Ignition - - Front Page - By Lee Bailie

Built on GM'S full-size Omega plat­form, the CT6 marks a point of diver­gence with other con­tem­po­rary Cadil­lacs in­so­far as it uti­lizes a core rear-wheel drive ar­chi­tec­ture – with avail­able all­wheel drive – and is the first ful­lull­size rear-driv­ing model since thehe Fleet­wood was re­tired in 1996.

Un­like the Fleet­wood of old,, how­ever, the CT6 is not avail­able­ble with a V8. Rather, the CT6 is pow­ered by a trio of smaller en­gines: a 2.0L turbo four, a 3.0L twin-turbo V6 and a nor­mally as­pi­rated 3.6L V6.

The pat­tern of putting a larger dis­place­ment turbo six into a large rear-wheel drive sedan – a tra­di­tional V8 plat­form – is really begin­ning to o take hold. The forth­com­ing 2018 Lexus LS, also a rear-wheel drive car, will come with a 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6, which will re­place the 4.6L V8 in the out­go­ing car. Kia is go­ing a sim­i­lar route, with its forth­com­ing Stinger gran turismo, which will also feature a twin-turbo V6 in the place of a V8.

While some may still sug­gest a V8 is the price of en­try in the seg­ment, or at least to be taken se­ri­ously, the man­u­fac­tur­ers are begin­ning to see things dif­fer­ently.

Per­son­ally, I don't think the lack of a V8 makes the CT6 any less of a le­git­i­mate full-size lux­ury sedan.

The very well-ap­pointed Lux­ury model I drove for two weeks fea­tures a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 that pro­duces 404 horse­power and 400 lb-ft. of torque.

Tuned to de­liver V8-like per­for­mance, the 3.0L V6 has a flat torque curve (peak out­put be­gins at just 2,500 rpm) that makes the CT6 pretty quick off the line for a long and rel­a­tively heavy car. A pad­dle-shift eight­speed au­to­matic and avail­able all-wheel drive also adds to the CT6'S get-up and go.

The in­te­rior, as one might imag­ine, is quite plush. An impr im­pres­sive mix of soft-touch fabri fab­rics and at­trac­tive plas­tics and metal­lic trim ac­cents give the CT6 a pleas­ingly re­fined and tasteful per­son­al­ity, and while I'm not the big­gest fan of the Cadil­lac's CUE in­fo­tain­ment in­ter­face, the 10.2inch navi touch­screen looks great and was easy to use.

A con­sole-mounted touch­pad came in handy, as did the in­duc­tive cell phone charge slot tucked into the con­sole arm­rest.

On the road, the CT6 of­fers a hushed, al­most tomb-like ride. The out­side world rarely in­trudes, ex­cept when you choose to stand on the ac­cel­er­a­tor which will cause the turbo V6 to emit a nice growl.

Sev­eral driv­ing modes are avail­able, but a dy­namic, white-knuckle driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence isn't what the CT6 is all about – a com­fort­able, quiet ride in a cabin filled with the lat­est lux­ury tech is, and the big Caddy de­liv­ers on that score.


And up un­til very re­cently, I counted my­self among them.

Un­til I checked the num­bers while pre­par­ing to write this story, I didn't know the X5 sport ute fin­ished a solid num­ber two be­hind the ven­er­a­ble 3 Se­ries on the BMW Canada sales chart.

I fig­ured BMW'S ros­ter of smaller SUVS, such as the X1, X3 or X4, would've sold bet­ter in a land with a taste for small cars, but there it is in black and white – the X5 fin­ished 2016 only 510 units be­hind the 3 Se­ries.

So why are Cana­di­ans warm­ing to the X5?

Well, af­ter spend­ing a week in one very well-op­tioned Space Grey Metal­lic xdrive35i tester, a few things oc­cur to me.

One, the X5 in­spires on-road con­fi­dence, es­pe­cially in bad weather. With 209 mil­lime­tres (8.2 inches) of ground clear­ance, stan­dard xdrive all-wheel drive and win­ter tires, en­coun­ter­ing a snow­storm on the way home from work (as I did) is noth­ing to fear.

The X5 tracked straight and true on slush and snow­cov­ered Toronto-area roads, with im­me­di­ate trac­tion from rest, con­trolled brak­ing and con­fi­dent handling. I en­coun­tered very lit­tle loss of trac­tion and was es­pe­cially im­pressed with the way the X5 hooked up im­me­di­ately dur­ing up­hill starts.

With 300 horse­power and a very ac­ces­si­ble 300 lb-ft. of torque (peak be­gins at just 1,200 rpm) on tap, the 3.0L Twin­power in­line six-cylin­der en­gine can hus­tle the X5 along with im­pres­sive haste and makes short work of snow.

The next thing I am struck by is the level of com­fort the X5 pro­vides. The in­te­rior isn't the most vis­ually invit­ing – it's a lit­tle too dark for me – but the look and feel of the con­trols, leather seat­ing ar­eas and trim ma­te­ri­als are first rate. Plus, there's a long list of stan­dard equip­ment.

Fi­nally, the X5 has a lot of room and ver­sa­til­ity with fold­ing rear seats and a split power lift gate which makes load­ing and un­load­ing a breeze. If you have a fam­ily and / or have lots of stuff, the X5 has 1,870 litres of cargo space ready and will­ing to swal­low about as much as you can cram into it.

As I al­luded to ear­lier, there are some down­sides to the X5.

It can get ex­pen­sive in a hurry (my tester has $26,000 worth of op­tions), its con­sid­er­able bulk (2,100 kg) burns through a lot of pre­mium fuel, and rear­ward vis­i­bil­ity isn't great due to big c-pil­lars.

With all that said, how­ever, the X5 of­fers a lot of car for the money, with am­ple amounts of ca­pa­bil­ity, per­for­mance and style.

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