I belong here and I never want to leave.
You know the feeling. You step into a luscious boutique and it hits you immediately: I love it here.
There’s something in the air at Tory Burch that says ‘stay here, it’s where you belong.’ It’s a sanctuary of plush furniture and soft lighting that whisks you away from the roar and rudeness of the street outside. The fragrance of fresh leather and fine fabrics at Louis Vuitton shift your mood from frantic to calm. The seductive touch of Ralph Lauren’s flowing, satiny silk and rich cashmere beg to be wrapped in crinkly tissue and taken home in a crisp shopping bag. All of it makes you happy.
That’s how the 2016 Cadillac CT6 feels. Like the perfect boutique.
From the moment you feel the CT6’s soft, firm leather seats, breathe in the exclusive Cadillac leather fragrance—yes, this fragrance was created by Cadillac!— and touch the micro suede that covers the ceiling headliner (similar to suedes made by Alcantara, the Hermès of automotive leather) you know: this is heaven.
Inspired by fashion, and an inspiring design
And that’s what Cadillac was going for when the current management team undertook the recasting of the brand: many of their cues came from the fashion industry, inspiring them to create an alluring fit and feel. Not just a beautiful interior, but one that feels great, that you feel great in.
Who this car is for:
- Luxury car buyers who want all the best, most cutting edge technology in a single car
- Early adopters who want to be the first to own the hot new thing
- Buyers who appreciate fine style and the mastery of fine craftsmanship
- Buyers who want to pamper back seat passengers (or plan to ride in the back seat)
- Drivers who want a refined experience in their car
- Buyers who want to feel rewarded for their accomplishments (and be reminded of this every time they get into the car)
- A single driver, a couple or a small family
Don’t let the luxury fool you: the Cadillac CT6 is one smart car and worth a place on your dream list
There’s “luxury” and then there’s luxury: “Luxury” for the sake of luxury can be defined as ‘we want to charge more so we’ll make it really nice.’ But luxury is luxurious because it’s inventive, innovative, intuitive; the product’s designers thought of a million ways they could delight you with all their clever, smart and useful properties, and then did. THAT is luxury.
And that is the nature of the Cadillac CT6. I can’t think of a single thing that this sedan overlooked. Among the hundreds of things that were delightful about Cadillac’s new flagship model, here are the things that I’m still dreaming about:
- The Cashmere interior. The CT6 we test drove had the most incredible cream colored interior, called Cashmere. The interior comes in black too, but why would you? Cashmere just makes you feel so good. It’s soft, comforting and gives the car a refined, elegant feel. You’ll never get tired of it. Add to that the panoramic sun roof, the roomy back seat and the elegant minimalist dashboard, and all you feel in this car is “ahhhhh.”
- Head Up Display. Maybe my most favorite feature in cars these days (and more and more cars, too!), and Cadillac’s is especially good. Head up display, or HUD as it’s abbreviated on the controls, projects key information onto the windshield in front of you. So you don’t have to glance down to see how fast you’re going, what song is on the radio or if there’s a car in your blind spot. It also shows you if there are pedestrians potentially walking into your path, if you’re veering out of your lane and the speed you’ve set for adaptive cruise control.
- Night Vision. This will be the new revolution in car technology. Using infrared sensors (used by the military to track enemies or by police searching for a lost child in the woods) the CT6 can see things and people in the dark that you can’t. When selected, a display on the information panel in front of the driver shows you people or animals that are near the car, on the side of the road or up to 200 yards ahead. At first it’s a bit eerie to see people walking along the road at night — people you would never be able to see under regular circumstances—but I quickly came to appreciate the feature. For older drivers or people who live in northern climates where long dark winters can leave you feeling like a mole, this is game changing.
- The Rear View/Video Display Mirror. Imagine this: No ceiling pillars blocking your view, no tall heads obscuring a pedestrian, no smiling faces in the back seat distracting you. The CT6’s rear view mirror easily switches between a regular rear view mirror and a video display of the rear of the car. A camera mounted on the back gives you a clear, perfect, full view. This took a little getting used to, but once I did, I liked it a lot. I also liked that I could easily toggle back and forth between the two—no buttons or selections, just a lever that makes the switch.
- The Massaging Seats. Yes, seats. Front and back. And they are good massaging seats, too, heated and cooled in front and heated in back. I thought maybe a massaging seat might be too relaxing, but no. The only complaint is that the massage cycle is short, so I had to constantly restart it. But that’s OK; with the push of a button those magic fingers started up again. The CT6 Platinum has massaging seats in the back, too, which is great: No sibling bickering over who gets the massage seats; we all do.
