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My CT6 & XT5 Personal Experience

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G. David Felt

Staff Writer Alternative Energy - www.CheersandGears.com

 

My CT6 & XT5 Personal Experience

 

So this is my experience after spending 1hr, 30 min with both a brand new XT5 and CT6 from Doug's Cadillac in North Seattle. This is my home dealership and they have always taken care of me.

 

We finally have gotten the new CT6 and XT5 into the Greater Seattle area. Brad my sales rep called me up thursday afternoon to inform me they had 3 of the CT6 and 3 of the XT5 that got delivered that day and would be ready for driving friday. I called my parents and wife to see if they wanted to go check them out and of course they did. So at 2pm friday afternoon, my work day done, I headed out to be picked up by the wife and my parents and drive to the dealership. I can honestly say we were all excited to see these auto's in person.

 

The CT6 was available in the following colors, black, white and granite. The XT5 was in black, white and red. 

 

While my parents and wife went over to compare and check out the XT5 which was backed up against an identical SRX.

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I started with the CT6.

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First off and this is directed at SMK and others that have questioned Cadillac and the CT6, before you go and continue to make comments and embarass yourself, you need to go to cadillac and check this auto out for yourself. I can honestly say that Cadillac beat MB E-Class on the interior quality. The over all design both inside and outside is personal and you have the right to like the design language of MB over cadillac. Yet before you say the car cannot compete or is poor quality, moving the goal post or anything else, check the auto out as I now wish I had taken photo's of the 1 year old MB E-Class they had in the used section as it paled in comparison to this car.

 

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The CT6 was super quiet on the road, and in fact I was looking at the gauges to see what the response was of the auto due to how quiet it was. The one thing that popped into my mind was my grandfather and his love of Cadillac and how he always owned a Brougham till his death. I loved the extensive back seat room in his cars and the CT6 did not let me down. With the front seat set for me, I could get in the back and still had about 12 inches of room from my knees to the back of the seat. For a 6'6" tall guy, this was impressive to me and my family as everyone was really surprised with the interior room. Handling was tight, solid and the auto never gave any sign that it was under load and could go with a more powerful engine. Yes this had the V6, but still it moved. I loved the soft squishy leather dash with the real wood and carbon fiber accents. It was classy and yet still said modern. Tactile feel of the buttons what few there was, was very impressive and solid to the feel. I fell in love with the touch pad in controlling the interface. This needs to be standard on all auto's, it was very intuitive and I had very positive feedback of getting right into the various options. 

 

Having been in the BMW and MB auto's, I felt it was a tie between them for what I could naturally figure out on my own and the frustration with the buried levels of interfaces to find stuff. Cadillac was very intuitive from the start and I was able to find everything fast and easy. With that said and comparing it to the used MB and BMW on the lot, going from one to another you will still need some help from the sales person on either MB and BMW and yet I think while the customer service is nice to have a quick training on the new CUE system, my gut tells me that most people can figure it out without ever having their hand held. My Mom and Dad are perfect example of baby boomers who tech scares them and yet both found this easy to use. I really loved the customizable interface of the dash.

 

With my quick spin around the block done and due to others showing up to test drive the CT6, I moved onto the XT5.

 

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As you can see from the pictures, my dad was outside and my mom was inside with Brad going over the interface and the auto. I chose to do a comparison of the outsides and realized that the 2nd gen SRX was very much geared more for the ladies. Even my wife said it was a more feminine looking auto compared to the more masculine XT5. While I was comparing the outsides, the regional Cadillac district manager stopped and asked me how I liked the new XT5. I told him I loved it and was excited for it, but had a question for him. Why not change the SRX to XT3 and continue to sell it for now. He said many dealers had asked that but what they saw at the dealer meeting blew them away and he said a clean cut with a short period of time before the new XT3 is shown and goes into production is the right move as customers like us will be very happy with what they are working on.

 

This left me very excited for the near future of where Cadillac is going. I really hope that Cadillac does deliver on 110% on the new XT3 that is coming.

 

Back to the XT5, Many of us have already seen under the hood of the SRX and know that Cadillac like everyone else has always had the V6 engine and even the 4 bangers in the ATS and CTS well covers and clean looking. I have to say I was a bit surprised and disappointed in the engine bay of the XT5.

 

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I actually feel that some type of cover is missing from this engine bay and that I should not be seeing this mess. This was my first and last disappointment with the XT5. In the lower left hand corner is the Horn next to the oil fill tube for the DEXOS 5W-30 oil. The rest I think is pretty clear for everyone to figure out what is what. The horn was surprising as it is small but is still very loud and bassy, not a high pitch tin can beep. I will say that Cadillac has fixed their injector noise issue as even with the hood up, I could not hear them.

