Home » Facelifted Cadillac CT6 vs. 2016-2018 Cadillac CT6: Visual Comparison

Facelifted Cadillac CT6 vs. 2016-2018 Cadillac CT6: Visual Comparison

Facelifted Cadillac CT6 vs. 2016-2018 Cadillac CT6: Visual Comparison

The Cadillac CT6 first arrived on the scene for the 2016 model year, dropping cover at the 2015 New York International Auto Show and hitting the U.S. market in March of 2016. The large luxury four-door ran its 2016 introduction model year plus the 2017 and 2018 model years with minor changes, but the 2019 model year delivered a major refresh. One of the biggest elements that were part of the updates was a notable change in design that brought the sedan in line with the rest of the Cadillac lineup from a design standpoint.

Boasting the same styling cues as the contemporary Cadillac XT6 crossover SUV, the 2019 CT6 looks sharper and more poised than before. Let’s take a closer look at the visual differences between the original CT6 and the updated/refreshed/facelifted model.

Pre-Facelift CT6 Model Years:

  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018

Facelifted CT6 Model Years:

  • 2019
  • 2020

2016-2018 Cadillac CT6

2019 Cadillac CT6-V

Some of the biggest visual differences are at the front end. The fascia of the pre-facelift model features larger headlamp housings, with divided vertical signature lighting elements. In addition, the 2016-2018 CT6 features a smaller upper grille with horizontal inserts, plus a thin lower grille segmented into three pieces, with the center portion being thinner than the two outer ones.

2016-2018 Cadillac CT6

2019 Cadillac CT6-V

By comparison, the updated 2019-2020 Cadillac CT6 gets much more stylized headlights, with a new horizontal element at the top. The outer edges flow into an extended vertical lighting portion that lead down the fender line and into new intakes at the corners of the bumper cover.

The upper grille is also larger than the pre-facelift model, with a different pattern for the insert.  What’s more, the facelifted model also introduces the first-ever CT6-V, which offers a unique V-Series mesh grille insert (along with a host of performance improvements). Finally, the lower intake section is larger at the center, while tapering down at the corners.

2016-2018 Cadillac CT6

2019 Cadillac CT6

At the side, the pre-facelift Cadillac CT6 was equipped with polished window trim (also known as Daylight Opening, or DLO), no matter the trim level. Wheel sizes ranged between 18 and 20 inches in diameter.

The updated Cadillac CT6 has the same roofline, sheetmetal and proportions as before, but the polished window surrounds can be replaced with black versions on the Sport and CT6-V trims for the 2019 model year. Unfortunately, the Sport trim was dropped for the 2020 model year). 18-inch to 20-inch wheels are offered across the rest of the lineup, while the CT6-V model offers three sets of unique 20-inch wheels.

2016-2018 Cadillac CT6

2019 Cadillac CT6

At the rear, the pre-facelift Cadillac CT6 features vertical taillamp housings surrounded at the outer edges in chrome, accentuating the vehicle’s trunk line. There’s also a small recess in the trunk lid for the license plate cutout in the general shape of the Cadillac crest. A horizontal chrome trim line is present at the bottom end of the rear, and either dual or quad exhaust tips – depending on the model/engine – are present at the corners of the lower bumper.

By comparison, the facelifted CT6 features an entirely new rear end that starts with a redesigned trunk lid and new tail lamp housings. The new tail lamps add a horizontal element that stretches towards the center of the trunk line, adding some extra visual width. There’s also a prominent chrome trim line connecting the two taillights, while the trunk lid indent was reshaped to be larger than before. The vertical tail light elements are present and accounted for, but they have since been redesigned.

Finally, the lower bumper cover has been reshaped, and all 2019-2020 CT6 models feature quad-tipped exhaust.

2016-2018 Cadillac CT6

2019 Cadillac CT6-V

Individually, the changes implemented with the Cadillac CT6 refresh aren’t huge. But taken together, they add up to a much more interesting visual package.

Unfortunately, the future of the CT6 in the North American market is very much unclear as of this writing, as production is scheduled to end in early 2020. There’s currently no word on whether production will be moved to a different facility.

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Written by
Jonathan is an automotive journalist based out of Southern California. He loves anything and everything on four wheels.


  1. We just leased a 2020 CT6 and absolutely love it. Its our 17th new Cadillac and so far one of our favorites. I was very disappointed to read that Cadillac is discontinuing this big luxury car.

    • Wow!! I also leased a 2020 CT6 and it’s my first Cadillac and it’s the most beautiful car I’ve ever owned. I’m also disappointed Cadillac is discontinuing the CT6 but I’m hearing the new Escala will be in production in 2021 which probably replace the CT6.

      • Don’t hold your breath for the Escala… especially for 2021.

  2. Which 2016-2018 CT6 did NOT have quad exhaust tips?

    And what is “unclear” about the CT6 in NA? Production ends is a few weeks and the plant is being converted to build electric vehicles. It would cost many millions to move production to another plant, money GM would never recoup on a car that found only 6000 or so buyers last year. Only importing a few from China remains as an option.

    I think there will be a kind of replacement for the CT6 though. Several months ago, it was announced that a Cadillac vehicle to be named “Escala” was approved for production. Fast forward to a few weeks ago when it was announced that Cadillacs upcoming Electric vehicles were all to have names rather than letter/number designations. Therefore, the “next” CT6 will be electric drive and be called Escala.

