2020 Mercedes S-Class vs. 2020 Cadillac CT6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes S-Class 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 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The rear seatbelts optional on the S-Class inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The CT6 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The S-Class’ 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 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the S-Class and the CT6 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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, available all wheel drive, night vision systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 17th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 13th in reliability, above the industry average. With 32 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 23rd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mercedes 9 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.

Engine

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The S-Class has more powerful engines than the CT6:

Horsepower

Torque

S 450 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

S 560 4.0 turbo V8

463 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

Maybach S 650 6.0 turbo V12

621 HP

738 lbs.-ft.

CT6 3.6 DOHC V6

335 HP

285 lbs.-ft.

CT6 Platinum 4.2 turbo V8

500 HP

574 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the S 450 4MATIC V6 gets better fuel mileage than the CT6 V6 (18 city/28 hwy vs. 18 city/27 hwy).

The S-Class V6/V8’s standard fuel tank has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the CT6 (21.1 vs. 19.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The S-Class V12’s standard fuel tank has 5.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the CT6 (24.6 vs. 19.2 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the S-Class’ brake rotors are larger than those on the CT6:

S 450/560

S 650

CT6 AWD

CT6 Platinum

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

15.4 inches

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

14.2 inches

12.4 inches

13.3 inches

Tires and Wheels

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The S-Class’ optional 275/35R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CT6 Premium Luxury/Platinum’s 40 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the S-Class can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The CT6 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the S-Class uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the CT6, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The S-Class offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Cadillac doesn’t offer an active suspension on the CT6.

The S-Class has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The CT6 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is 2.2 inches longer than on the CT6 (124.6 inches vs. 122.4 inches). The Maybach S-Class’ wheelbase is 10.1 inches longer than on the CT6 (132.5 inches vs. 122.4 inches).

Passenger Space

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The S-Class has 1.4 inches more front shoulder room and 2.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the CT6.

Cargo Capacity

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The S-Class has a much larger trunk than the CT6 (18.7 vs. 15.8 cubic feet).

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the S-Class easier. The S-Class’ trunk lift-over height is 27.4 inches, while the CT6’s liftover is 29.1 inches.

Ergonomics

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Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the S-Class to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The CT6 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

The CT6 Premium Luxury/Platinum’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The S-Class’ standard 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.

The S-Class has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The CT6 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

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The Mercedes S-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the Cadillac CT6 isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

The S-Class is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The CT6 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the S-Class owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the S-Class with a number “1” insurance rate while the CT6 is rated higher at a number “3” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the S-Class is less expensive to operate than the CT6 because it costs $164 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the S-Class than the CT6, including $93 less for front brake pads, $129 less for fuel injection, $48 less for a fuel pump and $264 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/09/30

The Mercedes S-Class outsold the Cadillac CT6 by 66% during the 2019 model year.

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