Cadillac’s flagship CT6 is an impressive luxury car. Plush, roomy, quick, agile and high-tech, it just might be worthy of Cadillac's old slogan: “Standard of the World.” The CT6’s stellar Road Test score certainly ranks it among the best sedans. Our qualms revolve around a few interior quibbles.
The CT6 slots in between two defined sedan classes. It’s bigger than the premium midsized sedans with which it’s similar in price -- including the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class -- yet smaller than ultra luxury flagships such as the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Pricing starts at over $55,000 with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and rear-wheel drive, topping out at nearly $90,000 for the Platinum trim with a twin-turbo V6 and all-wheel drive. The result is that although on paper (and in price) this big Caddy competes most closely with the midsized crowd, in the flesh it comes across as a true flagship. A typically equipped 3.6 AWD model rings in around $61,000.
It’s interesting that BMW lately seems bent on dialing back the sporty driving characteristics of its models, yet recent Cadillacs drive more like the fun, exuberant machines we’d normally associate with cars from Bavaria. Belying its size and plush nature, the CT6 is capable of carving a mountain road with confidence.
Cadillac's new Super Cruise driver-assist feature shows promise as perhaps the most responsible semi-autonomous approach available to consumers today, because its use is limited to specific roads and because it goes farther than any previous system in monitoring a driver's engagement. It only works on specific highways -- those with at least four lanes of traffic, that have limited access, and have no cross traffic. GM has mapped more than 160,000 miles of these highways across the U.S. and Canada to aid Super Cruise. The system stands out for how it brings more clarity than its competitors do to the issue of who's actually in control of the vehicle, the driver or the computer, by using distinct colors to illuminate part of the steering wheel.These convenience features can help ease stress, but drivers must remain fully engaged with the driving process to remain safe.
The CT6 possesses a ride that is comfortable yet composed, ensuring a steady cruise no matter the road type. You expect quietness in a flagship Cadillac, yet the CT6’s cabin silence still impresses.
The 335-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 is smooth and linear, supplying quick acceleration along with respectable fuel economy of 22 mpg overall in our testing -- not bad for a large, all-wheel-drive sedan.
Inside, the CT6 looks terrific. Fit and finish is meticulous, with a tasteful mix of buttery soft leather and well-crafted stitches, plus wood, aluminum, and piano black trim. The seats provide great comfort and support. The rear seat is roomy and easy to access through the large doors, but the bottom cushion is too short and low.
Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system has been updated. It is quicker, but the touch-screen interface is not entirely logical, and it still lacks the intuitive buttons and knobs most people prefer. However, the system allows for many shortcuts via the steering wheel controls and instrument cluster.
A few other minor interior details were overlooked, although none of them are deal breakers: The door-mounted seat controls aren’t illuminated, making them a challenge to operate at night; the touchpad between the seats takes up precious storage space and is easy to brush accidentally, resulting in an inadvertent audio source change; in-cabin storage is scant for such a large car; and the low dash vents compromise air distribution.
One unique innovation is the rearview mirror camera. This feature provides a wide rearward view without restrictions from head rests and roof pillars, making it an effective supplement to the blind-spot monitoring system. The display can be distracting, altering your sense of distance, but it can be shut off.
As our testing proved, Cadillac finally has a stately, plush sedan that not only pampers but has the chops to be driven with gusto.