The XT6 marks Cadillac's foray into the three-row midsize SUV market. With its introduction, there is now a Caddy for just about any application. But as with most vehicles by the American manufacturer, premium luxury SUVs from across the pond do it better. That's not too say the XT6 doesn't have its strengths; the V6 is pretty powerful, with 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque, the interior is quite spacious, and a lot of cargo space can be provided if you're willing to fold down some seats. It also comes with plenty of features to keep the tech-heads happy. But European rivals like the BMW X5 and Audi Q7 are more refined and offer better handling dynamics. Normally, Caddies manage to win over some buyers with their lower price tag, but the XT6 is very much on par with these German luxury SUVs, so the American motor company will be relying on brand loyalty and patriotism to help it compete in the segment.
The XT6 is a whole new SUV for Cadillac, filling a slot that has been vacant for some time now since the departure of the SRX in 2016, which was Cadillac's best-selling model in the U.S. It's built on the same C1XX platform that underpins the smaller Cadillac XT5 and GM cousins, the Chevrolet Traverse and Blazer.
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The XT6 didn't come dressed for its debutante ball. It isn't unattractive by any means, but the uninspired styling is unlikely to turn heads. Still, it's better looking than the chunky Escalade. The midsize crossover rides on 20-inch wheels, although 21-inch variants are available to the Sport. Automatic LED headlights, LED taillights, and LED daytime running lights are all standard. A hands-free power liftgate, mounted with a rear spoiler, is equipped on the rear, while an UltraView power sunroof rests in the roof. The front grille is broad, with extra grille inserts present on the front bumper. The Premium Sport has chrome accents on the grille, windows, and door handles, while the Sport gets high-gloss black accents. A bright grille with Galvano surrounds is available to the Premium Luxury.
Measuring on par with similar midsize luxury SUVs, the Cadillac XT6 stands 198.5 inches long, with a 112.7-inch wheelbase. It's quite broad at 77.3 inches wide with mirrors folded, so it might feel a little claustrophobic around busy streets and parking lots. The 69.9-inch height means there aren't many vehicles you won't be able to see over. Despite its size, the Caddy is actually a little bit lighter than most of its competition, starting at 4,441 lbs and maxing out at 4,690 lbs. The BMW X5 starts at 4,758 lbs, while the Audi Q7's lightest model is 4,729 lbs.
While the XT6 has a relatively broad palette consisting of ten body paint colors, only Radiant Silver Metallic is offered as standard. Accessing the rest of the hues requires adding to the overall bill. The metallic options are unlocked by paying an additional $625, and comprise of Satin Steel, Stellar Black, Manhattan Noir, Shadow, Garnet, and Dark Mocha. For $1,225, you can choose from the two premium paint options, Crystal White Tricoat or Red Horizon Tintcoat. Color options are not restricted across the trim levels, but exterior choice can limit interior options.
Performance across the XT6 range is standard, since only a V6 engine is available, regardless of trim level. With 310 hp and 271 lb-ft directed to either the front wheels or all four wheels, the crossover is able to make the 0-60 mph sprint in a modest 6.9 seconds. It's certainly not as fleet of foot as the BMW X5, which can make the same sprint in 5.3 seconds in its slowest guise, but it's not a slow vehicle.
It can feel a bit underpowered compared to midsize rivals, though, with a max towing capacity of only 4,000 lbs. The X5 can handle loads in the area of 7,200 lbs, while the Audi Q7 is rated to tow as much as 7,700 lbs.
There is a single engine available to the Cadillac XT6, passed on to the SUV from the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse. The 3.6-liter V6 comes mated to a nine-speed automatic, and develops 310 hp and 271 lb-ft sending it to the front wheels as standard. All-wheel drive is also available on the Premium Luxury, but it comes standard on the Sport.
The engine is far from underpowered, despite the hefty bulk of the XT6. In fact, it can sometimes cause the crossover to jump forward unexpectedly if you're too eager with the gas pedal. Getting around town should be pretty easy, and passing on the highway requires only a modicum of effort, but you'll be searching long and hard if you expect the dynamism offered by turbocharged rivals.
