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2016 Cadillac CT6: New Car Review

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Used 2016 Cadillac CT6 3.6 Luxury AWD
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author photo by Autotrader June 2016

Although Cadillac's latest revolution in quality, desirability and popularity began more than 15 years ago with the arrival of the original Escalade, the brand has grown up over the last 2 decades without a true flagship sedan. Though the DeVille, the DTS and the XTS have been popular and luxurious, these front-wheel-drive, comfort-focused large sedans were hardly competitors for the best from European luxury-brand rivals.

Enter the 2016 Cadillac CT6.

Straddling the size class between the BMW 5 Series and 7 Series (or the Mercedes E-Class and S-Class), the CT6 is Cadillac's best attempt at a world-class full-size sedan in decades. It's boldly styled, sporty, tremendously luxurious and highly advanced. It's so revolutionary, in fact, that we think it marks the first time a full-size Cadillac has truly gone toe-to-toe with the best German luxury sedans.

What's New for 2016?

The CT6 is a totally new model for 2016, slotting above the CTS in the brand's growing lineup.

What We Like

Bold styling; lots of technology; several engine options; reasonable base pricing; excellent interior

What We Don't

Complicated infotainment system; pricing can get high with options

How Much?


Fuel Economy

The CT6 offers three engines, all of which come with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard with the base 4-cylinder, while all-wheel drive is standard with both V6 engines.

Base models use a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, which makes 265 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. It returns 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Drivers who want more power can step up to one of two different 6-cylinders: a 3.6-liter V6, which makes 335 hp and 284 lb-ft of torque and gets 19 mpg city/26 mpg hwy, or a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 that boasts a muscular 404 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque while returning 18 mpg city/26 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The CT6 is offered in four trim levels: a base model called simply CT6, plus Luxury, Premium Luxury and Platinum.

The CT6 ($54,500) comes standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, a 10.2-in touchscreen with Cadillac's CUE infotainment system and Apple CarPlay, a backup camera, an 8-speaker stereo, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery with dual power front seats, driver memory settings, a power tilt-telescopic steering wheel, front and rear parking sensors and a wireless-device charging system. Options include a panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, automatic wipers, automatic high beams and a Driver Awareness and Convenience package that touts forward-collision warning, automatic forward-collision braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, a navigation system, a blind spot monitoring system and rear cross-traffic alert. The CT6's V6 engine is also optional in the base trim.

The Luxury ($59,400) adds all of the base-level CT6's options (aside from the V6), plus an automated parking system, a 360-degree parking camera, rear window shades, a 10-speaker sound system and a power trunk opener. Options include heated rear seats, ventilated front seats and a unique rearview mirror that streams video from a camera.

The Premium Luxury ($64,600) adds the V6 as standard equipment. It also adds the Luxury's options, along with a head-up display. Options include adaptive cruise control, a night vision system and an improved forward-collision braking feature.

Both the Luxury and Premium Luxury also offer two optional packages. The Rear Seat package boasts a rear entertainment system and 4-zone climate control, while the Active Chassis package includes larger wheels, adaptive dampers and active rear steering. Drivers can also opt for an impressive 34-speaker Bose stereo.

Topping the range is the Platinum ($84,500), which comes standard with all the features and options we've described above. It also boasts upgraded upholstery, more adjustments for the front seats and even 8-way power rear seats with ventilation.

The optional turbocharged V6 is available in Luxury, Premium Luxury and Platinum trims.


Because the CT6 is so new, it has not yet been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But since the XTS (which the CT6 will likely replace) earned a perfect 5-star score, we have high hopes for the CT6. The nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has also not yet tested the CT6.

As for safety features, the CT6 is loaded. It offers everything you might expect as standard equipment (including side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes and a backup camera), while options include just about every available safety gadget on the market, such as forward-collision warning with automatic braking, a head-up display, night vision, lane-keep assist, a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert and lane-departure warning.

Behind the Wheel

On the road, the CT6 offers a truly impressive driving experience -- especially with GM's magnetic shocks, which are optional on Luxury and Premium Luxury models and standard on the CT6 Platinum. This car offers a night-and-day driving difference from the outgoing XTS sedan, which used similar powertrains but offered front-wheel drive and bulky sizing.

Inside, Cadillac has made a concerted effort to make the CT6 feel more sporty than luxurious, offering materials we'd normally expect to see inside a sports car rather than a full-size luxury sedan. Not that we're complaining: The interior is an excellent place to be, and the rear seat is impressively large.

Our test car included the CT6's naturally aspirated V6 engine. It's fast by many standards, but in a world where 335 hp is fairly commonplace, it didn't overwhelm us with power or acceleration. If you want real off-the-line verve, you'll want to upgrade to the turbocharged V6.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 Audi A6 -- Audi's A6 sedan also touts 4- and 6-cylinder engines, along with all-wheel drive and a lot of high-tech goodies. Styling isn't as bold as the CT6's design, but Audi also offers the unusual A7 hatchback.

2016 Lexus GS -- The GS isn't quite the technological marvel that the CT6 is, but it offers reasonable pricing and a high-performance GS F version that delivers an impressive driving experience.

2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class -- The E-Class is about to be redesigned with an all-new model that looks to dominate the luxury-sedan segment with high-tech equipment and features. But there's no doubt it'll be more expensive than the CT6.

Used BMW 7 Series -- If you want a full-size sedan with excellent performance, the BMW 7 Series offers the most exciting drive in the large-luxury-sedan segment. Prices are a lot higher than the CT6's, though, so you'll want to consider a used model.

Autotrader's Advice

The 2016 Cadillac CT6 is an excellent full-size luxury sedan with impressive performance, a bold design inside and out, and a lot of cutting-edge tech features. We'd avoid the sparsely equipped base model and the over-the-top Platinum and focus instead on a well-equipped CT6 Luxury with the V6 engine. It's the sweet spot of the model range, and it's still a great deal compared to European rivals.

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Used 2016 Cadillac CT6 3.6 Luxury AWD
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2016 Cadillac CT6: New Car Review - Autotrader