2023 Cadillac Lyriq
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First Drive: 2023 Cadillac Lyriq Review

As GM’s luxury brand slowly transitions to a fully electric portfolio, the first model spearheading this zero-emission future is the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq, arriving in certain areas of the country this fall. Canada Drives took the wheel of this new electric crossover in Utah to find out if Cadillac is on the right track.

Key Features:

  • Alluring design
  • Smooth and quiet ride
  • Cabin fit and finish

Direct Competitors:

  • Audi e-tron
  • BMW iX
  • Jaguar I-PACE
  • Tesla Model Y

General Motors strongly believes the future is electric, and has laid out plans to develop affordable EVs for everyone, across its four core brands in North America. That includes Cadillac, the first division to announce that its entire lineup of passenger cars and utility vehicles will be rid of combustion engines by 2030.

The brand’s very first EV is the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq, a midsize crossover that, from a size standpoint, slots in between the current XT5 and XT6 (here’s a look at the entire Cadillac SUV lineup). 

Based on GM’s Ultium battery and motor technology, the Lyriq for the Canadian market will start being built in August. We headed down to Utah in order to get our first impressions of the 120-year-old brand’s newest product.

Cadillac Lyriq price, options and main competitors

2023 Lyriq | Photo: Cadillac 

For its first year on the market in Canada, the Lyriq will be available with a simplified lineup. Only one trim level is available for now, with the choice between rear-wheel and all-wheel drivetrains. The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq RWD starts at $69,898 including freight and delivery charges, while pricing for the Lyriq AWD has yet to be announced.

There are very few options for now. Customers get to choose one of four paint colours, one of two interior colour schemes and a few dealer-installed accessories for the cargo area. Oh, and 22-inch wheels instead of the standard 20-inch alloys, but curiously, they’re only available on the rear-wheel drive Lyriq.

Lyriq Canadian MSRP starts below the main competitors

The Lyriq’s price undercuts that of the Audi e-tron quattro, the BMW iX, the Jaguar I-PACE and the Tesla Model Y, which all hover around the Caddy in terms of size and stature. In fact, the closest competitor is the base-trim BMW iX, which starts at more than $80K. 

However, as time goes by, more luxury brands will introduce their own midsize electric crossovers, such as Lincoln, and let’s not forget the upcoming VinFast VF 8 we reviewed here, slated to arrive in Canada before the end of the year.

2023 Cadillac Lyriq interior

2023 Lyriq | Photo: Cadillac 

Not only is the Lyriq’s exterior design modern and sophisticated, with its new Cadillac visual signature incorporating 50 thin strips of LEDs to create a welcome animation for the owner, but the crossover’s cabin is just as impressive. Happily, no components, buttons or switches inside the Lyriq are shared with other GM products.

Premium interior touches, as you’d expect from Cadillac

Fit and finish is beyond reproach, with wood veneers that were laser-cut on the door panels to create a pattern of little triangles. The knurled vent controls and infotainment rotary dial are a nice touch as well. The perforated leather seats are heated, ventilated and massaging up front, but the rear seats aren’t heated or cooled. Noir and Sky Cool Grey are the two available interior colours.

2023 Lyriq | Photo: Cadillac 

The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq features a 33-inch, LED curved display that is one big full-width screen—unlike its competitors that house two separate rectangular-shaped displays in a casing. And despite its massive width, it’s not distracting at all, while the infotainment system is easy to use. 

Expect Super Cruise at a later date

Still, some features are hidden in the interface’s menus, such as the glove box lid release and the garage door opener buttons. Super Cruise, GM’s hands-free assisted driving system, won’t be available at first, despite the hardware all being already installed. Over-the-air updates will activate Super Cruise at a later date, along with other new features and improvements as time goes by.

2023 Cadillac Lyriq performance and handling

Thanks to Bose noise cancellation tech and a stiff platform, the Lyriq’s cabin is very quiet on the road. Its ride is very smooth, despite the absence of an electronically adaptive suspension, as the crossover’s passive dampers are finely tuned to soak up any type of bump or pothole, and they do an excellent job of keeping the vehicle in control. After all, the Lyriq RWD tips the scales at 2,580 kilograms. It’s not as sporty as the BMW iX, but the trademark is a relaxing driving experience.

Expect around 500 horsepower from the all-wheel drive Lyriq

2023 Lyriq | Photo: Cadillac 

Although we could only sample the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq RWD, its single motor provides 340 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque, allowing for quick launches and plenty of passing power. The upcoming Lyriq AWD will boast around 500 horsepower and a 3,500-pound towing capacity. 

Around 500 km of electric range with the Lyriq RWD

Driving range is pegged at 502 kilometres for the Lyriq RWD, which is more than what the Audi, the BMW and the I-PACE can muster. Only the Model Y can do better with its 512 km range.

The Lyriq RWD is equipped with a 19.2 kW charging module while the AWD variant gets an 11.5 kW charger. The 100 kWh battery pack can be juiced up at speeds of up to 190 kW, and a dual-level charge cord is included. In the best conditions, up to 122 km of range can be added with a 10-minute DC fast charge.

Verdict: is Cadillac’s first EV worth it?

Absolutely. The Lyriq scores big points for style, ride quality and sophistication. It drives and handles well, its cockpit is lavishly crafted and there’s plenty of room for the family, even if the kids riding in the back seat are getting tall.

2023 Lyriq | Photo: Cadillac 

At around $70K, the Cadillac Lyriq is priced to sell, and that’s likely its biggest problem. The 2023 model allocation for Canada is already all spoken for, meaning interested customers must now get in line for a 2024 model. Otherwise, there’s little to fault here. Cadillac’s move to electrification is off to a great start.

Seeing as new EVs have extremely long waitlists, maybe pre-owned is the way to go. Shop our inventory of used, certified EVs here. 

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