Cadillac has always been known as the luxury sedan car-maker. But that has changed of late since they introduced their line of crossover-SUVs.
Their latest addition is the XT6, a three row, 7 passenger, crossover that falls size wise between their two-row XT5 and full-size Escalade SUV. We previously reviewed Cadillac’s compact XT4 compact crossover that is a downsized version of the XT5.
The XT6 is positioned for families of four or more who need a bit more interior space than that of the XT5, but don’t want a full-size Escalade be it for its maneuverability, fuel economy or price.
XT6 is offered in two trim models: Premium Luxury and Sport AWD. The latter has sportier handling and performance characteristics. It also has a Sport Control active twin-clutch AWD system.
We were privileged to test the Premium Luxury AWD with its striking design lines, shield type grille and eye grabbing vertical front LED running lights. Its back end too is classy with large rectangular tailpipe extensions, splashes of chrome trim and inverted L-shaped taillights.
Slipping into the XT6 cockpit with the keyfob on you, the doors automatically unlock. You’re then treated an eclectic interior with an 8-inch display that’s inlaid into a swopping dash with wood grain trim that melds perfectly into the gauge cluster.
HVAC controls are easy to read and use. Certain functions such as air direction, display on the screen that also serves audio, navigation, rearview/surround camera (that has a nifty spray nozzle to clean it of snow or dirt), Apple CarPlay/Android Auto apps, Wi-Fi 4G hotspot connectivity, OnStar, satellite radio and a host more systems and features. Included too is a next gen 15-watt wireless charging system.
Sumptuously padded and heated/cooled leather front seats make for a comfy cockpit. But that’s not all. Optional, is a Rear Camera Mirror that offers a digital display that removes objects that obstruct a typical rear mirror view, such as passengers, headrests or the vehicle structure itself.
There’s also an available interior air ionizer and Night Vision system that provides the driver with an infrared night vision view of the area beyond the headlamps be it a person, animal or other road obstructions, and alerts (the driver’s seat bottom vibrates plus a visual warning) and gives the driver more time to react.
Much of the commands for the 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with voice recognition, are inputted from a rotary controller on the console, while other screen functions are selected on the touchscreen. The controller has an intuitive jog function that is a first for Cadillac. It’s designed to compliment hard buttons and steering wheel controls for easier screen navigation. It allows the user to tilt the knob, which is similar to a joystick, to navigate between items on the touchscreen. There’s also a park assist option.
Step-in is a low 19 inches and second row seats (captain’s chairs are optional) that have generous leg and headroom. The seats slide and tilt forward to make third row access easier. Third row seats are mainly for youngsters or short legged adults.
Back in the cargo area that has a hands-free liftgate, and with the third row seats upright, there’s 12.6 cubic feet of cargo space that measures 16 inches deep, 44 wide and 30 high. Press two buttons and they flip forward for 43.1 cubic feet that gives 46.5 inches of loading depth. Press another two and the second row flips down for 78.7 cubic feet of space that offers 80 inches of cargo loading depth.
Beneath the cargo floor is a handy, full width, 6.5-inch deep storage bin. Lift over into the cargo bay is an easy 31 inches.
XT6 gets its grunt from a proven 3.6-liter V6 that is used in several other GM vehicles. It puts out 310-hp and 271-lb/ft of torque. When coupled to a 9-speed automatic transmission (with paddle shifters), it garners EPA mileage estimates of 17 city, 24-highway mpg with auto start/stop engine technology that essentially turns the 3.6L into a four-cylinder. So equipped XT6 has a tow rating of 4,000 pounds, enough for a utility, small boat or ATV trailer.
A point about the transmission shifter is that it’s a likeness to BMW’s iDrive head. Pushing a switch at the top of the shifter engages Park mode.
With XT6’s 4,645-pound curb weight, acceleration is linear in fashion. Its heft can be felt when passing 18-wheelers, but there’s no want for power no matter the driving situation.
Shod with 20-inch Michelin tires, XT6 rides smoothly and quietly, like a Cadillac should.
For a somewhat large vehicle, the XT6 is relatively nimble and has a decent 39.1 foot turning radius, making it easy to park. It takes sharp turns with only a trace of body lean, and when encountering them, stays planted.
XT6 has four driver selectable drive modes of Tour, AWD, Sport and Off-Road. Now you might wonder what the latter does since it’s AWD equipped that sends power to all four wheels. The Off-Road mode modifies accelerator pedal response, AWD torque distribution, TCS, ABS and ESC operation. In that mode, XT6 can only handle mild off-roads because of its low 6.65-inch ground clearance.
XT6’s base price of $54,695 comes with an exceptionally long list of features and safety functions such as front and rear park assist, following distance indicator, forward collision alert, lane keep assist/departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, lane change alert w/side blind zone alert, front pedestrian braking and much more.
On the options side, the Enhanced Vis and Tech package ($2,350) adds the rear camera washer, HD surround vision/recorder, Head Up Display and about six more. Twenty-inch polished wheels adds $2,095; driver assist package ($1,300) includes enhanced automatic braking, reverse automatic braking and more. Tag on another $1,000 for Cadillac User Experience that adds Nav, 8-inch display, Bose audio, Teen Driver and more. For $750 the XT6 gets heated rear seats, ionizer, vented seats and more. With a delivery of $995, XT6 bottom lines at $63,810. That’s in the ball park with comparable Euro and Japanese competitors.
XT6 also comes with 4 year/50K bumper-bumper and 6/70K powertrain warranties that includes roadside assistance with transportation plus the first maintenance visit is free.
As said, Cadillac is no longer just a luxury sedan company. Their XT6 is a classy and striking looking crossover that must be driven to be appreciated.