Feb
25
2020 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury

2020 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury AWD in Satin Steel Metallic (a $625 option)

2021 Lexus LC 500 Convertible

2020 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury

Class: Premium Midsize Crossover SUV

Miles driven: 227

Fuel used: 12.6 gallons

CG Report Card
Room and ComfortB+
Power and PerformanceB
Fit and FinishB+
Fuel EconomyB
ValueB
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyB-
Tall GuyB+
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Drivetrain
Engine Specs310-hp 3.6-liter
Engine TypeV6
Transmission 9-speed automatic
Drive WheelsAWD

Real-world fuel economy: 18.0 mpg

Driving mix: 50% city, 50% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 17/24/20 (city, highway, combined)

Fuel type: Regular gas

Base price: $54,695 (not including $995 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: Platinum Package ($4900), Enhanced Visibility and Technology Package ($2350), 20-inch polished alloy wheels ($2095), Night Vision ($2000), Driver Assist Package ($1300), Cadillac User Experience upgraded infotainment system with embedded navigation system ($1000), Premium Headlamp System ($800), Comfort and Air Quality Package ($750), Satin Steel Metallic paint ($625), Security Cargo Shade ($75)

Price as tested: $71,585

 

Quick Hits

The great: Smooth, satisfying powertrain; comfortable ride

The good: Interior space; cabin trimmings; decent maneuverability for the size

The not so good: Doesn’t offer Cadillac’s Super Cruise semi-autonomous driver-assist system yet; third-row seat space could be better; options significantly drive up bottom-line price

 

John Biel

The missing piece to Cadillac’s sport-utility vehicle lineup—a midsize crossover with bells, whistles, and 3-row seating—is now in place. It is the all-new XT6.

Test Drive: 2020 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury

XT6 Premium Luxury models come standard with a power liftgate and “Ultraview” panoramic sunroof.

Like a number of other manufacturers up and down the price spectrum have done, Cadillac is hedging its bets in the SUV field by offering 2- and 3-row midsizers. The XT6 has a 112.7-inch wheelbase only fractionally longer than the existing 2-row XT5’s span, but it is 9.2 inches longer overall, 2.3 inches wider, and 4.1 inches taller. With two rows of seats in use, the XT6 presents 42.7 percent more cargo capacity. As a further distinction, the XT6 comes standard with a 3.6-liter V6, while the XT5 moves to a 2.0-liter turbocharged four for 2020 (though the 3.6 V6 that formerly powered it remains an option).

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Test Drive: 2020 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury

The XT6’s interior trimmings are certainly upscale–especially with our tester’s optional upgrades–but not particularly dazzling in terms of overall ambiance. Some of our editors found the shifter’s action to be a bit awkward, but the under-console “purse porch” is a nice touch.

There is no budget model per se in the XT6 portfolio—there are only Premium Luxury and Sport trims. Premium Luxury comes in a choice of front- or all-wheel drive, while Sport is exclusively AWD. (Even with their perceived parity, the Sport starts at $2400 more than an all-wheel Premium Luxury and $4400 more than a front-drive example.) Consumer Guide tested an extensively optioned Premium Luxury with all-wheel drive, its base price of $55,690 with delivery driven up to a bottom-line figure of $71,585.

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Cadillac XT6 3rd-row seat

The XT6’s second-row seats slide fore and aft to help balance second- and third-row legroom or cargo capacity (the left-side seat is adjusted all the way forward in this picture). The third-row seats are best suited for petite passengers.

Passengers insert themselves into plush surroundings with abundant padded and soft-surface materials. Comfortable leather seats (heated in the front row); a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel; and polished wood trim on the instrument panel, steering wheel, and doors are standard. However, the $4900 Platinum Package option added to CG’s test vehicle improved on that with Jet Black semianiline-leather seats; leather trim on the dash, doors, and console; suede-like microfiber headliner; and bronze-colored carbon-fiber trim panels in place of wood.

