Cadillac Optiq, the brand’s most affordable EV, will start at $54,000

Cadillac Optiq, the brand’s most affordable EV, will start at ,000

If you’re looking for an electric car and Cadillac sounds like your kind of brand, but the $64,000 Lyriq is too rich for your blood (to say nothing about the $340,000 bespoke Celestiq), you may find what you’re looking for in the 2025 Optiq.

Since first revealing the Optiq last November, Cadillac has been pitching this two-row SUV as its entry-level model — and now we know exactly what that means. The 2025 Optiq starts at $54,000, which is affordable for a luxury brand like Cadillac. And it will come with all sorts of standard goodies to help boost its sales pitch, including dual-motor all-wheel drive, Super Cruise hands-free driver assistance, and a ton of native Google apps.

What it won’t have is the ability to mirror your smartphone on the central display, so no Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. But you knew that already.

We’ll have to wait and see how customers, especially younger ones that Cadillac is desperate to win over, react to the absence of the popular phone projection systems. For what it’s worth, Cadillac, which has said it will have a “fully electric portfolio” by the end of the decade, is bullish on its appeal to younger customers.

In a press release, Global Cadillac VP John Roth said the brand’s percentage of younger buyers “has increased 5 percent in the U.S.” In other words, Cadillac isn’t your grandfather’s car company anymore.

The 2025 Optiq sports an 85kWh battery pack that can add about 79 miles of range in 10 minutes when plugged in to a DC fast charger. The total range estimate is 300 miles, but that’s General Motors’ estimate, not the Environmental Protection Agency, which tends to have the final word.

Cadillac says the Optiq is designed to be a sportier drive than most compact SUVs, with low-rolling tires, diffusers, and a rear spoiler. The dual-motor setup also helps, putting out 300 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. That’s a little less horsepower and a little more torque than the Lyriq, which should be interesting to experience when behind the wheel.

The Optiq’s wheelbase of 116 inches makes it slightly longer than Cadillac’s gas-powered XT5 but a half-foot shorter than the Lyriq. With its second row up, the Optiq has 26 cubic feet of cargo space and 57 cubic feet with the second row folded flat. With its 10-module Ultium battery in the floor of the vehicle, the compact SUV will have a base curb weight of 5,192 lbs.

In a briefing with reporters last month, John Cockburn, chief engineer of the Optiq, said the EV would feel quicker and more nimble than the Lyriq. “It is not a Lyriq,” he said. “The vehicle feels considerably different.”

In addition to typical EV features like one-pedal driving, the Optiq will also have a regen system that allows drivers to slow down or stop the vehicle using shifter paddles behind the steering wheel. There will be four drive modes, including Tour, Sport, Snow/Ice, and a personalized My Mode.

The Optiq sits on 20-inch wheels, with an option to switch up to 21 inches. The “black crystal” grille is laser-etched and offsets Cadillac’s unique vertical headlights. And a rear-quarter panel features a Mondrian pattern in the acoustic laminate glass that’s also found throughout the vehicle — and most notably in the Cadillac logo.

Inside, you’ll find leather trim, a spacious moonroof, and a 33-inch curved display that combines the instrument cluster with the central touchscreen in one solid piece of glass. The Optiq features Google’s built-in Android software, including Google Maps, the Google Play Store, and a Google-powered voice assistant.

Lots of Google apps, but no Android Auto. GM is betting that customers won’t revolt over the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto — even though many have said it could be a dealbreaker. When asked about this during the briefing, Roth said that a “tightly integrated” software experience will help win customers over. “Imaging and mirroring just can’t give you the experience that we believe we can give you with a fully integrated system,” he said.

What the Optiq may be lacking in UI options, it could make up for in price. The list price of $54,000 isn’t that attractive on its face, but it could come down a lot when applying the $7,500 federal EV tax credit. GM spokesperson Stephanie Obendorfer said the company expects the Optiq to qualify for the credit at launch.

The Cadillac Optiq will go on sale in the late fall and will be available in two trims, Luxury and Sport. It will soon be joined by two more Cadillac EVs: the Escalade IQ and Vistiq. In addition to the US, the new EV will be available in Europe as well as four other international markets.

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