When it comes to full-size luxury sedans, manufacturers don’t move a lot of them, but they certainly do pour their hearts and souls into their flagship offerings. Perhaps that’s why Cadillac has felt like an also-ran in this category for years.

What they’ve offered has often paled in comparison to the likes of the Audi A8, the Mercedes S-class, the BMW 7-series and even those that don’t come to mind instantly, like Lexus’ LS and Jaguar’s XJ. When it comes to the all-new CT6, Cadillac has obviously pulled up their socks. They have presented a new assault on the luxury class, and their first attempt to compete on the world stage is a solid effort. The CT6 is Cadillac’s first full-size rear-wheel drive sedan since the 1996 Fleetwood. After spending a week with the CT6, I feel as though Cadillac may be embarking on a bold journey and it all starts with this new sedan.

The CT6 is an all-new vehicle for Cadillac and gets a big, impressive exterior with styling that is impossible to ignore. I personally think it’s stunning, and I loved the low stance which means there isn’t a whole lot of wheel well above the tires. The stylists have sculpted the CT6’s lines to look good from every angle, and the long profile is blessed with fantastic proportions and a very refined character. It looks slick, modern and strong. And it has quite a presence. It didn’t matter where we were, people stared at the CT6.

I’m a big fan of Cadillac’s use of LEDs in lighting their vehicles these days. The headlights are LEDs and those vertical waterfall driving lights are very distinctive and make you very visible to oncoming traffic. Even the LED tail light signature is memorable. The concierge lighting feature is pretty cool too – as soon as you walk up to the car (with the fob on your person), headlights, tail lights and door handle lighting turn on to welcome you. The whole package is completed with a set of gorgeous 20-inch rims and bright quad exhaust tips.

Sitting down in the CT6’s spacious cabin is a revelation. Even though you won’t find anything really ground-breaking in terms of styling, the CT6’s is a truly world-class interior, crafted out of premium materials. You’ll find plenty of stitched surfaces, and everything is sumptuous and soft-touch. The wood trim is real and exotic, there’s perforated leather around the touchscreen, those carbon-fibre inserts are actually legit and the chrome trim is classy and delightful to look at. And the fit and finish was perfect. The Jet Black interior was quite dark, and I would personally go for one of the lighter toned options – there are three different colour packages you can choose from.

All about the details: 2016 Cadillac CT6 First Drive

The heated and cooled seats, insanely adjustable with memory settings, are very comfortable around town and on extended highway runs. I found the heated steering wheel (with an electronically adjustable steering column) very comfortable to use, and the all-digital instrument cluster behind it is made up of a high-resolution 12-inch screen. It shows a tach on the left, speedometer in the middle and fuel and temperature gauges on the right. The coolest part is that the centre portion of each “gauge” can be configured to display a ton of different information and I loved that flexibility. It is well done, and whichever option the driver chooses, it remains clear and easy to read.

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