November 1st, 2018

By Don Armstrong

Cadillac CT6

Cadillac CT6
Think American luxury sedans and chances are good that Cadillac comes to mind.

More than just another full-size luxury machine, the 2018 CT6 can now be equipped with Cadillac’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous driver control, that can take you down a road not experienced by many.

Cadillac’s Super Cruise uses multiple cameras and sensors that work in tandem to help keep the car traveling in the highway lane you put it in, alerting the driver and releasing control when it “sees” something that can get you in trouble. No, it’s not completely autonomous, yet, but it’s easy to see where Cadillac is heading.

The body of the CT6 is ultra-modern up front with sharp-cornered lighting that bookend’s the large Caddy emblem center grille. The rear fascia is ultra conservative. Somehow, it works.

Motivating this beauty is an optional 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 that delivers 404-horsepower to all four wheels. A turbo-4 is standard.

The conservatively designed interior is cutting edge with a large, easy-to-use infotainment screen. All of Cadillac’s latest and greatest techno is there too. Materials and workmanship are top notch.

Pricing starts $54,095. Our loaded CT6 with Premium trim was a touch over $100,000.

Lexus LS 500h
You are either a lover or hater of the Lexus “spindle” grills. Either way, it certainly makes a statement, and so goes the LS grille.

The Lexus LS is the brand’s full-size model and we think it’s a beauty, particularly the interior. And really, isn’t that what matters most?

This Lexus comes with sumptuous, perforated leather seating with reclining and massaging functions in back along with real wood trim and the optional 23-speaker Mark Levinson sound system.

The dash is very different with many shapes and forms coming together in a museum quality work of art. There’s even a backlit piece of eye candy for the front passenger to enjoy. If there is a drawback it would be the finger touch control pad for the infotainment screen. We could make-do though.

Lexus no longer offers a V-8 engine in the LS. Instead, you’ll get the naturally aspirated V-6 or the hybrid that whispers 354 horsepower through a continuously variable transmission to the rear wheels. All-wheel drive is available.

The ride is what you’d expect, like a cloud and worthy of at least 10-hours behind the wheel or as a lucky passenger.

Pricing begins at $79,510.

Luxe Summer Rides

June 1st, 2018

By Don Armstrong

Cadillac CT6

Cadillac CT6
Meet the new flagship from Cadillac, the CT6 Sedan. Despite is lackluster name, the car is a masterpiece in the luxury market.

Its exterior design is both modern and conservative with vertical lighting fore and aft. Minimal chrome bits adorn vent openings up front while quad, chrome tipped exhaust tips flank the lower rear valance. A high beltline pays tribute to Cadillac’s enormous era.

The interior is purely Cadillac, American luxury can’t get any better. A slight rise in the upper leather dash covering marks its digital instrument cluster below. The centrally located touch screen is wide, easy to use and understand. A finger-touch pad control can be found just ahead of the shifter on the center console. Seating surfaces are top notch leather, firm yet comfortable with adjustments for every body type.

A highlight of the CT6 is its semi-autonomous driving feature called SuperCruise that allows you to let the car drive itself when highway conditions permit. For this reporter, it was a strange feeling releasing the wheel and letting the car do its thing. It worked amazingly well.

Power options include a 4-cylinder or one of two V-6 engines.

Pricing starts at an astonishingly low $54,490.

Audi S5

Audi S5
If you’re a lone commuter, perhaps a German Coupe would be a good fit. May we suggest the Audi S5?

Conservative exterior styling is the key note for the S5. Personally, we like the sleeper look this car exudes with its relatively straight lines, big, open-mouth grille and run-of-the-mill taillights. The quad exhaust tips can be a slight tipoff that something may be lurking under the hood.

The 3.0-liter V-6 delivers 354-horsepower to its full-time all-wheel drive system through an 8-speed automatic transmission. We thought it was a V-8 at first. Yes, its 369 lb.-ft. of torque hits you that hard.

The interior brings a lot to the table. Like the exterior, design is conservative – nothing swoopy here. But, the S5 has the latest techno-stuff to keep you as occupied as you want to be. Seating is comfortable but legroom for adults in the back could be an issue on long trips.

Like the Cadillac CT6, the S5 has a similar semi-autonomous driving feature available but engagement is accomplished a little differently than the American way.

There at two trim levels, the Premium Plus and Prestige, with pricing beginning at $54,600.

Bay Area Houston Magazine