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2019 Cadillac CT6 Review

Cadillac performed a major overhaul on its 2019 Cadillac CT6. The big news is the introduction of the all-new CT6-V high-performance model scheduled to arrive in showrooms in early summer. But, the changes don’t end there for this big sedan. Cadillac pulled the plug on the plug-in hybrid version that was introduced in 2017. The two CT6 trims at the bottom of the grade ladder have been unavailable for a while and won’t be back this year. We can’t blame General Motor’s decision to only produce a short run of the turbo 4-cylinder that powered those grades. As it was eliminating CT6 trim levels, Cadillac tossed a new Sport trim into the mix between what is now the entry-level Premium Luxury trim and the Platinum trim.

According to Cadillac, the hot-shoe CT6-V is already accounted for, even before reaching dealerships. All 275 examples were snatched up during a pre-order frenzy earlier in the year.

What’s New for 2019?

Cadillac added a high-performance CT6-V model to the lineup, while dropping the plug-in hybrid model introduced in 2017. For all intents and purposes, the two lower CT6 grades (base and Luxury) have been discontinued, at least for now. A new Sport trim level with ground effects, a rear spoiler, 19-in sport wheels and more joins the CT6 stable. The remaining CT6 grades underwent a freshening for 2019, including the grille, hood and hands-free rear decklid. Highlighting the changes in the cabin is a rotary infotainment control that replaces the old touchpad. Tech changes include the second-generation rear-camera mirror with zoom function, rear pedestrian alert and active noise cancellation and engine sound enhancement on all powertrains. See the 2019 Cadillac CT6 models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Surprisingly sharp handling
  • Lots of technology
  • Generous feature content and interior space for the money
  • New CT6-V model

What We Don’t

  • Pricing can get high with options
  • Relatively small trunk
  • New CT6-V model is already sold out

How Much?

$56,490-$90,780

Fuel Economy

The CT6 currently offers two V6 powertrain choices. Both come with a 10-speed automatic transmission and standard all-wheel drive.

Under the hood of the Premium Luxury grade is the 3.6-liter V6, producing 335 horsepower and 284 lb-ft of torque. Government-estimated mileage is a commendable 18 miles per gallon in the city, 27 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg in combined driving. The two upper trim levels use the 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 (known as the 3.0L) essentially gets the same fuel economy despite boasting an ample 404 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque.

At the top of the performance heap is the all-new 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that produces 550-hp and 640 lb-ft of torque. It propels the new CT6-V. It shares the 10-speed transmission and also has AWD as standard. Because, at the time of writing, the V is not yet on-sale, there are no government-estimated mileage numbers.

Standard Features & Options

For the balance of 2019, Cadillac offers the CT6 in three trim levels: Premium Luxury, Sport and Platinum. The all-new CT6-V is already sold out. All prices include the $995 factory destination charge.

The Premium Luxury ($63,590) features the 3.6-liter V6 and AWD. It comes standard with 19-in alloy wheels, active noise cancellation, a capless fuel filler, front-cornering lamps, a hands-free rear decklid, heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn-signal indicators, low-speed front automatic braking with pedestrian recognition, forward-collision warning, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, heated front seats, infotainment and navigation interface, push-button start, remote start, illuminated door handles, auto high beams, LED headlamps/taillamps, automatic windshield wipers, a power panoramic sunroof, 16-way power front seats, eight airbags, automatic parking assist with braking, an automatic heated steering wheel, a 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system with satellite radio capability, OnStar/4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot capability, four USB ports, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, interior-movement anti-theft security sensor, keyless entry, leather seating, automatic front-seat passenger airbag control, a power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, a rear-window power sunshade, a surround vision recorder and wireless smartphone charging.

Optional on the Premium Luxury and Sport trims is a Rear-Seat Package with infotainment and quad-zone automatic climate control. Also optional on both lower grades is the Super Cruise Package with adaptive cruise control, active rear steering, magnetic ride control and limited hands-free steering. A third option package is offered on the two lower trims: The Comfort and Technology Package with a rear camera mirror, a rear camera washer, a 12-in cluster display, ventilated front seats and heated outboard seats. All of these packages are standard on the top-of-the-line Platinum grade.

New for 2019 is the Sport ($67,590) with its 3.0-liter turbocharged V6. Also standard are 19-in alloy wheels, some exterior appearance elements, an integrated rear spoiler and magnesium steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

The Platinum ($87,790) comes standard with all the features and options we’ve described above. It also boasts a head-up display, a 34-speaker Bose Panaray audio system, upgraded upholstery, more adjustments for the front seats and even 8-way power rear seats with ventilation.

All-new for 2019 is the high-performance, limited-edition CT6-V ($90,780). Armed with the 550-hp twin-turbo V8, the V also comes with most of the Platinum’s features, as well as a performance suspension, unique Brembo brakes and driver-selectable driving modes including Track mode.

Safety

The 2019 CT6’s safety equipment features eight airbags including front-knee airbags. Also standard is OnStar emergency communications. Options include forward-collision warning with automatic braking, night vision, lane-keeping assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic warning, and the enhanced Super Cruise adaptive cruise control system, which can do most of the driving when on the highway.

The CT6 has not yet been crash-tested by a third party.

Behind the Wheel

This is not your granddad’s big Cadillac. The CT6 is one of the most agile flagship sedans on the market, benefiting from a relatively low curb weight and excellent chassis tuning. Even the less dynamic V6 acquits itself rather nicely. It won’t drive you into your seat back when stomping on the accelerator, but it does step out smartly. The turbocharged V6 does bring more robust performance to the party.

We haven’t been inside the new CT6-V, but it must sizzle.

Ride comfort is quite good, especially with the available magnetically controlled suspension, but in general, the CT6 lacks the suppleness and isolation you’ll find in a BMW 7 Series or the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Those cars still represent a step above, which is fitting given their substantially heftier prices.

Inside, the CT6 boasts the best craftsmanship and most tasteful design the brand has accomplished in decades. Cadillac’s previously maligned touchscreen interface is also much easier to use now, though it can certainly be complicated for new users, and the redundant touch-operated controller on the center console just chews up space.

But if you’re really concerned with space, the CT6 should not disappoint. It offers more back-seat room than smaller yet similarly priced luxury sedans (BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class). That back seat can also be equipped with heating, ventilation, massaging and power adjustments — a collection of pampering items many competitors do not offer.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Genesis G90 — Like the CT6, the Genesis G90 is a fairly recent entry into the flagship luxury sedan game. It, too, boasts more size and equipment than similarly priced sedans, and is a compelling alternative as a result.

2019 Mercedes-Benz E-Class — The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is an exquisitely luxurious sedan that challenges its S-Class big brother for opulence and refinement.

2019 Lexus LS 500 — The redesigned LS should be considered against the upper CT6 trim levels. Much as the CT6 is a dynamic jump from past big Cadillacs, so too is the LS from past Lexus sedans. It is also one of the few big sedans to offer a hybrid.

Used Jaguar XJ — The CT6 and the Jaguar XJ have a lot in common. They’re both uniquely styled, relatively light in weight and possess lithe driving dynamics. Altogether, they’re compelling alternatives to the typical go-to German sedans. Prices are higher than the CT6’s, though, so you’ll want to consider a used model.

Autotrader’s Advice

The 2019 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. You can’t go wrong with either engine. Unless you must have all the bells and whistles, we think picking the Premium Luxury grade is the way to go. Find a Cadillac CT6 for sale

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