► Cadillac’s latest luxury saloon tested
► Stout performance and fine road manners
► On sale in the UK now for £69,990
Seventy thousand pounds. Cadillac. Left-hand-drive only. Three key phrases, that when uttered in sequence, will likely have as much effect on a potential UK buyer as someone screaming ‘Eject, Eject, Eject!’ at a fighter pilot on final approach.
Like most pilots, the majority of European-based luxury saloon buyers wouldn’t still be around to even register the final damning utterance – having sensibly evacuated the premises for the nearest Mercedes, BMW, Audi or Lexus dealership.
But what about those bold few, those who decide to tighten the straps, breathe deep and descend into the unknown – by walking into Cadillac’s sole UK dealership and ordering a CT6? Given that this car forms part of the company’s latest European assault, it needs to deliver.
History may lead you to expect a ham-fisted, softly sprung and unpowered affair; pleasingly, what you’ll find is a taut, lively and refined saloon – one that belies most expectations and drives in a thoroughly European fashion.
How is that possible? This is a Cadillac, after all.
It’s thanks to the CT6’s modern underpinnings. Power comes from a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 that cranks out 412bhp and 409lb ft, which is dispensed to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
All four wheels contribute to steering duties, too, while electronically adjustable magnetorheological suspension works to deliver a sensible balance between ride comfort and poise – and everything’s wrapped up in a shell that’s reputed to be stiffer than the likes of the current BMW 5-series and Audi A6.
Is it quick, then?
Straight-line performance impresses, with the surprisingly vocal V6 – reminiscent of a Nissan GT-R, no less – propelling the CT6 from 0-62mph in 5.7sec.
Alas, all is not perfect, because the twin-turbo powerplant is thoroughly hamstrung by a gearbox that’s as consistent as rolling a die when it comes to selecting gears. A shame, given that manually executed shifts are swift and sharp.
Does it fall apart when it gets to a corner?
Unfortunately, it’s a similar story of two halves on the handling front. The Cadillac’s fine body control, firm but compliant ride and precise steering are let down by brakes that are more wooden than your average Keanu Reeves performance.
Given the speed you can carry down more testing roads, the lack of bite and stopping authority quells your enthusiasm at a fair lick.
What else is worthy of note?
Sadly, some other stereotypical foibles remain. Cadillac appears to have forgotten to invite anyone who’s sat in a modern rival over for a while (give us a call, next time), so many of the trim finishes and interior details leave much to be desired.
The cabin’s otherwise comfortable and spacious, with room for four and a boot big enough to sate any mobster’s body count. It’s also stacked to the nines with high-end kit, which goes some way to reinstating an upmarket feel. Highlights include a terrific 34-speaker Bose sound system, a pin-sharp head-up display and a slick digital dash.
Ultimately, there’s much to be admired here – and what Cadillac has achieved is impressive, albeit requiring further work in areas. Unfortunately, there’s the ever-present incorrectly positioned elephant in the room – the fact the CT6 is offered only in left-hand drive.
Consequently, as far as UK buyers are concerned, the Cadillac’s about as easily justified as a round of Russian Roulette with a semi-automatic. And that’s before you consider its uncompetitive pricing and likely nose-diving residual values. Keep moving along, though, Cadillac – we’re watching, and waiting.
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