The 2016 CT6 is Cadillac’s answer to the large, rear-wheel-drive luxury sedans from Germany that have dominated the small and fading segment for years. Some American entries have failed to compete in the segment, but Cadillac promises it has done its homework with the CT6. Here’s what some critics and others are saying about the sedan that debuted last week at the New York auto show.
“It’s never been harder [to revive a premium car segment]. It’s going to take tremendous time and money. I’m not saying it can’t work, but there’s a lot of cultural inertia behind Cadillac, and there’s a huge amount of competition coming from a German auto industry that’s getting even more aggressive. There’s not going to be any quick win. ... Cadillac is selling the traditional metrics of automotive excellence, which are design, engineering and performance. That’s what they’ve been doing for the past 100 years. That’s not really daring. Daring is having a robot drive you.”
-- Adam Jonas, Morgan Stanley automotive analyst, in The New York Times
“I’m not sold on Cadillac’s latest naming convention, as it will lead to more confusion than the existing nomenclature, but if the CT6 provides a powerful blend of advanced luxury features and capable performance, the name won’t hold it back.”
-- Kelley Blue Book analyst Karl Brauer
"Some analysts and critics will question why the first new Cadillac since [Johan] de Nysschen took the reins last September is a large sedan when most of the luxury market growth is coming in the segments of small and midsize cars and crossover vehicles. But the CT6 is meant to make a statement that Cadillac is raising the bar for itself. In the U.S., de Nysschen will be judged as much by the critical reaction to this car, as by sales after it rolls into showrooms early next year."
-- Greg Gardner, Detroit Free Press
"The Cadillac CT6 is not a radical departure from the other cars in its lineup, and that’s a good thing. With sharp edges and well-defined lines, the CT6 looks massive and intimidating, belying the performance that Cadillac says lies underneath. The front says “get out of my way!”, while the inside looks exquisite, with a luxurious and contemporary look that matches the exterior. The car is gorgeous inside and out."
-- Jordan Golson, Wired
"If the CT6 is close to Cadillac's 3,700-pound claim, then the newly patriated lower Manhattan brand has what the boys and gals from biz school call a unique selling proposition."
-- Jonny Lieberman, Motor Trend
“This is the car that’s supposed to be driving Cadillac’s future. This is the car that’s supposed to be pointing the way for American luxury. This isn’t supposed to be a competitor to the big German flagships, but it’s getting there. This is the 2016 Cadillac CT6. This might be the return to big back-seat American cruising. Most Cadillacs we’ve seen of the current-generation ATS and CTS have had a focus on the driver, with control dynamics lightyears ahead of any old-school Cadillac. But if you were worried about Cadillac losing its roots, about Cadillac forgetting what it means not to drive, but to be driven around, about Cadillac missing what it means to be a Cadillac, fear not. Because, like its Germanic rivals, it’s bringing things back to the back seat.”
-- Michael Ballaban, Jalopnik
“The CT6 is a far cry from the Elmiraj, the sleek concept car from which the CT6 was derived, and which was on display at last year’s auto show. That was a worthy successor to my father’s DeVille. But evidently bold and daring have their limits, even for the new Cadillac.”
-- James B. Stewart, The New York Times
“The CT6 is stuffed with luxury. Leather, wood and carbon fiber are part of the interior mix. Let’s not forget LED lighting, either.”
-- Jonny Lieberman, Motor Trend
“The CT6’s proportions, emphasis on efficient low-displacement performance, and allotment of rear legroom has it poised to sell big in a growth market beyond our shores: China. Like Lincoln with the upcoming Continental, Cadillac wants a larger slice of China’s booming luxury-car market, and the CT6 production plans follow that line.”
-- Robert Sorokanich, Car and Driver
“Building a luxurious frigate with real sporting intent is difficult. And whether the CT6 lives up to that promise remains to be seen. But carries impressive credentials. The battle for sporting luxury supremacy begins next spring.”
-- Eric Evarts, Consumer Reports