2020 Cadillac XT6 Sport AWD
Miles driven: 221
Fuel used: 11.1 gallons
|CG Report Card
|Room and Comfort
|Power and Performance
|Fit and Finish
|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 & 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.
Real-world fuel economy: 19.9 mpg
Driving mix: 40% city, 60% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 17/24/20 (city, highway, combined)
Fuel type: Regular gas
Base price: $57,095 (not including $995 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Enhanced Visibility and Technology Package ($2350), Cadillac User Experience upgraded infotainment system with embedded navigation system and Bose stereo ($1000), Garnet Metallic paint ($625)
Price as tested: $62,065
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
Cadillac has entered the premium midsize 3-row crossover field with a vehicle that comes in just two flavors. That’s not so bad. In fact, the 2020 XT6 is like a vanilla/chocolate-swirl ice cream cone: tasty regardless of which side you lick.
After first testing the Premium Luxury model, Consumer Guide editors have now sampled the XT6 Sport. Neither left them with a bad taste in their mouths. Both XT6s have the same powertrain and dimensions, and can even be optioned to approximate each other. Indeed, our Premium Luxury tester was equipped with the same suspension and adaptable dampers (they adjust damping forces every two milliseconds) that are standard in the Sport.
The Sport does manage to keep a few distinctions for itself. Its twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system can distribute all available torque to the right or left wheels. Paddle shifters let drivers manage the 9-speed automatic transmission for themselves, and the cooling system is heavy duty. External touches include a gloss-black grille, roof rails, and side-window surrounds; body-color door handles; tinted neutral-density taillamp lenses; and 20-inch 12-spoke alloy wheels with pearl nickel finish. Carbon-fiber accents replace wood in the cabin.
Judging purely by names, it might come as a surprise that the Sport tops the XT6 price list. At $58,090 with delivery, its starting price is $2400 higher than that of an AWD Premium Luxury. (The latter can also be had in cheaper front-drive form.)
Once you get past the Sport’s specific performance and appearance items, the list of shared standard equipment is pretty large. Seats and steering wheel are clad in leather, and the front seats and wheel are heated. Driver and “shotgun” passenger can avail themselves of power seat and lumbar adjustment. Overhead there’s a big sunroof; behind, a hands-free liftgate. Infotainment is provided by the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) system with an 8-inch color touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone compatibility, satellite radio, Bose audio speakers, and wireless charging. There’s tri-zone climate control, LED headlights, keyless entry and starting, front and rear parking assist too. Electronic safety aids encompass forward-collision alert, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist with lane-departure warning, blind-spot alert, and automatic emergency braking for vehicles and pedestrians.
At 4690 pounds, the Sport is 46 pounds heavier than a Premium Luxury with all-wheel drive. If that exacts any performance penalty, it is virtually imperceptible. The sole engine is a 310-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 that quietly and briskly propels any XT6. Response in street driving is alert, and highway cruising is unlabored. Selectable “Sport” driving mode makes for quicker reaction to throttle inputs. Stop/start is included to help save some gas. It can be switched off, but it’s not unpleasant enough to make a driver want to do that reflexively. EPA fuel-economy projections are 17 mpg in city driving, 24 mpg on the highway (one of our testers who did a lot of expressway driving bore that out), and 20 mpg combined. The suspension in the Sport behaved as comfortably and competently as it did in the similarly equipped test Premium Luxury, with an added degree of damping and steering firmness in Sport mode. Front-drive-biased “Touring,” self-explanatory “AWD,” and “Off-Road” are the other available modes.
In terms of passenger and cargo accommodation, control convenience, and cabin ambience, our 7-passenger XT6 Sport was more or less identical to the Premium Luxury test truck that preceded it, and we’ll direct the reader to that review for details. After two turns in Cadillac’s 3-row midsize crossover, our opinion of it is consistent. It may not dazzle at first blush, but drive it for a while and its true worth starts to shine through.
2020 Cadillac XT6 Sport