What is it: The 2018 Cadillac CT6 is a tech-heavy, large luxury sedan. Engine choices include a 265-hp turbo-four, a 335-hp 3.6-liter V6 and this twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 delivering 404 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. All get an eight-speed automatic; Cadillac offers a plug-in hybrid too.
Base Price: $89,290 As-Tested Price: $89,290
Full Review: Cadillac CT6 first drive
Highlights: The CT6 Platinum trim comes with a unique front grille and 20-inch alloy wheels along with a 34-speaker(!) Bose Panaray audio system, rear seat infotainment and a panoramic sunroof. It also gets special executive-class rear seats that offer extra adjustments, a massage feature, heating/cooling and media controls. Active rear steering and magnetic ride control are also included.
Our Opinion: Cadillac’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving system has arrived, ladies and gentlemen. And I put about two hours of hands free driving in the full-size CT6 over a long weekend. Granted, day 3 and 4 were winter wonderlands, which covered all of the sensors so the system wouldn’t work, but those first two days, I almost forgot I was driving.
I’ve noticed a few important things using the level 2 autonomous feature: 1) You can’t “make time” with it. If you’re in a hurry, you’ll be switching lanes to avoid slower traffic and that necessitates putting your hands on the wheel and waiting for the color-coded steering wheel light to go green again, informing you that Super Cruise is reengaged. 2) It really gives you a lot of time to study how poorly other drivers are driving. If someone was in the back seat they would have heard a lot of “what’s this idiot doing?” and “really? really jerk? nice move.” And finally, if my eyes need to be on the road, and my hands need to be at the ready, shouldn’t I just be driving?
That last point is only partially true. All of my commutes and some of my shopping trips were done 95 percent autonomously, and that’s awesome. The senior Wes (Raynal) on the staff said he had a hard time trusting it, and I went for the wheel a few times too. But being born in 1980 and growing up in the ’90’s, I have no problem with trusting tech both with my credit card number and my life on the road. And it’ll only get better from here. This is seriously impressive stuff — most of the people I explained it to didn’t believe it until I showed them.
The 404-hp twin-turbo V6 is just the right amount of power for this CT6. It has ‘plenty of poke,’ as Raynal would say, in any part of the rev range. It doesn’t feel as effortless as the big V8 cars from competitors like Mercedes and BMW, which sucks because I think that feeling (and sound) is a big part of the “luxury feel” everyone talks about. The brakes have a confident feel, even in the freezing snow and the all-wheel drive system got me off the line quickly, no matter the surface.
The CT6 has a sportier-than-expected steering feel as well. Where Mercedes’ big sedans are so overboosted and light, this car takes some effort to steer and feels like it tightens up at speed. The whole package feels way more planted and tight than one would expect.
The interior is well laid out with an easy-to-reach touchscreen, though I would like knobs for volume and tuning. Apple CarPlay worked perfectly and after four days I got good at using the steering wheel controls. One thing: The rear seats don’t fold down; there’s only a ski pass-through. I bought a TV over the weekend, thinking I could slide it in the back seats, but a 55-incher with box won’t fit width-wise, I had to come back with my wife’s Ford Escape.
Overall, the CT6 is a good car…it just seems so darn expensive. However, this is the Platinum trim with all-wheel drive and no options because all of the boxes are pre-checked. The Mercedes S-Class starts at $90K and goes up from there. Still, the CT6 doesn’t feel as upscale as the Mercedes, but it is probably on par, amenities-wise, with the 7-Series, which starts at $84K.
–Jake Lingeman, road test editor
On Sale: Now
Base Price: $89,290
As Tested Price: $89,290
Powertrain: 3.0-liter twin turbocharged V6, AWD, eight-speed automatic
Output: 404 hp @ 5,700 rpm; 400 lb-ft @ 2,500-5,100 rpm
Curb Weight: 4,085 lb
Fuel Economy: 18/26/21 mpg(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)
Pros: Easy, relaxing road trips without touching the wheel
Cons: Rear seats don’t fold down; very expensive