 

The engine was super quiet and on the road showed just how silky soft yet powerful it was. Very impressed with this V6 over the existing V6 in my 2008 SRX. Since as you all can see it is longitudinal, it does confirm that this is FWD based  and yet with that came the other surprise a button on the center console that allowed you to turn off the AWD system so you can run it in FWD only and get much better MPG. This is a change from the 2016 SRX4 that is full time AWD. This option is a nice to have as many can buy and still get better MPG driving in FWD most of the time and then use the AWD when winter comes or if you do a road trip to colder climates and need better traction.

 

Moving onto the inside as my parents took the black XT5 out for a spin, I was pleasantly pleased with the dash.

 

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Over all it is customizable just like the CT6 but had a clear different layout. I actually liked the speedo in the center compared to the right side in the CT6. Also being much bigger and taller I liked having the air vents on top rather than on the bottom.

 

The CUE system and dash controls were the same and worked just fine for me. What was interesting was the different shifters. You had a much more tradition one in the CT6 with just forward or back on the auto shifter to go into gear for drive, reverse and yet on the XT5 you had more of a joystick style of shifter. Once Brad pointed out I had to not only step on the brake but also press the button on the left side of the shifter you just moved the shifter back into D for drive, a second time goes into manual mode. For reverse while pressing the brake pedal down and pressing the button on the left side of the shifter you move it forward and to the left. Be in reverse or drive, one thing I loved was the top button on the shifter or joystick that you pushed that had a P on it and it auto puts into park the transmission. I can honestly say I really liked the new shifter in the XT5.

 

Comfort of the seats, WOW, my wife, parents and I have always enjoyed taking my 2006 ESV Platinum Escalade on road trips and the comfort of the seats for long drives. The XT5 just showed me why I need to wait for the update to the escalade, these newer much slimmer seats are really comfortable. No one would have a problem going on a long road trip in this CUV. 

 

Interior noise on the road, this again was a pleasant surprise as I expected the CT6 to be dead quiet, I was not expecting the XT5 to also be dead quiet. Not sure if Cadillac is using the Buick quiet steel technology or not, but they nailed it for a very quiet lovely ride with no wind noise, road noise or other auto noise intruding into the inside.

 

Fit and Finish is first rate on both auto's, the interior room is just splendid. Room in the back as well as the front is so much more than in the SRX. SRX drivers side even with the seat all the way back, my long legged mom could still reach the pedals. In the XT5 and CT6, with the seats all the way back, she could not reach the pedals. This just continued to confirm that big people in the back seats of either auto will have plenty of room.

 

Not sure what kind of fans Cadillac is using now in their auto's but the one thing that surprised me was how quiet they were even on high with AC. You had a pleasant stream of cool air with no fan noise. Radio once turned on showed the quality BOSE stereo system that both auto's have and how great they are.

 

Over all I have to say that Cadillac hit the ball out of the ball park on both the CT6 and XT5 and BMW and MB needs to pay attention as these two auto's clearly are a big big step up from their equal in both product lines.

 

Got question, just ask.

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I would be curious to drive the CT6 to see what it is like.    You can tell by all the fingerprints and smudges on the NAV screen, that touch screens in cars are a bad idea, thus why Mercedes doesn't use them.

 

The CT6 to me seems like it will just take away sales from people that would have otherwise bought a V6 CTS or higher trim XTS.  It is priced too close to those 2 cars.  XT5 will sell because it is in the sweet spot of mid-size crossover at entry lux pricing.  They do for sure need an XT3 and XT7 as well.  I don't think M-B or BMW are scared buy either auto, Lincoln or Lexus might have more concern with the XT5.  But a BMW X5 is about $15,000 more than an XT5, so they aren't even in the same segment.  

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Yeah, I has a similar experience checking out the new CT6.

 

But I expect, no....demand that Cadillac to be able to deal with past model MB's and Bimmers. The new model MB's will be formidable competitors. And no question - engines are another thing. The competition does not have a lot of N/A V6's anymore.

 

The CT6 interior is well put together. But I refrain again, from saying it's better than any flagship sedan. So you're left with a tweener. But still, it's a fresh, luxo sedan.

 

But man, I would demand that Cadillac be far superior than the cars they replaced. That's not a surprise, as much as an expectation as we see the brand push out more and more product that are at the top of their game. Easily the XT5 and MKX are the best midsize crossovers from Detroit, better than anything from the rest.

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