The new XT6 follows the trend of most luxury SUVs on the market, with light, responsive steering that makes the larger vehicle easier to maneuver around town. However, the steering provides little to no feedback from the wheels, leaving the driver to rely on natural visibility and advanced driver aids to see what is going on around them.
While the engine may be strong enough to give the Caddy some athletic aspirations, its handling is not up to the challenge. The hefty crossover can take a corner quite well at reasonable speeds, but add a little speed to the equation, and it leans too far into turns to provide any real confidence. The Sport trim is slightly more competent with its unique all-wheel drivetrain and chassis damping technology, but it doesn't really earn its name.
One area where Cadillac does manage to show some expertise, though, is ride comfort. The XT6 absorbs road abrasions well despite its overly large 20-inch wheels. The Sport performance suspension is a little stiffer, but unless you opt for the 21-inch wheels, it shouldn't decrease comfort too noticeably.
The Cadillac XT6 is a competent driver that delivers a very comfortable ride, but it is far less agile than more refined rivals on the market.
The XT6 doesn't get remarkable gas mileage figures, but it remains competitive for the segment. Equipped with its front-wheel drivetrain, the SUV is able to get 18/25/20 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles. Upgrade to the all-wheel drivetrain, and this drops slightly to 17/24/20 mpg. Similarly powered midsize luxury crossovers, like the Audi Q7, get 17/21/18 mpg, while the BMW X5 is able to achieve 21/26/23 mpg in its most efficient guise. Equipped with a 19-gallon fuel tank, the Caddy is able to travel for up to 380 miles before needing to refuel.
Cadillac is known for producing interiors that look good, almost on par with those found in leading German rivals like BMW and Mercedes vehicles. However, the American manufacturer often cuts corners in favor of reduced costs, and this shows upon closer inspection. The XT6 looks good, and, for the most part, is well-built. However, there are some rough edges and the styling doesn't make an impression. Feature controls are laid out quite well, with the infotainment system being especially easy to operate thanks to the rotary controls. There is plenty of space, but the third row is a bit of a squeeze, which is hardly uncommon in three-row midsize SUVs.
The XT6 is quite spacious, even for a three-row midsize crossover, and can accommodate up to seven passengers in its standard configuration. Headroom is pretty standard across all three rows, with enough space for most adults to avoid slouching. The first and second rows offer excellent legroom, but the third row is extremely tight. The second-row bench can be swapped out for more comfortable captain's chairs, but this sees the maximum passenger capacity drop to six. Eight-way power front seats with two-way lumbar and memory settings come standard, as does front-seat heating. Rear-seat heating is available. The XT6 grants the higher driving position of most crossovers, giving the driver pretty good visibility. Getting in and out is relatively simple, and the second-row seats slide easily to grant access to the third row.
The interior is quite upscale, with mostly higher-quality materials used in the construction, although some rivals like the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE offer a more premium interior. The Caddy comes upholstered in leather with mini-perforated inserts, with a choice of Cirrus with Dark Titanium trim, Jet Black with Jet Black accents, or Dark Auburn with Jet Black accents. The Sport gets access to these same trims, with the exception of Dark Auburn. Semi-aniline leather with Chevron inserts is available as part of the $3,700 Platinum Package ($4,900 on the Premium trim), with color choices comprising Jet Black/Jet Black, Maple Sugar/Jet Black, Jet Black/Ombre with carbon fiber trim, or Maple Sugar/Jet Black with Fineline Calico wood trim. The doors and dash are mostly covered in soft-touch materials, but some harder plastics do show through.
While the Caddy XT6 is quite spacious inside, the standard trunk space is quite unimpressive. Behind the standard third-row seats, there are only 12.6 cubic feet of trunk space. This is enough for minor errand-running around town, accommodating half a dozen grocery bags, but it won't suffice for luggage or even all the kids' school bags. Functional space is only made available when you fold the third-row seats down, freeing up 43.1 cubic feet. But the midsize SUV does offer pretty impressive cargo space when all the seats are folded down, with 78.7 cubic feet of space available.
Small-item storage is adequate around the cabin, if not overly generous. There are cupholders for each of the rows, as well as front and rear door pockets. There is a passenger-side glove compartment, and the center armrest storage bin is large enough for larger items. There is also a deep bin provided underneath the dashboard controls.
