Home » Cadillac CT6 Named Best Upper Midsize Premium Car In J.D. Power 2020 APEAL Study

Cadillac CT6 Named Best Upper Midsize Premium Car In J.D. Power 2020 APEAL Study

Cadillac CT6 Named Best Upper Midsize Premium Car In J.D. Power 2020 APEAL Study

J.D. Power recently released the results from its 2020 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, which ranks major automakers and new vehicles in terms of owner excitement and emotional attachment. Topping the list in the Upper Midsize Premium Car segment was the Cadillac CT6, which bested the BMW 5 Series for the honor.

The J.D. Power APEAL Study was redesigned for 2020, and is now in its 25th year. This year, the study looked at responses from 87,282 owners of new 2020 model-year vehicles, who were surveyed after 90 days of ownership. The study was fielded between February and May of this year.

Vehicles were ranked on a 1,000-point scale based on 37 individual attributes, including things like the thrill of hitting the throttle, and the sense of comfort and luxury felt when stepping into the cabin. The Cadillac CT6 was the best-ranked vehicle in the Upper Midsize Premium Car segment, while the BMW 5 Series was second. Notably, no other model in the segment performed at or above the segment average. As such, the CT6 and 5 Series are the only two vehicles listed for the segment.

Interestingly, the Cadillac CT6 also managed to secure an award in the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study (IQS), making it one of just eight vehicles to top its segment in both the IQS study and the APEAL study.

The Cadillac CT6 was discontinued earlier this year in an effort to make way for Cadillac’s upcoming line of electric vehicles. Although the CT6 performed well in these J.D. Power studies, sales were lackluster, with 7,951 units last last year, a drop of 17.7 percent compared to the 9,668 units sold in 2018.

Beyond the CT6 specifically, Cadillac as a brand also fared well in the J.D. Power 2020 APEAL Study, securing a third-place finish among all luxury brands studied with a score of 874. Porsche was at the top of the luxury brands list with a score of 881, while Lincoln was second with 876 points.

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Source: J.D. Power

This post was created in collaboration with our sister publication, GM Authority.

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


  1. Anyone that drives a CT6 knows this car is very deserving of the J. D. Power accolades. Makes me sick that this has happened after the car has been discontinued. In my opinion, the CT6 is the best car Cadillac, and by extension, GM, has ever built. I’m at a loss as to why it did not sell better, especially given the well deserved pre-production hoopla. I’m still of the opinion that the XTS cannibalized CT6 sales. Going forward, Cadillac will have quite a large blank space between the CT5 and the pie-in-the-sky Celestiq. I recognize sedans are not selling well, but most CT6 drivers are not going to step down to a CT5 nor step up to a Celestiq. I would not look at a Celestiq even if I could afford it. Cadillac will likely lose customers like myself because of this. When the lease is up on my current CT6, I will be forced to look elsewhere for a large, somewhat affordable luxury sedan. I’ve been very loyal to Cadillac, but the entire CT6 saga sickens me.

    • We have had 5 Cadillacs since 2001. An ’02 DHS that we still have, a 2011 SRX Platinum Premium, a 2013 XTS Premium, a 2013 CT6 Luxury and our new 2020 CT6 Premium Luxury that we special ordered and waited over 5 months for. All have been great cars and all killed off by GM/Cadillac.

      The CT6 deserves the award and GM/Cadillac need to rethink their marketing. Killing the CT6, XTS and the Chevy Impala to produce the pie in the sky EV’s and a $200K hand-built Caddy. They seem to have forgotten their market. Not everyone wants a super-sized minivan, cross-over or SUV. I won’t be forced to a compact car like the CT4/5 when 4 average adults won’t fit into them. Oh, let’s continue to sell the CT6 in China. Great marketing. Mary Barra needs to focus on a USA market and promote a reasonably ($45-$90K) full sized sedan.

      Too Bad Cadillac is going to loose sales and a loyal following.

  2. I echo your position – only it relates to my 2018 XTS. I started with STSs in 1992, switched to XTS in 2013. Next vehicle… probably won’t be a Cadillac.
    My opinion as to why the XTS and CT6 didn’t sell was the lack of promotional efforts and long rumors to discontinue the vehicles.

