The brand made famous by extravagant cars and blinged SUVs packed with gas-swilling V8s is about to start a very new chapter, and it starts with the 2023 Cadillac Lyriq. This 100% electric SUV is the first in a wave of Cadillacs powered only by electricity. Featuring GM’s new Ultium battery technology, shared by the Hummer EV, the Lyriq features a 100-kilowatt-hour battery good for an estimated 312 miles of range in the 340-horsepower rear-wheel-drive model. The 500-horsepower all-wheel-drive Lyriq’s estimated range had not been revealed at the time of this writing, but you can expect it to be slightly lower. Coupled with speedy recharging times, the Lyriq arrives with fully competitive EV credentials.
As for the vehicle itself, the Lyriq is a two-row midsize SUV that’s a bit bigger than Cadillac’s XT5 on the outside but a bit smaller on the inside (those super-cool looks do result in a tradeoff in practicality). The interior builds upon the tech-focused Escalade interior, boasting a similarly grand OLED curved infotainment/instrument display spanning much of the dash. Its floating center console, minimal physical controls and streamlined air vents are basically must-haves for an EV at this point. The steering wheel is also a new design, and the green lights you’ll see on its rim (pictured below) indicate the Lyriq comes standard with GM’s Super Cruise hands-free highway driving technology.
The Lyriq seems like a compelling deal for a comfortable, quiet, cutting-edge luxury EV. Ordering for the Lyriq opened ... and almost immediately closed after being sold out. Cadillac has since opened preorders for the 2024 Lyriq, but that won't be arriving until spring 2023. Sorry.
What's new for 2023?
The Lyriq is an all-new model.
Welcome to the future. Slide into the Lyriq’s driver seat and you’ll be greeted by a vast expanse of curved screen that stretches from the A pillar to beyond the dash’s midway point. Unlike other seemingly huge screens, such as the Mercedes EQS Hyperscreen, which are really just separate screens placed in one housing, the Lyriq’s is one contiguous OLED unit that serves double duty as an instrument panel and infotainment touchscreen. The functional result is basically the same, but it sure is cooler!
The infotainment portion utilizes Google’s Android Automotive operating system, which effectively provides the software framework upon which Cadillac places its own design “skin.” You can read more about it in GMC guise in this Yukon infotainment system overview. We’re generally pleased with the system’s functionality, though we can’t say it’s especially better or worse than systems developed by various car companies.
Elsewhere in the cabin, we like that Cadillac still uses physical controls for the climate controls and other vehicle functions (the cool little knobs that direct the air vents seem like a much-better solution than touchscreen-controlled ones), though we have our doubts about the touch-sensitive steering wheel controls. Like many other EVs, the Lyriq has a floating center console with cupholders and a rotary infotainment interface over an open storage compartment. There's a second tray that pulls out from lower in the dash (pictured below left).
Like other EVs, the Lyriq’s electric architecture results in dimensions that don’t align with gas-powered models. For instance, its overall length is between a two-row BMW X5 and three-row Lincoln Aviator, with a wheelbase that outdoes them both, yet its overall height is roughly 5 inches lower than those SUVs. The result is a sleek and decidedly cool-looking SUV – along with less cargo space and rear headroom.
Rear legroom of 39.6 inches is consistent with larger midsize SUVs (and the Tesla Model Y), which should be good for longer legs and rear-facing child seats. There’s also considerable shoulder room at 58.6 inches, meaning you’re more likely to fit three people across. As for cargo space, there’s only 28 cubic-feet of space behind the raised third row, a modest amount that’s less than many compact SUVs, let alone all those mentioned above. It is, however, about what you’d get in a Mustang Mach-E and Kia EV6, though those are admittedly cheaper EVs.
Like other EVs, the number of driven wheels greatly effects performance and slightly effects range. They both share a 100-kWh battery pack.
The rear-wheel-drive Lyriq has a single motor that produces 340 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. Range is an EPA-estimated 312 miles. It features 19.2-kW AC charging capabilities, allowing for it to recoup 52 miles of range using an applicable Level 2 home charger.
