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2020 Cadillac XT6 Luxury AWD Review & Test Drive

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2020 cadillac xt6

American automakers have undoubtedly been grappling to find a new stance to captivate those who have been accustomed to luxury vehicles birthed across the pond. Cadillac has always been thought to be the standard for American luxury, and they have done some justice in recent years. For the 2020 model year, Cadillac brings us the all-new XT6, their iteration of a midsized luxury crossover to add to their portfolio for what they have to run with the establishment of three-row crossovers.

>> Get the best price on the Cadillac XT6 from a network of local dealers now. <<

The all-new 2020 Cadillac XT6 is unmistakable, which is a good thing for those loyal to the Cadillac brand and all of what its new design language stands for. The XT6 stands proud with a signature look that can only be adorned by Cadillac. Though, apart from its unique looks, the new XT6 has its work cut out to compete with the stiff competition, even some of those from its same home shore of America.

cadillac xt6 side

Powered by a familiar to GM 3.6-liter V6 engine, the new XT6 doesn’t bring much new to the table in terms of performance. Though, the proven V6 engine in the XT6 is consistent with its power delivery and feels adequate to get the job done without begging for much more power. At 310 horsepower and 271 ft-lbs. of torque sending power through a 9-speed automatic transmission, the XT6 doesn’t impress initially. However, the optional all-wheel-drive system of the XT6, in place of the standard front-wheel-drive setup, is the better offer for a luxury crossover giving you respectable driving traits and confidence in the way the vehicle handles. The 9-speed transmission shifts smoothly without ever hunting unnecessarily for gears. The power comes on strong initially and has a good low-end grunt. Stretching the XT6’s legs you find where a little extra power could be a benefit when overtaking vehicles on the highway. Though, the XT6 is able to keep pace and do everything you ask of it, such as making it to 60 mph in about 6.8 seconds.

cadillac xt6 rear

Fuel economy is on par with the competition, but there lies an issue as the XT6 doesn’t offer any extra power to justify its so-so fuel efficiency. It’s rather easy to match the EPA-estimates of 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined in real-world driving situations.

cadillac xt6 interior

While the engine of the XT6 may be overshadowed by most of its competition, driving the XT6 isn’t all that bad where the engine may require some extra turning to get things done, but nevertheless, the XT6 carries itself with grace and has a comfortable and compliant ride quality. The adaptive dampers of the XT6 do a good job of keeping body motions composed while always exhibiting a smooth ride, even in the Sport drive mode. The overall feedback from the road is absent and mostly disconnected. Being that the XT6 is more of an extension from its distant siblings of the GMC Acadia, and even the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave, of which it shares its underpinnings, it does have more of a polished approach to luxury – just not one that excites anyone that’s accustomed to luxury appointments in other comparable vehicles.

Inside of the XT6 is a nicely laid out cabin with much of the switchgear found in its XT5 and XT4 siblings only with the capacity for 6 or 7 passengers. The monotone theme of the interior plays down some of its cheaper aspects. Most of the material used is of good quality, but some don’t feel as if it “fits” the luxury mold, such as the unique colored carbon fiber, which I would have thought is reserved for the Sport trim or offered as a standalone sport package. The fit and finish of the interior is good as is the overall comfort of the perforated heated and cooled seats up front. In the second-row captain’s chairs there is decent space while the third row is more reserved for temporary use for adults and maybe a longer stay for smaller children. Behind the third row is a much smaller cargo area than I would have expected, which is cut down due to the XT6 having a shorter wheelbase than some of its shared-parts siblings. The 8-inch infotainment unit screen, part of the latest Cadillac User Experience system with navigation, is user-friendly and is very responsive. Like other new Cadillac crossovers, there is a good number of physical buttons for the climate control and redundant physical controls for navigating the touchscreen interface.

cadillac xt6 second row seats

Where the XT6 doesn’t shine as polished as one would expect, is when it is pitted against newcomers like the new Lincoln Aviator, which most agree has a higher-quality interior and more of an authentic luxury appeal. Most vehicles from the German side of the equation tout advantages over the XT6, which is where Cadillac may have fell short in making their new three-row midsize luxury crossover further withdrawn from something like the GMC Acadia Denali. Ford managed pull off a mass-separation act with the new Lincoln Aviator differentiating it from its Ford Explorer relative that shares some underpinnings – I’m still baffled why Cadillac couldn’t follow suit.

cadillac xt6 third row seats

Many of the good parts of the new Cadillac XT6 reside with the proven collective of parts. Much of what the XT6 is made of has been in use within the GM branding, and moving up to the Cadillac name adds an appeal to the welcoming design. Fitting in as an alternative to the larger Escalade, the XT6 holds its own pretty well, and is priced competitively with a bevy of standard active safety features as well as several desirable options loaded up on my $70,890 Luxury AWD-trimmed test vehicle. It would have been nice to see some of the mix of features found in other Cadillac vehicles included in the XT6 formula, such as massaging seats, and Cadillac’s latest trick Super Cruise Control – all not available at the time of my review. The XT6 is an excellent platform and it is possible that Cadillac may add such features in the future to bring the XT6 up a level or two.

>> Get the best price on the Cadillac XT6 from a network of local dealers now. <<

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