$44,594 - $72,390

2018 Cadillac CT6 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 Cadillac CT6 was new.


Performance: 8.9

The 2018 Cadillac CT6 has four potent powertrains to choose from, and it comes standard with rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available. The base engine is more fuel-efficient than many rivals’ standard engines. As for road manners, the CT6 isn’t a sports car, but it does have pretty good athleticism for a large sedan, and the ride is comfortable.

  • "It really doesn't matter which engine you choose; when it comes to dynamic cornering and seat-of-the-pants handling, Cadillac's 2017 CT6 luxury-performance sedan knows what it's doing. … Even the base, rear-drive CT6 with the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is an absolute joy to drive. Toss in AWD, the 404-horsepower turbo V6 and the Active Chassis Package with 4-wheel steering, and you'll get a car equally at home on the Nurburgring as it is the 405 freeway." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "Both versions of the CT6 we sampled steer with more clarity than a 2016 BMW 750i xDrive with the M Sport package. The Cadillac feels nimbler and unquestionably lighter on its feet than its competitors from behind the steering wheel." -- Motor Trend (2016)
  • "The CT6 is not as plush, cushy or isolating as its rivals. This is a car that delivers distinct road feel that we find reassuring. The ride quality is still deep within the realms of comfortable, but if you're looking for comfort above all else, there are better options in the class." -- Edmunds (2016)

Acceleration and Power

The CT6 comes standard with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 265 horsepower. It has plenty of power for all driving situations, and it gets better fuel economy than many other luxury large cars’ base engines, earning 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway (according to Cadillac’s estimates).

Two V6 engines are available, but only with all-wheel-drive models: a 335-horsepower 3.6-liter and a 404-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter. In addition to more overall power, the V6 engines also provide quicker acceleration. They aren’t as fuel-efficient, however. Both engines earn 18 mpg in the city and either 27 or 26 mpg on the highway. All engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Finally, you can opt for a plug-in hybrid version of the CT6, which features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that combine to produce 335 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) comes with this powertrain. Don't assume that this hybrid is slow, however; Cadillac claims it goes 0-60 mph in just 5.2 seconds. The CT6 Plug-in Hybrid can go 31 miles on electric power alone, earning 62 mpg-equivalent combined. It gets 25 mpg combined city-highway under gasoline power.

  • "A 204.1-inch sedan riding on a 122.4-inch wheelbase is a lot of car for a four-cylinder engine, but the CT6 2.0T manages the 0-60-mph sprint in a respectable 6.4 seconds and the quarter mile in 14.7 seconds at 92.8 mph. Although you're always faintly aware the engine is working hard, the better-than-expected performance is thanks to a meaty chunk of midrange torque – 295 lb-ft is on tap from 3,000 rpm to 4,500 rpm-short gearing, and impressive attention to lightweighting." -- Motor Trend (2017)
  • "The 2017 CT6 from Cadillac offers three different engines, each backed by a smooth and responsive paddle-shiftable 8-speed automatic transmission. Base motivator is a 265-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder fitted to the rear-drive CT6 which is roughly 300-400 pounds lighter than the AWD-only V6 models. It develops a healthy 295 lb-ft of peak torque – 11 more twist units than the 335-horsepower naturally aspirated 3.0-liter V6 – and while both give the new CT6 brisk acceleration the 4-cylinder boasts slightly better fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)
  • "The top 404-hp engine has good power but doesn't try to turn a gentle drive around town into a growling match – it's understated power, though a later jaunt in the base 2.0-liter version of the sedan ends up being our favorite engine of the three. The 265-hp unit feels the best suited to the eight-speed transmission, gently producing shifts without announcing every change of the cogs. The 2.0-liter also wins us over with its linear, predictable throttle response and quiet operation, in addition to noticeable weight savings as we sample the various versions of the CT6 back to back." -- Autoweek (2016)

Handling and Braking

Rear-wheel drive comes standard in the CT6, and all-wheel drive is available. Sharp steering and an athletic suspension give the CT6 good agility for a large sedan. The ride isn’t as smooth as that of some rivals, but the CT6 won’t jar you around over uneven pavement.

  • "The base CT6 feels nimble and relatively lightweight, with crisp steering response. The V6-powered cars, meanwhile, feel slightly duller, but they perk right up with the optional Active Chassis package, which combines all-wheel drive, all-wheel steering and an adaptive suspension to create a truly surprising amount of capability and driver engagement." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "The smaller engine also means less mass over the front axle – front to rear weight distribution is 51/49 percent, compared with 53/47 percent in the all-wheel-drive 3.0TT – and that means the four-cylinder CT6 feels noticeably more responsive to the helm than its V-6 siblings and nimbler than many other cars of its size. It flows nicely through corners, with decent levels of grip and well-controlled body motions. In fact, the conventionally damped 2.0T rides much better than the all-wheel-drive CT6 3.0TT equipped with the trick MagneRide adaptive shocks, with none of that car's jarring vertical impacts and jittery tire patter." -- Motor Trend (2017)
  • "Cadillac designed the CT6 from the ground up to use not only all-wheel drive but also four-wheel steering and Magnetic Ride Control to mask its exterior dimensions, which are not exactly European-sized. Four-wheel steering operates in two modes depending on the car's speed, giving the CT6 a tighter turning radius when maneuvering at low speeds and improving chassis response at higher speeds." -- Autoweek (2016)

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