GM’s luxury brand Cadillac launched its CT6 full-size sedan in 2016 as its flagship model. Its purpose is to serve as meaningful competition for the trio of Teutonic luxury sedans – Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The 2018 Cadillac CT6 is offered in four levels of trim. Following the base CT6, there are Luxury, Premium, and Platinum options. A Plug-in Hybrid CT6 model is also available in limited markets, like California, Florida and Texas, as well as a few other states.
At launch the CT6 offered three direct-injected engines. At the base level, there’s a 265 horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged unit. Right in the middle of the range is the only naturally aspirated option: a 335 horsepower 3.6-liter V6. The star of the line, however, is a 404 horsepower, 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. Regardless of which powerplant you choose, you get the same eight-speed automatic transmission. On V6 models, all-wheel drive is optional.
The 2018 Cadillac CT6 adds a semi-autonomous SuperCruise adaptive cruise control feature. In certain, scenarios, like driving on long highway stretches, SuperCruise allows hands-off driving. Other changes for this model year are minor. Cadillac added gas and brake pedal operation to the Park Assist feature, and introduced some new paint hues.
This flagship sedan is not only performance-oriented with its twin-turbo V6. It’s also a luxurious and comfortable five passenger full-size transport. In addition, it is drop-dead gorgeous with contemporary, state-of-the-art styling and technological features. Cadillac also brings Cue connectivity into the mix, as well as the latest in safety and driver aids.
The 2018 Cadillac CT6 features a distinctive simplistic, elegant, less angular design. Cadillac stretched the sheet metal over the long, low, broad-shouldered, and muscular body. They incorporated straight edges and flatter surfaces rather than the flowing arcs of previous designs. It all comes together in a form that blends the long hood with a high shoulder line, and the 20-inch wheels create an even more expressive dynamic. Up front, there’s a broad grille with a prominent Cadillac crest. You certainly won’t mistake the CT6 as it cruises down the road. The vertical LED headlights sweep up and over the fender’s top, while Cadillac’s signature vertical taillights serve to distinguish the rear. The overall design lets the CT6 showcase a distinctive appearance in its segment.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
Moving into the cabin the 2018 Cadillac CT6 delivers a balance of luxury and functionality. It’s all the car some may need, without stretching to excess with its SUV sibling, the Escalade. Satin chrome blends with and stained wood trim and delicate carbon-fiber accents, punctuated by supple leather seats. The dashboard styling emphasizes the width of the CT6, with an expressive character line running from side to side. The hood’s center peak is repeated in the top of the dash, while the center touchscreen is framed in a shape reminiscent the grille’s outline.
Onboard 4G LTE Wi-Fi is standard across the range, as is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. If you’re looking for the best audio experience, you can spec a $3,700, 34-speaker Bose “Panaray” stereo system. The Panaray system comes standard on Platinum models.
Moving beyond the CT6’s connectivity features, the list of other standard features and equipment is impressive. In the safety department, you get all the standard fare, such as ABS, traction and stability control. Passive safety continues by way of front, side and rear-view airbags. If you do get into an accident, the 2018 Cadillac CT6 features OnStar with auto crash notification. Even if the situation is less dire, you can request roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance.
My test 2018 Cadillac CT6 came in Platinum trim with all-wheel drive. Cadillac prices this particular model at $88,295, before tacking on a $995 destination charge. There were no optional costs, as the Platinum AWD edition comes fully-loaded right out the gate.
The 2018 Cadillac CT6 handles on a par with most European and Asian luxury sedans. It delivers ample power from its 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, which helps offset its 4,399 pound curb weight. With that engine equipped, the CT6 hurtles from 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds and provides great passing power at virtually any speed. Thanks to a lighter body, the CT6 weighs about the same as the CTS sedan, despite being 8.5 inches longer. The larger engine and all-wheel drive place more weight on the front wheels, however. That does create an understeer issue when you press the car hard through the corners.
The electric steering is smooth and responsive, regardless of which driving mode you select. Whether cruising down the highway or sweeping through bends, the ride feels firm, yet stable. Magnetic dampers and active rear steering are optional with the Active Chassis package on Luxury and Premium models. The 3.5 degrees of rear-wheel steering make it more maneuverable in parking lot situations. However, you should keep in mind that the CT6 is still a long, large car, despite its more athletic qualities.
As with its smaller stablemates, the CT6 exhibits the latest of Cadillac’s materials, design, and engineering prowess. It has one of the lightest and stiffest bodies in its class. That setup provides exemplary road-holding ability, rapid acceleration, and a pleasant, well-controlled driving experience. For more spirited drivers, Cadillac has not introduced a high-performance “V” model yet, but they may possibly do so in the future.
For those seeking an American executive sedan capable of competing with some of the best that Europe and Asia have to offer – your search may lead you to the CT6. It’s a worthy flagship that you may need to experience in person to fully appreciate. The all-wheel drive 2018 Cadillac CT6 Platinum is no longer the old land yacht “Caddy” of yesteryear. Rather, it’s a solid and impressively agile car with power to spare.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Cadillac CT6 AWD Platinum
|Price as Tested:||$89,290|
|Engine:||3.0-liter, twin-turbo V6 w/ VVT, direct injection and Auto Stop/Start|
|Drivetrain (Layout):||Longitudinally-mounted front engine, all-wheel drive|
|Horsepower:||404 hp @ 5,700 RPM|
|Torque:||400 lb-ft @ 2,500 – 5,100 RPM|
|Transmission:||Eight-speed automatic w/ paddle shifters|
|0-60 Acceleration:||5.3 seconds|
|Suspension:||Front: High-arm, multilink SLA (short long arms) w/ direct-acting stabilizer bar and coil-over twin-tube shocks
Rear: Five-link independent w/ fully-isolated subframe and hydraulic mounts, coil-over twin-tube shocks
|Brakes:||Front: 13.6-inch Ferritic Nitro Carburized rotors w/ four-piston aluminum Brembo fixed front calipers
Rear: 12.4-inch Ferritic Nitro Carburized rotors w/ single-piston cast iron sliding rear calipers
|Tires:||Goodyear Eagle Touring P245/45 R20 95W|
|Fuel capacity:||19.5 gallons|
|Fuel economy (EPA):||18 City/26 Highway/21 Combined MPG|
|Turning Circle:||37.0 feet|
|Curb Weight:||4,399 pounds|