Wednesday, July 13, 2016

2016 Cadillac CT6 Premium Luxury AWD: Could This Be The Brand’s Much-Needed Seville From The Early 80s?

Highlight: A plug-in hybrid is on the way for the 2017 model year.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $77,340 (Base model $54,490)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: air bags; ABS; Daytime Running Lights; a front and rear park assist system; a road emergency tool kits; an automatic vehicle hold system; a compact spare tire; and a rearview camera

Standard Equipment (Base Model): 18-inch wheels; rear wheel drive configuration; an automatic stop/start gas saving feature; a 10-inch infotainment system; a navigation system; Apple Car Play and smartphone compatibility; a dual zone climate control system; an automatic cruise control system; memory operated driver’s seat; an automatic rearview auto-dimming; an in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot system; an OnStar; 14-way power front seats; XM satellite radio system; HD radio; a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a wireless charging system; body color door handles; manual side rear sunscreens; a power rear sunshade; and heated power outside adjustable mirrors 

Standard Equipment (Premium Luxury): 19-inch wheels; 3.6-liter, 6-cylinder engine; an automatic park assist systems; a concierge lighting system; cooling for front seats cupholders; a hands free trunk opener; a 10-speaker Bose audio system; a forward collision alert system; a lane keep assist system; a lane departure warning system; a rear camera mirror; ventilated front seats; heated rear seats; an power/dual sunroof; leather seats; 16-way power front seats; heads up display system; an automatic safety belt tightening system; automatic highbeam headlights; a surround vision camera system; and an automatic braking system

Options On Review Vehicle: 20-inch ultra bright machined aluminum wheels; a front and rear automatic braking system; a radar-activated cruise control system; an enhanced night vision system; a 34-speaker Bose audio system; a magnetic ride control system; an active rear steering system; heated; and blue Metallic paint

Other Trim Level:


Luxury Collection


Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: an 8-speaker Bose system

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 6 years or 70,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/265-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage:


What’s New:  The CT6, which follows its import competitors as it relates to using a combination of letters and numbers for the model's name, is the latest addition to the growing Cadillac line up.

Why: This is the car we’ve been waiting for Cadillac to build. It’s a first rate flagship vehicle that is finally competitive with the German and Japanese luxury makes. This roomy Cadillac, with its stately and bold appearance, has the words flagship written all over it, especially while wearing the brand’s iconic, signature crystal-like, artistic LED headlight system, which makes a bold and powerful statement at night.

The fuel-efficient CT6, which only requires unleaded fuel on the 2.0-liter and 3.6-liter engines, can be powered by a rear wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration. The stately Detroit-built Caddy can be outfitted with a choice of engines, too.  There is the 2.0-liter turbo, the 3.0-liter twin turbo and the 3.6-liter engine, which produces 265, 404 and 335 horsepower, respectively. We fortunate to get our hands on a 3.6-liter, which was outfitted with an 8-speed transmission. The 6-cylinder in our flagship Cadillac was more than capable of maneuvering this bold, athletically designed vehicle around town.

The flagship, with its agile handling capabilities, offers a balanced ride, too. It’s not too floaty or too stiff like we’ve come to expect from other Cadillacs currently in the line up. With a mere touch of a button, the vehicle can be transformed into a noticeable driving mode: touring, sport or ice/snow. Yes, this car is designed to take on mostly every road condition. And the optional magnetic ride control system, which is complimented by the almost Volvo-like safety headrests, with its form fitting body seats, makes this a great vehicle for the road.

Moreover, while the well-equipped premium trim model we reviewed was outfitted with a number of features, the upper end Platinum trim, which has a starting price pushing slightly north of $84,000, adds most of the optional feature noted on our review vehicle. The higher end trim also includes such standard features as a full speed radar-activated cruise control system, an illuminated trunk sill plate, a rear seat infotainment system, a quad zone climate control system, power operated massaging rear seats and a noise control engine sound enhancement. Yes, this Cadillac has everything, but a chauffeur. We hear a supercruise system is being added next model year to push this vehicle to being closer to Tesla-like, which offers an autonomous, auto pilot driving feature.

Furthermore, the interior of the brand’s flagship was outfitted with a gigantic, easy-to-use infotainment system, which houses everything from the latest weather updates to the traffic updates to the wide-view camera to the controls for the crystal clear 34-speaker audio system. To keep the touchscreen free of finger prints, mostly everything can be controlled by a haptic magnetic pad similar to that which can be found in that of the Lexus RC.

Lastly, the all-new CT6, can be outfitted with the industry’s first-ever rear camera mirror. This mirror improves the field vision by removing obstructions of passengers, headrests and the vehicle’s roof and rear pillars. 

But: It’s going to take a moment for the vehicle to earn name recognition, especially with the name CT6. Cadillac has been out of the game for so long,  at the top end of the car segment, it’s going to take some time for folks to give the automaker a second look outside of their popular, but limited SUV/CUV offerings. Besides that concern, for those looking for an 8-cylinder vehicle, they’ll have to look elsewhere. That’s not an option available on the all-new CT6. However, the vehicle does offer an optional 404-horsepower twin turbo, which require premium fuel.

Moreover, the CT6’s stop and start gas saving feature seems louder than necessary for a luxury vehicle, when pulling off from a complete start. For a luxury vehicle, it should be a lot quieter. And a vehicle of this caliber should have less hard plastic surrounding the center floor console and the door panels. Lastly, why is a CD player optional on the flagship? Did Cadillac study its competitors?

Verdict: After spending some windshield time behind the wheel of the CT6, we now understand why a ‘true flagship’ is no longer on the drawing board for the automaker. With just a few polishing touches, this is all the brand needs to swing folks back to the luxury American makes again! Not since the first and second generation Cadillac Sevilles, which ended the brand’s premium luxury car reigns, has the brand had a vehicle that offered a standout car at the upper end of the ladder. The CT6, while it’s more of a tweener, being that its slotted between the likes of the smaller BMW 5 Series and the larger and a tad more luxurious 7 Series, its literally sitting in a sweet spot.

In fact, in the history of the one hundred year plus American brand, the CT6 is the brand’s first worthy car contender to go up against the Japanese, British and German luxury import cars. It has the stately appeal, with its signature LED lighting system, the ride and handling capabilities, the technology and the pricing that should make folks think about the brand again beyond the famed Escalade. While it may take a moment to conquer conquest sales and to earn recognition, this is a Caddy that is serious about earning the brand’s respect as a luxury brand that can build cars, too.

Competition: 2017 Genesis G90 (replacement for Hyundai Equus); 2016 Audi A6; 2016 Audi A7; 2016 BMW 5 Series; 2016 BMW 7 Series; 2016 Infiniti Q70; 2016 Lexus LS; 2016 Mercedes-Benz  E Class; 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class; 2016 Jaguar XF; 2016 Jaguar XJ; and 2016 Kia K900

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