Millions continue to work from home as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and with no end in sight, we might still be using our kitchens, dining rooms, guest spaces and other areas of our homes as de-facto offices.
That’s the case in Parker household.
Our dining table has been converted to my wife’s workspace, complete with desktop and dual-monitor adornment. I spend my time either posted up across from her or in the living room with my laptop, both of us with one eye on our work and another on our 16-month old.
It’s not an ideal situation, but over the last eight months our home has become a true “live, work, play” like all those city planners are always talking about.
But what happens if you can’t even your use your home as an office?
That’s what happened recently when tropical storm Zeta blew through the Atlanta area and we were without internet for several days.
Now, we were extremely lucky compared to many of our neighbors. Some lost power for days. Some had to remove trees from their yards and, in many cases, their homes. But in any case, my wife and I were still unable to do our jobs without connection to that ‘ol world wide web.
She was forced to lug her required dual-screen desktop to a friend’s house, but lucky for me, I had a laptop and the all-new 2020 Cadillac CT5 in the driveway.
The CT5, Cadillac’s replacement for the CTS, comes fitted with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot as standard. With that, it became my makeshift office for a few days. And how does it perform in such a role? About as good as a midsized sedan can, I suppose. It’s not really one of my standard ways of testing a car.
The Caddy’s 116-inch wheelbase makes for a roomy cabin that could easily accommodate my average height and a laptop without the steering wheel’s presence becoming an issue. For taller coworkers, rear legroom excels for a midsized.
The leather office chairs (leatherette is standard) are supportive and comfortable, with 12-way adjustable driver’s chair and 10-way front passenger seat standard. My Premium Luxury trimmed tester give both front seats 14-way adjustability that are heated, ventilated and have a massage feature. Beats the hell out of my actual office chair.
One particularly late night at work made me glad for my tester’s optional dual-pane sunroof, available in all trims.
For some background music, the CT5 has plenty of digital and analog controls running Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system. The interface is attractive and navigating through the menus or scrolling SiriusXM channels on the 10-inch touchscreen is a breeze with the rotary controller in the center stack.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity is standard across all models with wireless charging fitted in higher trims.
Office furnishings aren’t as nice as some German workspaces I’ve seen — there’s quite a bit of hard plastic — though the rent is a bit cheaper than those cars, ahem, workspaces. The Caddy’s starting price of around $37,000 is well below some of its midsized luxury competition — it’s on par with the Lincoln MKZ and Lexus ES and significantly less than a Mercedes E-Class or BMW 3 series — but base models lack many luxury features.
All-wheel drive is a $3,090 upgrade over standard rear-wheel drive.
Your coworkers will likely appreciate the outward appearance of the CT5 office. It’s sharp lines, squat stance and slick greenhouse make it a handsome work area.
And unlike your actual office, at work or at home, you can use the Caddy headquarters to travel.
There are two turbocharged powerplants available for the CT5. A 2-liter, twin-scroll turbocharged inline-four is standard and offers 237-hp and 258 ft.-lb. of torque. Opting for the 3-liter turbocharged V-6, only available in Premium Luxury trim as a near $5,000 add-on, nets buyers 98 more horses and 405 ft.-lb. of torque.
I can’t speak on the 2-liter, but those wanting their office space to get going in a hurry, the turbo-six may well be worth the price of admission.
There is discernable turbo lag, but once the snail spools the power is put down with a punch with 90 percent of the CT5’s peak torque coming online at 1,800 rpm. The 3-liter drags hard and, other than the initial punch of the turbo kicking on, it is velvety smooth in its delivery of power.
As a comfortable cruiser, the CT5 hits the mark with supple ride quality, a 10-speed automatic transmission that provides imperceptible cog changes with a relatively quiet cabin.
Those looking to do some Caddy corner carving might want to consider the sportier CT5-V when it becomes available. While the standard model holds its own through the bendy bits, it doesn’t feel particularly athletic from behind the wheel despite a firm brake pedal, quick gear changes in sport mode and direct steering.
V-models likely improve on body control with active, magnetic dampers.
The CT5 can be fitted with Cadillac’s Super Cruise, which is arguably the best semi-autonomous driving feature on the market that controls acceleration, braking and steering. Super Cruise can be used on the 6-million-plus miles of highways and byways Cadillac has mapped.
Don’t think about using Super Cruise to answer emails or taking a post-lunch snooze in the office, though. A sensor mounted to the steering wheel tracks the driver’s eyes and uses warnings to ensure they keep their focus on the road ahead.
It’s not the most engaging office to drive and some materials are subpar for the luxury class, but using a car as a workspace is not a bad proposition if the car in question is the CT5. Whether used as an office or its intended use, it offers a relaxed ride, sharp looks, ample space for passengers and desirable features. Like a built in Wi-Fi hotspot, for instance.
The CT5 will likely not sway any brand loyalists from other manufacturers, but it is worthy to be on the shopping list for those in the market for a midsized luxury sedan. Or a mobile workspace.