Introduced for the 2021 model year, the larger-than-life Cadillac is back in 2023 mostly unchanged and still representing one of the most luxurious and technologically-forward options to transport a full load of passengers. Here’s why.
Designers have done a great job translating the appealing boxy aesthetic over to the new fifth generation. Signature traits like the massive crest-shaped grille — featuring chromed slats on Darpan’s Platinum Luxury press loaner — vertical running and taillights and huge 22-inch polished alloy wheels return but are reinterpreted, and there are some contemporary twists such as the LED headlamps taking on a super-slim horizontal appearance.
Built on the GMT1XX platform similar to stablemates the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon, the SUVs share certain accessories including the powered running boards that deploy and retract when the doors are opened or closed. This is a great help for ingress and egress as the vehicle measures 1,948 millimetres high. Cadillac sets a new benchmark in terms of cabin comfort and convenience. The Whisper Beige interior is beautiful, the caveat being after only half a winter of use the semi-aniline leather upholstery and carpeting was already looking worn.
The crown jewel however is the industry-first 38-inch curved OLED display, stretching nearly the entire width of the dashboard housing a digital instrument cluster and infotainment controls. Connected on the left-hand side is an info panel where drivers can activate a nifty Night Vision infrared camera (+$2,300), which projects an enhanced low-light view of the road ahead and highlights pedestrians and large animals in bright yellow. And new for 2023, an electronic version of the owner’s manual is now available to view right on the main screen.
Audiophiles will love the 36-speaker AKG Studio Reference stereo, powered by three aamplifiers, flooding the enclosed space with beautifully rich sound. Occupants are really able to stretch out while enjoying their tunes as third-row legroom has increased 40 per cent due to an increased overall vehicle length of 180 millimetres. When the one-touch-fold captain’s chairs rather than a middle bench is equipped, gaining access to the back is rather easy making the task of installing a child’s seat rather painless.
Though a more efficient 3.0-litre turbodiesel is offered, ours ran the standard General Motors 6.2-litre V8 engine producing 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque that sounds and feels wonderful. The only real issue in the performance department is the slow-to-respond brakes when trying to bring the 2,641-kilogram behemoth to a complete stop. Handling is actually better than expected as there’s independent rear suspension as well an electronic limited-slip differential providing ample traction even in the slick conditions often experienced in B.C.
Super Cruise (+$2,875) takes cruise control to the next level. The semi-autonomous driving system leverages LiDAR map data, high-precision GPS, driver-attention monitor and an array of sensors to allow hands-free driving across 300,000 kilometres of divided freeway in Canada and the U.S. Even single lane changes are automated after simply flicking the turn signal stalk in the desired direction.
The 2023 Cadillac is built at the GM Arlington Assembly facility in Texas and is in dealerships now.
Highlights (as tested)
Motor: 6.2-litre V8
Horsepower: 420 @ 5,600 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 460 @ 4,100 rpm
Gearbox: 10-speed automatic
Layout: front engine, four-wheel drive
Fuel economy: 19.2 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)