History has taught us that any executive, successful businessman or politician has to ride a Cadillac to consummate the prestige of the life he's leading. Every single time we take a look in our history books illustrating presidents visiting other countries or ambassadors attending any summit or historical monument, there will be a Cadillac in the background. The brand's history speaks for itself; it's become a generic name for luxury, comfort and high-end lifestyle. The infamous Elvis Presley owned a convertible white and gold Coupe De Ville. Even the President Barack Obama has a Cadillac, code named Stage Coach, armored of course; the car is equipped with many life-saving offensive and defensive measures, and is built not only to the United States Secret Service's standards, but to Cadillac's as well.
Today, I'm test driving the flagship Cadillac of modern times. CT6 is code name for 21st century luxury, technology and comfort. Starting with the front end of the car, signature vertical LED lights are integrated in the front fender and bumper. The huge signature grille centered by the Cadillac emblem gives it a lot of character and an aggressive and imposing look, along a with two-tone mirror housing framed with the turn signal. From the sides, it's all classic Cadillac - with a chrome strip that runs along the side of the car in coordination with a line that goes from the front headlights all the way to the taillights. The rear end is simple with LED taillights and quad exhaust tailpipes. The rims (19-inch at the front and 20-inch at the back), with their multi-spoke design give a sportier and lower look to the ride, which reduces its actual 5.1 meter length.
The interior is very spacious, although there's no long wheelbase option. While sitting in the driver's seat, you can tell that every function in the cabin is driver-oriented, from the chunky gear lever to the four-spoke multifunction steering wheel, and the all-digital dashboard. Dressed with the finest leather that covers the upper dashboard below the windscreen and the upper door trim with double stitching that runs all through and gives it a sense of craftsmanship; something many of its competitors lack.
Cadillac's infotainment system is operated by a 10.2-inch touchscreen or a touchpad on the right of the gear lever, and I have to say, it's one hell of a system. Even with the panoramic roof open, you can still see clearly every detail on the screen. The digital dashboard is configurable and you can even personalize it to your own needs. The car also features a seat ventilation system, heated and cooled, and even massage options. You always feel comfortable in the sofa-like seats especially on long journeys. The optional alcantara headliner gives the cabin a bit more character. I had the chance to be chauffeured in the CT6; the backseats are just as comfortable as the front, and the rear screens for the entertainment system are very clever as they fold down into the back of the front seats, and it actually helps while sitting in the rear because there's no reflection from the screens like you would get in an S Class or 7-Series. The panoramic roof makes the cabin very airy and spacious. Moreover, the cabin is super quiet and detaches you from the outside world. But the thing that would by far impress you the most inside the CT6, is the Bose panaray high-end sound system, they managed to integrate 34 speakers in the cabin, even in the headrest; it's practically a home theatre on wheels. Another innovation from Cadillac, and the first ever fitted to vehicles, is the rearview mirror that is connected to a rearview cam, which gives you live video feedback on what's behind you, so the central mirror is practically a screen. One thing though, with the model I tested, is that the car had too many trims inside; surrounding the screen is black perforated leather insert, on the sides it's wood, and just below the wood there are other carbon fiber inserts. I found it a bit over-colored and would've opted for a simpler, more unified design.
In terms of technology, Cadillac is equipped with the active lane assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring system and night vision. The CT6 comes with two engines; the 3.6 liter V6 that gives out 335 horsepower at 6,800 rpm, and the twin-turbo 3.0 liter V6 that gives out 404 horsepower at 5,700 RPM. Both engines are connected to an eight-speed pedal-operated automatic gearbox; the shifts are very smooth, and the car runs through the gears effectively. Still, I have to say, the 3.6 lacks power and makes you feel that the car is weighing you down. Although Cadillac has used what they call the fusion technology, between aluminum and steel, the car still weighs 1,797 kg. As for the 3.0 TT, the acceleration is weak at low RPM, and gives out its torque above 3,000. So you have to constantly be on the accelerator and in a lower gear than expected to get the most out of the car. Also featured on the 3.0 TT is the magnetic ride control, which makes the car very smooth over bumps and potholes, and we had to search for these in Abu Dhabi. It also features an all-wheel steer system that directs the rear wheels in conjunction with the front wheels, along with an all-wheel drive system; giving the car more agility and stability around corners. Yet, the steering wheel lacks a bit of feel. I would've preferred if it were a bit more engaging. I would also recommend, despite the downsizing trend, a proper V8 engine with a proper V8 sound, perhaps a future V series CT6?
As a whole package, the CT6 is a very potent car with lots of potential. I would've wanted a more stylish rear end to go with the infamous front, and a punchier engine is strongly advised.
Pros: Bose sound system is super impressive, infotainment with its 10.2-inch touchscreen is always clear and readable at all times, imposing front end
Cons: Engines lack power, the steering wheel feel is emotionless
Rivals: BMW 5-Series, Audi A6, Jaguar XF, Mercedes Benz E-Class, Lexus ES, Maserati Ghibli
3.6 L V6
3.6 L V6, 335 hp @ 6800 rpm, 385 Nm @ 5300rpm
8-speed paddle-operated gearbox, AWD
0-100 km/h: 6.0 sec, top speed: 240 km/h (Limited), fuel consumption: 10.4 L/100 km
Weight: 1781 kg
3.0 L twin-turbo V6
3.0 L V6 twin-turbochargers, 404 hp @5700 rpm, 542 Nm @ 2500 rpm
8-speed paddle-operated gearbox, AWD
0-100 km/h: 5.3 sec, top speed: 240 km/h (Limited), fuel consumption: 10.6 L/100 km
Weight: 1853 kg
One word: potent