Has Cadillac Finally Beaten Its European Rivals In Their Most Brand-Conscious Back Yard?


Can Cadillac's sole UK dealer win over some of Britain's badge snobs?

Cadillac has had an incredibly hard time in the UK. Though the firm has made some decent enough inroads on the neighboring European mainland, the United Kingdom has been a particularly hard nut for Cadillac to crack. That's probably because Britain's executive car buyers don't really care much for a sedan that doesn't have a diesel or isn't made by a German company. That hasn't stopped the automaker from stocking its sole British dealer with new CT6 models.

It helps, then, that the Cadillac CT6 is a genuinely good all-round car that works fine enough as an interim flagship model. Okay, so it's not objectively the greatest big luxury sedan you can find on the market, but there's enough good points in the CT6's repertoire (good ride/handling balance, decent engines, nice refinement levels and so on) to make it a tempting buy at its sub-$55,000 MSRP. If Cadillac UK decided to sell the CT6 at a comparable price in Britain, it's possible that the country's fleet car buyers might overlook its shortcomings. Except that's not the case, as the only version that Cadillac is bringing to that rain swept bunch of islands in the Atlantic is a version that costs the equivalent of $100,000.

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Further compounding the fact that Cadillac UK's selling a left-hooker luxury sedan that's objectively cheaper and inferior to the class-leading Mercedes-Benz S-Class is the engine choice. Only the twin-turbo V6 is being offered, thus dealing the fatal blow to any chances of the CT6 being desirable to any meaningful percentage of Britain's company car buying market. No surprise, then, that a lot of the UK motoring media aren't exactly enamored with the car: Top Gear Magazine concluded the Cadillac to be a car that "merely follows where others lead," and Auto Express reckoned buyers in Britain would "be far better off with the Mercedes [S-Class]".

So, business as normal it seems. Another year, and another Cadillac that fails to make a meaningful dent in a car market that can't get enough of premium cars. It's premature to write off Cadillac from the picture, however. Autocar, Car Magazine and Evo (the latter being a big surprise, considering its "The Thrill of Driving" tagline) each found a decent amount to like in the CT6, with Autocar wrapping up its review by saying: "We shall watch Cadillac's progress with interest." Considering the progress Cadillac has made and the rumors of it developing a diesel engine, it's possible that the CT6 could be Caddy getting one step closer to being a credible company car buyer option in the ever-so-fickle United Kingdom.

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