An electrified Cadillac is back with an eye-catching style, premium materials, and an impressive range. Most of all, this new Caddy is a great value with a reasonable price tag. Cadillac tried its firsthand at electrification with a vehicle called the ELR in 2014 which was based on the Chevrolet Volt with about 40 miles of electric driving range and a starting price of around $65,000. That model was only around for a few years before the plug was pulled. Since then, Cadillac has been busy developing an all-new electric vehicle that showcases Cadillac technology and style even better with more range and better price.
The Cadillac Lyriq was introduced last year for 2023 as a five-passenger fully electric mid-size luxury crossover with a minimum range of 307 miles. It's their first all-electric model and the first GM production vehicle using the BEV3 platform (which will also be used on the Chevrolet Blazer EV). The Lyriq is available in three trims known as Tech, Luxury, and Sport with a base starting price of $58,590. All models are available with either rear wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Standard RWD models come with an electric motor paired with a 102-kWh lithium-ion battery that delivers a combined 340 horsepower and 325-pound feet of torque. AWD models get two electric motors paired with the same 102-kWh battery that generates 500 horsepower and 450-pound feet of torque. RWD models offer an EPA-estimated 314 miles of range while AWD models get 307 miles of range. Competition includes vehicles such as the BMW iX, Genesis GV60, Lexus RZ, Mercedes-Benz EQE SUV, Tesla Model Y and Volvo XC40. I spent a week in a RWD Debut Edition that had an MSRP of $62,130 with destination charges and here's what stood out...Exterior Style (+)
The Lyriq has a unique style that is futuristic and modern, but also ties back to Cadillac heritage. Up front, it features a bold new black crystal grille that integrates a welcome/departure LED lighting sequence. The elegant sequence is striking and showcases Cadillac's evolution. On either side of the grille, signature vertical headlights tie back to the rest of the lineup but are modernized with the waterfall light-up sequence. Defined by taut lines and clean surfaces, it is assertive and modern, characterized by a low, fast roofline, fixed glass roof, and wide stance that conveys confidence. Additional details such as a flow-through roof spoiler express the careful attention paid to aerodynamics to optimize efficiency on the highway. At the rear, a split tail lamp design incorporates slim LEDs that are also integrated into the front's lighting choreography. Other style features include an available black painted roof and three different wheel designs. Tech & Luxury models get 20" split 6-spoke wheels, Sport models get 20" dynamic 12-spoke wheels and available are 22" dynamic split-spoke rims seen on my test model. It's a vehicle that looks even better in person where you can appreciate all the details.
Range / Charging (+)
As mentioned, the Lyriq will generate an estimated 307 miles of range for AWD models and 314 miles for RWD models. This is among the best in class for overall range. The 2024 Lyriq gets 97 MPG-equivalent in the city and 82 MPGe on the highway if you opt for the rear-wheel-drive model. Those are typical estimates for the luxury electric SUV class. AWD models will get slightly less at 96 MPGe in the city and 81 MPGe on the highway.
In addition to its impressive range which eliminates a lot of range anxiety, it charges quickly. The standard 11.5-kW onboard charger allows 120-volt/15-amp to 240-volt/60-amp charging, while the optional 19.2-kW onboard charger allows 120-volt/15-amp to 240-volt/100-amp charging. The included charging cord is rated for 7.7 kW. You can fully charge the battery in as little as about seven hours using a 240-volt household-style power outlet or home charging station, according to Cadillac. When connected to a Level 2 charger, it will charge at a rate of up to 19.2 kWh adding around 51 miles of range for each hour of charge (which I can attest to connecting the Lyriq to the Level 2 Autel chargers at our office). Using a DC fast charging station, you can recoup about 77 miles of range in about 10 minutes. Overall, these stats are impressive compared to many other electric vehicles I've driven. Additionally, I felt like the range indicator in the digital cluster was on point and never wavered much from its estimated remaining range. At times, I have been in competitors where the range indicator drops in increments of 5-10 miles despite only traveling one mile.
Powertrain / Performance (+)
Despite having less power than some competitors, the Lyriq is plenty quick for regular driving. It generates either 340 horsepower for RWD models or 500 horsepower on AWD models. Having been in the RWD model, the 340 horsepower was more than sufficient with its instant torque offering an estimated 0-60 MPH time of 5.7 seconds. Opting for the AWD will shave around a second off that time to 4.6 seconds. When cruising on the highway, it always had sufficient power in the bank for passing or merging smoothly.
