With that said, there is much to like about this car. Fit and finish is superb and the sedan is another tribute to the craftsmanship of American workers. The exterior design, while not groundbreaking, should give the Mercedes a run for its money on looks alone. Weight has been reduced down to the level of a BMW 5-series, so the car should move quite well with its 400-horsepower twin-turbo V6. But that depends on whether Mercedes buyers are willing to downgrade from the S's 449-horsepower twin-turbo V-8.
Cadillac's interior designers have slathered the surfaces with leather exuding such a heavy smell that you feel like you're sitting inside a baseball glove. And the genuine wood trim is so "natural," that Cadillac stopped sanding it to a point where you can feel some of the pits and grooves. On the console, the wood's satin finish is unsuccessful, making it look more like the contact paper your mother used to buy in Woolworth's. We may sound like fogeys here, but please, Cadillac, bring back the richer-looking shiny laquered veneer of old.
We wonder whether our tight fit is somehow symbolic of the way the CT6 is shoehorning itself into a very competitive luxury car market. The real question is whether -- at an MSRP about $20K less -- the Cadillac can compete in the world of the S-class, which has used its advanced engineering to jump well ahead of the pack. The New York Times raises some important questions in a recent story, noting that this is the most difficult and competitive time ever for the introduction of such a luxury car. And the readers of The Times also note wisely that Cadillac is still a little behind the times in moving its headquarters to downtown New York, epicenter of the anti-car crowd. We'll agree with that. The brand's Soho-focused advertising is so, well, 20 years ago. The cool people long ago left for Brooklyn, where the focus is more on consuming the latest artisanal mayonnaise than driving a big Caddy.
But for those of you who still enjoy driving, we provide these photos of the new CT6: