The bold looks of the Cadillac CT6 are the antithesis to the boredom that reigns supreme in segment. Base model CT6s run a 2.0-liter turbo four under the hood with 265hp, with a 335hp 3.6-liter V6 ringing up the next tier. Top of the heap is a 3.0-liter turbo V6 with 404hp. All models feature an 8-speed automatic gearbox, though driven wheels are different per model – RWD for 4-cylinders and AWD for the 6 bangers. The Driver Awareness and Convenience Package is recommended, and includes heated seats, as well as autonomous emergency braking, lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring.
Some little details here and there are a bit off, but the Cadillac CT6 is overall a surprisingly competitive high-end sedan.
Some little details here and there are a bit off, but the Cadillac CT6 is overall a surprisingly competitive high-end sedan.
Being a product of a car company that’s arguably most famous for its iconic ‘land yachts’ from the 1950s and 1960s, the large Cadillac CT6 sedan is unsurprisingly a rather good car. As a spacious, comfortable, refined and enjoyable-to-drive luxury sedan, the Cadillac CT6 certainly ticks all the right boxes. What makes it the Cadillac CT6 even more of an intriguing proposition is the fact it’s substantially cheaper than many of its rivals, with a price you’d expect to find on a premium mid-sized sedan rather than something targeted at the luxury market. It’s that aspect alone that helps overcome some of the vehicle’s more noticeable flaws. Of course, the Cadillac CT6 won’t be for everyone, and there are certainly areas where the car loses ground to its rivals on both the mid-sized and full-sized cars it competes with. But we do still reckon the Cadillac CT6 is a vehicle you should definitely experience before deciding on whether to buy one or not.
The control layout is also pleasantly simple and straightforward for the most part.
It’s expected in cars at this price point to sport well-made cabins, so it’s no surprise that the Cadillac CT6 is a pleasant vehicle to spend longer journeys in. Whilst the quality isn’t quite up to the standards set by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series (or, in some places, smaller vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class), the overall quality of the materials and the execution of the construction is as you’d expect from a $50,000+ vehicle. The control layout is also pleasantly simple and straightforward for the most part, and the touchscreen interface in particular feels far more responsive and intuitive now than it did when the system originally debuted on the Cadillac ATS a few years ago. However, some of the buttons and switchgear don’t quite have the dampening we’d expect from a vehicle at this price, and the heavily-improved touchscreen interface can’t quite surpass what similar systems in rival cars can provide in terms of ease-of-use.
The Cadillac CT6 isn’t the most spacious sedan in this segment.
Being one of the shorter luxury sedans on the market (another area where the car seemingly bridges the gap between mid-sized executive and full-sized luxury sedans), the Cadillac CT6 isn’t the most spacious sedan in this segment, though the ample amounts of head and leg room all around means the driver and passengers won’t be left wanting for space here. The seats are also comfortable and supportive: an expected feature, yes, but one we still appreciate heavily. Storage spots are fairly good in the Cadillac CT6, with the slightly narrow cup holders up front in the transmission tunnel being countered for via well-sized door bins and a fairly deep cubby under the front center armrest. A shame, then, that the trunk isn’t particularly big: at 15.3 cubic feet, it’s far from being the largest in the luxury-oriented sedan market (though is admittedly larger than what you’ll find on a Volvo S90 or Audi A6), though you can extend the trunk even further by folding the 60:40-split rear seat backs almost completely flat.
Admittedly, the Cadillac CT6 doesn’t quite have the edge of the class-leading Porsche Panamera.
Cadillac’s really been upping its game as of late in terms of making it cars fun to drive, so the fact the Cadillac CT6 isn’t a floaty luxo barge doesn’t catch us too off-guard. What does surprise us, though, is that the Cadillac CT6 ranks up there with the more agile and athletic vehicles in this segment. Admittedly, the Cadillac CT6 doesn’t quite have the edge of the class-leading Porsche Panamera, but the Cadillac is nevertheless quite an entertaining car as a result of its responsive steering, good grip and well-controlled body movement (with the body lean when cornering being remarkably well suppressed for such a big car) putting the Cadillac CT6 on par with vehicles like the Jaguar XJ and Maserati Quattroporte.
All-round visibility is surprisingly good for a vehicle of this size.
Perhaps even more impressively, the Cadillac CT6 also manages to be quite a comfortable and refined long distance cruiser. Granted, it isn’t the most comfortable vehicle in this class (there’s a firmness to the ride that isn’t present on a vast majority of the competition), but the Cadillac CT6 is still a vehicle that's very composed over rougher road surfaces, so we don’t feel it’s too much of an issue. All-round visibility is surprisingly good for a vehicle of this size, with the combination of a large glasshouse and slim-by-big-sedan-standards pillars meaning it’s fairly straightforward to place the Cadillac CT6 where you want it on the road. Even the rear visibility isn’t too bad, though we do suggest buyers of the base model to specify the optional blind spot monitoring system (which comes as standard on all other Cadillac CT6 models).
As standard on the most basic versions of the Cadillac CT6 is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine.
