After seeing BMW and Mercedes-Benz develop cut-rate versions of their performance models, it seems as if Cadillac wants in on the customer robbery, too. Along with the BMW M235i Gran Coupe and Mercedes-AMG A35, neither of which are real M or AMG cars, there’s the new Cadillac CT4-V a car that wears its brand’s performance name without actually being a true performance car. So can the new American hang with the Germans? This new comparison test from Car and Driver finds out.

Both the BMW and Mercedes are incredibly similar. The BMW M235i Gran Coupe is a four-door version of the five-door hatchback that’s based on a front-wheel drive chassis with a 2.0 liter, transverse-mounted, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, an automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive. The AMG? Exactly the same thing. The only differences between the two cars is that the Mercedes makes 302 horsepower, while the BMW makes 301 and the BMW has an eight-speed automatic versus the Mercedes’ seven-speed dual-clutch auto. So, really, they’re the same on paper.

That leaves the Cadillac CT4-V as the outlier. It’s actually still based on a rear-wheel drive chassis, which is refreshing, uses a longitudinally-mounted engine, obviously, and gets a 2.7 liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a ten-speed automatic. Its engine comes from a Chevy Silverado pickup truck, so it’s not exactly a performance engine but it does make 325 horsepower.

So which car is best? Well, we won’t spoil it for you, as it’s an interesting read but I can tell you that it’s not the BMW M235i Gran Coupe. The M235i is an interesting car because it gets a few things really right; engine, performance and interior quality. Though, there are also a lot of things that it gets wrong; steering feel, suspension tuning, chassis dynamics and looks. So it’s just not good enough to take on either the AMG A35 or the newcomer from Cadillac.

[Source: Car and Driver]