Review: The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq hits the right note

Cadillac is shooting for the stars next year with the glamorous Celestiq electric sedan.

If it costs $300,000 and up, that’s movie stars, rock stars, sports stars, and people who can afford to fly into space.

The hand-built ultra-luxury car is designed to reclaim the “Standard of the World” title for the brand, but there is already an electric car on sale that is a bit more standard.

The Lyriq is Cadillac’s first all-electric model. It’s a mid-sized SUV with a starting price of $62,990 and a sharp, modern look similar to that of the Celestiq.

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The Lyriq is Cadillac’s first all-electric model.
(Cadillac)

It comes with a 340 horsepower rear-wheel drive and 500 miles of range between charges, but a 500 horsepower all-wheel drive model is coming to showrooms soon. Either two years of free access to EVgo’s public charging network or a $1,500 credit toward installing a home charger is included in the price.

In fact, you should not expect much from dealers. The reservation book for the full production of the first year, expected to be around 20,000 vehicles, is already full, so stocks will be limited.

The Lyriq is a four-door, five-passenger SUV.

The Lyriq is a four-door, five-passenger SUV.
(Cadillac)

Although priced similarly to a Tesla Model Y, it is almost as long as a Model X, but only has two rows of seats and a large cargo area behind it.

The Lyriq comes fully loaded and dressed to impress. The interior is upholstered in high quality leather and features heated and cooled massaging front seats plus dazzling ambient lighting. Everyone I had to check it used the word “wow.”

The color of the mood lighting can be changed.

The color of the mood lighting can be changed.
(Cadillac)

There is also a 33-inch-wide digital display that encompasses the instrument cluster and interface of the touchscreen infotainment system. Below it is a row of buttons and switches for the climate control system, but it’s used for many of the vehicle’s functions, including launching the 360-degree camera view, changing driving modes and opening the glove compartment.

Volume is adjusted by a scroll wheel on the center console, mounted in front of a joystick/dial that can be used to control the infotainment system if you don’t feel like a long tap on the screen.

The Lyriq has a 33-inch digital display.

The Lyriq has a 33-inch digital display.
(Cadillac)

The layout could probably do with a bit more buttons and takes some getting used to, but it’s purposely meant to give the Lyriq a touch of futurism. It can be easily updated later with additional features, powered by Google and equipped with the Google Assistant. That means you can use voice commands to turn on the radio, get news reports and even change the cabin temperature and turn on the heated seats.

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The Lyriq’s doors look like they have handles on the outside, but they’re just buttons that open them electronically. The front doors have little tabs above them that you use to pull them open, while rear passengers have to put their hand in the gap and pull the doors themselves.

A full panoramic glass roof is standard.

A full panoramic glass roof is standard.
(Cadillac)

It’s the kind of affection that several electric vehicles, like the Ford Mustang Mach-E, have adopted to bolster their modernity, but I’ll be surprised if it stays in fashion for long. Hopefully the way the Lyriq drives.

The Lyriq is available with 20-inch or 22-inch (shown) wheels.

The Lyriq is available with 20-inch or 22-inch (shown) wheels.
(Cadillac)

It’s not overpowered, but feels plenty strong with a smooth delivery rather than a kick to the head like many electric vehicles are calibrated to impress. Shockingly, for a high-tech car, it doesn’t come with a computer-controlled suspension system, but it does come with frequency-dependent dampers that adjust their stiffness in response to the impact of the road surface to provide a creamy, controlled ride that’s among the best. can be found in every vehicle today.

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It’s also one of the quietest, at least when you’re going fast. Below about 40 km/h, the pedestrian warning sound will turn on. It’s a hum that all electrified vehicles are required by law to emit. Unfortunately, the Lyriq’s is more audible in the glass-roofed passenger compartment than others I’ve driven recently and can get old when you’re in town or stuck in stop-and-go traffic. On the other hand, I think a vehicle called the Lyriq should live up to its musical name.

The Lyriq has an EPA range of 500 km per charge.

The Lyriq has an EPA range of 500 km per charge.
(Cadillac)

The Lyriq comes with the hardware for Cadillac’s hands-free Super Cruise driving system, but early customers will have to wait for the software that activates it to be sent over the air to their vehicles when it’s ready. However, it now has a conventional adaptive cruise control system, blind spot monitor, lane departure prevention and automatic emergency braking.

It takes approximately 40 minutes to charge the Lyriq to 80% at a DC fast charging station.

It takes approximately 40 minutes to charge the Lyriq to 80% at a DC fast charging station.
(Fox News digital)

While the combination of range, price and size is hard to beat, the Lyriq lags behind some competitors in terms of loading speed. The 400-volt architecture takes about 40 minutes to fill the battery to 80% at a fast charging station, while models from Genesis and Porsche can do it in less than 20 minutes at the most powerful stations thanks to their 800-volt systems. That only becomes a problem if you’re going on a particularly long road trip, as you can charge it at home and start each day with a full battery. Assuming you live in a house to plug it into.

A portable charging cable is stored in an attache-style case under the loadspace floor, along with a removable cargo cover.

A portable charging cable is stored in an attache-style case under the loadspace floor, along with a removable cargo cover.
(Fox News digital)

Many Cadillac customers do. And while 70% of Lyriq buyers are new to the brand to date, I can see many Cadillac XT5 owners driving one of these cars home and never looking back.

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At least until they win the lottery and order a Celestiq to take to the launch pad for their orbital vacation.

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2023 Cadillac Lyriq

Base Price: $62,990

As tested: $64,540

Type: 4-door rear-wheel drive SUV for 5 passengers

Engine: Electric only

Power: 340 hp, 325 lb-ft of torque

Transmission: Single-speed automatic

Range: 312 miles

MPGe: 89 combined

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