As standard on the most basic versions of the Cadillac CT6 is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine. If you think such an engine is a bit out of place in a vehicle like this, you’d be right – and, as a result, we’re more inclined to recommend the six-cylinder gasoline engine options. That said, the 2.0-liter engine isn’t comprehensively outclassed by the larger options. For instance, whilst it’s not particularly refined, the outputs of 265-hp and 295 lb-ft do at least mean this four-cylinder can bring the Cadillac CT6 up to speed and away from a standstill respectably well. The economy figures of 22mpg city/30mpg highway are also fairly good by segment standards. We’re more inclined to recommend the next engine in the pecking order: the 3.6-liter six-cylinder. Though the economy figures do admittedly take a hit in comparison with the four-cylinder (18mpg city/27mpg highway), and the 284 lb-ft outputs means it has less torque than the 2.0-liter, this larger unit’s 335-hp endows the Cadillac CT6 with a bit more flexibility and pace to call upon when, say, you’re overtaking on the highway. It’s also considerably more refined than the 2.0-liter, which again allows the Cadillac CT6 to be fairly well suited with this engine as a long-distance cruiser.
Regardless of which engine you opt for, your Cadillac CT6 will be fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
There’s also a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder gasoline engine available in the Cadillac CT6 range, but it isn’t an engine we feel you should consider unless you’re especially flush with cash. Whilst it’s almost as efficient as the 3.6-liter engine (18mpg city/26mpg highway), is just as refined and is vastly more potent as a result of its 404-hp/404 lb-ft outputs, you will need to spend a minimum of $65,000 just to have own a Cadillac CT6 with this engine. Regardless of which engine you opt for, your Cadillac CT6 will be fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Though we don’t feel it’s the best transmission in this class, the automatic in the Cadillac is nevertheless a very impressive overall unit that changes gear smoothly and quickly, and does a good job at promptly selecting the most appropriate gear for the given circumstances. One thing that’s worth pointing out is the fact the drivetrain you get depends on the engine you choose: four-cylinder models are only available in a rear-wheel drive format, whereas the six-cylinders can only come with all-wheel drive. On normal roads with the recommended driving aids left on, there’s very little that meaningfully differentiates the drivetrain setups (most of the changes come down to the engine characteristics than anything else), though – if you really need the extra traction that comes with having power sent to all four wheels – you’ll have to wave goodbye to the four-cylinder’s economy benefits and go for one of the six-cylinder options.
The Cadillac CT6 also comes with quite a few good features as standard.
On top of its competitive pricing, the Cadillac CT6 also comes with quite a few good features as standard. Even if you opt for the most basic spec (which start from $54,790 – or roughly what you’d pay for an entry-level BMW 5 Series), you’ll still have yourself a high-end sedan with all-round leather upholstery, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, dual-zone climate control, a built-in WiFi hotspot, and power adjustment for the front seats and steering wheel. If you go for this spec, we highly recommend you pick the $2,950 ‘Driver Awareness and Convenience Package’: whilst it’s pricey, we feel the abundance of features available in this package (heated front seats, autonomous low speed emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, built-in navigation) help offset the cost of this optional extra. The 3.6-liter engine is also an engine we feel is worth considering, even though it adds another $3,000 to the sticker price.$ For many buyers, though, we feel the $59,960 ‘Luxury’ trim will be a good starting port. On top of all the features included the base Cadillac CT6 trim and its ‘Driver Awareness and Convenience’ optional extra, this spec adds a premium audio system, powered lumbar adjustment for the driver’s seat and a surround view camera system that gives the driver a bird’s eye view of the car via the touchscreen display. It’s also worth pointing out the 3.0-liter engine also becomes available at this trim level, albeit as a $6,000 optional extra.
Regardless of which trim has been selected, the Cadillac CT6 should be quite a safe vehicle.
Other trim levels available for the Cadillac CT6 are the $68,890 ‘Premium Luxury’ (heated and ventilated front seats, a rear view camera feed displayed in the rear view mirror, power sunroof) and the range-topping $88,790 ‘Platinum’ (adaptive cruise control, four-zone climate control, adaptive suspension, massage functionality in the front seats) trims. However, at these levels, the Cadillac CT6 starts to lose the cost-effective USP the less expensive models lay claim to, so we’ll let you decide if the extra features they offer are worth the substantial price increases. Regardless of which trim has been selected, the Cadillac CT6 should be quite a safe vehicle. Though it hasn’t been officially crash-tested yet, the Cadillac CT6 does contain a complement of features including (but not limited to) front, side, curtain and front knee airbags, a reversing camera and an automatic crash notification service. As a result, we’re confident the Cadillac CT6 will be suitably safe in the event of a car crash. The Cadillac CT6 should also be a fairly sturdy car when it comes to reliability. To date, only one recall has been issued to rectify a passenger seatbelt issue that only affected 131 cars, and the Cadillac CT6 does have four-years/50,000-miles bumper-to-bumper and six-years/70,000-miles powertrain warranties to fall back on in case anything serious does go wrong.
In many ways, the Cadillac CT6 presents itself as a rather enticing ownership prospect. Though some may not be overly fussed about the surprisingly engaging driving dynamics, most will likely show more appreciation for the impressively high refinement levels, the good equipment levels and – perhaps most importantly – the fact you can get a luxury vehicle for a similar price to an entry-level premium mid-sized sedan. Other areas, though, aren’t quite up to par. Though the firmness of the ride and the slightly fiddly infotainment system might not put buyers off, the average trunk space and the limited engine range (with one option being a four-cylinder that feels slightly out of its depth under the hood of a car as big as this) may stop prospective buyers from going for the Cadillac CT6. Overall, the Cadillac CT6 is a likeable and appropriately plush luxury sedan that, whilst not objectively the best vehicle in this segment, is still a car with more than enough positive attributes to be worth considering.