2017 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid Test Drive Review

4 weeks ago by Matthew Askari 16

Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid

2017 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Review: Now Available In Eco-Chic

Caddy’s sleek upmarket offering goes green.

– Los Angeles, California

The top end of the luxury segment is increasingly flush with more efficient hybrid options, and Cadillac is joining the game with its own offering, the 2017 CT6 Plug-In. The hybrid variant of Caddy’s top model offers the automaker a competitive foot in the niche, fullsize, plush eco-cruiser segment that now includes plug-in hybrid versions of the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, and Porsche Panamera.

Largely a technology play, the CT6 Plug-In shows an American company can bring its own brand of electrically motivated hybrid technology to rival competitors from Germany and Japan. The 2.0E pairs Cadillac’s 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with an electric motor and battery pack, with total output rated at 335 horsepower, 432 pound-feet of torque, and an EPA-rated 62 MPGe.

Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid

Pros

Distinct styling. If the segment had a “which one of these is not like the others?” the answer would be clear. Sleek, modern, and immediately identifiable as a Cadillac, the CT6 Plug-In shares the same captivating lines as the non-hybrid version. It also looks fantastic on the the road, especially in motion.

CT6 PHV Dash Cluster

Amid a sea of luxe German and exotic cars during my drive in Los Angeles, Caddy’s new hybrid garnered a noteworthy share of glances. Slight visual cues such as the inscription door sills, hybrid badge, and blue “E” on the 2.0E trunk badge let people know there’s an electric motor on board as well. A unique gauge cluster and power flow screen also help differentiate the interior.

Price. Simply put, the 2017 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In is markedly less pricey than the competitive set. Available in only one well-equipped trim, the hybrid starts at $75,095 before delivery, which is about $15-25k below the starting prices for the German full-size hybrids from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche – and considerably less than how pricey the Germans get if you equip them comparably. The CT6 Plug-In comes with a standard panoramic sunroof, rear-seat entertainment screens, and a driver assistance package that includes Night Vision. When the Volvo S90 T8 Plug-In arrives, it should be more similarly priced to the electrified CT6.

The All-New Cadillac CT6 PHV Arrived In The US In March

Comfort. Even in Sport, the CT6 Plug-In is relatively quiet, and in Tour mode there’s an exceptionally little amount of road, wind, or engine noise. The suspension is competent over a variety of asphalt conditions, and overall the ride is smooth. The one exception is a slight lag when you depress the throttle while in motion, which is on account of the gasoline engine trying to match the ‘revs’ of the electric motor.

No matter where you’re sitting in the car, you’ll be comfortable, and those in the rear will find an abundance of leg and knee room, a factor that will be especially important in this car’s key market of China, where people often prefer to be chauffeured.

Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid

Cons

Not as luxurious. Cadillac’s green machine is priced below the German competition, but it’s also not quite as luxurious as S550e, nor does it handle quite like the BMW 740e xDrive. Small touches such as the pillow-top headrests and ambient lighting of Mercedes-Benz’s hybridized flagship are noticeably missing.

Size matters. Luxury buyers often still equate cylinder count with premium feel. The CT6 Plug-In plays in a unique segment, one that champions the ultimate in luxury, but also offers a slightly less-guilty conscience in regards to environmental impact.

Cadillac points out that it can pull the similar 0-60 times as competitors with fewer cylinders, but competitors can also point out they achieve similar efficiency ratings with a bigger block. Attitudes are certainly changing, but in this luxe sedan segment, egos are as outstretched as wheelbases.

Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid Gallery:

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16 responses to "2017 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid Test Drive Review"

  1. pjwood1 says:

    “America can bring its own..to rival Germany and Japan”?

    America was first with compelling PHEVS (cars with plugs)

    1. jelloslug says:

      Isn’t the car made in China?

      1. pjwood1 says:

        Is China bringing this car to the US?

  2. SJC says:

    This might sell in China with more leg room but not so much in the U.S. the price is too high, it is too heavy and it is made in China.

  3. Twonius says:

    You can buy a Tesla Model S75 for this money. Isn’t the point of PHEVs to be cheaper than BEVs?

    Perhaps the interior may not be as nice but I have a hard time beliving the Caddy will hold its value as well as the Tesla.

    Hopefully they have a nice lease rate to get them out the door.

  4. Scott says:

    +1 Twonius

  5. BenG says:

    Too pricey and the trunk is a joke. Won’t ever sell in volume.

  6. Volt says:

    Just looks extremely bland, boring and generic. Nothing exciting nor appealing about it.

