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The 2025 Cadillac OPTIQ Promises Compact Luxury

Cadillac has been rolling out new EV models at a rapid pace to meet its self-imposed deadline of converting to a fully electric lineup by 2030. The brand’s first EV, the midsize LYRIQ, moved 5,800 units last quarter, and Cadillac has already announced that the line-topping Escalade IQ full-size SUV and the ultra-exclusive CELESTIQ hyper luxury sedan will be arriving soon. Now, it has taken the wraps off the all-new 2025 Cadillac OPTIQ, which represents the brand’s entry-level compact SUV that will presumably replace the XT4. Although the OPTIQ has some similarities with the Chevy Equinox EV, Cadillac has done a good job setting the new model apart as a luxury option, and it is sure to appeal to many shoppers who want high-end features in a smaller model.

Another Member of the Ultium Family

The reason the GM brands have been able to roll out so many EV options in such a short period of time is that they all share the same Ultium platform that launched with the Cadillac LYRIQ. This platform can be resized and reconfigured to suit a wide range of models while having enough common components to cut down on engineering time and manufacturing costs. The 2025 OPTIQ shares the same 85 kWh battery pack as the Equinox EV, which is a noticeable step down from the 102 kWh pack that powers the midsize LYRIQ and Chevy Blazer EV. However, unlike its compact sibling from the bowtie brand, the OPTIQ comes standard with all-wheel drive and makes an estimated 300 hp and 354 lb-ft of torque (a negligible improvement over the all-wheel drive Equinox EV, but an improvement nonetheless).

Cadillac estimates that this is enough battery capacity to give the OPTIQ a range of 300 miles, which is interesting given that the less powerful Equinox EV is only rated for 285 miles with the same battery. That range would put the OPTIQ just 10 miles behind the Tesla Model Y Long Range AWD, although it should be noted that the more streamline Tesla manages to achieve that longer range with a smaller battery. The DC fast charging speed of the new Cadillac is also a little on the disappointing side, being limited to 150 kW. That’s enough to replenish an estimated 79 miles of range in 10 minutes but is somewhat underwhelming compared to Tesla’s 250 kW peak charging, much less the 350 kW peak of the Genesis GV60. Altogether it’s a solid package for a modern EV, even if it isn’t anything groundbreaking.

The blue and gray interior and dash in a 2025 Cadillac OPTIQ is shown.

The Cadillac Touch

What sets the OPTIQ apart from the other members of the Ultium family and the other compact EVs on the market is that it is a Cadillac. GM’s luxury brand has pulled out all the stops for its entry-level model, giving it features comparable to the larger LYRIQ. The exterior design combines Cadillac’s signature vertical running lights with an illuminated grille and badge for a distinctive presence on the road. There is also a choreographed lighting sequence that activates whenever you enter or exit the vehicle for an added touch of luxury. However, one of the most notable design details of the OPTIQ is the unique rear quarter glass, which has been styled into a pattern based on the Cadillac crest.

Inside, the OPTIQ boasts accent fabric woven from 100% recycled materials and a PaperWood veneer formed from tulip wood and recycled newspapers. These touches are nice from an eco-friendly perspective but have been overplayed in many EV offerings today, and it probably would have been better to stick to traditional luxury materials like leather, wood, and chrome to stand out from the other options in the segment. However, the actual luxury features have not been watered down and include a standard 19-speaker AKG sound system, a standard 33-inch infotainment display with 9k resolution, and standard Super Cruise hands-free driving. Unfortunately, if you are an Apple user, this model uses Cadillac’s new Google built-in operating system and lacks Apple CarPlay.

A silver 2025 Cadillac OPTIQ is shown parked near a person walking.

A Compelling Entry in the EV Market

While the 2025 OPTIQ may have a few flaws, such as its relatively slow charging and lack of Apple CarPlay, it is a compelling option in a segment of the EV market that has yet to see much competition. Its more traditional approach to luxury will likely appeal to many drivers who dislike the spartan design of the Tesla Model Y, and the Cadillac name holds greater respect than newcomers like Genesis. Compared to the brand’s gasoline option in the compact SUV segment, the rather lackluster XT4, the OPTIQ is a real breath of fresh air. If Cadillac continues to produce vehicles in this vein, then its transition to a fully electric lineup holds the potential to rejuvenate the brand.