2025 Cadillac Optiq EV Nails the Compact Luxury SUV Formula

2025 cadillac optiq
2025 Cadillac Optiq EV, New Compact Luxury SUV Cadillac
  • On the newly revealed 2025 Cadillac Optiq, dual-motor all-wheel drive is standard, and the sole powertrain churns out a combined 300 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque.

  • Its wheelbase is nearly six inches shorter than that of the Lyriq, but the Optiq can still package an 85.0-kWh battery that enables this smaller SUV to achieve a claimed 300 miles of range.

  • The Optiq's interior is exquisitely crafted from attractive materials, and it goes on sale this fall at an estimated starting price of $54,000.

Seeing is believing with the Cadillac Optiq EV, which sings a decidedly different tune from the larger Lyriq. Rather than coming off as small, the two-row Optiq feels right-sized, with spacious accommodations front and back, and a usefully sized rear cargo compartment. Part of the reason for this is the absence of a front trunk, which allowed Cadillac to package peripherals up front so they could optimize the rear half of the vehicle.

The proportions look good on the outside, too, with a notably raked windshield and a low, short hood that adds sportiness while moving the visual mass forward just enough. The optional 21-inch wheel and tire package (20s are standard) neatly fill the fenders, and the stance is made even more purposeful by a styling trick. Negative camber has been built into the front daytime running lights and rear taillight signatures, and these subtle tweaks enhance the impression that the Optiq is hunkered down and glued to the road.

2025 cadillac optiq

That may well be the case, in fact. We haven't yet been given the opportunity to drive it, but we did meet the engineers responsible for its chassis tuning. The chief engineer has Corvette on his CV, while the performance engineer—an encouraging title in its own right—came direct from the CT-4 and CT-5 V Blackwing projects. They had much to say about the Optiq's apparently low amount of body roll and favorable ride and handling balance, made possible by Passive Plus dampers that can tell the difference between cornering and impacts and react accordingly. Time will tell, but the résumés involved give us hope.

One-Stop Powertrain Shop

All Optiqs will have dual motor all-wheel drive, so that's one less decision you'll have to make. The front end is powered by a permanent-magnet synchronous AC motor. This efficient all-around choice maximizes energy recuperation via regenerative braking on the front axle, while also enabling efficient front-drive operation when cruising. Whenever you stand on the accelerator, the rear asynchronous AC induction motor chimes in. This type was chosen because it adds considerable punch but also creates precious little drag when it's de-energized in cruise mode. The overall result is 300 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of maximum combined output. The latter translates to 480 newton-meters of torque, which explains the 480 badging the Optiq will likely wear.


The Optiq's 116.3-inch wheelbase is 5.5 inches shorter than the larger Lyriq's, but there's still enough room between the wheels for the same 85.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Cadillac says that should translate to 300 miles of range in the 5200-pound Optiq. We're not yet taking that as gospel, however, because the all-wheel-drive Chevrolet Equinox EV, a less expensive Chevy version, is rated at 285 miles despite having a de-rated version of the same powertrain. The reason for this mismatch may come down to the wheels and tires. The Optiq's base fitment is 245/50R-20 rubber, and we're betting that's where 300 miles comes into play. Meanwhile, the Optiq's optional 275/40R-21 tires are standard on the AWD Equinox EV, a top-line offering that's good for 285 miles. We expect a similar range here if you spring for 21s.

2025 cadillac optiq

All Optiqs will come with a dual-level charge cord with swappable ends to accommodate why-bother 110V trickle charging or now-we're-talking 240V charging via a NEMA 14-50 outlet (commonly used for Class A motorhome shore power), which you can have an electrician install at home. If you want to go bigger, the Optiq's onboard charger can support 19.2-kW charging rates if your electrician can wire up third-party charge equipment to a 100-amp circuit. On the road, the Optiq's DC fast-charge circuitry is said to add 79 miles of range in 10 minutes because this is a 150-kW-capable machine with 400-volt battery architecture.

Inner Beauty

Your author has never quite seen the interior of the Lyriq as a styling tour de force, but the Optiq looks significantly more pleasing to the eye. There's a flow and style here that give off a luxury vibe, even though many of the surfaces are covered in *shudder* fabric. That may be because your eye is drawn to a pleasingly curved 33-inch screen that blends the instrument panel into the infotainment screen with more grace than other competing attempts. This works here because it sits relatively low, but also because it does not seem like touchscreen overload because the Optiq retains a full complement of physical controls in the form of steering wheel buttons, stalks, and door-mounted controls. HVAC adjustments also happen off-screen, and the air vents are pleasingly integrated into a cleanly styled dash.

The coarse-weave fabric, made from 100 percent recycled material, actually lends a luxury touch that comes across as the Next Big Thing because it is far more organic and appealing than the piano-black overload that has been a stylist's crutch for far too long. The glossier center section around the cupholders is made from a resin-encased version of the same material that makes it safe from spills while still retaining the same theme. Also absent inside the Optiq: overtly shiny plasti-chrome. The metallic trim pieces sprinkled about are either brushed aluminum or otherwise have a muted finish that gives them the look of hand-rubbed metal instead of something that came from a plastic model kit.

We couldn't evaluate the seats dynamically, but they do have a premium feel. They're heated up front in the as-yet-unnamed based model, while the uplevel grade adds front seat ventilation and rear seat heating along with a head-up display. Rear seat room is indeed generous, and we don't feel deprived compared to the larger Lyriq. Overhead, all Optiqs come with a panoramic glass roof that spans from edge to edge to create a wide aperture inside and a seamless look outside.

Two Grades, Two Trims

The full list of standard and optional equipment has still not been released, but we have learned a few things. Based on how some of the specs have been adjusted in recent weeks, we must say that anything we think we know now is subject to change. There will be two grades: a base model (called Optiq 1) and an upgraded model (called Optiq 2). Details on the differences are incomplete, but the upgraded model will have heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear ones, while the base grade will only have heated front seats. There's undoubtedly more, and the inclusion of the head-up display is surely tied to the higher-grade model, but we're not certain.

Standard features include the glass roof (with a sunshade, thankyouverymuch), a 19-speaker AKG premium audio system with Dolby Atmos, and three years of Super Cruise. Furthermore, the chief engineer also told us that safety in general is "not an option," so all items on the ever-growing list of active safety systems will be included.

We were told that both grades will come standard with 20-inch wheels and that the 21s would be a stand-alone option, but we're not convinced this is set in stone. There will also be two trim options, and these will be available with either grade: Luxury includes the exterior brightwork that many buyers covet, while Sport features blacked-out trim that others prefer. Wheel designs will track with trim choice too.

We won't have long to wait for such details to be hammered out and formally announced, because the 2025 Cadillac Optiq is set to hit the road this coming fall. We'll certainly have a chance to drive one before then, and we're frankly very curious to see if the luxury appointments we've seen do indeed come paired with the kind of driving performance we expect from an engineering team loaded with Corvette and Blackwing credentials.

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