    I’ll take a CPO Tesla

  7. Blastphemy says:

    The CT6 PHEV can’t have the Bose Panaray sound system, among other features found in the gas-only models. If “SuperCruise” is ever released by Cadillac, that also won’t be possible in the CT6 due to the location of the batteries. And if you think this car matches the acceleration of competitors, just try accelerating with battery alone – it’s a joke (and after 2/3 throttle or above 78mph the gas kicks in whether you like it or not).

  8. pjwood1 says:

    I don’t know why I feel defensive, like a mother, for this car. You have GM-haters, GM/fanboys who hate imported GM, and a lot of critics. Whatever:

    -Try all-battery acceleration of 7-Series, Panamera, or S-class, vs. the ‘lac. Heck, try BMW’s i8, for its 9.3 second 0-60. Blastphemy?
    -Try getting to 78mph in electric mode, with the anemic Euros
    -Open the CT6 trunk, check out the echo inside, and realize there’s room for ~18KWh and your stuff.
    -Quiet used to be a Car & Driver’s standard luxury metric (in decibels):
    “Comfort. Even in Sport, the CT6 Plug-In is relatively quiet, and in Tour mode there’s an exceptionally little amount of road, wind, or engine noise.” Hint, a full-sauce battery doubles the quiet-time.

    Is this true?
    “competitors can also point out they achieve similar efficiency ratings with a bigger block. ”
    Porsche – No EPA figures, and we know how VW says lots of things
    BMW – A 2.0L four, with 14 miles electric range. No bigger engine, weak-sauce battery
    CT6- A 2.0L four, with 31 miles electric range
    S550e – A 3.0L, with 14 miles of range, a lower MPGe and weak-sauce battery

    Significantly higher electric-range is economically more efficient. It’s more environmentally efficient (if you aren’t driving >100 miles every day), and its more electrically powerful. Yes, attitudes are changing. Battery is what makes Tesla beat all off the line, and of these four GM gives you a lot more. They compete. Amen.

    1. BenG says:

      Yep, good post. The CT6 is nothing to sneeze at, and I would prefer it over it’s other high-end plug-in competition with one huge exception: Tesla. Compared to a purpose-designed EV the battery placement on the Caddy is pathetic.

      Model S kills this car. No question I’d take any nice CPO Model S 85 over the CT6 new.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        BenG, I’ll Sneeze at it.

        The ELR is the far more beautiful car, and got its ‘understated elegance’ without gadgets and doo-dads.

        The ‘superpowerful’ XTS is a dog handling and responsiveness-wise compared to my 2014 ELR. I doubt this PHEV will be any better than the ELR, Except in straight-line performance which I could care less about. The ELR runs all the time as an ELECTRIC vehicle if the juice is available. Not like the ct6 phev that starts the engine at the drop of a hat.

        Car and Driver loved the ELR, stating that it ‘seems faster than it really is’.

        The car will also easily go 50 miles during the spring and fall on the back roads, which is something I highly doubt the CT6 Phev can do. I also don’t think Cadillac will sell the car as cheaply as they eventually did with the ELR.

        Its a rather moot point to me anyway, the nearest certified dealer is in michigan, and it won’t be available until almost 2018 anyway. This CT6 is to me, going in the wrong direction. I prefer American Made vehicles anyway. I don’t want to put any Americans out of work by buying the wrong car.

        1. BenG says:

          The ELR was a sweet car, but it was doomed to be a low sales, niche vehicle by its high price and 2 door configuration.

          The CT6 PHEV is also doomed to be a low sales, niche vehicle by its high price and loss of trunk space compared to the ICE version. But if someone wants a full-size luxury sedan that plugs in, the CT6 potentially fits the bill at a reasonable price premium to the base model. If the trunk is not an issue I could see a fair number of people being happy with it.

          The ELR on the other hand was grossly over-priced for what it delivered. I guess at the end you could find drastic discounting that would bring it down to realistic prices but the retail price of ~$70,000 after tax credits was way out of line.

          The 2016 ELR was an improvement, with its performance bump and $10,000 retail price drop, but compared to what else you could buy for $60,000 it still was doomed to low sales for being uncompetitive on price/performance compared to its ICE competition.

  9. Dr. Miguelito Loveless says:

    Personally, I think the ELR was better looking and “greener” than this. And the ELR didn’t sell because at that price you can have a Tesla and a much nicer car.

    1. BenG says:

      True, but the CT6 is a bigger, more powerful car that will ride 4 large adults in comfort. It’s a better Model S competitor than the ELR.

    2. Bacardi says:

      It’s not made for us, it’s made in China for the Chinese customer…We’re lucky to get one at all…

      Primary U.S. buyer for this is someone who wants a big luxury sedan and a HOV sticker…

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