I got hands on time with most new Cadillac models on sale. Cadillac had an event ( that some of you on here might have known about) called Truth + Dare. It was held in the spacious parking lot of Angels Stadium in Anaheim. It was a great experience and I learned a couple of things as well. These are my impressions and take away’s.
For starters: I have been really critical of Cadillac. I want them to succeed, but the sales and image aren’t there. Today changed my perspective for the better about the vehicles, though I still don’t think the sales will be there. The Cadillac’s on sale today for those of you who may not know, are competitive and on par with the worlds best. From the CTS-V’s monstrous performance, to both the CT6 and CT6 Hybrid being rolling tech beds for the line up, they have no problem competing. Its just getting people to pay attention to them.
Interior quality across the board is top notch, even on the low end non top trim sedans, with the exception of the XT5. The Platinum trim interior is fantastic:
Anything lower and the cheapness shows. The lower ATS trims were nice as well inside. But that’s the downside: you shouldn’t have to pay the big bucks to get the quality. It defeats the purpose of them being a luxury brand. A lowly 34 grand 4 pot ATS should have the same interior quality as the rest of the cars.
I got to drive and fiddle with the CT6 and the the CT6 Hybrid. All cars that were there were stright from the factory, brand new. Most if not all had 7 or less miles on it. And on hand according to the officials there, there were 3 of 14 CT6 Hybrids in the whole country. Let me say this: for it not quite being a flagship, its phonomeal. The tech and safety features it has are execptional:
- 4 Wheel Steering that actually works.
- Damn near military grade night vision system
- A myriad number of driver aids and alerts that are customizable
- Park assist that was surprisingly easy to use
- Autonomous braking that they actually let us experience. It works. Damn well.
- Cross traffic alert
The list goes on and on. I got to take both the CT6 and Plug in Hybrid for a quick drive around the town and it was quiet and composed. In the Hybrid it dead quiet from it being able to run EV only. That’s a big plus in town traffic. I also found the CUE system easy to use in conjunction with a sort of mouse pad surface that the CT6 has by the center arm rest. The updated version of CUE isn’t laggy at all but it takes some getting used to. I saw a few older people struggling with it. The 2 downsides to the CT6 Plug In that I didn’t like were its range, which officials pegged at 30 miles and how much the battery packs eat up the trunk space:
They also let us try out the ATS, and CTS on autocross tracks, and the ATS-V and CTS-V on straight line drag runs. The ATS is a capable M3/AMG/S fighter, but the CTS-V is a monster:
I would gladly buy it over any M5/E AMG etc. I also applaud Cadillac for bring Brembo’s to the lower models. They stated that they were so impressed with the performance of them on the V models, they decided to make them options on the lower trims. So you can get a Brembo’s on the 4 and 6 cylinder ATS and CTS and they work fantastic. The CTS is ok auto crossing, but the ATS with its smaller chassis ( and terrible rear seat room) combined with the Brembo’s, will make a believer out of any 3 Series faithful.
Now comes the tidbits that I got. The CTS-V pictured stickered as optioned as it was, with carbon fiber interior trim, carbon fiber rear spoiler and front lip, was just over $101 grand. When I saw that, I started to go around ask the most people I could what they thought about the cars and the prices on most of the cars. The gist of what I got was that while they were impressed with the cars and appreciated something American made being that quality and competitive, almost no one I talked to out of the many many people that were there thought they were worth the prices, and they wouldn’t pay for them new. One man a dedicated Caddy fan, said he makes it a point to watch for 2-3 year old models because they are a better value used than new. I felt that was sort of a big blow but I understood it.
In the mist of everything though I got to talk to one of their product people: She said she couldn’t speak to everything when I told her about the rumors of whats coming, but 2 things that she did confirm was that: there is a crossover coming next year called the XT4, the 7 seater crossover was coming but it wont be called XT7 as everyone had thought, and that the larger than CT6 flagship would be here by 20', though a name for it hasn’t been decided yet and that that specific model is really being kept secret.
All in all, it was a great experience. Cadillac has really stepped their game up quality and performance wise to compete with the worlds best. The problem they are still having though is actually getting buyers to notice them