2023 Cadillac Lyriq proves ambitious but messy on first try
What is Lyriq?
The 2023 Cadillac Lyriq is the brand’s first all-electric vehicle and the vanguard of a slew of new electric vehicles from parent company General Motors. It is considerably larger than the Chevrolet Bolt and has a long wagon-like profile. Think of it as being a bit longer but a bit shorter than a Subaru Outback. As well as being all-new, the Lyriq also introduces a new generation of battery technology and the latest tech features from Cadillac.
The limited Lyriq Debut Edition starts at $59,990, while more mainstream versions will start at $62,990 (both prices include destination). Within Cadillac’s SUV lineup, that puts it between the XT6 midsize SUV and the Escalade.
What is the power and range of the Lyriq?
The first Lyriqs on sale are equipped with a 100 kW battery and an electric motor driving the rear wheels. This combination provides 340 horsepower and an EPA-estimated range of 312 miles. This range estimate is similar to what you get from the Tesla Model Y Long Range (330 miles) and BMW iX (324 miles) and more than the Audi e-tron (222 miles) or Jaguar I-Pace (234 miles). We have to run the Lyriq through our standardized Edmunds range test, but once we do we’ll know more about how the Lyriq performs in real-world riding.
There will also be a twin-engine Lyriq. This model will have all-wheel drive and an estimated power of around 500 hp.
How does Lyriq work?
First, note that the following are our first impressions after riding the 340-hp Lyriq Debut Edition. Accelerations are lively but controlled. You get the feeling of instant torque that has become synonymous with electric vehicles, but it’s delivered smoothly rather than in aggressive bursts.
The brakes are easy to comfortably control and a one-pedal drive setting is available, allowing the Lyriq to automatically slow to a stop when you release the throttle. This is a significant benefit for electric vehicle owners, who often find one-pedal driving an attractive feature and an important part of the electric experience. For added fun, you can also tap the left steering wheel paddle to apply additional braking force – like a bike’s handbrake – if you’d rather avoid the foot brake pedal altogether.
The rest of the driving experience is comfortable, if rough, around the edges. It’s easy to use the Lyriq, which starts up quickly and feels particularly nimble at low speeds. Like many EVs, it has a tight turning circle that makes parking and U-turns easier. But along the way there are frustrations. The management seems uncommunicative and lacks frankness. Maybe Cadillac tuned it that way to exude comfort or luxury, but to us it makes the Lyriq lazy in response to your commands.
The SUV also noticeably shifts its weight too often. Despite what Cadillac says is a low center of gravity due to the battery under the floor, the Lyriq never feels quite confident in its stance and sways from side to side, especially when on the move. bumps into turns. Finally, you’ll hear road noise through the cabin, and some gears also produce wind noise – not uncommon for EVs without the white noise of a motor, although some do better. to isolate the driver from these inconveniences. Otherwise, the ride is smooth and enjoyable over a variety of road surfaces.
How is the interior of the Lyriq?
The interior of the Cadillac Lyriq makes a great first impression. The front seats offer plenty of space and the interior features an attractive mix of leather, wood and metal that will set the tone for electric Cadillacs in the future. The view from the driver’s seat is dominated by a 33-inch continuous screen that curves across the dash, and climate switches are the only hard buttons inside.
Cadillac paid impressive attention to detail throughout the interior. This lens encompasses everything from laser etching in the wooden door panels to interesting metallic textures and controls with grippy knurling. It offers sleek, state-of-the-art cabin space with a tactile nature that some rival EVs lack.
Spending hours inside the Lyriq reveals unappealing materials, such as faux-metal hard plastic accents, a massive rubber dash that tends to place accumulated dust in full screen, and an unpleasant glare from the interior. reflective foil under the screen that can temporarily blind passengers. Overall, though, the Lyriq’s combination of space and sophistication presents well considering its price.
How is the technology of Lyriq?
The Lyriq has a long list of advanced tech features, but there are caveats. Two highlights include an impressive head-up display and the hands-free driver assistance feature known as Super Cruise, although neither was available for testing during our time in the Lyriq. These features will not be included on 2023 vehicles delivered to customers, as the Lyriq version has been brought forward nine months ahead of its original due date. The head-up display will debut on 2024 models, and Super Cruise will ship via an over-the-air update by the end of 2022, according to Cadillac.
The massive touchscreen acts as a gateway to perform nearly every vehicle function, from selecting driving settings to opening the glove box. The screen directly in front of the driver can be controlled via the steering wheel buttons, but some commands have to be done by touch with the driver’s left hand, which takes some getting used to. Another problem is that due to the continuous screen, some screens are blocked depending on your steering wheel placement.
The central display itself is bright and clear, providing an attractive view of many maps, functions and menus. Google Assistant is included, enabling a number of voice commands that understand natural speech quite well. You can control the screen by touch or via the center-mounted dial. Unfortunately, this can be clunky. The dial feels a little too small and positioned too far back compared to similar systems, although this may be desirable depending on the driver. Some menus and functions are also buried deep within the interface and can be difficult to locate, let alone navigate. Cadillac tries to solve this problem by creating many configurable icons so that you can place them wherever you want. You’ll want to try it before you buy.
How much storage is inside the Lyriq?
In terms of cargo space, the Lyriq is at the high end of mid-size electric SUVs. It comes with 28 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, which is more than the Genesis GV60 EV at 24.0 cubic feet but less than the gas-powered Cadillac XT5 midsize SUV at 30.0 cubic feet. It looks similar to the Tesla Model Y, although Tesla doesn’t release comparable numbers. Storage inside the Lyriq is long and deep, partly due to the sloping roof which helps limit the height inside. The width of the opening is also narrow. There’s a shallow underfloor storage space where you can store charging cords and a cargo cover, as well as other small items.
There’s also no front trunk, or frunk, available with the Lyriq. Not all EVs come with a frunk, but EV owners see it as a perk of the ownership experience, especially with the Model Y and the Ford Mustang Mach-E. Overall, the Lyriq offers useful cargo space for luggage, groceries and light camping gear, especially if you fold the rear seats. But more overall space has been sacrificed in the name of that elongated style, and the lack of frunk may be disappointing to some potential buyers.
What about charge times and battery life?
The Lyriq comes with a 19.2kW on-board charger that adds up to 52 miles of range per hour on a compatible Level 2 home charger, which is significantly more powerful than most other vehicles’ on-board chargers electrical. The Model Y, for example, has an 11.5 kW on-board charger. But you’ll need to have a fairly robust household power source installed (including a 100-amp circuit breaker) to take advantage of the Lyriq’s maximum capability. For fast DC charging from public stations, Cadillac claims the Lyriq can handle up to 190kW from a suitable charging station and gain up to 76 miles of range in 10 minutes. That’s quite fast and similar to the DC charging speeds of the BMW iX.
Notably, Cadillac also claims its Ultium batteries — built through a partnership with LG Energy Solution and similar to those that power the GMC Hummer EV — can withstand an impressive amount of stress. Engineers said Lyriq owners can confidently charge up to 100% capacity without significantly degrading the battery, which is designed to outlast the vehicle itself. And while the charge rate should gradually decrease past the 80% mark, they say it won’t slow down like in some EVs.
Our first lap in the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq was enough to grab our attention. The Lyriq offers a premium look and feel for the price, with ambitious range and battery capacities in the burgeoning luxury electric vehicle space. Its driving experience leaves something to be desired, but we look forward to a full performance and range test soon.