Not your Daddy’s Caddy
I think we can all remember the first time we’ve seen a Cadillac. The long lines down the body with those trademark rear tail fins, it’s hard to think that a ‘Caddy’ would ever be anything but like riding on a cloud. And I believe that has been the perception for some time; a Cadillac is the ultimate in luxury, a weekend cruiser, lovingly referred to as ‘a boat’…for your father.
Which is why it is my greatest of pleasure to say that I was completely surprised with the 2018 Cadillac CT6. With that distinctive grill and front headlights that stretch so far up that they nearly go from hood to curb…at first glance you’ll know it’s definitely a Cadillac. Stylish, sophisticated, powerful; it’s ready for the open road and Detroit’s second oldest daughter will certainly make Daddy proud.
Short for Cadillac Touring 6, the CT6 is meant to be a top-line competitor to Mercedes-Benz S-Class or Audi A8, but in reality it is a bit smaller than the class above and lighter than the class below. But I’m not going to take a lot of time talking about the ‘comfort level’ of the CT6, it’s a Cadillac that comes with the label of ‘Platinum’, you’ll be comfortable.
Instead, some of the most intriguing features are what’s new in the realm of technology. Helping to keep you safe and secure in a complete 360 degree bubble is what this Caddy is all about.
Most luxury models these days have the bird’s eye 360-degree camera option, which is great for parking but I find that most of the time my visibility issues actually occur on the road and not the parking lot. So as long as we‘re talking about cameras, let’s start at the rear.
Mounted in the middle of the truck lid, you’ll find 2 small cameras side by side. The available Rear Camera Mirror streams HD video through the windshield mounted rear-view mirror for a less obstructed view and offers a wider panorama of vision than the standard mirror. It can be activated or switched-off with the flick of the lever underneath, which has traditionally been the dimming function if you lack auto-dimming mirrors.
Also helping you to see more clearly, especially at night, is the front mounted night-vision. Using thermal technology, the available night vision pierces through the dark to detect people and large animals ahead. The entire picture is displayed in the center console of the driver thus allowing for fewer surprises in the dark.
Combined with the Front Pedestrian Braking, which is available as part of the Driver Awareness and Convenience Package, it uses a camera to scan the road ahead. If a pedestrian is detected, the system alerts the driver and, if necessary, applies the brakes to help avoid or reduce the severity of the collision.
Guitar riffs or cinematic splendor
With so much looking out for you, the CT6 will allow you to focus more on what the Cadillac legend has always been – the road. From the research that I did, I believe that Cadillac has inspired more impassioned songs than any other car in history. Chuck Berry named his Maybellene. Aretha Franklin expressed the love of the freeway. Bruce Springsteen sang about having a Pink One. And even the Stray Cats simply stood back and looked at the touring legend.
Which is why, any soundtrack that you choose will sound amazing in the CT6. With 34 strategically placed speakers throughout the cabin, the Bose Panaray Sound System will make you turn the volume up a bit and push the limits of the road a few miles per hour faster.
For the non-music lovers, there is also an Infotainment package that rivals most home theatres. The articulated 10-inch HD screens come with Blu-Ray playback and connectivity for your personal devices. But each passenger can enjoy something different as each screen has it’s own remote control and wireless, two-channel set of headphones.
Opt for the cockpit
Although the CT6 would make a great car to be driven around in, this is a car where you want to be the driver. With charging pads built into both the front and rear armrests, traveling as a single driver won’t leave you out of the loop. You can still make use of your digital world by connecting nearly every aspect of your digital life to the onboard systems. You can also access Siri, which make features available to not only you, but also your front seat passenger.
But if you just want to open her up on the highway and stretch her legs a bit, then the CT6 gives you two spectacular options; I was fortunate enough to get the 3.0 liter V6 twin turbo that blasted out a very respectable 404 horsepower. It is also the first V6 twin-turbo to incorporate cylinder deactivation technology - making each long journey even that much more fuel-efficient.
So is it Cadillac Blackjack?
Yes, the CT6 easily beat the house. After three days of driving I can tell you that I was pleasantly surprised by this new era of Cadillac. Design-wise it was sleek and sexy and poised to thrill a new generation of younger drivers.
I was happy to see that somebody had finally given the driver both options of Regular Cruise Control (where the driver applies the brake) and the Adaptive Cruise Control (where the car controls the distance between you and the next vehicle), although the Autonomous feature didn’t work quite as well in keeping the lane as some other models I’ve driven.
The dash was wide and easy to read and the touch screen systems worked without any confusion or difficulty in hunting one function or the next.
Most dislikes came from personal opinions rather than performance issues. The stitching on the steering wheel didn’t quite line up with the level of luxury that Cadillac portrays and the rear window blinds could have been powered rather than manual, which would have made me miss the fragile/brittle feeling of the plastic when I had to operate it myself.
But these are small things that you wouldn’t really notice unless you were looking for them. Overall, I really feel like it was built for ME, offering everything I've been asking for, fitting my personal style.
Regardless of where you go or how far, people are going to notice the statement that your Caddy will bring along with it. In a world of European luxury, the CT6 might make a few opt for an American way of life.
Price as tested: $87,488
Engine: 3.0L V6 Twin-Turbo
Horsepower: 404 @ 5,700rpm
0-60mph: 5 seconds
Top Rivals: BMW 7-Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Jaguar XJ