2017 Cadillac CT6 vs 2017 Genesis G90

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Decades ago, Cadillac was pretty much the benchmark that every other luxury automaker tried to hit.

The German brands were relentless and Cadillac had to do a lot of catching up because the market became so saturated with really good products. And now even Hyundai has decided to come out with its own luxury brand called Genesis, which puts even more pressure on Cadillac. Can Cadillac hold its own against this luxury newcomer?

The Cadillac CT6 and the Genesis G90 are two full-sized executive luxury sedans that ring in at around the same price as equipped. Both represent the best of what each brand has to offer and both are really impressive whether you’re a driver or being chauffeured.

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CT6’s Winning Chassis

Cadillac has really been on a roll lately. The products have been pretty great and they keep getting even better, and this CT6 is no exception. It has a great road presence and gets a lot of attention driving around.

This CT6 is powered by a smooth 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 and has all-wheel drive, both optional features. As standard, the sedan has a turbo-four and only drives the rear wheels. The Genesis ups Cadillac by offering a twin-turbo V6 and all-wheel drive as standard equipment, but the CT6’s starting price is much lower than the Genesis’ base price.

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The motor in this CT6 makes 404 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. This twin-turbo V6 is a fantastic engine. It has loads of torque all over the rev range and there is barely any turbo lag. You bury the pedal and you are instantly rewarded with a big rush of power.

Compare Specs

Cadillac CT6
vs
Genesis G90
Vehicle Cadillac CT6 Advantage Genesis G90
Engine3.0L twin-turbo V6-3.3L twin-turbo V6
Horsepower404 HPCadillac365 HP
Torque 400 lb-ftCadillac376 lb-ft
Transmission 8-speed auto-8-speed auto
Curb Weight 4,385 lbCadillac4,784 lb
Trunk Room15.3 cu-ftGenesis15.7 cu-ft
Rear Leg Room40.4 inCadillac37.8 in
EPA Fuel Economy (MPG)22 combinedCadillac20.5 combined
CAN Fuel Economy (L/100 km)11.2 combinedCadillac11.9
US Price (As-Tested) $76,985Genesis $68,100
CAN Price (As-Tested) $87,115Genesis$84,000

The chassis is also great, helping the car feel mostly comfortable at low speeds and stable at higher ones, and it feels athletic and willing to have some fun. The car is a lot lighter than the Genesis and it feels very obvious behind the wheel.

All the CT6 engines are hooked up to an eight-speed automatic, which feels less refined than I would expect in a big luxury sedan. The transmission seems to get confused and make clunky gear changes from time to time. This is a bit of a shame because the engine is so great, but it’s not a deal breaker by any means.

Luxurious Interior, But It’s Not Perfect

The Cadillac has a lovely interior with some very luxurious materials. The infotainment system and climate controls are also really well laid out and easy to use. The touchscreen is really responsive and user-friendly for the most part, but you can also control it with a little touchpad similar to ones found on laptops, which I find awful to use. You’re better off just using the touchscreen. The CT6 has a bit more legroom for rear passengers than the Genesis, but it feels like a smaller car to drive.

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What kills me about the CT6, however, are the little things that add up to be really annoying. There are a lot of gimmicky features that just take away from the whole experience and a lot of them just don’t work that well. For example, the fact that the driver seat vibrates as a warning when the proximity sensors are activated is so awful and jarring that I just turn it off.

ALSO SEE: How Cadillac’s Blind Spot-Busting Rear-View Mirror Works

Another example is the video feed in the rear view ‘mirror’ showing what’s behind the car. It seems like it would be a great idea, and it is in theory, but it’s pretty terrible to use at night, and even during the day, it just takes too long for me to process this new point of view. I imagine that’s something people will just learn to get used to, but I just ended up using the traditional mirror. The panel gaps are also uneven and large, and the fit and finish lacks a certain precision you’d be right to expect in a luxury car.

In general, the CT6 is a great car, especially as a driver’s car, but it’s not perfect. It lacks a certain cohesiveness I look for in a luxury car.

Genesis G90 Deep Dive

That brings us to the Genesis G90, which was very hard for me to find anything wrong with. There wasn’t one moment when I was driving the Genesis when I thought, “That doesn’t make sense” or “Why did they do that?” which is something I found thinking a lot in the Cadillac. As a package, the G90 is well thought out and it feels like a lot of effort was put into the engineering.

