2018 Cadillac CT6 Platinum AWD with SuperCruise: When you land at Newark airport and are dreading the New Jersey Turnpike …
Price: $89,290 as tested (no options on test vehicle). The Super Cruise feature is part of OnStar and is free for three years. OnStar advertises subscriptions from $24.99 to $59.99 a month.
Marketer’s pitch: “The prestige sedan, reimagined.”
Conventional wisdom: Look, Ma, no hands!
Reality: … take a mini-vacation from driving. But they’re watching you …
Super Cruising: The CT6 debuts the futuristic Super Cruise system, which allows drivers to turn over to the vehicle not only braking and acceleration, but now steering — on many limited-access highways. And Cadillac said earlier this month that it’s going to expand Super Cruise across all models.
To operate, activate the adaptive cruise control for the usual set-speed function with automatic braking. When the steering-wheel light appears on the dashboard, you’re ready to press the Super Cruise button.
When activated, a set of lights on the steering wheel turns green, and you can let go of the wheel. When the car needs you to take control, the lights flash red and the seat buzzes to get you back into the game. When you’re making a passing maneuver or taking over from the car for some reason, the lights turn blue.
The Super Cruise is a subscription feature, though, free for the first three years through OnStar. It also makes use of driver-attention monitoring — via a camera and infrared sensors — so don’t think you’re going to watch a movie.
Since my columns follow a pretty predictable pattern — much like a limited-access highway — I’ve decided to put this column on Super Cruise and let the car take the Mr. Driver’s Seat wheel (denoted as “green light”), and I take back the helm where needed (and it says “blue light”).
Green light: As a Cadillac with a 3.0-liter twin turbo, I make 404 horsepower and I’m the fastest car in the entire uni–
Blue light: Sorry, CT, I think I better pick it up from here. I should have figured a Cadillac would be a bit of a braggart.
You’re definitely not the fastest (study my recent McLaren column at least) but go from 0 to 60 in 5.2 seconds, faster than one would expect. But in typical Cadillac style, your speed is tempered with smoothness.
Green light: I can only write the information as it’s programmed into me. Obviously, no other car can hold a candle to my road manners, as I take care of a great majority of the driving.
Blue light: That’s only on certain limited access highways, and not all of them. Construction zones and other features turn it off in those places as well.
I will say the CT6 handles nicely on winding roads, far better than a huge sedan has a right to. No body roll and plenty of zig on the curves, while still showing charming Cadillac road manners.
Green light: … And I provide quiet and seamless shifts through all eight of my gears.
Blue light: I can’t argue with that. The paddle controls allowed Mr. Driver’s Seat to share in the fun as well.
Green light: Like I need you. Or any of you. But, still, I do provide plenty of space in all five seats, even for that gangly kid and his size 13 feet. Ooo, my aching floor.
Blue light: Yep, that’s Sturgis Kid 4.0, all 6-foot-2 of him. The Lovely Mrs. Passenger Seat and I do appreciate the lack of any other size references.
Green light: Hey, I’m a Cadillac. I’m all about class. Speaking of which, I almost forgot to mention my awesome interior and brilliant dashboard display, along with the beautiful touchscreen in my CUE entertainment system.
Blue light: Yeah, about that — some people have complained it’s too complex to use sometimes. While the sound is superb and playing with the radio can be fairly simple, I find I often default to voice commands, which do work better than in almost every other car I’ve tested.
Green light: Well, we have added a touch pad for easier control of the entertainment and navigation options.
Blue light: Ye-e-e-eah, not speaking my language there. I’m forever beating up Lexus for this idea. That’s like curing a cold with poison ivy. It took a while to get this tolerable in the CT6.
Red light: Evidently your programming could use a little adjustment. I know some great engineers … but whoops – gotta go! Take the wheel! Take it!
Blue light: Well, just like letting the CT6 write Driver’s Seat, it takes a couple of tries to get used to letting the car do the steering. It functioned without any trouble on long drives on the New Jersey Turnpike, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Schuylkill, and Route 202. I just kept my hands resting in my lap, while occasionally trying to keep everyone entertained with my “Look, Ma, no hands!” humor.
One drawback — I found the CT6 situates itself very much in the center of the lane, more so than I’m comfortable with. I’m not exactly a shoulder hugger, but then I’ve never seen the divider drift toward me while it was texting.
Everything else was pure Cadillac — awesome 34-speaker sound system, luxurious and comfortable seats, brilliant dashboard.
Fuel economy: And you’ll get a delightful 23 mpg, but this baby wants premium, of course.
Where it’s built: Detroit.
How it’s built: Consumer Reports predicts a reliability of 2 out of 5. Should we be letting a 2 out of 5 drive us around?
In the end: The long and short is the Super Cruise function works very well, and Cadillac offers a primo car.