2018 Volvo S90 vs. 2018 Cadillac CT6 Plug-In

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo S90 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Cadillac CT6 Plug-In doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

Both the S90 and CT6 Plug-In have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S90 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The CT6 Plug-In’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Volvo S90 offers optional built in child booster seats. They’re more crash worthy than an added child seat because of their direct attachment to the seat. Cadillac doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the CT6 Plug-In. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; S90 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

The S90 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The CT6 Plug-In doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The S90 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The CT6 Plug-In doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The S90’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The CT6 Plug-In doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the S90 and the CT6 Plug-In have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available around view monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the S90 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 110 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The CT6 Plug-In has not been tested, yet.


The S90’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the CT6 Plug-In’s (12 vs. 6 years).


From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Volvo vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Volvo 2 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.


The S90 T8’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 65 more horsepower (400 vs. 335) and 40 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 432) than the CT6 Plug-In’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. hybrid.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the S90 T6/T8’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the CT6 Plug-In:


S90 T5

S90 T6/T8

CT6 Plug-In

Front Rotors

12.7 inches

13.6 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.9 inches

12.6 inches

12.4 inches

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the S90 has larger standard tires than the CT6 Plug-In (245/45R18 vs. 235/50R18). The S90’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CT6 Plug-In (255/35R20 vs. 235/50R18).

The S90’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CT6 Plug-In’s standard 50 series front tires. The S90’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the CT6 Plug-In’s 50 series front and 45 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S90 offers optional 20-inch wheels. The CT6 Plug-In’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The S90 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The CT6 Plug-In’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better maneuverability, the S90 18” wheels’ turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the CT6 Plug-In’s (38.7 feet vs. 40 feet).


The Volvo S90 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 650 pounds less than the Cadillac CT6 Plug-In.

The S90 is 4 inches shorter than the CT6 Plug-In, making the S90 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The S90 has .5 inches more front hip room and 1.4 inches more rear hip room than the CT6 Plug-In.

Cargo Capacity

The S90 has a much larger trunk than the CT6 Plug-In (13.5 vs. 10.6 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the S90 easier. The S90’s trunk lift-over height is 26.5 inches, while the CT6 Plug-In’s liftover is 29.1 inches.

The S90’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The CT6 Plug-In doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the S90. The CT6 Plug-In doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.


If the windows are left down on the S90 the driver can raise them all using the keyless remote; on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the CT6 Plug-In can only raise the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The S90’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The CT6 Plug-In’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the S90 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The CT6 Plug-In doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The S90 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CT6 Plug-In doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The CT6 Plug-In’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The S90’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

On extremely cold Winter days, the S90’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The CT6 Plug-In doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.


The S90 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2017. The CT6 Plug-In has never been an “All Star.”

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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