2017 Genesis G90

The first thing you notice about the Genesis is how smooth and quiet it is. It has a regal air about it when you drive it that the Cadillac is lacking. What struck me immediately about the Genesis was how well executed and refined it felt. The interior is sumptuous, smart and user-friendly, and fit and finish are excellent. The switchgear is also nice to use and well laid out, with the only real issue with the interior is not enabling a full touchscreen — drivers control the infotainment with a rotary knob (a touch keyboard becomes available when the car is in Park).

ALSO SEE: Hyundai’s Genesis Brand to Sell Cars Online, But There’s a Catch

The G90’s suspension is calibrated for comfort and not sport, so it’s much better at giving you that floaty feeling people want in big luxury sedans. It just glides over rough roads, but that doesn’t mean it’s sloppy in the corners. The G90 definitely isn’t as performance oriented as the Cadillac, but I don’t see that as a deal-breaker for this kind of car.

2017 Genesis G90

Although it’s also powered by a twin-turbo V6, the G90 has 365 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, which is significantly less than the Cadillac. Combined with its heavier weight, the G90 isn’t as fast or as sporty as the CT6, but it also doesn’t need to be. That doesn’t mean, however, that it feels lifeless to drive. Power delivery is strong and smooth, steering is well weighted, and the transmission, which also has eight speeds, fires off seamless shifts and never gets confused. The G90 feels like a larger car to drive than the Cadillac, but it’s still entirely manageable and pretty easy to park. The only thing I wish the Genesis had that the Cadillac does is a parking assistant that will help you parallel park.

The Genesis is really good at being a big, comfortable luxury car. It has a bunch of little details, too, like soft-closing doors, a head-up display, and slightly excessive puddle lights that add up to make the experience a little more special than the Cadillac. It simply doesn’t suffer from the little annoyances that really mar the experience in the Caddy.

At this price point, the Genesis also has more technology included, like all the driver and safety assistants you could ever want. The best part is that they aren’t as jarring as the ones in the Cadillac, which are mostly all optional. A base Genesis does cost quite a bit more than a base CT6, but it also has a much more impressive list of standard features. It basically comes fully loaded, and there are barely any other options that can be added on except for the V8 engine and more back-seat amenities. As tested, the Genesis rings in lower than the comparable CT6, so it offers better value.

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The Verdict: 2017 Cadillac CT6 vs 2017 Genesis G90

If you want a luxury sedan that is more focused on driving dynamics than anything else, the Cadillac is the one you want because it’s a better driver’s car. It has a fantastic chassis, but the car, as whole package, comes up a bit short.

If you’re the typical shopper in this segment looking for a big luxury sedan and you want class and comfort, the Genesis out-Cadillacs Cadillac and proved much better at providing an uncompromised luxury experience. Although the G90 is more refined and luxurious, one big issue is that no one knows what Genesis is yet, whereas Cadillac is a household name when it comes to luxury cars. As long as you’re not a snob and don’t care about brand cachet, it’s clear that the Genesis G90 is the real winner here.

  • Modern Luddite

    I would take the Genesis every time over the Caddy. Fit and finish problems on a GM product…sheesh, GM still has not fixed issues like that?

  • Gary_NS

    I disagree, I’ve seen Genesis where the chrome strips on the doors don;t align with each other whereas you don’t see something so obvious on the Cadillac. Plus the Genesis is just not a driver’s car like the Caddy. And the dealership network is much better for the Caddy.

  • DADT

    The Genesis doesn’t have start/stop tech or cylinder deactivation to make its fuel-hungry engines more efficient. There are only two interior and five exterior color choices. What gives? Plus no rear DVD screens like on the old Equus? No massaging seats or panoramic sunroof either.

  • Hugh Jorgen

    Didn’t have to even read the article to know that the Government Motors vehicle would be the winner. Just another bias article to prop up the tax sucking motor corp.

  • Modern Luddite

    Good that the Caddy dealership is better in your opinion, since you likely will spend quite a bit of time there waiting on repairs and warranty issues.

    In any case, I would pick a Lexus before either of these 2 cars. Can’t beat their quality of build.

  • Jordan

    “As long as you’re not a snob and don’t care about brand cachet, it’s clear that the Genesis G90 is the real winner here.”

    If you’re going to comment, AT LEAST read the conclusion.

  • Gary_NS

    Why read JD Power and Consumers prior to making such comments. JD Power has had GM products as being some of the most dependable cars on the planet for the last 2 years in succession.. They are also on lists for being some of the the longest lasting vehicles on the road today. Try not to let facts cloud your reasoning. Take the time to look these things up.