The all-wheel-drive Lyriq adds a front motor, bringing output up to 500 horsepower. Torque and range had not been announced at time of this writing, but Cadillac China reports that market's seemingly identical Lyriq will produce 524 pound-feet of torque and return 287 miles on the Chinese testing cycle. Something in that ballpark from the EPA seems likely. GM lists a towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds for the AWD model. It is only capable of 11.5-KW home charging, meaning it can only recoup 37 miles in an hour using a Level 2 home charger.
As for public DC fast charging, both RWD and AWD Lyriqs can charge at a maximum rate of 190 kW, allowing it to recoup up to 76 miles in about 10 minutes (depending on how much range is currently left in the battery). Lyriq buyers will have a choice of two years of free charging at the EVGo charging network or a $1,500 credit via Qmerit toward an eligible professional installation of a Level 2 wall charger or a 240-volt outlet compatible with the Lyriq’s provided dual-voltage charging cable.
So far, we've driven the RWD version of the Lyriq, with its single 340-horsepower rear motor motivating the Lyriq’s hefty 5,688-pound curb weight. The instant torque gets it moving, and its smooth acceleration feels neither urgent nor leisurely. It has no trouble matching or exceeding the speed of other traffic, but it won’t send your guts floating when you put the accelerator to the floor.
There are multiple drive modes: Tour, Sport, Snow/Ice and a configurable My Mode. They govern settings for steering, braking and acceleration, as well as choosing the level of synthesized powertrain sound piped into the cabin. In addition to standard braking mode, the Lyriq has a one-pedal driving feature with two levels of regenerative braking. There's also a pressure-sensitive "Regen On Demand" paddle on the back of the steering wheel.
The Lyriq's ride is smooth and exceptionally quiet, thanks to a front and rear independent suspension with frequency-dependent dampers and an active noice cancellation system that helps to create a peaceful cabin environment. The steering is precise, making it easy to place the car where desired through tight corners on narrow mountain roads. With a near 50:50 weight distribution and a low center of gravity (thanks, battery), it feels neutral and steady through transitions.
What other Cadillac Lyriq reviews can I read?
Our first spin in the 2023 Lyriq. We're as wowed by the interior as by the technology and fun, efficient driving.
The rear-wheel-drive Lyriq starts at $62,990, including destination charge. The all-wheel-drive Lyriq starts at $64,990, which is a surprisingly small premium given the hefty performance increase. As described above, owners either get two years of public DC fast charging or a $1,500 credit toward home charger installation.
GM vehicles are currently not eligible for federal EV tax rebates, and the Lyriq’s base price is also higher than the $60,000 cap for California’s EV rebate. It may still have rebates available to it in other states.
The RWD and AWD Lyriq share one common trim level called Luxury, but they do differ in equipment. Oddly, the RWD has more.
Standard equipment on both includes 20-inch wheels, acoustic laminated glass, LED headlights, Super Cruise hands-free highway driving assist and other safety/assistance tech (see below), a glass roof, eight-way power front seats (heated, ventilated and massaging), simulated leather upholstery (Inteluxe), a heated power-adjustable steering wheel, driver memory settings, the 33-inch curved LED display, Google Android Automotive infotainment interface, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, wireless phone charging, five USB ports and a 19-speaker AKG Studio sound system that includes headrest speakers (pictured below right). The rear-wheel-drive version has a hands-free power liftgate, a rearview camera mirror washer (wouldn’t the AWD Lyriq be more likely to need that?) and the option of 22-inch wheels.
At launch, the Lyriq will only be available in Satin Steel Metallic. Crystal White, Stellar Black and Opulent Blue will be late-availability extra-cost options.
The Lyriq has not been crash tested by a third party at the time of this writing.
Every Lyriq comes standard with one of the most robust suites of safety and driver assist technology found in any car at any price. It includes as standard equipment forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear cross-traffic warning and emergency braking, blind-spot warning and evasive steering assist, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and Super Cruise hands-free highway driving assist.