2025 Cadillac Optiq EV pivots to Millennials, goes soft on Art & Science

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Cadillac has revealed an entry EV for the GM luxury brand that doesn’t seem so entry-level in size, technology, or price. 

The 2025 Cadillac Optiq is set to cost about $54,000 including destination when it arrives later this year with a range of around 300 miles, according to Cadillac. While that price tag won’t be anywhere as affordable as the XT4 ($39,090 base), Cadillac’s gasoline-fueled compact entry SUV, if it qualifies for the $7,500 EV tax credit it will cost about the same, effectively, as today’s XT5 SUV ($47,290 base) while providing much more cargo and passenger space. 

Green Car Reports was able to get up close with the Optiq a few weeks ago, and as far as first impressions go, this vehicle sheds the last remaining design bits of Cadillac’s long-held Art & Science themes that held onto chiseled corners, sharp edges, and straight lines. It seems that with the Optiq, the brand is veering toward softer side sculpting, a lower hoodline, and more of a round to the roofline. In front, it’s way less imposing and chiseled than the rest of the lineup, including the larger Cadillac Lyriq EV, and the Optiq cleverly depends on lighting—not actual sharp edges—to maintain its sharp-edged look and accommodate a more aero-savvy shape.

2025 Cadillac Optiq

2025 Cadillac Optiq

Aero and lighting rule Optiq design

“The sporty, aerodynamic look was the main focus on the Optiq,” Cadillac design manager Hoon Kim told me. “That’s why we tried to keep it as low as possible.”

There are many details to linger on. Cadillac also uses a crisscrossing laser-etching process for the grille area, to establish the lighting signature, and it precision-prints a graphic pattern on the rear quarter panel—on acoustic laminate glass—that corresponds to the Cadillac crest. All Optiqs will have a fixed glass roof.

2025 Cadillac Optiq

2025 Cadillac Optiq

Green Car Reports was able to get up close with the Optiq a few weeks ago, and one of the coolest design traits is the way that the rear lights seem to visually drop down the rear pillars, seemingly disappearing momentarily under the corners of the beltline then reemerging below. 

What’s a bit surprising is that in this era of “the sky’s the limit” EV skateboard design, the Cadillac Optiq follows so closely in silhouette to its cousin, the Chevy Equinox EV. The Optiq shares that model’s 116.3-inch wheelbase and approximately 190-inch length, as well as its 85-kwh battery pack. 

2025 Cadillac Optiq

2025 Cadillac Optiq

Optiq has AWD, Blackwing performance connection

Likewise, it opts for a front-wheel-biased all-wheel-drive system, with a stronger permanent-magnet motor in front, making around 200 hp, while an induction motor for the rear wheels backs it up with about 90 hp. That allows it to run as a front-wheel-drive vehicle when cruising at steady speeds, and the combination provides an estimated 300 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque.

While the Lyriq is about prestige, the Optiq is more about the sporty, youthful, dynamic side of Cadillac, according to Cadillac officials. With a performance engineer just off the team that created the Blackwing models, Cadillac aimed to give the Optiq a sportier experience that should extend to the way the vehicle rides and handles. Meanwhile, towing capability will be 1,500 pounds, and hitch accessories will provide the means for carrying other types of gear. 

2025 Cadillac Optiq

2025 Cadillac Optiq

The Optiq will offer Tour, Sport, and Snow/Ice modes, along with personalized My Mode settings. A one-pedal driving mode will allow the vehicle to slow and stop without touching the brake pedal under some driving conditions. At the time of the preview Cadillac was still considering propulsion sounds for the cabin and confirmed that they’ll be different than Lyriq.

A new charge port for Cadillac EVs

One other thing that’s different versus the Lyriq is the charge port door. It’s a new, simplified design that will appear in other upcoming Cadillac EVs—including the 2025 Cadillac Escalade IQ—and the headlamps will show at a glance what your state of charge is as you go. 

2025 Cadillac Optiq

2025 Cadillac Optiq

Charging time and a beautiful interior are among some of the top concerns for that crowd, Cadillac said; it’s aiming to recover 79 miles in 10 minutes in DC fast-charging but didn’t state a maximum charge rate. 

What sets the cabin apart are some distinctive trims—including patterned accent fabric made from 100% recycled materials, and PaperWood veneer made of tulip wood and recycled newspaper. Yes, you can still read some of it.

Back support for “older Millennials”

Cadillac targets first-time luxury buyers with the Optiq and sees the target buyers as “older Millennials” in their late 20s through 30s (and yes, some Millennials already top 40). For them, it’s bringing on the comfort. There are massage seats, and the seats are generous on back support, with a new design adapted from one developed by GM in Europe but made wider. 

2025 Cadillac Optiq

2025 Cadillac Optiq

2025 Cadillac Optiq

2025 Cadillac Optiq

2025 Cadillac Optiq

2025 Cadillac Optiq

2025 Cadillac Optiq

2025 Cadillac Optiq

The front floor is expansive and takes advantage of the flat battery pack underneath, and the cargo floor is relatively low, but there isn’t a frunk. The back seat has loads of legroom, but my head touched at the back of the glass roof frame. 

The 33-inch dash display has a 9k resolution and can project more than a billion colors, GM claims. While it’s the centerpoint of the dash, it doesn’t support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto but has a “Google built-in infotainment experience”—meaning you’ll need to subscribe to separate data coverage for the vehicle rather than sharing it from your phone. GM has also considered the breakout between screens and switchgear and given the Optiq hard buttons for climate control.

2025 Cadillac Optiq

2025 Cadillac Optiq

2025 Cadillac Optiq

2025 Cadillac Optiq

2025 Cadillac Optiq

2025 Cadillac Optiq

GM will be including three years of Super Cruise driver assistance tech with the Optiq, and adaptive cruise control, an automatic parking system, and a full suite of active safety features are all included. 

Optiq is one of many GM EVs from Mexico

The Optiq will be made in Mexico starting this fall, at the same Ramos Arizpe plant that makes the Chevy Equinox EV and Blazer EV, along with the Honda Prologue. Production is also ramping up soon in China, and GM is banking on China, the U.S., and Europe as key markets.

Luxury and Sport trim levels of the Optiq will be offered, but Cadillac hasn’t yet confirmed all the differences. 

2025 Cadillac Optiq

2025 Cadillac Optiq

As GM rolls out more Ultium EVs, and specifically more Ultium electric Cadillacs including the larger Lyriq, the 1980s GM and the luxury-on-a-shoestring Cimarron comes to mind. How do you build more distinct EVs while avoiding the badge-engineering awkwardness? We’ll just have to wait and see later this year, when Cadillac will share more specs and feature details. But for now, the Optiq’s sharp-looking, super-comfortable interior is a great indication the brand gets it.


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