While the Cadillac CT6 is available with a trio of four- and six-cylinder engines, the Lexus LS 500 only offers one V6 option. (Both cars additionally have hybrid variants.) In its top spec, the CT6’s twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 produces 404 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque; the LS 500, meanwhile, uses a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 with 416 horsepower and 442 pound-feet. Generally speaking, the Lexus is both more comfortable for highway cruising and better mannered on curvy roads. Both cars are EPA-estimated to achieve 18 miles per gallon in the city, though the Lexus’ 27-mpg highway rating is slightly better than the Cadillac’s 25 mpg. The LS 500 uses a 10-speed automatic transmission, while the CT6 uses an 8-speed unit, which likely makes up for the highway fuel economy improvement.
Cadillac’s CUE interface isn’t our favorite system on the market, but it’s received a number of improvements over the years. The touchscreen offers crisp graphics and average response times, and offers both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Lexus, meanwhile, uses a huge, 12.3-inch display that’s bright and colorful, but that’s where our compliments end. The feature set may be rich, but it can only be controlled through the company’s absolutely infuriating and difficult-to-use (especially while driving) Remote Touchpad. What’s more, Lexus doesn’t offer the LS with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which is downright unacceptable.
The CT6’s killer app is definitely its optional Super Cruise semi-autonomous functionality, which allows for honest-to-goodness hands-off-the-wheel driving. Otherwise, the two full-size luxury sedans pack a similar smattering of luxurious amenities, with plush, spacious accommodations, optional high-end audio systems and automatic everything.
Say what you will about Lexus’ huge spindle grille, it really works on the new LS, especially in F Sport guise. Complemented by slim, LED headlights, big wheels at all four corners, and a long-and-low stance, the LS offers the best mix of elegance and sportiness between the two. That’s not to say the Cadillac is ugly, of course — it’s still quite attractive, with handsome lines and a simple, understated approach. We aren’t totally onboard with the droopy LED eyeliner, but make no mistake, the CT6 has quite a presence on the road.
Both Cadillac and Lexus offer well-rounded, less-expensive counterparts to full-size luxury barges like the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Both are packed with great tech, all the comfort and convenience factors you could ask for, and in twin-turbo V6 guises, potent power. Cadillac’s Super Cruise tech is absolutely worth your attention, and could be the one feature that puts it above the Lexus for some buyers. But to us, the LS 500’s combination of quiet luxury, great style and better on-road dynamics make it our pick, if only by a hair.