An exciting harbinger for GM’s luxury brand, the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq EV takes dramatic first steps into a new era.
What kind of vehicle is the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq? What does it compare to?
The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq electric SUV has rivals in the Tesla Model X and Audi E-Tron to the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz EQS SUV.
Is the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq a good SUV?
With a top score in efficiency and strong showings in styling, comfort and utility, and features, we give the Lyriq a TCC Rating of 9 out of 10.
What’s new for the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq?
The Lyriq charts the course for Cadillac’s future portfolio of electric vehicles. It does so with an initial thunderclap of style: with its abbreviated and raised tail, a broad laser-lit front end, vertical headlights and the stance of a cornerback, the Lyriq nails its styling assignment. It’s a descendant of the old “Art & Science” school, for sure—one that’s seemingly a century ahead of that theme’s time. The cabin’s dramatic swoops of textured aluminum and sweeping digital displays signal progress on another vector. It’s trimmed to a lush, technical gloss that cuts almost all ties with Cadillac’s past.
The first Lyriq to hit the road taps a 102-kwh battery pack and single motor to power the rear wheels; a dual-motor all-wheel-drive version is planned for late 2022. The single motor packs an estimated 340 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. With a forecasted 312-mile range and typically strong EV acceleration, the Lyriq’s blessed with excellent straight-line performance that it pairs with a sublime ride that doesn’t need complex, high-energy adaptive dampers to buff the road to a nice, even sheen.
The Lyriq seats five, and its expansive back seat sits ahead of a big cargo hold with 28.0 cubic feet of space. Synthetic leather covers the seats; real leather won’t be offered in the initial model year.
The Lyriq has automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and will offer the Super Cruise driver-assist system that enables hands-free driving on more than 200,000 miles of divided highways across the U.S.. The 33-inch curved OLED screen displays gauges and infotainment and operates with clarity, but had some beef staying connected with our smartphones in an initial drive. A 19-speaker AKG sound system with headrest speakers incorporates active noise cancellation, and the Lyriq can be started, opened, locked, and pre-conditioned with Cadillac’s digital key on your smartphone.
Cadillac partnered with more than a half-dozen charging station service providers for access to more than 60,000 Level 2 and DC fast-charging stations across the country. Fast-charging at 190 kw adds 76 miles of range in 10 minutes. A Level 2 home charging option with 19.2-kw (100-amp) service adds 52 miles per hour of charging. Options at launch include 22-inch wheels
Where is the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq made?
In Spring Hill, Tennessee.
The Lyriq’s avant garde body and sleek interior pitch it into a new design era.
Is the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq a good-looking car?
Yes, from nearly every angle, from its polished profile to its stunning slung-back rear end. With two points for its body and one for the interior, we give it an 8 here.
The Lyriq wears some 736 LED lights that radiate around its sleek sport-wagon shape. Vertical headlights and taillights frame new interpretations of Cadillac’s classic crest-shaped grille, while lights embroider the black crystal grille, which has an illuminated Cadillac crest and laser-etched pinstripes that will change light patterns as different models join the family.
The unconventional LED headlights consist of nine lights stacked vertically, with the top three powering the high beams. Flanking the light stacks are vertical bars for the daytime running lights. That’s mirrored in back above the ends of the rear bumper; higher up where the angled rear windshield ends, the taillights grow in size as they tap out a visual Morse code from the center to the edge. The horizontal line makes a sharp turn as it wraps around the body and scales the D-pillar to the band of chrome separating the roof from the windows.
Inside, real wood trim pieces have been etched with dozens of cutouts, matching the details found on the speaker covers, headrests, and elsewhere. A glass roof crowns the open, airy cabin and a broad but not overwhelming 33-inch curved LED display showcases the technology loaded into the Lyriq
How fast is the Cadillac Lyriq?
It’s velvety-smooth power grows rapidly, and the Lyriq rides even better. With two points for its ride and one for its power, the Lyriq earns an 8 for performance.
The rear-wheel-drive Lyriq has a 102-kwh battery pack and a single electric motor delivering an estimated 340 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque, and an estimated 312-mile range. A coming all-wheel-drive version adds a second motor powering the front axle. Cadillac promises at least 500 hp and a 3,500-lb towing capacity from that model, but hasn’t released final specs and won’t begin building those versions until late in 2022.
