Getting to know Cadillac’s latest addition: the XT6
When most people think of a big, three-row SUV, the Cadillac Escalade comes to mind. And with good reason – they are everywhere. They are all over the roads and they can even be spotted on TV when we see movie stars or politicians getting in or out of a vehicle – that vehicle is usually an Escalade.
But as of this year, the Escalade isn’t Cadillac’s only three-row SUV. Enter the 2020 Cadillac XT6.
New to the Cadillac lineup, the XT6 is a car-based three-row luxury SUV slotted right below the Escalade and above the smaller XT5. Its exterior design is pure Cadillac – with its wide grille and slim LED headlights to its boxy profile, the XT6 is well-proportioned and very handsome. There should be little doubt to those that see the XT6 that it is indeed a Cadillac.
Walk to the rear of the XT6 and you may notice a “400” badge. A few years ago, the number on the back of a vehicle would indicate a model or an engine size, but in this case, it’s neither. Instead, 400 is the amount of torque the engine makes. 400 lb-ft of torque? Um, well no. The engine makes 271 lb-ft of torque, but in newton meters, that number rounds out to 400, thus the badge we see. This is a new trend for Cadillac for all 2020 and newer models, so get used to seeing torque figures shown in metric on rear ends of all new Cadillacs. A strange move if you ask me.
Enter the cabin of the XT6 and you’re greeted to an impressive setting. Up front, drivers and passengers are treated to a revised version of Cadillac’s CUE infotainment touchscreen system which includes a new secondary dial controller on the center console for those who prefer not to reach out to the screen. Next to dial controller is a volume knob, which is a nice addition. Both are positioned next to a new electronic shifter – no Escalade column shifter here!
Moving on to the second row, a three-person bench seat is standard, but I’m sure most buyers will shell out the extra $800 for a pair of captain’s chairs. The third-row is for two, and it’s actually quite spacious. At 5-foot 9-inches, I was able to sit back there without having to see my chiropractor afterwards. In fact, Escalade owners may be jealous – the XT6 has more third-row room than the bigger Escalade. The larger Escalade ESV still takes the honors for the most spacious third-row, though.
Cadillac offers the XT6 in two trim levels – Premium Luxury and Sport. The Premium Luxury, which is what I happen to drive, would be considered the entry-level model, but it’s hardly that. Offered with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, it’s loaded. Features like a huge sunroof, a hands-free liftgate, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel are among just a few of the amenities it has. The Sport gets standard all-wheel drive, quicker steering and an active suspension along with black exterior accents.
Both models are powered by Cadillac’s 3.6-liter V6 engine mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. It makes 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque. In my tester, which happened to be an all-wheel drive model, the powerplant provided plenty of power – and has an excellent exhaust note at full throttle. The gas pedal is a little jumpy and takes some getting used to, and passengers may question your driving intentions.
Super Cruise, Cadillac’s first true hands-free driving feature won’t be available on 2020 XT6s, but we should see it as an option next year. Night Vision, on the other hand, is available for an additional $2000. It uses infrared to detect pedestrians or large animals beyond the reach of the headlights.
With vehicles like this new XT6, and the new Escalades arriving soon, there is no question that Cadillac is making its way back to the top of the luxury vehicle market. And with the looks it, plan to be there for a while.
— Christopher A. Randazzo
By The Numbers:
2020 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury AWD
Base Price: $54,695.00
Price as Tested: $71,585.00
Layout: front-engine / all-wheel drive
Engine: 3.6-liter Direct Injection V6
Transmission: 9 – speed automatic
Horsepower: 310 hp
Torque: 271 ft-lbs
EPA Fuel Economy: 17 city / 24 highway mpg
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