,990 for rear-wheel drive or $36,590 for all-wheel drive. Pricing hasn’t been announced for the 2 Series Gran Coupe yet, but it should come in safely under the $37,300 starting price of the 2 Series regular coupe. The jury is still out on this category, though.
So where do all these numbers leave us? The Cadillac is slightly larger overall, rear-wheel drive based with optional all-wheel drive, and comes with more power against a comparable 2 Series Gran Coupe.
However, the 2 Series comes with front-wheel drive based all-wheel drive standard, is overall smaller, but still offers nearly as much interior space and measurably more cargo room.
We’re basically comparing a Cadillac to a Mini. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I also think the awkwardly styled CT4 is actually a better looking car than the awkwardly styled BMW. I’d probably go for the Cadillac, though I’d drive both of them to see if what’s on paper actually translates to a better drive experience.
What about you? Who Ya Got?