The Lyriq is heavy, delivers a low center of gravity and near 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution. These elements work together to deliver a refined ride regardless of circumstances. It has various drive modes that include Tour, Sport, Snow/Ice, and My Mode. The modes can be changed through the infotainment display. Tour is designed for everyday driving; optimizes ride quality. In Sport mode, the steering response is tightened, suspension calibration is more responsive and hydraulic dampers provide a fun-to-drive, sporty performance ideal for dry roads. Snow/Ice is designed to help performance on slippery road surfaces by adjusting the pedal map, which slows acceleration and torque response to help prevent wheel slip. And finally, My Mode is a configurable mode programmed through the center stack display. In this mode, you can customize the steering, braking, and acceleration feel and responsiveness as well as drive motor sound.
Additionally, the Lyriq offers one pedal driving in which lifting your foot off the accelerator will engage regenerative braking to bring the car to a stop, much like a golf cart. Cadillac's implementation of this is very good as the Lyriq will slow down quickly to complete stop. One pedal driving can also be turned on/off in the same Drive Mode screen in the lower right corner by tapping the foot pedal icon. Handling (+/-)
Not only is the Lyriq heavy, but it's also long. It has a wheelbase that is slightly longer than the Cadillac Escalade. Despite its size, it hugs the road well with a Cadillac level of refinement and minimal body lean. It's an easy-to-drive crossover that maneuvers well in urban settings with a tight turning radius. Regardless of speed, it feels stable and well-grounded. Its ride is smooth over all kinds of road imperfections providing a comfortable and quiet experience. The available next-generation Active Noise Cancellation measures road vibration and uses the AKG speaker system to help actively cancel road-induced noise. That technology, coupled with acoustic laminated glass, can help turn traditional road noise into a serene space.
Technologies such as a five-link front and rear suspension and frequency-dependent dampers help optimize Lyriq's ride quality and responsiveness. I had no troubles with the rear-wheel-drive models in inclement weather and would expect it to perform just fine in snowy Midwest winters (thanks to its weight, low center of gravity and all season tires). Overall, the road manners are on point with other luxury vehicles making it a nice one to take on a long drive. It is not as enthusiast oriented as models like the BMW iX or Teslas which have a slight advantage of sportier handling.
Super Cruise (++)
Available in Sport & Luxury models, Super Cruise is a semi-autonomous hands-free driving feature. I have driven similar systems in other models but have to say that Super Cruise takes the lead on this technology. The system is easy to engage with and operates incredibly smoothly. Once cruise control is on, the Super Cruise light will illuminate on the digital cluster if available. It will currently engage on over 400,000 miles of compatible roads throughout the US and Canada including both divided and undivided highways. When it is safe to do so, press the Super Cruise button on the steering wheel to engage Super Cruise. When the symbol and steering-wheel light bar illuminate in green, you may remove your hands from the steering wheel. Do not remove your hands from the steering wheel unless the light bar is green, which indicates that Super Cruise is steering the vehicle. To disengage Super Cruise, press the Super Cruise button again or press the brake pedal.
Once engaged, it maintains its placement on the center of lane thanks to multiple real-time cameras, sensors, GPS, and LiDar precision map data. The distance behind the vehicle in front is set by the driver and maintained automatically. Super Cruise also features automatic lane changing or lane change on demand. If you approach a car that is driving slower than your set speed, the Lyriq will automatically change lanes to pass the vehicle ahead of you. Before changing lanes, it will notify the driver via the digital cluster and seat vibrations. It will also change lanes automatically if it senses a vehicle behind you following closely to get out of the way for that driver. It works seamlessly and appropriately, never "cutting off" other drivers. The lane change system can also be engaged on-demand when the driver turns a turn signal on.
A small camera ensures driver attentiveness and focus on the road ahead. If the car senses the driver is not focused, the steering wheel light-bar flashes for the first alert, turns red on the second alert, the seat vibrates, and it will direct the driver to take over control. If the driver does not take over, the Lyriq will slow down and safely come to a stop. Super Cruise was beyond impressive as I was able to let the Lyriq drive me home from work on the highway minimizing the stress of traffic. Kudos to GM & Cadillac for developing such an intelligent system that is easy to operate.
