Cadillac once proclaimed that its cars set the standard in terms of luxury, but today that statement seems to lie a bit farther from the truth than it used to. The CT6 range of cars is aimed squarely at German rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7 Series, but falls short in terms of quality and lacks a certain amount of prestige. The good news is that instead of altogether canning the project, Cadillac offers the massively powerful CT6-V, which makes use of a hand-built twin-turbo V8 producing 550 horsepower, and will redefine what you think a large luxury American sedan should be. For 2020, its last year of production, Cadillac has added a few active driver assistance systems, but other than that, the CT6-V carries on delivering a knockout punch in relative obscurity. It might cost a pretty penny and loses out to its German rivals in some regards, but we think the CT6-V deserves a look, especially if you've got some gas pumping through your veins.
After changing its name from the CT6 V-Sport to just plain CT6-V, the big bruiser from Cadillac has gone from strength to strength, and 2020 sees a few notable additions to the standard features list, despite this car coming to the end of its production cycle in 2020. Cadillac thought it good to add front and rear emergency braking, night vision, and adaptive cruise control to the already extensive list of standard features.
4.2L Turbo V8 Gas
Cars in this segment tend to shy away from bold looks and prefer a more understated approach, which is apparently what buyers in this class are after. We think the Cadillac CT6-V's bold exterior design, which bucks the trend, is good looking and deserving of attention. Looking at the side profile of the CT6-V, it is clear to see that this brute shares the same DNA as the rest of the Cadillac sedan range; there's a lot of square and sharp lines on offer, but the best is saved for the front end. At the front of the Cadillac CT6-V, you get a Black mesh grille with Galvano surround, which blends seamlessly with the rest of the front end design, which includes a body-color front splitter fascia extension, and LED headlights with dynamically adjustable high beams. A power sunroof is standard. The standard car rolls on a set of 20-inch V-Series Split five-Spoke alloy wheels with an Ultra Bright with Midnight Silver finish, but there are ten-spoke wheels available too.
The 2020 Cadillac CT6-V is a full-size luxury sedan that measures up to the likes of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Total length comes in at 205.8 inches, slightly less than the Mercedes-Benz, and the car rolls on a 122.4-inch wheelbase. Without the side mirrors, the CT6-V measures 74 inches wide and is 58 inches tall. The track width in the front is 63.4 inches and 64 inches in the rear. All the luxury, combined with a hefty V8 engine up front results in a base curb weight of 4,480 pounds.
The CT6-V and its siblings in the V-class all look good in black, and for most, that will be the go-to color. We think black suits the menacing demeanor of this big Caddy perfectly, and, as with the rest of the competition in this class, gives off a VIP feel that is hard to ignore. It just so happens that the only no cost color option on offer is Black Raven. The rest of the color palette will cost you: Satin Steel Metallic and Manhattan Noir Metallic will set you back $625, but Cadillac saves the best for last. Crystal White Tricoat and Red Horizon Tintcoat will cost you $1,225 each. We'll just stick with black.
Don't let the luxury sedan moniker fool you into thinking that the CT6-V is just another sizeable American land boat that feels like a ship when powering down the freeway. In fact, this brutish behemoth is an accomplished sports car that will leave you bewildered after just a short drive. Under the handsome bodywork lies a performance-focused platform that can stick with the best in its class any day of the week. The twin-turbo V8 engine under the hood offers 550 horses and mountains of torque (640 lb-ft to be precise), and will easily push you back in your seat in any gear. On city roads, the CT6-V feels plucky for such a large car, but drivers beware: don't get too friendly with the throttle, or you'll be getting into serious trouble seriously quick. Out on the highway, the CT6-V is an absolute bullet and subjectively at least, feels faster than the BMW 750i xDrive and Mercedes-Benz S560. Cadillac claims that the CT6-V will accelerate to sixty in only 3.8 seconds, and we believe them.
