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2023 Cadillac Lyriq Review: Electric SUV is Cadillac's future

2023 Cadillac Lyriq Review: Electric SUV is Cadillac's future


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The brand made famous by extravagant cars and blinged SUVs packed with gas-swilling V8s is about to start a very new chapter, and it starts with the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq. This 100% electric SUV is the first in a wave of Cadillacs powered only by electricity. Featuring GM’s new Ultium battery technology, shared by the Hummer EV, the Lyriq features a 100-kilowatt-hour battery good for an estimated 312 miles of range in the 340-horsepower rear-wheel-drive model. The 500-horsepower all-wheel-drive Lyriq’s estimated range had not been revealed at the time of this writing, but you can expect it to be slightly lower. Coupled with speedy recharging times, the Lyriq arrives with fully competitive EV credentials.

As for the vehicle itself, the Lyriq is a two-row midsize SUV that’s a bit bigger than Cadillac’s XT5 on the outside but a bit smaller on the inside (those super-cool looks do result in a tradeoff in practicality). The interior builds upon the tech-focused Escalade interior, boasting a similarly grand OLED curved infotainment/instrument display spanning much of the dash. Its floating center console, minimal physical controls and streamlined air vents are basically must-haves for an EV at this point. The steering wheel is also a new design, and the green lights you’ll see on its rim (pictured below) indicate the Lyriq comes standard with GM’s Super Cruise hands-free highway driving technology.

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The Lyriq seems like a compelling deal for a comfortable, quiet, cutting-edge luxury EV. Ordering for the Lyriq opened ... and almost immediately closed after being sold out. Cadillac has since opened preorders for the 2024 Lyriq, but that won't be arriving until spring 2023. Sorry.

Interior & Technology   |   Passenger & Cargo Space   |   Performance & Range

What it's like to drive.  |    Pricing & Features   |   Crash Ratings & Safety Features

What's new for 2023?

The Lyriq is an all-new model.

What are the Lyriq interior and in-car technology like?

Welcome to the future. Slide into the Lyriq’s driver seat and you’ll be greeted by a vast expanse of curved screen that stretches from the A pillar to beyond the dash’s midway point. Unlike other seemingly huge screens, such as the Mercedes EQS Hyperscreen, which are really just separate screens placed in one housing, the Lyriq’s is one contiguous OLED unit that serves double duty as an instrument panel and infotainment touchscreen. The functional result is basically the same, but it sure is cooler!

The infotainment portion utilizes Google’s Android Automotive operating system, which effectively provides the software framework upon which Cadillac places its own design “skin.” You can read more about it in GMC guise in this Yukon infotainment system overview. We’re generally pleased with the system’s functionality, though we can’t say it’s especially better or worse than systems developed by various car companies.

Elsewhere in the cabin, we like that Cadillac still uses physical controls for the climate controls and other vehicle functions (the cool little knobs that direct the air vents seem like a much-better solution than touchscreen-controlled ones), though we have our doubts about the touch-sensitive steering wheel controls. Like many other EVs, the Lyriq has a floating center console with cupholders and a rotary infotainment interface over an open storage compartment. There's a second tray that pulls out from lower in the dash (pictured below left).

How big is the Lyriq?

Like other EVs, the Lyriq’s electric architecture results in dimensions that don’t align with gas-powered models. For instance, its overall length is between a two-row BMW X5 and three-row Lincoln Aviator, with a wheelbase that outdoes them both, yet its overall height is roughly 5 inches lower than those SUVs. The result is a sleek and decidedly cool-looking SUV ­– along with less cargo space and rear headroom.

Rear legroom of 39.6 inches is consistent with larger midsize SUVs (and the Tesla Model Y), which should be good for longer legs and rear-facing child seats. There’s also considerable shoulder room at 58.6 inches, meaning you’re more likely to fit three people across. As for cargo space, there’s only 28 cubic-feet of space behind the raised third row, a modest amount that’s less than many compact SUVs, let alone all those mentioned above. It is, however, about what you’d get in a Mustang Mach-E and Kia EV6, though those are admittedly cheaper EVs.