Compared: 2023 Cadillac CT5 vs. 2023 BMW 5 Series

Cadillac tries to topple the segment's king with affordable pricing.

 2023 Cadillac CT5 Premium Luxury and 2021 BMW 5 Series SedanCadillac | BMW

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The 2023 BMW 5 Series has long dominated the luxury midsize sedan segment, but that hasn't kept others from attempting to encroach upon its turf. The 2023 Cadillac CT5 offers nearly as many powertrain options as the BMW and comes in at a considerably lower price. Has GM finally cracked the code to making the perfect 5 Series rival? Let's take a look.

CT5 Beats 5 Series in Pricing

Cadillac aims to make the 2023 Cadillac CT5 — with its base 237-hp turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder — a value proposition, as reflected by the entry rear-drive model's near $40,000 sticker. That's more than $16,000 less than the base price of the 5 Series, which employs a 248-hp turbo 2.0-liter. Above that, both lineups offer several other powertrains.

Only the 2023 BMW 5 Series has a plug-in hybrid model, which it calls the 530e. It makes 288 horsepower and costs about $58,000. Cadillac, meanwhile, offers a 335-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 in the mid-level CT5 Premium Luxury for around $48,000, plus a 360-hp version of that engine in the $53,000 CT5-V. Both those Cadillacs undercut the comparable 540i, which makes 335 horsepower from a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline six, but opens at about $63,000.

If none of those suits your power needs, consider one of the V8 options. For Cadillac, that would be the roughly $93,000 CT5-V Blackwing, with its 668-hp supercharged 6.2-liter. A manual transmission comes standard with this model, but buyers can spec an automatic for a few grand more. For BMW, shoppers have several choices: There's the 523-hp M550i xDrive, with a starting price of around $81,000; the 600-hp M5, which opens at about $109,000; and the 617-hp M5 Competition, for about $118,000.

2023 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing 120th Anniversary Edition shifterCadillac

CT5 Shows Cadillac's Cost Cutting While 5 Series Shines In Features

The 2023 BMW 5 Series claws back some ground in this category. The base model comes with a fully digital instrument cluster, a 12.3-inch infotainment screen, and supple leatherette seats, which do a good job distracting you from the hard plastics scattered about. Warm wood trim is also in the mix, and it makes the BMW's cabin an inviting place to spend some time.

By contrast, the 2023 Cadillac CT5's interior shows the brand's cost cutting. Cheap plastics are more abundant here, and the CT5's 10.0-inch center screen doesn't measure up. The BMW's back seat is also roomier than the Cadillac's. Both automakers give buyers the option of all-wheel drive on most models.

2021 BMW 5 Series Sedan front cabin in brownBMW

5 Series Has a Slight Edge Over the CT5 in Efficiency

The 2023 BMW 5 Series has a slight edge over the 2023 Cadillac CT5 in fuel economy, with the rear-drive 530i seeing 28 mpg and the Cadillac 27 mpg. Selecting all-wheel drive knocks two points off each rating.

The six-cylinder 540i xDrive with 25 mpg offers the best mileage. The V6-powered CT5s return mileage in the low 20s, with variations depending on the driveline and power rating.

As for the V8 models, the BMW still comes out on top. The M550i xDrive achieves 20 mpg and the M5 gets 17 mpg. The Blackwings, meanwhile, fall squarely in the mid-teens.

While the EPA has yet to post numbers for the 2023 plug-in 530e, you can expect far better efficiency than everything detailed above. Think an MPGe rating in the mid-60s and an electric driving range of around 20 miles. On gas alone, though, the BMW 530e's fuel economy should land in the mid-20s.

All vehicle pricing includes MSRP plus destination charges (set at the time of publication), and will be rounded to the nearest thousand.

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Carl Malek
Carl Malek is an automotive journalist with more than 10 years of professional experience. He covers all aspects of the automobile industry but specializes in vehicle reviews and industry analysis with strong knowledge in both fields. When he is not writing, he enjoys spending quality time with his wife Emily and being involved in other family activities.