The 2019 Cadillac CT6 serves as GM’s flagship sedan. Introduced as a 2016 model, the CT6 has been freshened for 2019, while Cadillac has dropped the slow-selling plug-in hybrid model. The base model also faded away, leaving four trim levels: Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum, joined by a new Sport variant.
Other changes are relatively minor, including new headlights and taillights, plus mildly updated fascias. All told, the body displayed a tauter look.
Cadillac also announced a new CT6-V high-performance model, powered by a twin-turbo, 4.2-liter V-8 that produces 550 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque.
Three other engines carried over. Luxury editions could have either a 265-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbo-4, with rear-drive; or a 3.6-liter V-6 that makes 335 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque, fitted with all-wheel drive. Premium Luxury models offer the V-6 version with all-wheel drive.
Sport and Platinum models are equipped with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 that generates 404 horsepower and 400 pound-feet. A detuned version of the new 4.2-liter V-8, developing 500 horsepower, is optional for Platinum trim.
Previously equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission, CT6 sedans now use a 10-speed automatic.
Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has crash-tested the CT6.
Cadillac includes plenty of safety technology. Standard active-safety features for Premium Luxury trim and up include low-speed automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warnings, active lane control, lane-departure warnings, blind-spot monitors, and lane-change alerts. Automatic parking assist now operates the pedals as well as steering. Forward/reverse emergency braking, night vision, and adaptive cruise control are available.
Outward vision is good. The display for the rear-facing camera shows a full-width image on the mirror glass. Using it takes some practice.
The CT6 has been the only Cadillac model to offer Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving-assist. This hands-off adaptive cruise control can steer as well as operate the accelerator and brake.
Early in 2019 Cadillac announced that it would cease CT6 production in North America by early 2020.
Prices do not include $995 destination charge.
Luxury Turbo-4 ($50,495) comes with the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive, power front seats, leather seat trim, power steering column, LED headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, pushbutton start, automatic emergency braking, parking assist, and 18-inch wheels.
Luxury V-6 AWD ($55,495) gets the 3.6-liter V-6, all-wheel drive, and 19-inch wheels.
Premium Luxury Turbo-4 ($58,095) includes the 4-cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive, Bose 10-speaker surround-sound audio, heated 16-way power front seats, power lumbar support, navigation, sunroof, a surround-view camera system, automatic parking assist, and 19-inch wheels. Numerous active-safety features make up the standard Driver Awareness package.
Premium Luxury V-6 AWD ($62,595) is equipped as above, but substitutes the 3.6-liter V-6 engine for the turbo-4.
Sport V-6 AWD ($66,595) comes with the twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6, all-wheel drive, and 19-inch machined wheels. Standard features include a sport grille, ground-effects body components, carbon fiber interior trim, and rear spoiler.
Platinum V-6 AWD ($86,795) includes the 3.0-liter V-6, all-wheel drive, magnetic ride control, active rear steering, Bose 34-speaker audio, adaptive cruise control, cooled front seats, heated rear seats, head-up display, night vision, rear-seat entertainment, rear camera mirror, forward/reverse automatic braking, Super Cruise driver-assistance group, and four-zone climate control.
CT6-V ($89,785), the new high-performance model, gets its own tuning and a 550â€“horsepower, 4.2-liter V-8.
Arguably the most sophisticated, elegantly-styled Cadillac model, the CT6 displays design cues similar to the shorter CTS sedan. Muscular in tone and low in profile, the full-size sedan relies on crisp lines, straight edges, and flat sheetmetal surfaces. Unlike some German luxury sedans, the CT6 is largely devoid of soft curves.
Up front, a long hood sits above a broad crosshatch-patterned grille. Vertical LED headlights appear to scowl as they stretch over the fender tops, complemented by traditional Cadillac vertical taillights. A chrome strip spans the width of the decklid.
Though not quite as distinctive as its exterior, the CT6 cabin is both comfortable and functional. Some might call it cold, but the interior is expertly crafted.
Front seats aren’t quite as comfortable as those in some rivals. Luxurious they are, but firm and flat rather than thickly cushioned.
Back-seat passengers in outboard seats can expect better accommodations: roomy and generally comfortable, if not as plush as seats in top luxury sedans.
Cabin materials are high in quality and superbly fitted. Cadillac makes good use of satin chrome, stained wood, fine leather, and carbon fiber accents. The dashboard is shaped to emphasize the sedan’s width.
Cargo space is abundant, in a trunk that holds 15.3 cubic feet. Rear seatbacks do not fold.
Enjoyable to drive, the CT6 promises a blend of brisk acceleration and taut roadholding. Regardless of the driving mode selected, the CT6 has a very firm ride under nearly all conditions.
A lightweight body helps give the CT6 surprisingly good handling qualities. In fact, the CT6 handles about as well as most European competitors. Well-weighted electric power steering helps provide a sense of agility, especially on turbo-4 models with rear-wheel drive. Heavier versions don’t feel quite as nimble.
Magnetic dampers and active rear steering are available (standard on Platinum), to keep body motions under firmer control.
Even the turbo-4 engine delivers ample power, but those models have faded out of the lineup. The twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 in Sport and Platinum models is especially frisky, able to reach 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, helped by an excellent transmission.
Fuel economy is reasonably good with 4-cylinder power, less impressive with either V-6. With the 2.0-liter turbo-4, the CT6 is EPA-rated at 24/34 mpg City/Highway, or 28 mpg Combined. Substituting the 3.6-liter V-6 reduces estimates to 18/27/21 mpg. With the turbo 3.0-liter V-6, the highway figure dips to 26 mpg.
Stuffed with technology, including an advanced active-safety system, the stylish 2019 Cadillac CT6 offers just about everything expected in a flagship luxury sedan. Fit and finish are fine, the back seat spacious, and the CT6 has plenty of cargo storage in both the cabin and trunk.
Driving impressions by The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.