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2025 Cadillac Optiq First Look: Small EV, Big Value

Cadillac is betting big on this cutesy little crossover

2025 Cadillac Optiq front
  • The Optiq is a new small electric crossover from Cadillac.
  • It's the fifth IQ-badged EV from the brand, but the second one we'll see on the road.
  • It's supposed to be sportier and more fun to drive than the brand's other EVs, as well as a better value.

Cadillac's IQ lineup is finally taking shape. The Lyriq was first, and though plenty of models have been announced since then (including the new Escalade IQ), the smaller 2025 Optiq is the next one that'll actually hit the road. It's a two-row compact crossover that's taking aim at the likes of the Tesla Model Y, Genesis Electrified GV70 and Volvo XC40 Recharge. 

2025 Cadillac Optiq rear

Optiq's objective: Be more fun

Cadillac promises that the Optiq will be the sportiest of the IQ cars so far. To that end, the former head of chassis development for Cadillac's Blackwing cars (you know, the tire-smoking muscle sedans with supercharged V8s and turbo V6s) was the lead for the Optiq's chassis development. There's also a bespoke tire that features a stiffer sidewall construction to better support the car under lateral acceleration and a new passive damper with what is essentially a bypass valve. The damper can ease up while going straight to make the ride more comfortable and firm up when needed to maintain better body control. 

Cadillac also claims this one little SUV alone has had more than a million hours of work done in the wind tunnel, and part of the result is the very steeply raked windshield you see at the front. There's also a small spoiler at the back and a ton of detail work around the hatch — specifically the taillights and rear valance — to ensure the car is as slippery as possible. 

2025 Cadillac Optiq hard front

Cadillac Optiq power and range specs

All Optiqs will come with a dual-motor all-wheel-drive setup. Combined, the motors make 300 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. That doesn't sound like all that much when you consider this is supposed to be a "sporty" crossover, so we asked about the potential for electric V performance models in the future. The answer we received from Cadillac was that, while it isn't in the cards right now, the company won't totally rule it out. 

The two electric motors in the Optiq (one at the front, one at the rear) pull from an 85-kWh battery pack. Though it has a smaller battery than the Lyriq, Cadillac cites an estimated 300-mile range for the Optiq — right on par with its bigger sibling, which has an EPA-estimated 307 miles of range. Cadillac also says the Optiq will be able to add 79 miles of range in 10 minutes on a DC fast charger.

Carryover interior, to a point

The inside of the Optiq is very similar to the larger Lyriq's. The steering wheel is the same, and the large 33-inch instrument panel/infotainment display that takes up the left two-thirds of the dash looks familiar. Even the thin slots for the air vents and the horizontal bar that makes up the center console are pipped from the Lyriq. That's where the similarities end, however. 

2025 Cadillac Optiq 6.jpg

The Optiq's interior design team put a major focus on the use of sustainable materials, and the door cards, parts of the center console, dash, and carpets are all (in part) made up of recycled (and recyclable) material. Having had hands-on experience with the Optiq, these recycled pieces of fabric feel no less premium than the materials in the bigger Lyriq, and they've been designed to add a dash of extra flair. 

Expect the same tech we've seen in Cadillac's other EVs. That means native Google Maps, built-in Spotify and Amazon Alexa apps, and, sadly, no Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

One big piece of tech that is standard across the Optiq range, however, is Super Cruise. Regardless of which Optiq you select, it will come with GM's Level 2 hands-free driver assistance system. Another big standard feature is the 19-speaker AKG audio system with Dolby Atmos built-in. These two are both typically pricey options, and having them here as standard makes the Optiq's $54,000 base price significantly more palatable. 

Production is slated to start in the fall, so expect deliveries to begin in early 2025.

2025 Cadillac Optiq interior detail

Edmunds says

We'll have to wait a while to see if the Optiq accomplishes its mission of being a more fun-to-drive Cadillac EV, but we'll update you as soon as we find out. Stay tuned.

Photos by Ryan Greger