Hopping inside, the Lyriq impresses with a classy modern cabin space. The first thing you'll notice is the 33" diagonal LED display screen that extends from the left side of the dash all the way past the center. It houses two primary information screens, the digital cluster behind the steering wheel and the touchscreen infotainment screen. Like the exterior lighting sequence, the screen lights up with an interactive display illumination and silhouette of the Lyriq. Lighting further enhances the interior with ambient lighting on a unique door panel and throughout the cabin.
The interior is filled with mixed materials of metallic brightwork, open -pore wood, and leather. Every aspect is premium and well-executed. Below the climate controls is a pop-out 'jewelry tray' which is a great place for your wallet, key, sunglasses or whatever else you want to keep close, but not visible. It features a floating center console with ample storage below it and in the center storage. A control dial for the infotainment screen is on the center console along with home screen navigation buttons and cupholders. The control dial looks great but does feel a little less refined than competitors such as Genesis. Gear selection is done via a lever off the steering column and the steering wheel is also host to several control options. Placement of controls is appropriate throughout. The interior of the Lyriq has a vibe that will impress anyone that opens the doors.
The Lyriq comfortably seats five passengers as it has an open cabin with a wheelbase as long as the Escalade. Synthetic leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats with lumbar support and heated front seats come standard. Nappa leather upholstery ventilated and massaging front seats, heated rear outboard seats and a heated steering wheel are available. There is plenty of head, leg, and shoulder room all around. The seats are comfortable for long rides and even incorporate speakers into the headrest for a fully immersive surround sound experience.
As mentioned, technology is front and center via the 33" infotainment and digital gauge cluster combination that stretches across the dash. Lyriq offers a lot of technological features with some being intuitive, while others will require some learning. There are a lot of screens to navigate through the infotainment system so it will take some time to understand where everything is and may require a few taps to get to the function you're looking for. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard along with navigation, a WiFi hotspot, wireless device charging, 7-speaker audio systems, USB ports, dual climate zone, ambient lighting and more. Available upgraded features include a tri-zone climate control, 19-speaker AKG audio system, 110-volt household power outlet, 26-color ambient LED lighting, panoramic sunroof, and digital key. Google Built-in is also available which integrates Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play into the main infotainment apps rather than through something like Apple CarPlay.
Lyriq is equipped to support over-the-air in-vehicle software updates which saves time from visiting a dealer. Do plan to have these updates done when you don't need to operate the car as they take some time and ideally should be plugged in while the updates run.
Cargo Capacity (+/-)
While it has a lot of interior volume, cargo capacity is average for the class. There is 28 cubic feet of room behind the second row of the Lyriq and 60.8 cubic feet with the seats folded flat. A power liftgate is standard and available is a hands-free option in which it opens when you're near it. This makes loading and unloading a tad easier. The space is longer and narrower so it may require some reach to get the back portion. Unlike some competitors, the Lyriq does not have a frunk (front trunk) which is often an added benefit of electric vehicles.
Standard on all Lyriq models is forward-collision warning with automatic braking, blind-spot warning and intervention, lane-departure warning and mitigation, rear cross-traffic alert with automatic braking and parking sensors. Also available is a Driver Assist Package for $2,400 which includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Adaptive Headlight System (not included with Tech), HD Surround Vision, Rear Pedestrian Alert, Side Bicyclist Alert, Enhanced Automatic Parking Assist, and Intersection Automatic Emergency Braking. Another feature is Teen Driver which engages certain features based on a special teen-designated key fob and mutes the radio until front seat belts are fastened. Lyriq has just about everything available and the higher trim you choose will include more.
I really enjoyed this vehicle and walked away from it thinking that it was an amazing overall value. With a price tag of $62,130 this Lyriq offered full electrification with over 300 miles of range, Super Cruise hands free driving, an exquisite interior, and stunning style. With features like the LED approach lighting sequence, ambient lighting, 19-speaker surround sound and more, the Lyriq really does seem like a 6-figure vehicle. Most people I spoke with were pleasantly surprised at the final price. Congrats to Cadillac for thinking outside the box with the new Lyriq, it far exceeded my expectations.
First Impression Summary:
Test Vehicle: 2023 Cadillac Lyriq RWD Debut Edition
Exterior Color: Satin Steel Metallic
Interior Color: Sky Cool Gray
Notable Options: Black Roof ($600), 22" Alloy wheels ($1,550)
MSRP as tested (including delivery & processing fees): $62,130