Driving Transactions
Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Cadillac LYRIQ 2024 FIRST IMPRESSION: This is an electric vehicle? The only thing this luxury EV “lacks” is a traditional internal combustion engine.

When we were finally offered the chance to test drive Cadillac’s groundbreaking electric vehicle, we were thrilled, excited, and maybe a teensy bit intimidated. This was a new experience for most of our test drivers, and one that we’d been eagerly awaiting, so this might be a different kind of review than we typically do.

For total transparency, the conditions in which we tested the LYRIQ were practically ideal: comfortable spring weather well past threats of snow or frost, access to plenty of charging stations, a balance of fast-paced highways for speed and meandering backroads for range, mostly flat terrain, no real need for constant heat or AC. Obviously, it goes without saying that this is only our experience, and EVs might not be practical for your application (heat/cold, hills, lack of infrastructure, costs). We’re also learning on the fly, and despite our extensive research, we probably missed some things in our limited testing window. We simply didn’t have an EV to compare it to.

Cadillac LYRIQ 2024 Disclaimers out of the way, you probably won’t be surprised to learn that the LYRIQ is an impressive machine that fits brilliantly in the current Cadillac lineup. It is a Cadillac, after all, and they know how to build quality high-end vehicles. While it does offer some specific exterior touches that make it uniquely electric—namely, a light show that greets you and door handles that are flush until you approach—it won’t look starkly out of place next to your Escalade or XT6. While the LYRIQ is classified technically as an SUV, it could be mistaken for a sports car. It’s Cadillac’s OG EV, although it’s now joined by the 2025 OPTIQ with more expected in the next few years—including the long-awaiting Escalade IQ coming later in 2024.

It’s also quite a heavy vehicle, clocking in closer to the weight of an Escalade than an XT6 at around 5,600+ pounds. You’ll have the option of three trim levels (Tech, Luxury, and Sport) and two drive systems (RWD standard at 340 hp and AWD at 500 hp). Although a lot of features are standard, you can add things like Adaptive Cruise Control, Parking Assist, and HD Surround Vision with optional packages.

Cadillac LYRIQ 2024 You’ll also find Cadillac’s unmistakable DNA inside the passenger cabin. The interior is breathtaking with its full glass panoramic ceiling (which, we’re told, partially opens in select models) and 33-inch curved OLED screen. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all trims, as are all the safety features like blind zone and collision alerts and lane departure warnings. Software updates are generally handled over the air, so you won’t necessarily have to bring it into the dealer.

Cadillac LYRIQ 2024 You’ll comfortably transport two adults in the backseat with space for a third in the middle or in front, and the seats recline for an added level of adjustability. Cadillac didn’t skimp on a smooth ride either because it soaks up the bumps nicely. The flat floor is also a bonus, and even though the EV doesn’t have engine noise, the LYRIQ has active noise-dampening to reduce road sounds. There are also two USB-C ports in the center console for passengers to plug in to replenish their batteries. We’re quite sure that most of your clients will be pleased with the posh exterior and interior (hey, there’s always one complainer in the bunch, right?). Rear Headroom (37.7 inches), rear legroom (39.6 inches), and cargo volume (28 cu. ft) are all near other industry offerings. It even looks like a traditional trunk, so unless you advertise this as an EV, your passengers may never know.

Cadillac LYRIQ 2024 Unincumbered by a traditional transmission, expect to be wowed by how fast this baby can move, and without the usual feedback of a gas-powered vehicle, you might not realize how quickly it happens. Don’t be surprised if your chauffeur speed monitoring alert beeps regularly when it’s new to your team.

While we’re overall captivated by this Caddy, there were some things that took getting used to. When it was first delivered to us, it was set to one-pedal driving mode, which essentially means that the car slows down when you take your foot off the gas ... uh, accelerator ... without necessarily having to hit the brakes. Although we all tried it out around a few parking lots and on local short trips, we wish we had given it more of a test run on major roads at highway speeds. It will require some practice for most to work through that muscle memory of two-pedal driving. Plus, the only way you’re resting that right leg is in cruise or at a full stop because deceleration is rapid.

2024 Cadillac LYRIQ Specs:
TRIMS: Tech, Luxury, and Sport
RANGE EST.: 314 miles (RWD)/307 miles (AWD)
CARGO: 28.0 cu. ft.
PRICE/WARRANTY: While fleet pricing and warranty information was not available (Cadillac suggests contacting your dealer for more information), the estimated starting price of the LYRIQ is in the high $50s to low $60s. LYRIQ offers an 8-year/100,000-mile electric vehicle propulsion battery limited warranty.

We also can’t avoid the elephant in the room: charging. Cadillac says that the expected range is 314 miles for the single motor RWD and 307 miles for the dual motor AWD, and it’s equipped with a 7.7 kW dual-level charging cord. The carmaker says that you can get up to 77 miles in about 10 minutes when using DC fast charging, and anywhere from 31-51 miles in an hour with Level 2 AC charging. If you’re committed to swapping out some of your fleet for EVs, you’ll probably want to consider installing charging stations at your facility—or expect to shell out a few bucks for your staff to hang at a charging station for an hour or two. There’s no way around it, you simply have to build in time and plan accordingly, but operators nationwide are figuring it out.

Finally, all EVs are quiet by nature but have a required “hum” at low speeds for pedestrian safety. It’s an unnatural, otherworldly noise that was definitely noticeable in the LYRIQ. It’s probably something that will blend into the background over time as you get used to it, but it’s a unique sound that makes you feel like Scotty is beaming you up to the Starship Enterprise.

Bottom line: We’re fans! The LYRIQ’s blend of luxury refinements makes this a great option for those operators wanting to explore all-electric vehicles without sacrificing space, quality, or comfort for their passengers or chauffeurs. Cadillac got it right.   [CD0624]