As a luxury crossover, the XT6 comes equipped with a long list of standard features, with even more optional features available in the form of packages or standalone options. Both trim levels share the same features, including tri-zone climate control, cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, keyless entry and remote start. Leather upholstery comes standard, and the front seats are power-adjustable in eight directions with lumbar support. The front seats are also heated, as is the power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. The safety suite comprises an HD rearview camera, forward collision avoidance, front and rear parking assist, lane change alert, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Available features include adaptive cruise control, an eight-inch driver information display, heated rear seats, a surround-view camera, a head-up display, enhanced emergency braking, reverse automatic braking and hitch guidance with hitch view.
The XT6 gets the latest infotainment suite available to Cadillac vehicles. The Cadillac User Experience system is easy to use and features crisp graphics and all the modern amenities you'd expect. The eight-inch touchscreen interface is supplemented by rotary controls for easier operation, and grants access to Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and SiriusXM. Six USB ports are provided, two for each row of seats, and a wireless charging pad is standard up front. The suite also provides a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot to help keep the entire family connected. Music is channeled through an eight-speaker Bose audio system. This already extensive list of features can be expanded with built-in navigation and a rear-seat infotainment system comprising dual eight-inch screens and a DVD player. The standard sound system can also be upgraded to a 14-speaker Bose option to ensure high-quality audio throughout the cabin.
The latest addition to the Cadillac stable has not yet received a reliability rating from J.D. Power. It has also not received any notable complaints and has not been subjected to any recalls, to date. Cadillac offers a 50,000-mile/48-month bumper-to-bumper warranty on new purchases, while the powertrain warranty and roadside assistance are offered for 70,000 miles/72 months.
The XT6 has not received a crash-test safety rating from the NHTSA, but the IIHS has given the crossover a rating of Good in every test. The institution also named the Caddy a Top Safety Pick.
The Cadillac SUV comes with a long list of safety features. The basics include ABS, traction control, and seven airbags: dual front, driver knee, front side, and side curtain. Standard advanced driver assistance features comprise an HD rearview camera, forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian detection, front and rear parking assist, lane change alert, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a safety alert seat and rain-sensing wipers. Available features include enhanced automatic emergency braking, rear automatic braking, rear pedestrian detection, a surround-view camera and hitch guidance with hitch view.
The XT6 is Cadillac's first recent attempt at a three-row midsize SUV, and its lack of experience shows in most aspects of the crossover. It may be a bit harsh to call it a bad vehicle, but there are certainly better choices out there within the price bracket. Still, brand loyalists may find enough here to justify a purchase.
The Caddy is quite spacious inside, especially in the front two rows, supplying highly competitive levels of head- and legroom. The third-row seats are substantially less impressive. And while the third row may be more legitimate than the optional one found in the BMW X5, it comes at the cost of significantly reducing standard trunk space to a measly 12.6 cubic feet.
The Cadillac also doesn't handle nearly as well as German rivals like the X5 or Mercedes GLE, and despite having a well-appointed interior, it lacks the same level of European refinement and sophistication. One area where it does do well, though, is in its long list of standard features, especially advanced driver aids. But many of those can be added to the X5 or GLE, with cost not being a primary concern to luxury SUV buyers.
With unimpressive fuel economy, clumsy handling, and a price tag set too high for what it does provide buyers, the Cadillac XT6 seems like an overly ambitious entry into the three-row midsize crossover market that doesn't live up to its promises. While you may not regret the purchase outright, you will likely come to look at other luxury SUVs with envy.
While Cadillac is known for cutting corners a bit to offer luxury-level vehicles with lower price tags, the XT6 doesn't follow that trend. The entry-level Premium Luxury is on par with German rivals like the Audi Q7, with a starting MSRP of $52,695. All-wheel-drive can be tacked on to the model for a $2,000 surcharge. The slightly more performance-oriented Sport trim asks for $57,095 to get behind the wheel and enjoy the improved handling. This is more on par with the starting price of the BMW X5. These prices exclude tax, registration, licensing, and GM's $995 destination charge.
