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2021 Cadillac Escalade

2021 Cadillac Escalade

The fifth-generation SUV is better in just about every department

The 2021 Cadillac Escalade is the fifth generation of the company’s luxury SUV. Unveiled at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show, it replaces a fourth-generation SUV that’s six years old. Just like its predecessor, the 2021 Escalade shares underpinnings with the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe. But unlike the old Escalade, it features an independent rear suspension, a first for the nameplate. It’s also the first production vehicle ever to feature curved OLED displays for the instrument cluster and infotainment system. Power comes from a big-displacement V-8 engine mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, but Cadillac also offers a new 3.0-liter diesel engine, a premiere for the nameplate. Let’s find out more about that in the review below.

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1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible

1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible

The running epitome of ’50s excess

The ’50s were a strange decade: on the one hand, the danger of nuclear annihilation grew bigger and bigger as tensions between East and West reached new peaks and, on the other hand, automotive design also reached new peaks - peaks touched by the ultra-high fins of cars like the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible, a true symbol of its time.

When you think of American cars from the ’50s, depending on who you are, you’re bound to first picture in your head one of three cars: the 1957 Chevy Bel Air, the 1955 Ford Thunderbird or the 1959 Eldorado Biarritz Convertible. The latter is most definitely the showboat, figuratively and literally, of a whole design trend; a trend that climaxed with this very car that, in a way, managed to kill off the trend altogether. The trend I’m talking about is of aeronautical inspiration, and it took off (pun intended) in the late ’40s and early ’50s thanks to concept cars like the Buick Le Sabre and a host of other GM Motorama creations.

No, those chrome-bathed fins didn’t help the cars corner better nor did they aid the back end in sticking to the ground better - they were just for style, and 1959 was the year of all-out chrome and all-out fins. Some think those cars are everything that’s wrong with American cars, others simply think they’re flamboyant while others still adore them. I guess it’s a matter of personal preference but, undoubtedly, the ’59 Eldorado continues to turn heads 60 years later.

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2020 Cadillac XT6

2020 Cadillac XT6

Bridges the gap between the XT5 and the Escalade

Introduced in early 2019, the Cadillac XT6 is the company’s first three-row SUV besides the massive Escalade. It bridges the gap between the latter and the compact XT5 and it rounds off Cadillac’s four-SUV lineup for the 2020 model year. It’s built on the same platform as the Chevrolet Traverse, so it’s pretty much a rebodied, fancier version of the GMC Acadia Denali.

The XT6 arrives to compete in a crowded SUV segment that already includes high sellers like the BMW X5, Audi Q7, and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class. The Caddy also goes against the new Lincoln Aviator, the popular Acura MDX, and segment leader Lexus RX. How does it compare to some of its most important rivals? Let’s find out in the review below.

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2018 Cadillac XTS

2018 Cadillac XTS

The XTS tries its best to look like the CT6... and the rest of Cadillac’s lineup

Cadillac is an interesting brand. In a world where SUVs reign superior, Cadillac only has two – the XT5 and the Escalade. Meanwhile, it takes the “same sausage, different lengths” mentality to extremes with its entire lineup of cars that all look damn near the same. And, that gets even worse as we begin the painstaking transcendence into the 2018 model year, as the XTS has now been updated with Cadillac’s latest design cues, making it nearly identical to the CT6 that sits above it and the midsized CTS that sits below it. As such, this facelift brings about a new grille design, new front fascia, and new headlight and taillight units on the outside to go with an updated chassis under the skin, and some updated technology and new color/trim choices on the inside.

All told, the facelift is more refining than anything, but whether or not that’s a good thing remains to be seen. One this is for sure, though. The XTS has its work cut out for it if it’s going to be a strong competitor for models the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. So will the updates for 2018 give the XTS the fighting chance it deserves, or will it scrape and claw its way through the muck that is the full-size luxury segment until Cadillac can manage to muster up a second-gen model? Let’s take a good look at what Cadillac brings to the table for 2018 and find out for ourselves.

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2016 Cadillac CT6 – Driven

2016 Cadillac CT6 – Driven

A new flagship – for now…

Remember how your grandmother would call something a Cadillac, even if it had nothing to do with a car? “This microwave oven is a Cadillac, Frank. Let’s see if Penney’s has it on sale.” See, grandma wasn’t talking about GM’s previous ownership of Frigidaire, but rather that the name Cadillac stood for something – luxurious quality.

Cadillac as an automotive brand is experiencing a great resurgence thanks to CEO John de Nysschen and some highly skilled engineers and designers. Thankfully the years under “Old GM” are gone, and with it, the DTS, STS, and Deville. Nowadays, it’s the ATS, CTS, and Escalade that fill showroom floors. Quality, refinement and prestige have all been trending upward since end of the Great Recession.

But Cadillac isn’t done. For 2016, an all-new flagship has emerged. It’s the CT6 and its aimed squarely at the German’s luxury sedan offerings. The CT6, joined by the XT5 for the 2017 model year, kick off Cadillac’s new naming system while bringing an even higher level of refinement to the table.

Cadillac has positioned the CT6 in between the standard convention of German sedan classifications. It’s larger than BMW’s 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class, but not nearly as long or wide as the 7 Series or S-Class. Nevertheless, this strategy has worked for Cadillac in the past. The CTS slots between the 3 Series and 5 Series, essentially allowing it to play in both categories. Cadillac will soon debut its truest flagship, the CT9, which should compete head-on with overtly luxurious German offerings. But in the mean time, the CT6 is Caddy’s best and brightest.

I recently spent a week with the CT6 fitted with all the finest options bundled in the Platinum trim package. My tester also came equipped with Cadillac’s new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 and AWD system. Needless to say, I was excited to grab the keys.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

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