The Car Connection Cadillac CT6 Overview
The Cadillac CT6 takes over the top spot in GM's luxury-sedan lineup. Overlapping the slightly smaller CTS in price and some might say, style, the CT6 is intended to be an alternative to vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5-Series.
The CT6 is bigger than the CTS and ATS sedans, but not quite as large as the XTS. Its lightweight construction gives it a footprint on par with mid-size sedans from Mercedes-Benz and BMW, but its interior space is closer to the full-size offerings from both automakers.
The CT6 was new for the 2016 model year. A plug-in hybrid version was added halfway through the 2017 model year, and the main change for 2018 was the addition of the SuperCruise option, an advanced version of adaptive cruise control that keeps the car centered in its lane and permits hands-off operation under certain circumstances. Other 2018 changes were limited to a more capable Park Assist function and new paint colors.
The 2019 model year sees subtle styling updates to the front and rear fascias that bring the CT6 more in line with newer Cadillac models. The big change? A new 4.2-liter twin-turbo V-8 with 550 hp in a top V-Sport model, or 500 hp in the CT6 Platinum. Other engines should return to the lineup, but Cadillac hasn't confirmed anything beyond the new powertrain, which pairs that new V-8 with a 10-speed automatic.
MORE: Read our 2019 Cadillac CT6 preview
Other than the new engine and transmission, five powertrains are offered. Three are conventional engines: a 3.6-liter V-6, a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4, and a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6. The latter engine generates 404 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. All three deliver power through an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The CT6 Plug-In model uses a high-efficiency version of the 2.0-liter engine paired to a two-motor hybrid transmission similar to that in the Chevrolet Volt, with a 17.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack delivering 31 miles of EPA-rated electric range. Total output of the powertrain is also 335 hp, but the battery infringes on trunk space to a considerable degree. The plug-in is the only model not made in the U.S.; it's imported in low volumes from China, destined for California and a few other states where plug-in electric cars have proven popular.
All-wheel drive is standard on all 6-cylinder models, delivered through an on-demand system that infinitely varies power delivery between front and rear wheels. As with Cadillac’s other luxury offerings, advanced electronic chassis controls enhance performance and safety, while Magnetic Ride Control dampers provide variable ride comfort and enhanced performance.
A new feature of the CT6 is auto brake hold, which aims to reduce stop-and-go traffic fatigue by holding the car in place when the driver releases the brake; the function also aids starts on steep hills. It is new to GM vehicles but has been offered by other luxury automakers for quite some time.
On the technology front, a 10.2-inch high-definition screen sits front and center in the dash, offering Cadillac’s CUE infotainment interface for control of the car’s main systems. A touchpad control in the center console offers an alternative to the haptic-response touchscreen for inputs. Wireless phone charging, 4G LTE with wi-fi hotspot, and OnStar are also included.
Safety features are also high-tech in the CT6, with a surround-view camera system eliminating blind spots, an night vision system that can identify people and large animals among other obstacles, a rearview camera that uses the full surface of the rearview mirror to deliver a combined image that enhances visibility for maneuvering, and a surround-view recording system that triggers when the vehicle’s alarm is activated.
Cadillac engineers worked to deliver luxury and comfort with the CT6 on top of technology and performance. Leather upholstery, wood and carbon fiber trim elements, ambient LED lighting, massaging seats, reclining rear seats, and woven-in seat heating elements are among the CT6’s prime features. An available adjustable rear seat adds 3.3 inches of adjustable seat travel, plus lumbar adjustment, tilting cushions, massage, seat heating/cooling, an armrest with media controls, plus HDMI and USB ports.
An available rear seat infotainment system offers 10-inch screens which retract into the setbacks; a four-zone climate control system uses a secondary full heating/cooling system to deliver personalized temperature control; the air in the cabin is purified by an ionizing system; and a Bose Panaray audio system routed through an astonishing 34 speakers.