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2018 Cadillac CT6

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2018 Cadillac CT6 Expert Review

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The 2018 Cadillac CT6 aims to convince you that Caddy can beat luxury heavyweights like the BMW 7 Series, Lexus LS and Audi A8 at their own game. Draping the uniquely American styling language already established for CTS and ATS models on its low, wide body, Cadillac has packed the 2018 CT6 with luxury and technology. The interior's sumptuousness exceeds any other Cadillac, there's state-of-the-art technology, and the drivetrains -- including a twin-turbo V6, rear- or all-wheel drive, and even a plug-in hybrid -- complement the sharp handling and luxurious ride. Yet, like its competition, the 2018 Cadillac CT6 is more than just the sum of its parts. This car feels special, offering a unique driving experience that matches, and in some ways surpasses, its competitors.

You'll Like This Car If...

The Cadillac CT6 is the best interpretation yet of Caddy's Art and Science design language, and its uniquely American interior sacrifices no luxury to its European and Japanese competitors. The high-tech features will capture the attention of younger buyers, and its turbocharged engines and excellent handling will win over enthusiasts.

You May Not Like This Car If...

There's no long-wheelbase version, and while the back seat is available with an executive package, the CT6 is shorter than many rivals. There's also no V8 available, and while the CT6 is a very nice luxury sedan, Cadillac still needs to rebuild its brand equity to BMW and Mercedes-Benz levels.

How It Ranks
What's New for 2018

After last year's introduction of the plug-in hybrid, only modest changes are in store for the 2018 Cadillac CT6. Among new colors and trim, the Auto Parking Assist now allows hands- and feet-off automatic parking. Additionally, a new entertainment system package bundles the rear-seat entertainment system and the excellent Panaray audio system.

Driving the CT6
Driving Impressions

Cadillac has established enviable weight-saving voodoo that must flummox its rivals. The 2018 CT6, for example, is notably larger than the CTS, yet it weighs only 17 pounds more, and...

... is nearly 1,000 pounds lighter than a Mercedes-Benz S-Class or BMW 7 Series. Combine this weight-saving advantage with a rigid structure, excellent engines and advanced suspension setup, and the CT6 moves with an agility that you’ll need to experience to believe. Even the base, rear-wheel-drive (RWD) CT6 with the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is an absolute joy to drive. Toss in all-wheel drive (AWD), the 404-horsepower turbo V6 and the Active Chassis Package with 4-wheel steering, and you’ll get a car equally at home on the Nurburgring as it is the 405 Freeway. Yet when you're just cruising, the CT6 is just as enjoyable; with a comfortable ride and outstanding sound system, the Cadillac CT6 proves its luxury game is just as strong.

BOSE PANARAY AUDIO SYSTEM
If you consider yourself an audiophile, a music enthusiast, or if you just have functioning ears, you'll appreciate the Bose Panaray audio system. Bose places 34 small speakers strategically through the cabin, and uses a processor from its high-end home-entertainment systems for crisp highs, deep bass and seemingly limitless volume.

ACTIVE CHASSIS PACKAGE
Cadillac's Magnetic Ride Control is already a yardstick for other active-suspension technologies, yet by combining it with the on-demand all-wheel-drive system and 4-wheel steering, the Active Chassis Package offered on V6-powered trims and standard on the Platinum Hybrid takes the stability game to a whole new level.

2018 Cadillac CT6 Details
2018 Cadillac CT6 photo Interior

Cadillac's 2018 CT6 offers a uniquely styled interior, distinct from its German and Japanese rivals, yet boasting the tasteful blend of wood, fine leather, and metallic and carbon-fiber trim expected in a car in this class. The 8.0-inch configurable instrument cluster on lower-end models gets replaced by a 12-inch screen in Premium Luxury and Platinum models, which combines with the standard 10.2-inch CUE touch-screen infotainment system to give the CT6 an oh-so-modern "glass cockpit." The comfortably supportive front seats are matched by an equally accommodating rear bench that offers an "executive" option, complete with recline and massage functions.

Exterior
2018 Cadillac CT6 photo

Cadillac calls its current design language "Art and Science," and it's a uniquely American interpretation of universal luxury themes. The long hood implies -- correctly -- a powerful rear-wheel-drive sedan, and the crisply tailored aluminum body shows off chiseled lines and an expressive face. The Platinum model gets a unique grille, but all CT6 models get LED headlights, framed by vertical LED light blades; in back are vertical LED taillights. Beyond model-specific 18-inch, 19-inch and 20-inch alloy wheels, trim grades are largely differentiated by detail touches like front cornering lights and illuminated door handles.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The lowest-end 2018 Cadillac CT6 comes with an excellent 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine driving the rear wheels. It also comes with leather upholstery, wood trim, and 14-way-power front seats. The newest version of Cadillac's CUE infotainment system includes Bose audio, active noise cancellation and OnStar with 4G LTE. Move up to the Luxury/Premium Luxury models and you'll add enhancements like better leather, surround-sound audio, a wide-angle screen that replaces the rearview mirror, concierge lighting and a hands-free power trunk. The top-end Platinum models include the Bose Panaray audio system, Night Vision, digital instrumentation, quad-zone climate control, and Active Chassis with 4-wheel steering.

Optional Equipment

In addition to the 3.6-liter V6 engine and AWD, base CT6 buyers can order a Driver Awareness and Convenience Package with active/passive safety features, embedded navigation and a panoramic sunroof. A new Enhanced Entertainment package on Luxury/Premium Luxury models bundles the Bose Panaray audio system and rear-seat package. Other options include the Enhanced Vision and Comfort Package, which adds the rear-camera mirror, panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats/heated rear seats, and the Active Chassis Package. A Driver Assistance package for the Premium Luxury model adds adaptive cruise, front and rear auto-braking, and infrared night vision. The CT6 Platinum just gets everything.

Under the Hood

If you want gasoline-only, you have three choices in the 2018 Cadillac CT6, all of which come with an 8-speed automatic transmission. There's the base 265-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder in rear-drive only, the 335-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 or the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 with 404 horsepower. Both V6 models are available with all-wheel drive. New this year is a hybrid powertrain that uses the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder plus a pair of 100-horsepower electric motors for a peak output of 335 horsepower and 432 lb-ft of torque. Premium fuel is preferred by the turbo-4 and required by the force-fed six.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
265 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 mpg

3.6-liter V6
335 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
284 lb-ft of torque @ 5,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/27 mpg

3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6
404 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
400 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-5,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 + AC Dual motor/generator
335 horsepower (combined)
432 lb-ft of torque (combined)
Estimated full-charge range: 30 miles (electric only), 400 miles (hybrid total)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A  

If you want a 2018 Cadillac CT6, the lowest Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is about $55,000, including the $995 destination charge, thousands below the price of the most affordable Audi A8, BMW 7 Series or Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The Luxury model starts at a bit over $62,000, while the Premium Luxury comes in around $66,300; both come with the 3.6-liter V6. The top-line Platinum starts at about $85,300, or $89,300 if you want the twin-turbo V6 (pro-tip: spring for the engine). Add options and you're looking at more than $90,000 for a loaded Platinum with the twin-turbo, but we have to say, it's worth it. Check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what the CT6 goes for in your neighborhood, and note that the CT6 beats the Audi A8 L 3.0T, equals the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and loses to the Lexus LS at resale time.

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