2023 Cadillac Lyriq Pros and Cons: Can It Succeed in the Luxury EV SUV Segment?

2023 Cadillac Lyriq 20 photos
Photo: Cadillac
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After a seemingly never-ending campaign of previews, the production version of the Cadillac Lyriq was finally revealed at this year’s Shanghai Auto Show. While there are many things to like about the luxury manufacturer’s first EV, some don’t quite live up to our expectations.
The EV era is upon us and things are progressing at an accelerated pace. The switch to all-electric propulsion has seen many established manufacturers develop their own technologies and release more and more battery-powered vehicles.

When it comes to traditional American automakers, GM seems to be ahead of its rivals since it already markets the Bolt EV and is set to release the Bolt EUV, Hummer EV, a recently announced Silverado EV, and the Lyriq. The latter was unveiled earlier this week in final production guise at the Shanghai Auto Show.

The Detroit-based corporation has big plans for the first EV sold under the Cadillac nameplate, hoping that it will dominate the luxury SUV segment and propel the brand to new heights.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the Lyriq and see if it can live up to those expectations.

Pro: Interesting Exterior Design

2023 Cadillac Lyriq
Photo: Cadillac Motor Car Division
Meant to introduce the carmaker's future design language, the eSUV’s exterior is a welcomed improvement over the uninspired styling of past models.

The most prominent exterior feature is the futuristic front fascia which includes a distinctive black crystal grille bordered by loads of vertical lamps that seem to make the vehicle come alive.

As for the rest of the bodywork, if previous Cadillac models looked sharp, both figuratively and literally, this one gets many free-flowing shapes which make it very appealing.

Pro: High-Tech Features

2023 Cadillac Lyriq
Photo: Cadillac Motor Car Division
The manufacturer has announced that the Lyriq will be available with the next generation SuperCruise hands-free driver-assistance technology for compatible roads.

Moreover, it will be equipped with a 19.2 kW charging module, which can add up to about 52 miles (83.6 km) of range per hour of charge, according to Cadillac, a feature that will come in handy for those who own a Level 2 home charger that supports this technology.

Inside, owners will find a 33-inch curved display that extends from the driver’s side all the way to the center console. It’s no MBUX Hyperscreen, but it’s a nice touch for the luxury vehicle.

Pro: Accessible Starting Price for a Luxury EV

2023 Cadillac Lyriq
Photo: Cadillac Motor Car Division
Cadillac has announced that the Lyriq will start at $59,990, including destination, but excluding tax, title, license, and dealer fees. It is a really competitive price for the segment since an Audi e-tron is about $7,000 more expensive, and the Tesla Model X retails for about $20,000 more.

Con: Not Very Powerful

For now, we only have information about an RWD, single-motor powertrain that generates an estimated 340 hp (255 kW) and 325 lb-ft (440 Nm) of torque. Considering the vehicle weighs at least 5,610 lbs (2,545 kg), it’s more than adequate. Still, the competition offers more, so a bit of extra power would make it more competitive.

We hope that the EV will be available with a dual-motor AWD powertrain by late 2022, when it’s scheduled to hit the streets, but that will undoubtedly increase the starting price.

Con: Modest range for a 2023 model

2023 Cadillac Lyriq
Photo: Cadillac Motor Car Division
Cadillac states that the Lyriq offers over 300 miles (482 km) of range with a full charge, and that is great. However, Tesla’s current Model X and Y can surpass that.

Two years from now, other competing models will probably exceed that range as well, and since the eSUV employs GM’s Ultium battery tech, we expected more.

Additionally, if an AWD version that uses the same battery pack is released, that estimated range will surely drop.

Con: The Interior is Too Simple for a Cadillac

2023 Cadillac Lyriq
Photo: Cadillac Motor Car Division
Sure, the 33-inch screen is a very nice feature, but other than that, the cabin fails to impress. The current trend of designing clean and simple interiors is great for a Honda, Toyota, or even a Tesla, but it just isn’t what I would expect from a Cadillac.

My biggest issue is with the seats, which look like something you would find in a much cheaper vehicle, but that might be due to the upholstery color.

Another feature I find uninspiring is the storage compartment lid found on the center stack underneath the climate controls. It looks almost identical to what you find on a 1997 BMW 3 Series.

The Conclusion

There are still many unanswered questions that mostly gravitate around the availability of an AWD powertrain, so it’s hard to predict how well it will stack up against its rivals.

Cadillac plans to release its first EV in late 2022 as a 2023 model, so, by then, rival carmakers will probably release better all-electric SUV variants than what they currently offer.

While I’m sure it will find its place in the segment, I’m also certain it won’t rival the Model X, regardless of its starting price. After all, those who want to buy a luxury eSUV won’t be looking for the cheapest one available and will prioritize luxury, comfort, and performance, something that the Lyriq just doesn’t appear to combine flawlessly.
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About the author: Vlad Radu
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Vlad's first car was custom coach built: an exotic he made out of wood, cardboard and a borrowed steering wheel at the age of five. Combining his previous experience in writing and car dealership years, his articles focus in depth on special cars of past and present times.
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