Cadillac's 2023 family-oriented XT6 three-row AWD SUV combines luxury with utility
Cadillac’s 2023 three-row midsize luxury XT6 is one of the carmaker’s top selling AWD SUVs (It’s also offered in FWD). The other is the bit smaller XT5 two-row SUV, which is the hottest market segment right now.
One particular area in which XT6 shines is that it comes with impressive safety scores, and is a top IIHS Top Safety Pick.
XT6 is offered in Sport, Luxury, Premium Luxury we tested and a Platinum Package trim models.
Exterior wise, XT6 has a chiseled bold look with its distinctive Cadillac grille, t-shaped taillights and ovid tailpipe extensions. It possesses a sporty dynamic look.
XT6’s interior is opulent and can seat up to seven passengers with a second-row bench seat, or six if opting for the sportier captain’s chairs.
Step-in into the spacious cockpit is a mere 19 inches to which you’re treated to heated/cooled leather seats with sensible lateral support and posh sueded microfiber covers the pillars and headliner.
An 8-inch infotainment display is on the small size compared to the 12 inchers now being offered on many cars and trucks. But it’s not overburdening and comes with navigation, Alexa, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto connectivity, Wi-Fi Hotspot, voice recognition along with OnStar assist plus a camera system that offers a rearview, side view, front and hitch views. When backing and getting close to another vehicle, building or people, the driver’s seat bottom buzzes along with a visual warning alert that signals a potential accident.
Its gauge cluster is not digital as many are but merely analog which still does the job. There’s a driver information display between the speedometer and tach for a host of functions, features and alerts.
XT6’s dash and vertical stack is uncluttered and handsome. Its 9-speed automatic transmission is controlled by an electronic gear selector on the console that shares the console with a rotary controller for operational selections along with a mode switch offering Tour, AWD, Sport and Off-Road driving modes. Mode selections display on the gauge cluster. In front of the console box is a vertical wireless phone charger, but wired charging receptacles are also offered.
There’s also a Heads-Up display on the front windshield with speed and posted speed limits. A panoramic sunroof is also included with the Premium Luxury trim model.
Safety features wise, Cadillac’s Smart System includes a host of functions such as emergency braking w/pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert to name a few.
Rear seat passengers can enjoy the comfort of second row seats that are nicely padded with generous leg and gobs of head room. The third row is mainly for small children as ingress/egress is on the tight side as is leg room.
The cargo area with a power liftgate, has a low 31-inch liftover onto the cargo floor which makes it easier to load heavy, cumbersome items. Beneath the aft portion of the floor is a full-width 6-inch deep storage bin for small items.
Second and third row seats power down at a touch of a button, but only the third-row powers up. Second row seats must be manually lifted.
XT6 gets its grunt from a potent 3.6-liter V6 that generates 310-hp and 271 lb/ft of torque for EPA mileage estimates of 18 city, 25-highway mpg with auto start/stop engine technology. It couples to a smooth and quick shifting 9-speed automatic transmission.
Full throttle acceleration gives the impression there’s a V8 under the hood. In Sport mode, the torque pushes you hard into the seatbacks.
The elegant Premium SUV offers optional Super Cruise technology that is a semi-autonomous, hands-free driving system on highways. It’s a nice feature on long turnpikes or interstates.
XT6 drives like a typical Cadillac. Smooth, quiet and non-demanding on 20-inch Michelin tires. There’s no tippy feeling is sharp turns as it remains planted and poised.
Price wise, XT6 began life at $56,795. Add to that the Platinum Package ($5,000) that includes leather trim on seating and steering wheel, performance suspension and more. Included too is the Super Cruise System ($2,500), Technology Package ($2,350), Night Vision ($2,000), Driver Assist Package ($1,300), Six passenger seating ($800), Premium Headlight System w/illuminated door handles, Stellar Black Metallic paint ($825), security cargo shade ($150), and with a delivery of $1,395, the bottom line reflects $73,715. While this may seem high, it’s about the going price of a comparable AWD luxury SUV today.
As said, XT6 received the government’s top 5-star safety scores. It earned a full five overall stars, five each for driver/passenger frontal crash, five each for front/rear side crash and four for rollover.
XT6 is warranted by a 4 year/50K mile bumper-bumper, 6/70K powertrain that includes one free maintenance and roadside assistance with courtesy transportation.
All in all, XT6 is an American icon that remains an attractive contender in today’s highly competitive AWD SUV luxury market.
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