Step into the Lyriq and a few details try to conjure up some of the past Cadillac magic. The transmission lever is old-school style on the column—and it’s a single forward gear, if you want to go back that far in time.
In its all-electric splendor, the Lyriq accelerates very briskly, with the usual thrust off the line that even big-bore V-8s have trouble outgunning. Though it has a single stack of battery cells and not a double stack like the related Hummer EV, it weighs an eye-widening 5,610 lb in base trim. We’d estimate its 0-60 mph potential at under six seconds, still.
The Lyriq sports a sophisticated five-link front and rear suspension and variable electric power steering, and base versions are shod with standard 20-inch wheels. Twin-tube dampers allow for different responses to big, long pavement gaps or smaller, lower flaws in the asphalt, without resorting to a more expensive and energy-consuming adaptive suspension. The in-between solution works well. The Lyriq rides well even on upgraded 22-inch wheels, without the pistoning or bounding or dullness that its size and weight could induce. In highway slogs or back-road runs, it has poise and grace unlike any other Cadillac SUV: it bends its knees like a pro skier passing over moguls, calmly and placidly.
To enable a sport drive mode or one-pedal driving, it’s a step or two through the touchscreen interface, though the Lyriq will maintain those settings even when the vehicle’s turned off. Cadillac bakes in three distinct levels of one-pedal driving, from one with simulated coasting effect to one that generates up to 0.3g of regenerative braking. The pressure-sensitive paddle on the left side of the steering wheel can blend in regen, and the friction brakes can be used—it’s redundant in a couple of ways when it comes to stopping, and it’s all integrated seamlessly.
It can also be switched from Tour to Sport mode, and should be. At low speeds the Lyriq can struggle with slow steering response; hairpins and traffic circles become 180-degree spins of the wheel, through a fairly hefty tune. It’s a long, wide car, after all.
Cadillac’s first EV out-spaces some rival SUVs.
At 121.8 inches long between the wheels, the 196.7-inch Cadillac Lyriq seats up to five passengers. We give the Lyriq an 8 here, for great front seats, excellent cargo space, and one for fit and finish on early-build vehicles we spent a day and a half driving.
The Lyriq strikes most front-seat passengers as vast and supportive. The power-adjustable, synthetic leather-clad buckets’ only misstep may be a manually adjusted headrest; otherwise its door-mounted controls tilt and slide the driver and front passenger into easy seating positions with lots of padding under the legs and low back. A low dash, an open area under the center console, and light interior tones strike the right chord with EV buyers without forgetting Cadillac heritage.
Still, the Lyriq has some odd two-step procedures in its hardware, just as it does in its firmware. The front door handles don’t pop out: once tapped, they release the door so a black plastic flap can be pulled to open it. The back door has the same setup—but no flap, just a plastic trim piece inside the door skin to pull open. The expanse of touch-sensitive buttons on the dished steering wheel can be hard to see and to find, especially when wearing polarized sunglasses.
Two passengers fit fine in back, with leg room of 39.6 inches and enough head room for a 6-footer in either outboard spot. In the middle, a protruding seatback and a wide center console won’t be comfortable for a third person for very long. Whoever fits in back will have an open view to the sky thanks to the Lyriq’s panoramic roof—though its sunshade practically has to commute from its rearmost position, the panel’s so long.
The Lyriq can hold four or five roll-aboards in its 28.0-cubic-foot cargo hold. That grows to 60.8 cubic feet behind front seats, and seems even bigger because of its low floor and regular shape. Under the cargo floor, there’s a deep storage bin too, but the Lyriq doesn’t have a front trunk like many other EVs.
Where the Lyriq succeeds best—and comes closest to the high-water mark set by Genesis, Kia, and Hyundai EVs—is in the details, from its joystick-driven air vents to the knurled accents on its console, to the contrasting trim color molded into big storage bins on the console, to the extremely quiet cockpit that erases some higher-pitched sounds with active noise cancellation baked into the 19-speaker AKG audio upgrade.