Cadillac in the past was synonymous with American automotive luxury, before the German brands eventually ruled that niche. But Cadillac has recently been determined to bring back the glory days of yesteryear, and the latest 2016 Cadillac CT6 is the latest step from the car manufacturer to lure in American buyers to an iconic American brand.
The CT6 is great example of how classic craftsmanship can be combined with modern high tech. Its look is a bit more subtle than what Cadillac has been doing in recent years, and it’s going more for understated style rather than for in-your-face brashness. But that doesn’t mean you’ll likely to ignore the CT6. It looks great, and behind the wheel it drives well. And you’re ensconced in luxury as you ride along.
The CT6 is a luxury sedan, so let’s take a look at how luxurious it really is inside. You get a whiff of it right away when you grab a seat and take a look at the exterior. You have a choice of 7 possible interior combinations, and each one was specially designed to offer a visceral sense of pleasure and extravagance. It doesn’t feel all that over-indulgent, however. The classy custom-stained exotic woods go very well with the Galvano chrome accents and the custom-woven carbon fiber elements.
The seats also offer enduring comfort great for long drives. They’re specially contoured to offer excellent cushion and support for passengers. And there’s no need for passengers at the back to fear for their comfort either, as they get generous leg room.
And from every seat in the sedan, you can certainly enjoy the superb concert hall sound from the Bose Panaray Sound System. Along with cutting-edge tech, it also offers up to 34 speakers inside. That’s not a typo; yes, that’s thirty-four speakers. And when you wish for quiet, you get it. The cabin is protected from the outside ruckus because of the sound-insulation properties of the interior materials.
That’s just a hint of how Cadillac has interwoven modern technology with classic design. You have the CUE infotainment system armed with a touchscreen and a touchpad near the gear level. At the back, passengers enjoy two screens deployed at the back of the front seats. It’s even possible for you to have a rearview mirror that acts as a video screen for your rear-facing camera.
There’s no denying the understated style of the CT6 from the outside too. The bright chrome that was so ubiquitous in previous Cadillac models have been toned down here. But it’s hardly just another face in the crowd, as that commanding grill can catch anyone’s eye.
Cadillac also succeeded in achieving significant weight savings by combining high-strength steel parts with aluminum. It’s a very lightweight body and chassis, and as a result it offers the agility that has been notably absent in the Cadillacs of yesteryear.
Under the Hood
It’s a good thing the body is so light, because the base trim comes with just a 2-liter inline-4 engine. But that powerplant can produce up to 265 HP and 295 lb-ft of torque. If you want, you can instead get a naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V6 from which you also get 335 HP and 285 lb-ft of torque. The top of the line engine is the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6, from which you can squeeze out 404 HP and 400 lb-ft of torque.
You’ll have to wait to get the V8 and the plug-in hybrid. All the 3 currently available models use the same 8-speed automatic transmission. If you’re in a real hurry, you can also control it with the paddles.
The CT6 offers all-wheel drive to go along with the Magnetic Ride Control, which is Cadillac’s invention. It’s basically the fastest-reacting suspension in the world. You also get 4-wheel steering which operates in 2 modes depending on how fast you’re going. At faster speeds it enhances the chassis response, while when you’re maneuvering at slower speeds you get a tighter turning radius.
This is a great ride, as the classy and comfortable interior goes well with the elegant exterior and the splendid ride. Although it seems counter-intuitive, the inline-4 is actually the best engine choice of the lot, although there’s really nothing wrong with the V6 options. It’s just that the 2-liter engine is simply ideal for this 8-speed transmission, as it smoothly shifts without letting you know the precise moment of the gear change. This engine also offers the best weight savings, a quiet operation, and a reliable throttle response.
It’s a great buy especially at this price point of about $53,000. At that price you get nothing more than the barest midsize sedans from the German brands. With its terrific handling, good looks, and comfy cabin, it’s a magnificent challenge to Teutonic competitors.
Follow Us on Facebook
Straight To Your Inbox
Get the latest Automotive news and performance tests straight to your inbox!