2024 Cadillac Lyriq Sport AWD Road Test: Old-school drive with new-school looks

2024 Cadillac Lyriq Sport AWD Road Test: Old-school drive with new-school looks

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It’s been nearly two years since we got behind the wheel of the Cadillac Lyriq for the car’s formal first drive. In case you were wondering, no, that’s not a normal amount of time between when we initially drive a car and when it becomes available for a more thorough test via a weeklong loan. But very few things about the Lyriq’s launch and subsequent production woes were normal. Only now that Cadillac is confident in its ability to crank out a reasonable amount of Lyriqs to keep dealer inventories up – the first quarter of 2024 saw 5,800 sold, up from only 968 delivered across the same stretch of 2023 – are we getting the opportunity to drive the electric SUV again.


The Lyriq in question here is a version we haven’t driven before, too. Specifically, it’s the Sport 3 trim, and it’s spec’d with a dual-motor all-wheel-drive powertrain that puts a walloping 500 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque to the pavement. The single-motor, rear-drive Lyriq we drove previously is down 160 horsepower compared to the dual-motor, but frankly, this electric SUV is less about performance and more about maximum luxury.

That much is clear when you hop in the cabin and notice the care that Cadillac put into the Lyriq’s design. My loaded tester’s final price may be a towering $83,500, but the Lyriq’s interior genuinely feels like an $80,000 interior. Point to the Tesla Model Y’s $45,000-$55,000 price point all you want – there’s a reason it’s so much cheaper, as it doesn’t even come close to matching the Lyriq’s level of luxury and materials quality.

It’s easy to be distracted by all the elegant adornments, but I jumped straight into the vast 33-inch display to see how that performed. If you recall, the Lyriq’s Ultium platform-mate, the Blazer EV, had all sorts of issues with its infotainment system upon launch that, among other things, it forced a stop-sale. Despite the platform relationship, Cadillac’s infotainment is its own monster. It retains wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality (albeit compromised in a little box due to the odd screen shape), but it also runs GM’s Android Automotive software that allows you to log in to your Google account. It sure was seamless logging in, though there was a good 10-minute lag before I was able to use the native Google Maps navigation system. After soldiering through that snag, it operated flawlessly the rest of my weeklong test.

Getting your bearings inside the Lyriq will take a short minute if you’re accustomed to other Cadillac interiors. It’s mostly due to the unique steering wheel buttons that give you quick access to a number of items via a light touch, but also because Cadillac has gone full Mercedes with its door-mounted seat controls. Even the lumbar and massage settings are accessed from the door, as there are zero controls on the seat itself. All of these high-quality buttons and toggles (there’s essentially a physical control for every possible often-used car control) run opposite to what so many other brands are applying to their EV interiors. For the long-time Cadillac buyer and anyone stepping into their first EV, it’ll be an easier learning curve.

Upon first setting out, it’s immediately apparent that Cadillac is bringing some old-school vibes to the party with a surprisingly slow steering rack. It’s a little off-putting at first as you’re required to crank in more lock than is normal for today’s typically quick steering racks when making tight maneuvers. Engineers tell us the Lyriq’s slower steering is on purpose to provide “a balance of smooth, predictable low-speed maneuverability and stable, responsive steering feel at higher speeds.” In reality, it feels like the sort of steering you’d find in a Cadillac from before the brand dynamically spun 180 degrees with high-performance chassis tuning: slow, lazy and a little cumbersome. I’d prefer a quicker rack that’d make the car feel more agile at low speeds, but that said, I did like it at higher speeds when testing its handling and general stability on the highway. Quicker racks can make a car feel artificially darty or light on its feet, but there’s still merit to the easy-going strategy Cadillac took here.