Auto123 reviews the 2020 Cadillac XT6, a big model that fills a big hole in the luxury brand’s SUV lineup.
This isn't the first time Cadillac has tried to introduce a model in the luxury yacht segment. The American manufacturer had already launched a three-seat SRX in 2004, only to abandon it almost immediately. The manufacturer attacks the segment again 16 years later with the brand-new XT6, which conveniently fills the gap in the model range between the XT5 compact SUV and the ocean liner of the lineup, the Escalade.
The XT6 is a vehicle that doesn't go unnoticed. First of all, because of its size, but also visually, because the appearance of this SUV is quite attractive. Up front, there's an imposing grille with slanty headlights on either side. The vertical high beams are a giveaway Cadillac touch; you can't really mistake it for any other brand when you look it in the eyes. Overall, it looks like a small Escalade. Overall, we rather like the styling of this XT6.
In the back it's pretty much the same. There are the vertical LED lights underneath a glass covering that give the vehicle a cleanly luxurious look. The rear window is upright and large enough to ensure very good rearward visibility.
There's plenty of room in the cabin, to be sure. Even if on the outside the XT6 doesn't look particularly gigantic (it's more of a yacht than an ocean liner, let’s say), inside, especially in the first two rows, no one will complain about a lack of space. Even tall passengers won't feel cramped.
Then, the interior finish is worthy of a luxury car and everything is in its proper, expected place for a premium ride. We really liked the sleek aspect of the central console; the touch-sensitive buttons for the air conditioning and heating work divinely. The main screen is very easy to manipulate even though it seemed a little far from the driver. You can use the thumb wheel located between the two seats, but it seemed more natural to us to want to use our fingers on the screen. It's up to you.
There's plenty of room behind as well. A bench seat is standard, but you can choose two captain's seats for a few extra dollars. The third row is very easy to get into and there's enough room even for adults, which isn't always the case in this category.
With so much space dedicated to the vehicle's passengers, there was a price to pay somewhere, and it’s the trunk that pays it. With all three rows of seats in place, there isn't much room left for luggage. So, either you opt for a box on the big, broad roof or you eliminate a few passengers to accommodate your luggage.
As for the powertrain, it features the trusty old 3.6L V6 that develops 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque with the help of a 9-speed transmission. The combination offers acceptable performance even if we would have liked to have a little more power at our fingertips. Especially since, given the vehicle's weight, accelerations are a little slow.
In addition, engine noise is a little too present in the passenger compartment, which is too bad because otherwise you can't hear much noise coming from the outside. Also, fuel consumption during my week was close to 16 L/100 km. The good news is that the Cadillac XT6 drives like a real limousine if you don't rush it. The active suspension and steering are perfectly calibrated.
The trims, the prices
As far as versions and prices are concerned, it's simple, there are two models available to Canada consumers. First, there's the Luxury, which starts at $63,448. With this version, you can choose a 7-seat configuration. The Luxury comes with leather seats (though only in the first and second rows), heated front seats and steering wheel, power tailgate, panoramic sunroof, 20-inch wheels and a few comfort options.
The second version, Sport, starts at $66,248. It essentially features sportier styling elements inside and out. You can opt for 21-inch wheels, high-end headlights, a second-row captain's chair configuration or a Smart Tow towing system that can easily tow up to 4,000 lb.
As for safety, the XT6 has all the essentials, no surprise there. Lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, collision avoidance, and rear cross traffic alert are all there, for example. One option, however, attracted our curiosity because it's still very rare on today's vehicles, even in the luxury categories: a night vision system. This system uses infrared sensors to detect pedestrians on the road. This is a very welcome feature to have when driving at night in the city or in a residential area.
The XT6 is a quality mid-size luxury vehicle, it's smart-looking and comfortable, and it offers a lot of room on board. Plus it's very smooth to drive as long as you don't rush it. In the U.S., the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave it the best-possible Top Safety Pick+ designation after administering its usual battery of collision mitigation and avoidance tests. If you tend to take longer road trips with the family in your SUV, the XT6 is the perfect candidate.
Properly luxurious interior environment
Very spacious for humans (and their dogs)
Friendly, competent multimedia system
Successful exterior design
We like less
Missing power for the size of the vehicle
Engine noise bleeds into the otherwise quiet cabin
Little cargo space with seats in place
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