  • Gary_NS

    Have you read GM’s latest earnings report Hugh. You couldn’t be more wrong if you tried. Many companies were hit by a very dangerous and bad money supply issue back in 2008 caused by Wall Street and you blame GM for that even though for 75 years or so they were one of the most profitable and best run companies in the US or the world for that matter. Every company given time has their issues and they had their. But the key word is HAD because currently they are very profitable.

  • someguyinhouston

    Actually, if you had read the article, you would have discovered the Genesis is considered the winner in this case.

  • J.R.

    Truth HURTS doesn’t it?

  • Modern Luddite

    JD Power- Lexus # 1 in reliability. Cadillac 15th place and barely better than average

    http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/2016-us-vehicle-dependability-study-vds

    Consumer Reports-Lexus and Toyota at the top in reliability (again)

    http://www.consumerreports.org/car-reliability/car-reliability-survey-2016/

    Suggest that it is you who needs to brush up on your research.

  • John Warmann

    You definitely weren’t kidding when you said “Didn’t have to even read the article to know”… And you didn’t read the article, and don’t know who the winner was.

  • Modern Luddite

    It’s not a preconceived notion that Lexus/Toyota is more reliable than GM.

    I do agree with your comments on the Genesis forums about vibration/tire issues and such. I test drove a Genesis last year and decided not to buy one and frankly am happy about that decision based on subsequent events.

  • Gary_NS

    My point was Cadillac isn’t what you said it was. If you go back thru the years you will find they reside in good standing on JD list. One year Cadillac had the top rated car period (the DTS).. making generalized comments about a product without due diligence is just wrong. As a luxury brand they have been pretty consistent compared to other luxury brands. Lexus is ok but they are just glorified Toyota for the most part and they are not drivers cars are all. You can find no shortage of comments about them being more of an appliance rather than a nice driver. If that’s what you want then go for it. I tend to find them poorly equipped compared to others. Like all Toyota products they are usually last in terms of innovation

  • DoubleCoppers

    They still haven’t paid back the money they got in the bailout, so HJ is correct about that. Too bad he damaged his credibility with his first statement.

  • DoubleCoppers

    2 years (for dependability) isn’t long enough to be realistic; it needs to be measured over 5 to 10 years to be meaningful. After seeing your comments and comparing them to the Consumer Reports and JD Power surveys, it seems that you are trying to prop up GM, and without the facts to back it up. Your statement about their earnings showed a disregard for past performance, and your plug about reliability was factually incorrect. your credibility is batting zero.

  • DoubleCoppers

    Sorry, but you have no room to talk about anyone’s due diligence, as shown by your disregard for GM’s failure to pay back all the bailout money, as well as their poor showing on CR and JD Power’s reliability surveys.

  • Gary_NS

    I’m curious about your comprehension level.
    GM for the last 2 years has had more models on JD powers dependability list than any other manufacture period, Please take a look. They had 8 models this year and 7 the previous year. What part of that don’t you understand !!! . It is pretty obvious. For 50 years GM was atop the Forbes 500 list and was the engine that powered america and you are talking about a single year. Get over it man and get into the real world. For 10 quarters in a row they have had very successful and profitable results. Again I am not making this up and it can be verified. Every company that has longevity eventually runs into a pitfall. GM had their and have bounced back. You tend to forget about the half century of great success and then focus on a couple of years. You need to look at the big picture and not your tiny little world.

  • Gary_NS

    It’s not 2 years but 3 years, and that is the measurement they use. It’s what all others are measured with too … not just GM. They also have initial quality studies as well and GM comes out at or near the top in those too. You people got to stop living in the 80’s and look at whats happening now. They don’t sell 1988 Buick Regals anymore.

  • Gary_NS

    And if you want to look at past performance then try 50 straight years at or neat the top of the Forbes 500 list. Is that enough past history for you !! Good grief man but you really need to research a little further than 2008

  • Circa79

    US sold it’s stake in GM years back. That was the end of the bailout. People are so misinformed that it’s scary. The feds lost a few billion combined on the GM/Chrysler bailout but that’s only if you presume the cost of them going under was $0.

  • Circa79

    yeah I dont know about the assertion that the Genesis has more features for the money, it may have more standard safety features but that doesn’t mean it has more tech. Does it have rear wheel steering? Rear 10″ screens? 24 way seats? auto parking?

  • Circa79

    what fit and finish problems were documented in the review?

  • Circa79

    The LS460 is an also ran in this segment. Old news. Obsolete news.