Let's be honest; a large part of the CT6-V's appeal lies beneath the hood. Powering this Caddy is a 4.2-liter twin-turbo V8 producing 550 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque. What makes this engine even more special is the fact that it's hand-crafted by a team of specialists in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and each car comes with a tag noting the engine builder, which is a classy touch if you ask us. Power delivery is relentless, to say the least: pin the CT6-V in any gear, wait a split second for those turbos to wind up, and you're over the horizon in no time. Power is sent to all four wheels via a ten-speed automatic transmission that does an admirable job of balancing refinement with performance.
If you thought that the 4.2-liter twin-turbo V8 under the hood was the show-stopper, wait until you get behind the wheel and actually throw the CT6-V around a set of corners. Simply put, the CT6-V is one of, if not the best driving car in this segment when you look at it from a dynamic viewpoint. It even rivals the traditionally superior BMW 7 Series. What then lies behind this capability? Well, first of all, the chassis setup on the CT6-V is true class: there's Cadillac's famed magnetic ride control in play, as well as a mechanical limited-slip differential, which lays power down to the tar beautifully. Steering is sharp and controllable on the edge, despite the hefty curb weight, and the magnetic ride control suspension setup keeps things flat and stable when pushing on. The flipside of this dynamic capability is that the CT6-V feels harsher than its limousine-like competitors. Steering feel is not as direct as some, but it gets the nose pointed in the right direction. Braking is taken care of by a set of high-performance Brembo front brakes, which stop the CT6-V on a dime.
You're dreaming if you think the 2020 Cadillac CT6-V will return good gas mileage. This car has clearly been designed with little to no regard for efficiency and weight-control, so it comes as no surprise that the CT6-V offers a horrendous fuel economy. The EPA rates the CT6-V at 14/25/17 mpg city/highway/combined. Real-world driving should see those numbers fluctuate by quite some margin, but put an enthusiast behind the wheel, and you'll see low teens all day long. The BMW 750i xDrive will manage 17/25/20 mpg, a respectable number, and the Mercedes-Benz S560 4Matic will get 17/27/21 mpg. With a 19.2-gallon tank tucked away under the body, the 2020 CT6-V will manage a maximum range of 326 miles.
The interiors of large luxury sedans set the benchmark for the rest of a manufacturer's lineup and are a representation of what a brand can accomplish when the price isn't a major factor. It comes as a disappointment then when you realize just how far behind the Cadillac CT6-V's interior is when you compare it with the spectacular spaces on offer in the BMW 7 Series, and especially the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The dashboard design of the CT6-V mimics the angular exterior by incorporating lots of angular effects. The end result is a rather uninspiring space that doesn't feel that much different from Cadillac cars lower down in the range. The materials on offer are of premium quality, but the overall fit and finish are not up to the class standard. What one does get is a sense of sportiness that is lacking in the non-performance orientated BMW 750i xDrive and Mercedes-Benz S560.
Those sitting in the front are embraced by a set of sporty bucket seats that strike a good balance between long-distance comfort, sporty bolstering. In terms of interior space, the Cadillac CT6-V is on the lighter side when compared to its German rivals, but it feels far from being cramped once inside. There's more than enough space to seat five tall adult passengers in comfort, never mind smaller beings. Interior measurements read as follows: headroom in the front is 40.2 inches and 38 inches in the back, legroom is a generous 46.4 inches, and 40.4 inches in the rear. Front and rear shoulder room is 58.3 inches/56.2 inches respectively, and hip room is 55.9 inches and 53.5 inches front to rear.
Cadillac decided to keep things simple when it came to the color and material choices on the CT6-V. When you take a gander at the interior material choices on offer in the Mercedes-Benz, for instance, you'll be left dumbstruck at the sheer number of choices on offer. It is for reasons such as this that the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is seen as a superior product. The 2020 Cadillac CT6-V is offered with black leather seats, black door lining, a black headliner, and carbon fiber trim inserts. You could opt for Dark Auburn leather with Jet Black accents, however. You also get a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Optional premium carpeting can be added at an additional cost.
When it comes to large luxury sedans, the focus is usually placed on interior space and passenger comfort; after all, if there was a need for trunk space, a luxury SUV would be better suited. With this in mind, we can move on to the trunk and cargo space on offer in the 2020 Cadillac CT6-V. Pop open the trunk, and you'll be greeted by 15.8 cubic feet of trunk space, which is about the same as you get in a 2020 Honda Accord or Kia Optima. The trunk opening is square, and lifting things in and out of the CT6-V is a cinch. Three golf bags should fit comfortably.
