2016 Cadillac CTS Premium Luxury AWD

ct6-front-side-full

What’s Hot: The CT6, which follows the naming pattern if its import competitors, is the latest addition to the growing Cadillac lineup.This is the car we’ve been waiting for Cadillac to build. It’s a first-rate flagship vehicle that is finally competitive with the German and Japanese luxury cars.

It has the words flagship written all over it, especially while wearing the brand’s iconic, signature crystal-like, artistic LED headlight system, which makes a bold and powerful statement at night.

The fuel-efficient CT6, which only requires unleaded fuel, can be driven by a rear wheel drive or an all-wheel drive configuration. The stately Detroit-built Caddy can be outfitted with a choice of engines, too. There is the 2.0-liter turbo, the 3.0-liter twin turbo and the 3.6-liter engine, which produces 265, 404 and 335 horsepower, respectively. We had our hands on a 3.6-liter engine, which was outfitted with an 8-speed transmission. It was more than capable of maneuvering this bold, aesthetically pleasing vehicle around town.

It offers a offers a balanced ride, not too floaty or too stiff like we’ve come to expect from other Cadillacs. With a mere touch of a button, the vehicle can be transformed into touring, sport or ice/snow modes. And the optional magnetic ride control system, which is complimented by the almost Volvo-like safety headrests, and form-fitting body seats, makes this a great vehicle for the road.

While the nicely equipped premium trim model we reviewed was outfitted with a number of features, the upper-end Platinum trim, which has a starting price pushing slightly north of $84,000,  adds most of the optional features noted on our review vehicle. The CT6 also includes such standard features as a full-speed radar-activated cruise control system, an illuminated trunk sill plate, a rear seat infotainment system, a quad zone climate control system, power-operated massaging rear seats and a noise control engine sound enhancement. Yes, this Cadillac comes with everything but a chauffeur. We hear a super-cruise system is being added next model year to push the brand’s flagship vehicle to being closer to Tesla, which offers an auto-pilot driving feature.

The interior is also luxurious,  outfitted with a gigantic, easy-to-use smartphone-like infotainment system, which houses everything from the latest weather and traffic updates to a wide-view camera to the controls for a 34-speaker crystal clear audio system. To keep the touchscreen free of fingerprints, mostly everything can be controlled by a haptic magnetic pad, similar to that of the Lexus’ RC.

The all-new CT6, can be outfitted with the industry’s first-ever rear camera. This must-have mirror improves the field vision by removing obstructions of passengers, headrests and the vehicle’s roof and rear pillars. The closest thing to using such a mirror is like having a convertible with the top down (and without the rear passengers). And for those looking for luxury and fuel efficiency, a plug-in hybrid is on the way for the 2017 model year. 

What’s Not: It’s going to take a moment for CT6 to earn name recognition, especially when introducing a new design. Cadillac has been out of the game for so long at the top-tier of the luxury car segment that it’s going to take some time for buyers to give the automaker a second look outside of their popular, but limited, SUV/CUV offerings. Besides that major concern, for those looking for an 8-cylinder vehicle, they’ll have to look elsewhere. That’s not an option available on the all-new CT6. However, the vehicle does offer an optional 404-horsepower twin turbo, although it puts out a little less power than the front wheel drive XTS.

Moreover, the CT6’s stop and start gas saving feature seems louder than necessary for a luxury vehicle, when pulling off from a complete start. And a vehicle of this caliber should have less hard plastic surrounding the center floor console and the door panels. And why is a CD player optional? Did Cadillac study its competitors?

Verdict: After spending some windshield time behind the wheel of the CT6, we now understand why a ‘true flagship’ is no longer on the drawing board for the automaker. With just a few polishes, this is all the brand needs to swing folks back to the luxury American brand. Not since the first and second generation Cadillac Sevilles, which ended the brand’s premium luxury car reign, has Cadillac offered a vehicle with this elegance.The CT6 is slotted between the likes of the smaller BMW 5 Series and the larger and the larger 7 Series, is literally sitting in an automotive sweet spot.

In fact, in 100-plus year history of the Cadillac brand,  the CT6 is first worthy car contender to go up against the Japanese, British and German luxury import cars. It has the stately appeal, with its signature LED lighting system, the ride and handling capabilities, the technology and the pricing that should make folks consider buying a Caddy beyond the famed Escalade.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $77,340 (Base model $54,490)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: air bags; ABS; Daytime Running Lights; a front and rear park assist system; a road emergency tool kits; an automatic vehicle hold system; a compact spare tire; and a rearview camera

 Standard Equipment (Base Model): 18-inch wheels; rear wheel drive configuration; an automatic stop/start gas saving feature; a 10-inch infotainment system; a navigation system; Apple Car Play and smartphone compatibility; a dual zone climate control system; an automatic cruise control system; memory operated driver’s seat; an automatic rearview auto-dimming; an in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot system; an OnStar; 14-way power front seats; XM satellite radio system; HD radio; a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel; a wireless charging system; body color door handles; manual side rear sunscreens; a power rear sunshade; and heated power outside adjustable mirrors

 Standard Equipment (Premium Luxury): 19-inch wheels; 3.6-liter, 6-cylinder engine; an automatic park assist systems; a concierge lighting system; cooling for front seats cupholders; a hands free trunk opener; a 10-speaker Bose audio system; a forward collision alert system; a lane keep assist system; a lane departure warning system; a rear camera mirror; ventilated front seats; heated rear seats; an power/dual sunroof; leather seats; 16-way power front seats; heads up display system; an automatic safety belt-tightening system; automatic highbeam headlights; a surround vision camera system and an automatic braking system

 Options On Review Vehicle: 20-inch ultra bright machined aluminum wheels; a front and rear automatic braking system; a radar-activated cruise control system; an enhanced night vision system; a 34-speaker Bose audio system; a magnetic ride control system; an active rear steering system; heated; and a special blue metallic paint.

Other Trim Level:

 Base

Luxury Collection

Platinum

 Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: an 8-speaker Bose system

 Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

 USB Connectivity: Yes

 Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 6 years or 70,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/265-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

 Standard Fuel Mileage:

22-city/31-hwy

Competition: 2017 Genesis G90 (replacement for Hyundai Equus); 2017 Volvo S90; 2016 Audi A6; 2016 Audi A7; 2016 BMW 5 Series; 2016 BMW 7 Series; 2016 Infiniti Q70; 2016 Lexus LS; 2016 Mercedes-Benz E Class; 2016 Mercedes-Benz S-Class; 2016 Jaguar XF; 2016 Jaguar XJ; and 2016 Kia K900

Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to www.JeffCars.com. Follow him on Twitter/JeffCars.

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