    • The 2.0 Turbo did not have quad exhaust or the 2.0E (Hybrid) model. These were of course eventually discontinued…

      • Greg – the 2016-2018 CT6 2.0T model and the CT6 PHEV model did not have quad exhaust, but a single-side dual-tip configuration.

        It’s “unclear” because the car could be imported from China, or DHAM production could theoretically be moved. Neither one of these options has been ruled out just yet, based on our intel…. hence – unclear.

        You might be on to something as it relates to the Escalade being an indirect successor to the CT6. Stay tuned.

        • I stand corrected.

          Actually I wrote “Escala”, not Escalade. Did you mean Escala?

          Do you REALLY think GM would spend the millions required to move US production? There’s little chance of a sales increase. Though Cadillac may want to use the Omega platform for something else.
          I would think importation from China would be politically sensitive.
          Personally, if I were GM, I’d allow the CT6 to die after January and let some time pass before the Escala can be ready. I noticed in uour post above we should not hold our breath for it, at least not for next year. Is this because of SUV FEVER at GM (and likely most automakers) these days?

          • It’s mostly because of where GM is going – EVs and AVs… and the plan is for Cadillac to lead those efforts, at least in regards to EVs.

  3. I am enjoying my “unicorn” – the one-year-only 2019 CT6 Sport with 3.0TT and Supercruise. It’s a great long distance travel car.

  4. With the rumors that Cadillac is discontinuing the CT6, I wonder if that’s actually true? With the news that they are going back to real names, could they still be planning to make a big luxury sedan but they are just gonna be changing the name? With this refresh, maybe run it for 2020 and 2021 then an all new sedan with a real name.

    • Production of the CT6 ends in a couple of weeks. That has been officially announced. The factory that builds it (along with the Chevrolet Impala and Volt) is being closed to undergo extensive renovations necessary to build GMs upcoming Electric vehicles. If GM intends to move production of the CT6 to another factory, they have not yet announced it. Personally, I doubt they’ll spend the large amount of money necessary to move everything to another plant. I could be wrong of course, but I think GM would rather spend that money on other things. They could import it from China where it’s built for that market.

      Let me ask a question. I’m curious. If the CT6 was built only in China, would you have bought one?

  5. We leased a 2016 CT6 and have been extremely happy with it – with one exception: the 8 speed trans has been a bit of an issue. They have replaced the valve body, reprogrammed, etc. and it’s pretty good now. The 10 speed used in the newer CT6’s seems to be good.

    Several months ago we put in an order for a 2020 CT6-V. The order was finally accepted and it was built after the strike was over. We’ve had a VIN since mid-Nov but they said it wouldn’t ship until January. The dealer got invoiced for it last week so it should ship soon(!).

    It’s a shame this car will (likely) no longer be sold in the US, but I get it – it’s all about demand and volume. After driving SUV’s and crossovers for several years, it’s great to be back in a really nice sedan!

  6. I think the CT6 is a beautiful car. But I can’t help thinking that we might not be having these conversations if Cadillac had elected to, well, “push the envelope” with the CT6’s design. It’s true that buyers in the segment tend to be conservative in their tastes. But I always remember the original 2003 CTS. The segment it was launched into was also full of fairly conventional designs, usually smaller versions of their respective brand’s larger offerings. The CTS was not fully embraced by the press at first, but it was an out of the park hit and sales rose every year and didn’t start to decline until about 18 months or so before it was replaced. A lesson worth remembering?

  7. @Greg:

    I agree.
    Had Cadillac made the Ciel or ElMiraj they would have had waiting lists for months.
    Both were very, very beautiful cars with nothing like them on the road.

    The CT6 is nice, but it’s not a car one obsesses over or takes an extra job to afford — IMO.

    • There’s a reason that neither the Ciel or Elmiraj never saw production:
      1. They didn’t appear to mainstream buyers… but only to a select few.
      2. Producing them as they were would have been cost-prohibitive, which is the reason you don’t see production cars with those types of design traits today.

      • I think the Ciel was actually un-buildable. As sexy as convertibles are, and how eye catching a 4 door one is, there was no place to put a roof mechanism. Think about it: have you ever seen a picture of the Ciel with a roof? The rear deck/ haunches of the Concept are too taught and compact to hold the large folding mechanism necessary. A production version would have to have a far taller and fatter aft end than the Concept and that would made for a far less attravtive car.

        Personally, I was never a big Elmiraj fan. Very nice proportions and details, but it didn’t get my heart a’ jumpin’.

      • @AlexLuft:
        Come on, bro.

        Those cars appealed to mainstream buyers AND enthusiasts.

        Those cars, had they been built, would have really put Cadillac back on the map for design/innovation.

        The CT6 not so much.

        Now, if you have “intel” from your sources that proves your point about neither car having customer demand, I would gladly stand down.

      • Alex IMO Cadillac needed those type of cars in addition to the main stream vehicles. Speaking of cost according to the Things that Cadillac has done lately wasting money don’t seem to matter to them. An example. Redesigning the CT6 then canceling it in less than two years. Waste of money.. Building a brand new V8 Engine and by all indications it too will be cancelled. Again a waste of money.


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