To play at this level, you have to bring the goods, and the Cadillac CT6-V most certainly does. Get in the front via the keyless entry system and be seated on 16-way power-adjustable heated leather seats and heated seats in the rear. The rather basic interior design hides high tech features such as 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity, ambient interior lighting, a head-up display and surround vision, and the more traditional luxury features such as a dual-zone climate control system, and rear power sunshades are also present. Wireless phone charging and USB ports front to back keep things charged and ready to go, and a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel keeps things pointed in the right direction. Active driver safety features include advanced adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane change alert with side blind zone alert, lane-keep with cross-traffic alert, as well as standard night vision assist.
One of the most important parts of owning a large luxury sedan (preferably in black) is having a sound system that's loud enough to awaken the neighborhood from a mile away. How else are you going to announce that you've made it? Cadillac is well aware of this and has not held back when it came to the infotainment system on the CT6-V. The standard 10.2-inch infotainment display sits atop the air vents and offers solid colors and minimal sun fade. The menu is controlled by a rotary knob situated below the shift knob. Standard infotainment features on the CT6-V include SiriusXM satellite radio, an SD card reader, available OnStar & Cadillac Connected Services, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto integration, as well as integrated navigation with available real-time traffic alerts. The standard sound system consists of a grand total of 34 speakers courtesy of sound experts Bose. This system sounds fantastic even to the untrained ear, and we felt that Drowned by Entombed sounded better than it ever has.
Since 2018 there have been four recalls issued for the Cadillac CT6 range of cars. The first was released in September 2018 for a faulty seat belt coupler. This was followed by issues ranging from turn signals that wouldn't self-cancel, to the incorrect installation of tire pressure sensors. No major issues have been reported on the CT6-V, and new owners can expect miles of trouble-free motoring. Cadillac will back the 2020 CT6-V with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, a four-year/50,000 mile corrosion warranty, a six-year/70,000-mile drivetrain protection warranty, as well as roadside assistance for six years or 70,000 miles, a one-year/one-visit maintenance plan, and a six-year rust-through warranty.
The Cadillac CT6 has not yet been tested by either the NHTSA or IIHS, let alone the more expensive CT6-V. Who would want to smash up such a work of beauty in any case? We're quite confident that the CT6-V should be one of the safer cars on the road when you consider the number of standard safety features on board. Cadillac has stepped up its safety game in a serious way over the last few years and can now humble-brag over its impressive accomplishments, such as the XT6, which recently scored a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS. 2020 also brings with it new standard driver assistance features for added peace of mind.
It might not be tested, but the 2020 Cadillac CT6-V sure does come packed with safety features. Traditional safety equipment includes a first-aid kit, an eight airbag system with knee airbags for the driver and front passenger, as well as a set of large Brembo front brakes and an advanced traction control system. Over and above those features, Cadillac also throws in enhanced automatic emergency braking, a following distance indicator, forward collision alert, front pedestrian braking, and HD surround vision. The list of driver assistance features continues with systems such as lane change alert with side blind zone alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert as well as rear pedestrian alert, reverse automatic braking, and night vision assistance.
A long time has passed since Cadillac ruled the roost in the American luxury car market, and it comes as no big surprise that this segment is dominated by German offerings such as the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. While this might be true, Cadillac has taken a less common route with its luxurious CT6-V: instead of pandering to the old school who love a smooth ride and linear power delivery, this Caddy offers more or less the same space as the abovementioned competitors, but wraps it up in a more aggressive package that not only looks bolder but drives more aggressively. The 2020 Cadillac CT6-V is one of the more dynamically pleasing cars to drive in this segment, thanks to a well-sorted chassis, large Brembo brakes, and Cadillac's magnetic ride control keeping the big CT6-V in check at all times. The twin-turbo V8 under the hood is a tour de force in the way it delivers its power in the mid-range. This Caddy might not be on the same level as the Germans in terms of interior quality or standard tech, but it's a refreshing take on the classic luxury sedan.
