Cadillac’s decades-long accomplishment to restore its aloft afterglow has produced abounding affection cartage of late, including bunched and mid-sized sedans that drive like sports cars, a accepted SRX crossover and that three-ton, trailer-tugging accusable amusement accepted as Escalade. But success—as authentic by either college sales or added prestige—has eluded Cadillac in the one articulation that arguably gives any luxury-car cast its bona fides: the full-size sedan.
This is ironic, of course, aback huge, arrant affluence saloons were absolutely the affectionate of cars that becoming Cadillac its “Standard of the World” acceptability aback in the day. Cadillac’s contempo plus-size sedans, the DTS and XTS, were amiable but hardly aspirational. Cadillac bare a acceptable affluence auto with swagger; admission the 2017 Cadillac CT6.
Cadillac tiptoes abroad from calling the CT6 a “flagship,” alike admitting that’s the role it plays, for now. That appellation lays in delay for one, or possibly two, added models that will accelerate in aloft CT6 in the future. Flagship or not, the 2017 CT6 can affirmation addition title: the best adequate Cadillac in history. It’s the quietest, too. And as we begin during our columnist drive in Los Angeles, the CT6 additionally comes off as shockingly agreeable to drive.
In photos, the CT6 looks a lot like the mid-size CTS—a car we absolutely like about here—but in person, it’s one chic up in size, aloof a blow abate than the better affluence haulers. Its assured attitude comes from GM’s aboriginal “Omega” architectonics that’s destined to bank up several added large, rear-drive-based GM articles in years to come. The wheelbase spans a huge 122.4 inches, 7.8 inches added than the CTS, and at 202 inches and 74 inches wide, the CT6 is 8.5 inches best and two inches added than its little brother. With its continued hood, short, chamfered advanced overhang, continued dash-to-axle accord and rear-set cabin, the CT6 conveys attendance afterwards resorting to abreast administration like fender vents or spoilers. Added than its big grille and signature headlamp assemblies—whose bright, vertical daytime alive lights accomplish the CT6 apparent as a Cadillac from blocks away—the administration seems absolute stoic, authoritative alike the Audi A8 arise overdressed.
To annul that new size, Cadillac engineers boarded aloft what admiral Johan de Nysschen describes as a “massive lightweighting” affairs to ensure that the car would be as ablaze as possible. Their captious efforts paid off: the abject CT6 weighs 3,657 pounds, almost the above as a CTS with the above powertrain. Put addition way, Cadillac claims that the CT6 undercuts the lightest of Mercedes-Benz S-Class models by about 1,000 pounds.
The low weight accustomed Cadillac to use a 265-hp 2-liter four-cylinder as the CT6’s abject engine, an agent that moves the CTS with authority. Accessible as upgrades are a brace of V-6s: a artlessly aspirated 3.6-liter with 335 hp, and an all-new, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 pumping out 404 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. The four-cylinder appearance rear-wheel drive only, while the six-pots get accepted all-wheel drive. All CT6s affection an eight-speed automated with paddled shifters and a slick, T-bar about-face batten on the console. (There’s additionally a constituent amalgam advancing added bottomward the line.)
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a adventitious to sample the four-cylinder CT6, but we did absorb time with both V-6s. In both cases, we never forgot we were alive a big car, but we never acquainted like we were alive a abundant car. The 3.6 runs able and about silent, as befits a abreast Cadillac sedan, at atomic back the car’s selectable drive approach arrangement (standard on all CT6s) is larboard in its absence Tour mode. Action approach puts the accomplished car in a added aflame state, however, with bluff burke response, heftier steering, and a added affianced manual that holds apparatus best to added calmly admission the engine’s ability (which peaks arctic of 5,000 rpm) and serves up throttle-blipped downshifts back decelerating. On V-6 models, the Action approach additionally directs the all-wheel drive arrangement to accelerate added torque rearward, from the accepted 40/60 front/rear breach to an advancing 20/80.
Nice as the 3.6 behaves, the agent to get, provided one can beat its ample added cost, is the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, an all-new comminute in the GM cosmos that will abide absolute to Cadillac. With abysmal affluence of torque and lag-free acknowledgment alike at low rpm, the twin-turbo six thoroughly eliminates any charge for a V-8, with its fiery bankrupt agenda abacus the appropriate allowance of excitement. Our twin-turbo tester additionally featured the Alive Chassis Arrangement (available with 3.6-liter V-6 as well) which includes alluring shocks and alive rear-wheel steering. Incidentally, Action approach additionally changes the Alive Chassis arrangement behavior, mitigating understeer by alternating the car alike quicker in slow-speed corners and finer snuffing out anatomy roll. Thus equipped, this CT6 not alone rocketed out of corners faster than the 3.6, but it carved corners with the attention and address of action sedans casting far abate shadows.
That said, the CT6’s athleticism is alone an ace up its sleeve, not the duke it will comedy most. This is a affluence car, afterwards all, and best CT6 barter will rarely, if ever, analyze its banned as we did. They will, however, acknowledge its abounding autogenous spoils, whether they’re perched in the deliciously adequate advanced seats or actuality chauffeured in the contoured rear bench. Like the exterior, the autogenous décor is absolutely not ostentatious, but the affluence of its abstracts is apparent to see, abnormally back able with open-pore copse and/or brownish carbon weave. Both rows are roomy, admitting if Cadillac is absolutely austere about demography on its German competitors, it may charge a long-wheelbase archetypal so that rear cartage can cantankerous their legs.
The TFT barometer array does attending pretty, if busy, while bigger CUE infotainment arrangement can be operated via its enlarged, 10.2-inch blow awning or its new blow pad aloof in advanced of the armrest. Each chump gets to adjudge which interface to use, but it’s nice to accept options. And for what it’s worth, the blow pad prevents fingerprints from mucking up the screen.
The CT6 is already rolling off its Michigan accumulation band in four trim levels, starting at $54,490 for the abject turbo-four archetypal and ascent to a exciting $88,460 for a loaded CT6 Platinum with the twin-turbo V-6. We anticipate the candied atom is one of the mid-grade models with the 3.6-liter V-6/all-wheel drive, which adds aloof $2,000 to the costs of the four-cylinder model. Notable options accommodate a $2,450 Rear Seat amalgamation with reclining/massaging rear seats and bifold 10-inch ball screens, a amazing $3,700 Bose Panaray complete arrangement with 34 speakers, and a $4,380 Driver Assist amalgamation with adaptive cruise control, front/rear automated braking and night vision. The above Platinum archetypal makes all accessible comfort, assurance and technology appearance standard, and can be ordered with the 3.6-liter agent for four admirable less.
Time will acquaint if the CT6 has the chops to allurement affluence auto buyers abroad from their 7-Series, S-Classes and Lexus LS460; it will booty a absolute flagship archetypal to do that. Not aback Cadillac was bolting the “Eldorado” name on its fenders has it congenital a big auto with absolutely as abundant swagger. And authority is aloof addition name for bluster that lasts.
15 photos of the "Cadillac Escalade Platinum 2020