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2019 cadillac CT6

The American luxury car manufacturers have long been absent from serious contention in the large sedan segment. No more. Cadillac's CT6 is a no-joke entry to compete with the best Germany and Japan have to offer in the luxury executive car segment.

Recent changes
Cadillac expanded the CT6 line-up with a V-Sport model powered by a brand-new turbocharged V8 engine.

Overview
It all begins with an exterior that's at once elegant and assertive, sophisticated and sporty. Separate but aligned LED running lights in the swept-back headlights and lower front fascia provide a unique bit of flair, while a broad grille and elongated hood hint at the sedan's rear-wheel drive architecture.

The cabin blends a modern design with high-quality furnishings, with trim choices including anodized aluminum, carbon fiber and numerous selections of wood. None need be qualified by an "imitation-" prefix - they're the real deal. Premium "Opus" leather is available, but it doesn't stop there. Cadillac offers other leather options, carbon fiber, exotic woods and other interior combinations in order to help each customer tailor his her ownership experience.

As with all modern Cadillacs, the CT6 is fitted with CUE — Cadillac's infotainment system — which is operated through a touchscreen interface in the center stack along with capacitive-touch controls. Similar to tablet devices, it lets users tap, flick and swipe to control Bluetooth connectivity, entertainment and navigation functions while also providing access to weather information, local fuel prices, Pandora internet radio and more.

The CT6 aims to be a car that is just as pleasant to be driven in as it is to drive. As such, the rear seat received a great deal of attention. An articulating rear seat package allows 3.3 inches of adjustability, along with lumbar adjustment, tilting cushions, a massage and heating/ventilation.

The center console is adorned with inputs and controls for the expansive rear seat infotainment system. USB and HDMI inputs allow for device connectivity, while 10-inch retracting screens in the seatbacks provide the venue.

Other premium features available include a 34-speaker Bose Panaray audio system, "quadzone" climate control (front and rear dual-zone), concierge approach lighting, a hands-free power decklid and segment-leading interior storage.

Power and performance
The CT6 can be optioned with one of five powertrain configurations. A turbocharged four-cylinder leads it off, followed by two V6s — one naturally aspirated and the other twin-turbocharged — and a plug-in hybrid drivetrain. The range-topping offering is a V8. All engines are paired exclusively to an eight-speed automatic transmission with the exception of the hybrid, which shifts through a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The four-cylinder is a two-liter, turbocharged unit producing 265 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and a very respectable 295 lb-ft of torque between 3,000 and 4,500 rpm. This engine is rated for 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, making it very efficient for a large sedan with no hybrid option. It is only available in a rear-wheel-drive configuration.

The next step up is a 3.6-liter, naturally aspirated V6. It makes 335 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 284 lb-ft of torque at 5,300. It's good for 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. This engine is offered only with all-wheel-drive.

Next up is Cadillac's twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter V6. This excellent motor delivers 404 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque, the former at 5,700 rpm and the latter from just 2,500. Like the 3.6-liter six, this engine is offered only with all-wheel-drive. Fuel economy is rated at 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway—both very respectable for a sedan of this size.

The range-topping CT6 V-Sport benefits from a twin-turbocharged, 4.2-liter V8. The specifications sheet sounds like it describes a European sports sedan: the turbochargers are placed on top of the engine, in a hot V configuration, to deliver 550 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque.

Going green
The plug-in hybrid option teams the base CT6's turbo four with an electric motor that draws power from a 18.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The system's total output checks in at 335 horsepower and a stout 432 pound-feet of torque, enough for a zero-to-60-mph sprint of 5.2 seconds.

Fuel economy checks in at 26 mpg in the city, 23 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg in a combined cycle. The battery pack stores enough electricity to give the CT6 an electric-only range of up to 33 miles.

Cadillac makes the plug-in CT6 alongside the Buick Envision in Shanghai, China. Non-electrified models are manufactured in Michigan.

Standard and optional features
The CT6 is offered in five trim levels: CT6 (base), Luxury, Premium Luxury, Platinum, and V-Sport.

As befits a luxury car, the basic CT6 model comes very well-equipped. Standard features include an eight-speaker Bose audio system, OnStar with LTE, auto stop/start, 18" alloy wheels, body-colored door handles, a capless fueling system, laminated acoustic front glass, heated and power-adjustable outside mirrors, LED front and rear lighting, dual-zone climate control, driver's seat memory, front and rear dual USB charging ports, front and rear power outlets and rear auxiliary inputs and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The CT6 comes standard with the two-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with rear-wheel drive, but it can also be ordered with the 3.6L naturally aspirated six and all-wheel-drive. V6 models can be equipped with an available ground effects package and also come standard with dual exhaust outlets.

Buyers have several option packages to choose from. The Driver Awareness and Convenience package bundles features like forward collision alert, automatic safety belt tightening, a panoramic sunroof, lane-change alert, and heated front seats. The Exterior Accent package includes a spoiler and 20-inch alloy wheels, among other add-ons.

Safety
Standard features include front, front-side, front-knee and side-curtain airbags. DRLs are also standard, as are LATCH anchors, a basic rear-view camera and OnStar basic/emergency services. Forward collision alert, low speed automatic braking, a following distance indicator, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, pedestrian detection (front), rear cross traffic alert, automatic safety belt tightening, blind spot monitoring can all be added via packages, as can adaptive cruise control.

Key competitors
The CT6 has different rivals depending on whether you're attracted by its price or its size. It's priced on the same level as mid-size luxury sedans like the Audi A6, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the Jaguar XF, and the BMW 5 Series. In terms of dimensions, it's in the same league as full-size models like the Audi A6, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the Jaguar XJ, and the BMW 7 Series.