Sitting at the very top of Cadillac's price list, the 2020 CT6-V will set you back $94,895, which excludes tax, registration, a destination fee of $995, and a gas guzzler tax of $1,300. This makes the CT6-V almost $20,000 more expensive than the next in line Escalade, which starts at $75,195. That might seem steep, but looking at the asking prices of its competitors, the Cadillac starts to look like quite the bargain. The 2020 BMW 750i xDrive starts with a six-figure MSRP of $103,000. The Mercedes-Benz S560 4Matic creeps even higher to $107,450.
The 2020 Cadillac CT6-V is available in a single trim, which means you get a fully-stacked car from the word go, unlike the Mercedes-Benz, which has an options list stretching over the horizon. The exterior of the 2020 CT6-V includes features such as 20-inch V-Series split five-spoke alloy wheels, LED headlights with high beam assist, and a power-adjustable panoramic sunroof. Under the hood lies a twin-turbocharged 4.2-liter V8 engine which has been hand-built, and produces 550 hp and a massive 640 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels via a ten-speed automatic transmission. The chassis features magnetic ride control and a set of Brembo front brakes. The interior includes features such as 16-way power-adjustable heated leather seats in the front and rear heated seats, 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity, ambient interior lighting, a head-up display, and surround vision. active driver assistance systems include
lane keep assist with lane departure warning, lane change alert with side blind zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert as well as rear pedestrian alert.
Seeing as the 2020 Cadillac CT6-V is a standalone model that comes fully loaded from the factory, there are only a few optional extras on offer, unlike its German rival the Mercedes-Benz that offers an exhaustive list of options. New owners are offered two optional packages, namely the $410 Premium Carpet package, which adds some floor mats and a carpeted trunk mat, or the $290 Interior Protection package, which includes all-weather floor mats, and an all-weather cargo mat. Individual accessories on offer include Bluetooth headphones, cellphone charging cables, and the like.
Seeing as there is only one trim to choose from, your decision has basically been made for you. Now the reasons why you should buy it becomes more important. Firstly, it looks great: the classic V-class angular design language works well in the CT6-V, which looks more aggressive and sport-focused than rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz S560 4MATIC. Secondly, the CT6-V is one of the most fun cars you can drive in this segment. We understand that the full-size luxury sedan class isn't known, or expected to deliver razor-sharp handling dynamics, but the CT6-V with its magnetic ride control and Brembo brakes does. Another reason to get behind the wheel of this large caddy is that hand-built twin-turbo 4.2-liter V8 engine under the hood, which is a true torque monster. Lastly, the 2020 Cadillac CT6-V goes for a good few thousand dollars less than its German rivals, which sweetens the deal even further.
You know someone has arrived when they pitch up in a BMW 7 Series, especially in a 2020 year model. Its nostrils are absolutely massive, and take the classic BMW kidney-grille concept to the next dimension. BMW's halo model is offered with a range of potent engine options, but we'll be focussing on the 750i xDrive, which employs a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 gas engine producing 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. In this guise, the 7 Series offers strong performance and feels just as fast as the CT6-V in everyday driving situations. The standard air suspension systems offer a silky-smooth ride, which stiffens up progressively when demanded. The BMW is one of the more dynamic cars in this class but feels more luxury-orientated when compared to the Cadillac. The interior is a beautiful place that's better appointed and put together. We would go for the BMW in this case.
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has come to represent cutting edge technology and peerless luxury and is the standard to which most other car manufacturers hold their vehicles. For 2020, the Mercedes-Benz S560 4MATIC, the CT6-V's closest rival, offers a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine producing 463 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. That power level is significantly lower than the Cadillac, but with more of a focus placed on comfort and luxury, the Mercedes-Benz is more than powerful enough. The S-Class is unrivaled in terms of on-road comfort and ride quality, but can't match the Caddy in the bends. The interior of the S-Class is on a different level: the exquisitely designed cabin rivals cars that are almost double the price, and the number of features on offer can get intimidating, to say the least. The S560 is an expensive beast, and with a long list of optional features, it gets even more pricey.
Check out some informative Cadillac CT6-V video reviews below.