2016 Cadillac CT6 Premium Luxury AWD:
Something new from Cadillac.
Price: $81,840 as tested. The trim level begins at $67,570, and a base model - if anyone thought of taking that to the country club - starts at $53,495. (Active Chassis Package added $3,300 and white paint was $995. More options discussed throughout.)
Marketer's pitch: "Excellence without compromise."
Conventional wisdom: Edmunds liked its rear passenger space, engaging driving experience, V6 engines, and price, but not its infotainment interface or comparatively small trunk.
Reality: Slotted above the rest of the Cadillac sedans, the CT6 brings some impressive technology and driving experience to the table.
A trip to the mountains: Way back during this summer's heat dome, we headed to the coolest place within a couple of hours' drive, Eagles Mere, Pa. Population: 119; elevation: 2,061; current year: roughly 1972.
Here the power went down probably every 15 minutes; the WiFi was so disappointing the Lovely Mrs. Passenger Seat, Sturgis Kid 4.0, and I actually ended up talking; and cell signals are limited to events involving neurons and your autonomous nervous system.
Stormy skies: We tested out the all-wheel drive during a monsoon on one of my least favorite stretches of I-80, one of my least favorite highways in the universe. The CT6 handled the gushing highway with aplomb, even better than an Escalade I tested last year during a New Jersey Turnpike typhoon.
Night shift: The late show just got a bazillion times easier in the CT6.
The night-vision system is a little small, because it's limited to about the size of the speedometer, but it really offers some assistance. It helped me avoid a pedestrian crossing a dark street in West Chester one night. It also helped me avoid a deer as well.
If it could get a little larger and more front and center without distracting the driver, the night vision would be the best thing ever. (It was part of the $4,380 Driver Assist Package, which also added adaptive cruise control and automatic braking.)
Screens aplenty: The CT6 also came with inside rearview auto-dim with rear camera mirror. This offers a camera setting on the rearview mirror.
The angle is clearer than Mr. Driver's Seat is accustomed to, and closer, because drivers no longer have to factor in the space through the interior and across the trunk. Rear-seat passengers also don't block the space either.
One screen short: Someone needs to invent the lane-change camera. The CT6 door pillar is too big and made changing lanes a bit more exciting than necessary.
Driver's Seat: I found the leather-covered Driver's Seat to be roomy and exceedingly comfortable, although the Lovely (but suddenly dainty) Mrs. Passenger Seat deemed her side a little too hard. (Heat in the rear and vents in the front seats add $900 to the price tag.)
Up to speed: The 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 held plenty of power - a whopping 404 horses - so climbing the hills to Sullivan County never left the car gasping for air.
Shifty: The eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters mainly did its job without interference. One big however, though - on more than one full throttle, I got a tremendous hesitation before the power came through. And on one passing occasion, I changed my mind and let off the throttle - and the car stayed in fourth or fifth gear for probably 10 seconds before switching.
On the road: Handling was pretty good for a large sedan, but not perfect. The curves could be fun, but the big Caddy did lean a little bit.
Friends and stuff: The trunk holds a not-too-impressive 15.3 cubic feet - two large suitcases, a few small bags, and three beach chairs.
Sturgis Kid 4.0 found his 6-foot frame nestled into the rear seat quite well. Middle-seat passengers are out of luck, though, as the hump is tall enough to be worthy of a sports car.
Keeping cool: The temperature controls have nice sliders that allow operation without using the touch screen. But low center vents mean your coffee stays cool while your neck stays sweaty.
Play some tunes: The Panaray sound system is top of the line, with speakers everywhere, even in the headrests (price tag: $3,700!). Sound is excellent, and I find the interface simple to use, although other auto writers have complained.
Fuel economy: I averaged about 22 mpg in a lot of highway and country-road driving. Feed the CT6 premium, though.
Cadillac went to great lengths to improve the fuel economy, though, having the engine switch from six- to four-cylinder and also having an auto stop-start function.
Where it's built: Detroit.
How it's built: Consumer Reports predicts its reliability will be good.
In the end: There's lots to recommend Cadillac's new flagship.