The Cadillac XT6 offers room for up to seven.
Cadillac and huge, luxury sedans are synonymous, but the Escalade shows us that GM’s luxury make has a utility vehicle side to it as well. More recently, Cadillac has expanded its product line to include three crossover utility vehicles: the compact XT4, the midsize two-row XT5, and the midsize three-row XT6. The XT6 is the newest of the bunch and a recent test drive subject.
Cadillac offers the 2021 XT6 in Luxury ($48,990), Premium Luxury ($53,790), and Sport ($58,190) trims. These prices include a $995 destination charge. The XT6 is a front-wheel-drive crossover with available all-wheel drive ($2,000; standard on the Sport). It seats up to seven.
Similar in size to the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave, the XT6 shares their running gear as well. But the exterior and interior styling is all Cadillac, which places a premium look and vibe on this model.
The front fascia is dominated by an oversized grille, which is amplified by vertical LED lights. A high beltline, chrome or blacked-out trim, and sporty wheels dominate its profile. From the rear, sentry-like LED lights offset the liftgate.
One curiously absent feature is the Cadillac name. Instead, the marque’s crest identifies the brand with badges all around. We miss the Cadillac script and think it deserves a return, at least on the liftgate.
The interior is upscale with ample suede trim and pretty wood touches. Soft leathers are its calling card, comfortably wrapping the seats in Cadillac style.
An important consideration for shoppers is choosing between 6- and 7-passenger seating. The latter includes a middle-row bench seat, but swapping out for a pair of captain’s chairs improves comfort and gives the third-row passengers more room. Our test model had the captain’s chairs; we found them almost as comfortable as the first-row thrones.
The XT6 has a small storage compartment behind the third row, just roomy enough to hold three or four bags of groceries. But by power-folding the second- and third-row seats, nearly 80 cubic feet of storage space becomes available. Quite suddenly, the XT6 is ready to swallow up your garden center finds.
Safety & Technology
The competitive three-row crossover segment includes models from mainstream and luxury makes. As such, each manufacturer supplies the tech and safety features most consumers expect and demand.
The XT6 comes with standard automatic high beams, front and rear parking sensors, active lane control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and blind-spot monitoring. The remainder of its safety roster is optional or included with the upper trims. We like the available LED headlights with cornering control as well as the surround-view camera system, night vision, adaptive cruise control, and the head-up display.
On the tech front, Cadillac lavishes the XT6 with an 8-inch touch-screen display, an 8- or 14-speaker Bose audio system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility, and six USB ports. Navigation is a $1,000 option we wouldn’t choose. A $1,995 rear-seat entertainment system is an ideal upgrade for those long trips with children in tow.
Cadillac XT6 Performance
New for 2021 is an XT6 Luxury trim powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The new engine choice lowers this model’s starting price and removes some standard content with it. We didn’t test this model and probably wouldn’t recommend it as the V6 engine is the ideal choice.
Both the Premium Luxury and Sport trims come with a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. As with the standard engine, this one works with a 9-speed automatic transmission.
We found the XT6 rides comfortably thanks to its standard four-wheel independent suspension. Adaptive dampers are available and contribute to ride comfort.
The V6 is strong, never lacks for power and works well with a compliant automatic transmission to send power to the front wheels. We think spending up for all-wheel drive is a sensible upgrade, although this system is part-time and must be activated by pushing a button. Use it sparingly, however, as our gas mileage dropped by 5 mpg when activated.
When properly equipped, the XT6 pulls 4,000 pounds. But that’s below the 5,000 pounds many competitors deliver.
Cadillac is making strides with non-Escalade utility vehicles and that’s a very good thing. We’d start our search with the Premium Luxury trim and pick the Driver Assist and Enhanced Visibility and Technology packages to complete our purchase. With discounting, your final cost should come in below $60,000, which is within the range of competing models.
See Also — High Performance and the Cadillac CT4 Line
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