  3. Cadillac and GM finally get one right then they turn around and kill it. What a shame.

  4. I believe one of the main reasons the CT6 did not sell well is that they never really advertised it. It’s a great car. People who summarily dismiss GM vehicles due to ‘quality issues’ don’t know what they’re missing. We’ve owned over 140 cars of many different makes, and ALL of them have issues of some sort, and MOST of them are really reliable. We’ve had 4 Cadillacs in the past 10 years – SRX, CTS-V, CT6 (’16), CT6-V (’20). We really liked the ’16 CT6 (3.0TT) but the 8 spd auto not so much. The new one is outstanding! A pleasure to drive, nearly as quick as our C7 GS, the best all around touring car we’ve had and that includes Mercedes, Maserati, Jaguar, etc. It was worth the wait – we ordered it in April ’19 and took delivery in Feb ’20.

    But alas, the market has moved to crossovers, etc. I think Cadillac could have marketed the CT6 much better and it could have held it’s own. I also think Cadillac is the most messed up car company when it comes to the way they ‘market’ their vehicles. Way too many changes, mixed messages, etc. Great cars, dumb marketing.

  5. We’ve bought or leased 17 new Cadillacs since 1980 and currently have a 2017 XT5 Platinum and a 2020 CT6. We love them both and were very disappointed to learn that the CT6 has been discontinued. We switched to the CT6 after 4 CTSs because that car was discontinued and because we hated the CT5. Not sure what we’ll do when the CT6 lease it up in 2023, but I doubt that we’ll be interested in an electric car. We may be forced to switch brands after more than 40 years. It would be a shame, but it appears that Cadillac is abandoning its loyal customers.

  6. I too have been a loyal Cadillac owner. DeVilles, Allantes, Fleetwoods, Coupe DeVilles, numerous STSs. This entire marketing saga reminds me of the 1980s when GM losts its way in for many reasons. The cars were great, but the marketing was poor. I echo the other Cadillac people who left msgs as to the lack of price incentives and MARKETING for the CT6. What has happened to GM and to Cadillac in this case? No hybrids, while
    other foreign mfgs. are still offering great hybrids. Without the infrastructure in place, the everyone does not want to buy a EV without the option to fill it up with gasoline or diesel fuel on a long trip. I really believe that GM and Cadillac are not providing the proper marketing for their best vehicles. It is a sad comment on General Motors as it looks like the 1980s all over again with mistake after mistake.
    The Fiero was killed just when Pontiac got it right. The Allante was ready for a new front and rear facia AND an long awaited automatic convertible top. That car was also killed. The XLR was killed and was really a great Cadillac. The proposed Mid-engine replacement for the XLR seens to be dead in the water, using the new mid-engine Corvette underpinnings. To my mind, these more forward thinking is now required. This entire situation suggests that the GM execs. are in their Ivory Towers, collecting their bonus’ and paychecks. Where are the true Car Guys that use to run the car industry, instead of the bean counters?

  7. share a beer and a tear for me….my 2019 CT6V was totalled (my view) last week with a lovely shearing off of the front end and splitting the aluminum frame poles off…hey, nobody hurt and the car was as solid as rock…but now the insurance battle…between their attempt to FIX (my dealer admits it would never be the same) and the undocumented idiot who hit me…but…my dealer has a new 2020 one stored back…same exact car…so I will be bringing JD Powers’ claims to truth…one way or the other…and maybe a lot poorer…watch the idiots out there, folks!!

    • So sorry that happened, and glad everyone is okay. I know what you mean about the idiots out there, and there are a lot of them. And they just don’t care.

  8. I agree with all of your comments and I have loved the Cadillac brand since I was a kid. I’ve had several relatives including my parents that were Cadillac owners for years dating back to the 70’s to the present time. Cadillac was always my dream car but was never able to afford such a beautiful car until 2019 November, I purchased/leased my first 2020 Cadillac CT6 Premium Luxury and this car is absolutely the most beautiful and best car I have ever had. Cadillac is making a huge mistake to discontue the make of the CT6. My lease will be up in 2023 and if Cadillac don’t return the make of the CT6 or another large sedan, I will look to other large luxury brand cars.


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