- The Entertainment System. Think of it as entertainment on demand: with the push of a button on the remote, screens rise up out of the seat backs; another push of a button and they retract back in. If that weren’t cool enough, in the center arm rest there are wireless headphones, USB ports and a HDMI port. You can plug in a game system or with the Cadillac’s 4G LTE wifi, stream Netflix in the back seat – which we did – while we enjoyed the heated massage seats.
- Touch Screen and Track Pad Controls. This is brilliant. Cadillac’s designers seemed to toss out every button they could from the front console, and concentrated all the functions in the CT6’s elegant, wide touchscreen. Add to that a track pad similar to the track pad on a Mac that lets you navigate the screen and even ‘draw’ your selections, and you have nearly everything you need literally at your fingertips. But don’t fret: there are buttons for quick access to music and climate, so when you get into the car on a 100 degree day and want to quickly blast the A/C, or your kids don’t think Nirvana is as great as you do, there’s a button for that.
- The Wireless Phone Charger (that fit my iPhone 6!!!). Love this feature so much: no wires. If you live in a household like mine where everyone is always walking away with your phone charging cord, then you’ll appreciate how great a wireless charger can be. I also loved that it’s neatly tucked into the center arm rest which is the perfect place to store a phone, wirelessly charging or not.
- Four Wheel Steering. This is another innovation that you’ll likely see in more cars in the future: as you turn the steering wheel, the rear wheels turn along with the front wheels. This makes turning easier, and at high speeds, the car hugs the road and has greater stability. I found it most handy when pulling into the parking lot at Saks; the first spot on the aisle was open, but it was the spot to the immediate right of the car, one that I’d normally pass up because it would take too much maneuvering to get in. But with rear steering, I was able to make a 180 degree turn and pop right into the spot.
- That Fragrance! The Cashmere cream leather and the Alcantara suede don’t just look and feel yummy, they smell good too – this is where the fragrance lives. Cadillac’s exclusive scent, called Nuance, is integrated into the leather and designed to literally give the car an air of refined elegance. It works. I can still smell it (and I might just need to stop by my local Cadillac dealer for another whiff).
- Design, Design, Design: Though the CT6 is the first of the new generation of Cadillac, it still looks like a Cadillac. Its distinctly carved front and rear corners, headlights and taillights frame the car the way the fins did on vintage models. Its sharp silhouette distinguishes it from its European rivals and its overall flowing lines accent its subtle, elegant luxury. Inside, the center console, touchscreen and track pad have a modern, minimalist feel. Even the remote control for the rear entertainment system—whose designer continually refined it by asking her kids to try it out— tucks into its own neat little storage place. Every detail is thoughtful, inventive and perfectly executed.
- The Drive Experience: With a V6 Twin Turbo, this is an engine that is designed to thrill. Even if your drive time is limited to on ramps and the occasional country road (like me) the drive experience was superb: Powerful, confident and satisfying.
- The Price: Yes, $88,000 is no casual sum, but consider the alternatives: A similarly outfitted BMW7 series (including Alcantara leather and night vision) prices out about $20,000 more; the Mercedes Benz S550 with similar features is $40,000 more. That leaves you a nice little bonus for hitting your favorite boutiques, so you can fill the CT6’s trunk with Louis Vuitton luggage, tissue-wrapped Ralph Lauren sweaters and bags full of Tory Burch pumps.
What We Loved (too much to list but I’ll try)
- Hands free lift gate (kick your foot under the bumper to open the trunk)
- Adaptive cruise control
- Amazing Bose Panaray sound system
- That luscious interior with cashmere leather and walnut trim. Yum
- The Cadillac fragrance
- Panoramic sunroof
- Heads up display
- Night vision
- The video display mirror
- Massaging seats in front and back
- DVD screens that retract into the seat backs and wireless headphones
- Four wheel steering
- Capless gas tank
- OnStar and 4G LTE wifi
- All wheel drive
What you need to know
- The CT6 is a big sedan
- Seats 5, but most comfortable for 4
- Premium fuel recommended
- Base price: $56,000; price of the Platinum edition we tested: $88,000
- Fuel economy: 18 city/26 highway; we averaged about 20 MPG
- 4 year/50,000 mile warranty and scheduled maintenance included
- 6 year/70,000 mile powertrain warranty and roadside assistance included
Disclosure: Cadillac provided the CT6 for our review; opinions expressed here are all my own.