The tony décor enhances a cabin with good head- and legroom in the front two rows. The test car had maximum 7-passenger seating with a 60/40-split second-row bench. (Available middle-row captain’s chairs reduce capacity to six passengers.) Middle-row seats have reclining backs and enough room—and a flat floor—to pack in three across. Third-row room is not as good, but a pair of adults might put up with riding there for a little while.

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XT6 Cargo Area

The XT6 stacks up well in terms of cargo capacity. There’s 12.6 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seats, which grows to 43.1 cu. ft. behind the second row and a full 78.7 cu. ft. with both the second- and third-row seat backs folded.

If there’s any skimping on the interior, it may be in storage space. The glove box and console cubby aren’t overly big, and neither are the pockets in all four doors. There is open “purse porch” space on the floor under the console. Covered cup holders are provided in the console, and in the pull-down middle-row armrest.

A standard hands-free liftgate grants access to a big, flat load floor when the third-row seats are down. Middle-row seats fold flat as well, and when they do, a considerable maximum 78.7 cubic feet of cargo space is on tap. Convenient switches on the right sidewall of the cargo bay quickly lower second- and third-row seats. There’s a little underfloor cargo room just ahead of the bumper, and an open cubby for incidentals off to the left side.

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XT6 engine and wheels

The XT6’s sole powertrain is a 310-hp 3.6-liter V6 that is paired with a smooth-shifting 9-speed automatic transmission. Twenty-inch polished aluminum wheels are a $2095 dealer-installed option.

A list of other leading niceties includes 20-inch alloy wheels, power seat and lumbar adjusters for the front buckets, a big sunroof, tri-zone climate control, LED headlights, keyless entry and starting, and front and rear parking assist. Electronic safety features are forward-collision alert, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist with lane-departure warning, blind-spot alert, and automatic emergency braking—including for pedestrians. A Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system incorporates an 8-inch color touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone compatibility, satellite radio, Bose audio speakers, and wireless device charging. Additional features and capabilities—like a rear pedestrian alert, surround-vision camera, night vision, and navigation—were provided within the test car’s copious option cache.

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Cadillac XTS Grille

Though the XT6’s styling is fairly sedate overall, Cadillac’s signature grille and headlight treatment give it a bit more visual pizzazz.

This driver found that the touchscreen seemed to be fighting him over inputting audio presets in a way he had never experienced before; other recent Caddies with CUE were more cooperative. The separate climate system has toggles to set temperature and fan speed (we like dials better), and a small bank of buttons to govern other functions.

The XT6’s V6 makes 310 horsepower at 6600 rpm and 271 lb-ft of torque at 5000 revs. It is a smooth and fairly quiet engine, even when really hustling. The 3.6 makes power in an easy, linear fashion, but it displays snappier throttle response when “Sport” driving mode is selected. The engine is paired with a fairly subtle 9-speed automatic transmission. Following a 115-mile stint that included 40 percent city-type driving, this reviewer saw just 16.5 mpg, which falls short even of the EPA city estimate of 17 mpg. (Highway and combined estimates are 24 and 20 mpg, respectively.) Automatic stop/start is included to help save some gas.

Suspension is MacPherson struts up front with multiple links in back. The Platinum Package includes the performance suspension and Chassis Damping Control that’s standard in the XT6 Sport. Thus equipped, CG’s tested truck stepped over surface imperfections without much disturbance to the cabin and its occupants. In Sport mode, AWD is activated, ride gets minimally firmer, and handling turns slightly crisper.

The overall impression is that the XT6 is trying to appeal to a broad audience. Three rows and lots of tech and comfort features make it practical, while somewhat tame styling keeps it from being polarizing. Cadillac has other pieces to suit premium-SUV buyers who want something else.

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Cadillac XT6, Profile

Cadillac’s new-for-2020 XT6 isn’t particularly ground-breaking in terms of its styling, powertrain, or available features, but it feels like more than the sum of its parts. Though it might not seem impressive on paper, it’s a nicely balanced, spacious 3-row premium crossover that is a better option for most buyers than the full-size Escalade.

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2020 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury