The 2018 Cadillac CT6 is the full-size sedan flagship of GM’s luxury brand. It’s a car GM hopes will move it closer to being viewed as competition for the German luxury trio of Audi, BMW, and of course Mercedes-Benz.

With the CT6, Cadillac combines a spare, elegant, and distinctive design with a lightweight body, excellent handling and roadholding, and a plug-in hybrid model that beats the Germans decisively on range. Its four trim levels are base, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum.

For 2018, the CT6 adds a SuperCruise adaptive cruise control option that allows hands-off driving. Other changes are minor, including the addition of gas and brake pedal operation to the Park Assist feature, and a few new paint colors. The CT6 Plug-In arrived late in the 2017 model year, though its sales are focused on California and just a few other states.

With the full model range now in place and SuperCruise soon to arrive, we’ve rated the CT6 a 7.8 out of 10. It wins points for sleek lines, a roomy and comfortable back seat, surprisingly good handling, and the plug-in hybrid’s prowess.

While the 2018 Cadillac CT6 has many excellent technology features, none of them really transforms the class. The one exception may be the SuperCruise hands-off adaptive cruise control system that will arrive during this model year; read Motor Authority's coverage of the system. The CT6 gets extra points above our base score of 5 for its standard and optional features, as well as for its infotainment system, though there are some qualifications on that last one.

The CT6 is sold in base, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum models. The base car’s 2.0-liter turbo-4 powers only the rear wheels. The top three trim levels offer the choice of a 3.6-liter V-6 or a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6, with optional all-wheel drive. All versions include leather, heated front seats with a power adjustable driver’s seat, power adjustable steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a rearview camera.

The Driver Awareness and Convenience Package standard. It comes with forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking; blind-spot monitors; lane-departure warning and active lane control; and a panoramic sunroof. It’s an option for the base model, but standard on all other trims.

The Luxury trim adds niceties like 16-way power adjustable front seats, an automatic heated steering wheel, and a 10-speaker version of the Bose audio system. Above that, the Premium Luxury model ventilates the front seats, heats the rear seats, and adds a larger 12-inch digital gauge cluster, a head-up display, the rear camera mirror (with a new camera washer this year), and 19-inch alloy wheels.

Options and infotainment

A lengthy list of options include an active chassis system with magnetic adjustable dampers, rear-wheel steering, and 20-inch wheels. More extravagant is the rear-seat executive package—developed, we suspect, for Chinese buyers as much as North Americans—that bundles a host of luxe features. Those include power reclining and massaging rear seats that are both heated and cooled, rear climate controls, a center armrest with media controls, HDMI input, wireless headphones, and twin 10-inch entertainment screens on the backs of the front seats.

The top audio system is a $3,700 Bose Panaray with 34 speakers, though we didn’t find it to give quite the sound quality with uncompressed audio files that the newest Burmester or Bang & Olufsen setups do in luxury competitors.

The CT6 Platinum model dispenses with options altogether, including every package listed above plus a Driver Assistance with Night Vision Package. Still, the CT6 lacks the broad range of trim options and customized interiors offered by the best of the German brands. While Cadillac is working hard on its dealer experience, CT6 buyers don't get the valet service of Hyundai's fledgling Genesis brand. They do get free maintenance for three years, in addition to a 4-year, 50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Finally, a word on the CT6 infotainment system. Every version includes a Bose audio system with eight speakers, OnStar 4G LTE with a wi-fi hotspot, satellite radio, three USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, and wireless mobile phone charging. The CUE interface now uses a 10.2-inch touchscreen in the center of the dash. We’ve given the car a point for this system not for the embedded CUE software, but because Apple CarPlay works almost flawlessly. The CT6 is one of few luxury sedans to offer the Apple conduit for safe smartphone usage (the Mercedes E-Class is another). Once you’ve used CarPlay, or perhaps its Android Auto counterpart, to send text messages by voice or to locate a destination, it’s clear why the simple, stripped-down interface is easier to use than virtually any interface supplied by a carmaker. Even f


    • thesemfnnutts

      I hate these computer voices videos. How hard is it to have a human reading it

      about 10 months ago
    • Cars Overview
      Cars Overview

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    • steven wentling
      steven wentling

      California ? I wouldn't live in California if I owned it

      about 1 year ago
    • steven wentling
      steven wentling

      We like ours

      about 1 year ago