EV Review: 2018 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In

 In Electric Cars

Introduction

The North American large car market is shrinking as more car buyers lean toward SUVs and trucks. Yet, General Motors has been pushing the Cadillac CT6 heavily. It’s surprising, especially since this is a model that is nowhere near their best-seller domestically. Its three gas-powered trims are built in Detroit, but the Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid is manufactured in China. That seems to be the target audience for this electrified luxury car, and any sales in North America are counted as a bonus.

The 2018 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In on its own is a great car with excellent all-electric range. It’s the beneficiary of years of learning on the back of the Chevrolet Volt, but it’s a much more refined vehicle than the bowtie-wearing hybrid. Its combined 335 horsepower and under six-second 0-to-60 acceleration mean the CT6 Plug-In is an enjoyable car to drive.

Primarily, the concern is not in WHAT the CT6 Plug-In is but in WHO it appeals to. It’s a wonderful luxury sedan but are there enough luxury hybrid car buyers to go around? At its $75,000 price point, some shoppers will opt for an all-electric Tesla Model S or a non-electrified high-powered V8 instead.

Exterior styling

It’s the new traditional look. The 2018 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In would have been a stunning model just a half-dozen years ago. As the auto market exists today, the CT6 Plug-In simply doesn’t do anything eye-catching or bold. Compare it with the attractive Lexus features or the Acura RLX and you’ll find that 90 percent of the attention wanders away from the CT6.

2018 Cadillac CT6 Plug-InIt’s not all drab, however. Standard 18-inch multi-spoke wheels, chrome details, and the nouveau Cadillac headlight design, as well as LED taillights, are an excellent touch. Perhaps even a color palette with vivacious hues would liven up the car.

Fit and finish interior

Cadillac interiors are notoriously high-grade and cohesive. Unfortunately, the CT6 Plug-In lacks the latter. The leather interior is hand-stitched of fine leather but is used next to low-end GM plastic components for a dissonance that is hard to get over.

Getting into the comfort aspect is easy. The leather upholstery on the front seats is both heated and ventilated, and the rear outboard seats are heated also. Of course, Keyless Access and Keyless Open and Start are standard on this high-end Caddy. Standard equipment includes manual rear side window shades and a power rear window shade also, which are key features in separating premium cars from luxury models.

cadillac-ct6-plug-in-dashElectronics and tech features are almost too many to list. All standard in the 2018 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In are a Rear Camera Mirror, Adaptive Cruise Control, Surround Vision Recorder, Head-Up Display, a 12-inch all-digital cluster, rear seat infotainment, Qi-compatible wireless charging, Bose Premium sound with 10 speakers, Cadillac CUE, and much more.

Unquestionably, the 2018 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In has the equipment to satisfy the purchaser if they find the interior attractive enough to buy. And whether you sit in the front seat or the rear, you’ll be comfortable and entertained for long and short trips alike.

Driving Experience

One thing really shines through with the 2018 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In, and it’s the performance. Its horsepower is rated midway between the twin-turbo V6 trim and the 2.0-liter turbo four. With an acceleration time of 5.2 seconds from 0 to 60 mph, the CT6 Plug-In accomplishes an exciting driving experience.

cadillac-ct6-plug-in-overheadOf course, it drives like a Cadillac. It’s a smooth yet firm ride that erases most bumps and cracks in the road. The electric steering is a little dead in feel but responds with precision. What most Cadillacs don’t have is the regenerative braking technology of the CT6, and it’s quite remarkable. It’s adjustable with paddles on the steering wheel to accommodate the driving feel you want.

Because Cadillac drivers may be used to high-displacement V8 engines, the silent electric drive will feel abnormal at first. But the tradeoff is certainly in the fuel efficiency. The single-digit mile-per-gallon rating from the 70’s is replaced by a very good 62 MPGe.

Features

MSRP $75,095 USD
Type PHEV
Electric Range 31 miles / 50 km
Total Range 440 miles / 712 km
Time to Charge 4.5 hours (Level 2)
Electric Motor 52 kW
Battery Capacity 18.4 kWh
Top Speed 78 mph / 126 km/h
Warranty 4 years/50,000 miles or 80,000 km

Conclusion

It’s unfortunate that GM wrapped a Cadillac large sedan body around this content. It has all the makings of a fantastic, popular model aside from the less-than-inspired exterior and glaring plastic pieces inside and could be successful in a GM hybrid SUV or even the Cadillac XT5. The 2018 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In has a niche market, typically for the executive class.

Top Competitors

  • 2018 Acura RLX Sport Hybrid
  • 2018 BMW 530e iPerformance
  • 2018 Mercedes-Benz C350e Plug-In
  • 2018 Lexus GS 450h

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