  • Circa79

    what is the 10 year reliability track record for the Genesis? Do tell.

  • Circa79

    what does any of this have to do with the 2 cars being compared? Is Lexus even in the comparo? Do you realize the LS barely moves off dealer lots in 2016? It’s barely even in the conversation anymore.

  • Circa79

    what are you talking about with the payback? How ignorant are you? The government converted it’s outstanding debt into equity in GM. They gradually sold off their stock and recovered most of the money. THOSE are the facts. Gm owes nothing to the government.

  • Circa79

    what Lexus is in this test?

  • Circa79

    I dont understand complaining about optional or controllable features. The seat alert system is defeatable and the rear view mirror can be left in normal position. They are OPTIONS that drivers can choose to utilize. Why is the car being penalized for offering these features? The inference is that the Genesis is better because it offers LESS innovation.

  • Modern Luddite

    There is not one, obviously, but I just point out that Lexus would be preferable to either in terms of quality.

  • Circa79

    No one cares. Nearly half of luxury cars are leased. Long term durability isn’t a major factor for most buyers. The ls is dead weight at Lexus based on its design and ambitious pricing. Ct6 is outselling handily.

  • Modern Luddite

    I care… I don’t lease and I care about reliability in the long term.

    You are great and picking and choosing your Cadillac quality discussion points, but you don’t seem to hone on it the key point that Cadillac is 15th place on the JD Power Reliability reports–15th, nowhere even close to the top.

  • Circa79

    the market has changed, this isn’t the 90s. The point is people believe that most modern cars are relatively reliable and reliability is no longer something that differentiates brands all that much. The spread on that chart is small- that is # of problems per 100 vehicles. So Lexus is at .95 problems per car and cadillac is at 1.4 problems per car- not a huge gap. And as I said, the LS isn’t selling well so obviously people looking in this class care about more than JD power 3 year dependability ratings. BTW, its hard to consider all those problems “reliability” issues when infotainment.

  • bd

    A bunch of LS/Lexus owners have taken a look at the G90, CT6 and the Continental and while the CT6 gets the nod for driving dynamics, most of them stated that if purchasing/leasing now, they would pick the G90 over the CT6 (more luxurious interior, just feels more like a flagship sedan), including over the LS460.

  • Circa79

    could be true. Dont think the LS is the main target of this car. More like 7 series, panamera and to some extent 5 and E class. They are offering more space with similar weight and driving dynamics to those cars. A lot of people are saying large car owners want float and softness but the 7 series has always offered more sportiness than average and it’s done fine.

  • collaziano

    The Genesis G90 can win in horsepower and torque as well if you compare the CT6 to the G90’s V8. The CT6 starts with a turbo 4. The G90 starts with a turbo V6. Perhaps this comparison should have brought each brand’s “top dog” to the fight – and the V6 G90 is not it.

  • Rudy™

    >> The panel gaps are also uneven and large, and the fit and finish lacks a certain precision you’d be right to expect in a luxury car. <<

  • Circa79

    since the CT6 is lighter, its still faster with the TT V6 vs the G90 V8. The G90 is quite heavy.

  • collaziano

    The G90 is definitely heavy but even the V6 beats the CT6. The Genesis G90 V6 does 0-60 in 5.3 seconds. The V8 in 5.0. And there’s still time for people to do better than that. The G90 is hardly owned by anyone at this point. Especially anyone that actually cares about testing the performance on their own. In any event, the CT6 is definitely quick…

  • Circa79

    no photos back that up. So with any evidence I take the comments with grain of salt.

  • Circa79

    5 secs is what I’ve seen for CT6.

  • squint9

    Neighbor’s Hyundai just passed out of the 10-year warranty period. But he is thinking of keeping it since he’s NEVER had to use the warranty or have a non-routine service* performed!

    In comparison, the first year on my first Cadillac (Fleetwood Brougham with all options) I had to replace the engine (the oil pump sheared one fine evening in January at -20°F causing the engine to seize). The first year on my second Cadillac (DeVille with nearly all options) I had to replace the entire braking system, and components in both front suspension units; not to mention the steering wheel heater quit (dealer wanted $600 replace) and the driver side seat heater / cooler quit (didn’t even bother to ask since lined jeans was a whole lot cheaper).

    Show me a fellow who claims he has driven his GM car for ten years without a non-routine service call … and I’ll show you a fibber worthy of Samuel Clemens attention. LOL

    * Routine service: change the oil, wipers, tires, and so on.

  • Circa79

    fleetwood brougham? What year was that???