5. Cadillac CT6 – New kid on the cul-de-sac
Base price range: $65,000-$90,000 (estimated)
On tap for a model-year 2016 introduction, the all-new CT6 is “the Cadillac everyone’s been waiting for.” So say pundits in the auto-enthusiast media, and they may be right. It marks the return of a full-size Cadillac based on a rear-wheel-drive platform. That’s preferred by car buffs and most European automakers for its better-balanced driving dynamics versus front-wheel drive. And it promises roominess and features on par with class leaders, at less money and with less mileage- and performance-sapping weight.
About the size of a regular-wheelbase BMW 7 Series, the CT6 aims to muscle-in on a class dominated by Audi, BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz. It features handsome big-car looks, a spacious and richly appointed interior, and loads of technology. Eschewing a traditional V-8, the CT6 is instead powered by a choice of a 285-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, a 335-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6, and a new 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 estimated at 400 horsepower. All-wheel-drive is standard with the V-6s. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission. The myriad performance and convenience features are too numerous to list here, but includes a 360-degree-view around-the-car monitor (with on-the-go recording capabilities), articulating heated/cooled and massaging rear seats, and a 34-speaker Bose audio system. Cadillac hadn’t made the CT6 available for media test drives as of this report. But the automaker’s recent efforts to compete with the world’s best on their own terms has been a mix of hit and miss, with models like the compact ATS and midsize CTS winning plaudits for road manners but failing to convince large numbers of premium-car buyers to defect from the foreign brands. And Cadillac’s decision to label it the CT6 certainly won’t calm shoppers already confused by its me-too alphabet-soup naming convention.