AUTO REVIEW: 2017 Cadillac CT6: New Flagship Upholds the Tradition

(Tribune News Service/TNS) -
The Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid goes on sale in North America in spring of 2017. The CT6 Plug-In offers over 400 miles of combine driving range, a full EV range of an estimated 30 miles and a zero to 60 mph time of 5.2 seconds. (Cadillac/TNS)

With its low, wide stance and vertically stacked LED lights up front, Cadillac’s gorgeous new flagship sedan, the CT6, is guaranteed to turn heads. And it will impress many with its well-composed ride, luxurious creature comforts and high-tech safety.

And, despite the fact it is 204 inches long and offers executive-style seating in the rear, this is no big-boat Cadillac of yesteryear. In fact, the CT6, built on GM’s new Omega platform, is a relative lightweight at 3,657 pounds. That’s light enough to even accommodate a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that can top 30 mpg on the highway.

More popular, though, will be the 3.6-liter V-6 that produces 335 horsepower and a new twin-turbo 3.0-liter that is good for 404 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. All engines are mated to smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmissions.

The 3.0-liter, called the 3.0 TT, gets up the on-ramp with great pull and reaches 60 mph in 5.2 seconds, according to road tests. EPA-estimated fuel economy with the 3.0 is 21 mph combined (18 city, 26 highway), with some credit going to a truly seamless stop-start function and a cylinder deactivation system that shuts down two of them when they’re not needed.

A full-size luxury car is not built for hard corners and adept handling, but you can push the CT6 with an Active Chassis Package ($3,300 option) that employs adaptive suspension to help the big fella maintain good composure and a confident ride. It also includes all-wheel-drive and active rear steering, too — the rear wheels turn slightly with the front wheels for a tighter turning radius and more stable lane changes at highway speeds.


A well-controlled ride is what engineers had in mind when they pushed the wheel wells to the four corners. And there was a bonus: greater interior space, especially in the rear. Riding back there is an ultra-comfortable with massage feature and power seat adjustments. And getting in and out through rear doors is easy on the head (no bumps) and legs (they fit). Add a rear entertainment system and your passengers may not want to get where you’re taking them.

Up front, leather-trimmed seats are supportive and have up to 16-way controls for driver and passenger. An upgraded gauge cluster has crisp, colorful graphics and can be personalized to the driver.

If that’s not impressive enough, the music is gonna get you: A Bose Panaray system ($3,700) sends tunes through 34 speakers for a superb sound. As for Cadillac’s sometimes temperamental CUE infotainment system, there’s good news: It appears to be quicker and more intuitive this year and now there’s a touch pad on the center console.

Trunk space isn’t enormous at 15.3 cubic feet but it is long and has a hands-free power lid.

CT6 is loaded with safety electronics but the one to show friends is the rear-mirror that can also stream video of what’s behind you. Some will find the eye adjustment too much, while others may like the view without heads in the way.

Most CT6s include forward collision warning with mitigation and low-speed braking. An optional Driver Assist package ($4,380) scans the road ahead for pedestrians and sends alerts and automatically applies the brakes. And a Night Vision system uses thermal technology to people or large animals ahead in the dark.

There is nothing base about the base version: It’s loaded with everything you’d expect from a luxury car, including leather seats with 8-way power, dual-zone climate and big touchscreen. The Luxury trim adds automatic parking system and 360-degree parking camera. And Premium Luxury adds vision and comfort features that are optional on lower trims.

For pure performance, those German guys (i.e., BMW 5-Series and Audi A6) are tough to beat. But for comfort and elegance, plus a more attractive sticker if you control yourself and skip a couple of options, the CT6 is an alluring alternative.


2017 Cadillac CT6

MSRP: $67,570

As tested: $81,840 (with Driver Assist, Active Chassis and Comfort packages, plus Bose Panaray sound via 34 speakers)

What’s all the excitement about? CT6 takes the helm as Caddy’s flagship luxury sedan and it’s loaded with luxury, options and engine choices

Powertrain: As tested, 3.0-liter, 404-horsepower twin-turbo mated to 8-speed transmission

How’s the performance? Ultra-quiet, well-composed highway ride; Active Chassis boosts handling

What about fuel economy? 21 mpg combined (18 city, 26 highway)