Cadillac CT6: Can it compete with the BMW 7 Series?

News | January 26th, 2016 by 11
2016 Cadillac CT6 025 750x500

There have been some reviews popping up on the internet today of the brand-new Cadillac CT6, Caddy’s entry into the world of full-sized luxury. When …

There have been some reviews popping up on the internet today of the brand-new Cadillac CT6, Caddy’s entry into the world of full-sized luxury. When Cadillac first debuted the CT6 at the 2015 New York International Auto Show, it received mixed reviews, as many fans thought it wasn’t impressive enough. Sure, it looked nice and the interior was pretty good, but it didn’t seem to have what it takes to compete with the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S Class. Now, Cadillac has given some journalists a chance to drive its latest luxury car and most of them have come away impressed.

The CT6 will come with a variety of engines, three to be exact, ranging from a 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder to a 3.6 liter naturally-aspirated V6 all the way up to a 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged V6. The base model 2.0 liter makes do with 265 hp and only rear-wheel drive, while the 3.6 liter V6 makes 335 hp and has all-wheel drive and the top-end twin-turbo 3.0 liter engine develops a healthy 404 hp and also powers all four wheels. All engines are mated to GM’s eight speed automatic gearbox with shift paddles. All CT6’s run on standard suspension , but the twin-turbo V6 model is available with an Active Chassis package which brings Magnetic Ride Control, 20 inch wheels and rear-wheel steering.

2016 Cadillac CT6 032 750x500

It seems as if Cadillac could have done a bit more with its engines, given the current top-end model doesn’t match the power output of any of its German V8 rivals. However, a twin-turbocharged V8 is said to be in the works, as well as a plug-in hybrid model. Having said that, it’s a bit odd that Cadillac of all brands lacks a V8 option to begin with and offers a four-cylinder engine in its biggest, most luxurious car.

In terms of looks, many of the journalists are right in saying that the CT6 seems to look better out in the real world. While we’ve just seen pictures, it looks better on the road than when it was up on the rotating stand, with crazy lights surrounding it, at the NY Auto Show. In fact, this could be Cadillac’s best looking car. It builds on the classy looks of the Cadillac CTS and looks a bit more substantial. This is the best interpretation of Cadillac’s “Art and Science” design language. It’s very boxy, but it looks powerful and masculine. The headlights are also pretty cool. But it still manages to be outdone by its German rivals, all of which have designs that are more aesthetically interesting. This CT6, while handsome, is a bit boring.

2016 Cadillac CT6 048 750x500

The interior manages to give a very similar feeling. It’s actually quite nice, with what seems to be rich materials (Cadillac claims that nothing is fake, all of the leather, wood and metal you see is the real deal) and some nice design cues. The Cadillac CUE system looks much better in this CT6 than on other models and now has a nice touchpad on the center console to control it. The gauges aren’t bad, with two actual dials flanking a center-mounted digital speedo that can change to various different screens, such as a nightvision camera. The rear seats have an interesting touch, as screens rise from the front seatbacks to allow rear passengers to control various things, such as their own seats. The only real design oddity is that shifter, which looks odd. It looks like it would be something similar to the flat electronic shifter on the new Audi A4, but instead, it’s just a flat looking standard shifter with a knob that seems to be designed after the Cadillac logo. Weird. Other than that, the cabin seems like a nice place to be, but it does lack a bit of the excitement and opulence found in the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S Class.

2016 Cadillac CT6, Los Angeles, CA

In terms of performance, we haven’t driven it yet but we can comment about what others have said. It’s said to be a quick car, especially in twin-turbo V6 form, but it isn’t as quick as Zee Germans. It’s also said to have good steering and a very responsive chassis. The new CT6 is built on GM’s new Omega rear-wheel drive platform and is built with extensive uses of aluminum and other lightweight materials. This CT6 is said to be as light as its smaller CTS brother while also being stiffer. So that would explain its good handling. The rear-wheel steering also helps shorten the feel of the wheelbase.

Overall, the CT6 seems to be a good car and will likely undercut the 7 Series and S Class, in terms of pricing. However, it also seems to lack a bit of the wow-factor that both of those Germans have. The CT6 seems nice and luxurious, but the 7 Series is incredible. So maybe you get what you pay for. We’ll have to drive it before we deem it less incredible than the big 7, but for now we can only judge on what we can see and things look good for BMW.

BMWBLOG

NEWSLETTER