The new Caddy in the American manufacturer's catalog is available in two trim levels: Premium Luxury and Sport. Both models are powered by the same 3.6-liter V6 engine, developing 310 hp and 271 lb-ft. In the Premium Luxury, this power is directed to the front wheels as standard, with available all-wheel-drive, while the Sport only gets all-wheel-drive. Mated to the powertrain is a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
The Premium Luxury focuses on comfort, riding on 20-inch wheels and lighting the way with LED head- and taillights, with LED daytime running lights. The interior is upholstered with leather, with eight-way power heated front seats with lumbar and memory, a heated steering wheel, tri-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry and remote start. An eight-inch touchscreen interface controls the Bluetooth, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and SiriusXM, played back through the eight-speaker Bose sound system. A plethora of safety features come standard, including forward collision avoidance, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot alert, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, and front and rear parking assist.
The Sport gets all the same features as the Premium Luxury, but it dresses itself in darker tones, with gloss-black accents all over the exterior. It also gets a performance suspension, real-time chassis damping control, a heavy-duty cooling system, and a Sport Control all-wheel drivetrain with twin-clutch technology. Inside, the cabin gets Sport-specific styling and carbon fiber accents.
While every model comes extremely well-equipped as standard, there is always room for improvement, and Cadillac offers a few notable packages. The Driver Assist Package ($1,300) equips the XT6 with adaptive cruise control, automatic seatbelt tightening, enhanced automatic emergency braking and reverse automatic braking, but requires the addition of the $3,650 Enhanced Visibility and Tech Package. The Enhanced Visibility and Technology Package ($2,350) adds a rear camera mirror with washer, an eight-inch driver information display, a head-up display, a surround-view camera, rear pedestrian alert, and automatic parking assist. The Platinum Package costs $4,900 on the Premium Luxury and $3,700 on the Sport, adding semi-aniline upholstery, a leather-wrapped instrument panel, front and rear premium carpeted floor mats, unique interior trim choices, and on the Premium Luxury, a performance suspension and chassis damping control.
There are only two models to choose from, and both get the same list of features. The Sport gets more performance-focused mechanical upgrades, though. But you're unlikely to be buying a three-row midsize SUV for fun, so these improvements aren't really necessary, and the extra cost won't add much to the overall value. The Premium Luxury should suit almost any buyer's needs, with plenty of standard comfort features, adequate conveniences, and a plethora of safety features. If you still want more, you can opt for the Driver Assist Package for a reasonable $1,300 to add even more safety features, but this requires more in the form of the Driver Enhanced Visibility and Tech package for $3,650.
The Volvo XC90 comes equipped with a turbo- or twincharged four-cylinder as opposed to a V6 like so many midsize rivals. Power outputs vary from 250 hp and 258 lb-ft to 400 hp and 472 lb-ft on the available hybrid models, offering more variety and much higher performance on the upper trims. The base engine is about as quick as the 310-hp V6 on the Caddy, with a 0-60 mph time of 7.5 seconds while the twincharged inline-four makes the sprint in 6.1 seconds. Even these two powertrains are more efficient than the XT6's, getting 1-2 mpg extra over the combined cycle. The interior is extremely attractive, with high-quality materials and superb styling. It is also quite spacious, for passenger and cargo, with a max capacity of 85.7 cubic feet. With a lower starting price tag, and a good list of standard and available features, the Volvo XC90 is the better-value buy here.
The Audi Q7 offers two powertrains, a 248-hp turbo four-cylinder and a 329-hp V6, with varying levels of quickness. The base Q7 makes the 0-60 mph sprint in 7.1 seconds, marginally slower than the V6 Caddy, while the available V6 engine can do it in 5.7 seconds. The Audi has slightly better fuel economy, and a significantly higher towing capacity of 7,700 lbs. All-wheel-drive and plenty of features come standard on the base-model Q7, matching the XT6's starting price. And while it comes well-appointed, the Audi is no bigger inside than its rival, with only 14.8 cubic feet of standard cargo space, maxing out at 71.6 cubic feet. But where it significantly bests the Cadillac is its handling. Overall, the German crossover is far more refined and agile than its American counterpart, and seems like the smarter buy despite being an older model.
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