So, is the Cadillac CT6 Plug-in Plush and Swanky or Bizarre Chevrolet Grade?
Depends on perspective. Let's say you are coming from an S550e or another German über sedan, then you may be let down by the Cadillac. Take it away Motor Trend:
You get a lot of car for $76,000 compared to the Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid, Mercedes-Benz S550e, and BMW 740e—but there are plenty of places where Cadillac misses the high bar the Germans have set (the 530e plug-in is also available for those who don’t mind a smaller back seat). The interior, for all its creature comforts, doesn’t have an interior design that’s as inspired as the Germans.
Not only is the design arguably too safe, but the material choice is frankly bizarre.
There’s an old rule one of my high school hockey coaches had: don’t ever eat anything with more than five ingredients on a game day because it’ll only slow you down.
The same basic rule can be applied to automotive interiors: pick three materials as your thematic elements, and stick to it. Anything else is overkill. Volvo is the master at this. The S90 features leather, wood, and a hint of aluminum. Cadillac unfortunately takes the shotgun approach with the CT6—on the dash alone there’s perforated leather, piano black trim, satin aluminum, carbon fiber, and a black walnut-looking wood. Less is more. The piano black and carbon fiber can go. A luxury flagship doesn’t need to look sporty even if it is.
Cadillac’s interior quality is all over the map, ranging from hard Chevrolet-grade plastics in spots where Cadillac doesn’t think you’ll notice (such as the door pockets) to varying grades of leather on less-trafficked touch points such as the dash tops to actually top-tier materials on the seats and steering wheel.
So, see, matter solved. The Cadillac's interior uses too diverse materials, is Chevrolet grade, and/or bizarre. It's also too safe. This is clearly obvious. Motor Trend said so.
But WAIT! Let's run some prices by you: Mercedes S550e starts at $96,600, the BMW 740e starts at $90,095, the Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid starts $99,600. What if you were coming from a car that started about the same price as the Cadillac CT6 Plug-in? Like say a Tesla?
Here's what Teslarati says:
The CT6 Plugin is a different take on the “electric car” and seeks to ease drivers into the plug-in vehicle experience, led largely by Cadillac’s mastery of luxury interior finishes. Burlwood accents in the dash stand in stark contrast to the two integrated LCD screens that land somewhere between a feature-packed leather recliner from the future and an iPad, while still being able to maintain balance. Though Tesla may own the electric luxury vehicle market today, the plushness of the CT6 reminds me (after having experienced the vehicle first-hand) that Tesla has some serious competition on the luxury front.
Having said that, the CT6 is no Tesla. This is not the much famed “Tesla killer” nor does it aim to be. The new Cadillac CT6 plug-in is a luxury ride that gives customers who want all the creature comforts of a Cadillac blended together with the latest and greatest high tech features like electric propulsion, lithium-ion batteries and intelligently designed LCD screens chock full of data.
Or for that matter this Bloomberg reviewer who compared the CT6 favorably to the Tesla. The article is subtitled: The New CT6 Hybrid pairs a little electricity with a lot of swank
Instead, I selected “sport” mode, nudged the gauge firmly into the gasoline zone and slalomed south on the Saw Mill River Parkway. The CT6, like all of Cadillac’s current sedans, is a joy to drive. The suspension and steering are firm and tight, respectively. For a big car, there’s little listlessness or body lean, and the heavy battery bolted on top of the rear axle planted the car as it pushed through turns.
The burled wood of the dash makes one feel as if they are piloting a vintage cello.
The 2-liter turbo engine is eager and athletic, occasionally drawing a further boost from the dual electric motors. With the regenerative system set to the most aggressive of four settings, I seldom touched the brake.
The interior trimmings, meanwhile, put Tesla to shame. The seats, in particular, are sublime in cinnamon. The burled wood of the dash makes one feel as if they are piloting a vintage cello. It’s all a notch below Porsche’s new Panamera cockpit, but still pure luxury in the country-clubbiest sense of the word.
Luxury is in the eye of the beholder and the beholder's check account. The Germans will always have their exquisite minimalism, and their higher price tags, and for some beholders those higher pricetags are a draw unto themselves. Tesla owners will always have their $150,000 straight line wonders, although most of them won't even have that. Most Tesla buyers might have to brag about their 250 mile all EV range, because they might feel they are missing something if they have to compare their Teslas to your Cadillac CT6 Plug-in on luxury, and when that happens they may feel silly if they mention their pricetag.