Review: 2020 Cadillac XT6 is American luxury in a three-row
Introduced for the 2020 model year, the Cadillac XT6 becomes Caddy’s first three-row crossover. Based on the well-received Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse, the XT6 is designed for luxury-level buyers with an eye towards Cadillac’s penchant for all things posh.
The Escalade remains as a full SUV, but misses the market for buyers looking for more fuel economy and fewer truck-based features. The XT6 is a bit smaller, has more maneuverability, and has better interior use of space than the Escalade. Comparables for the XT6 include the Audi Q7 and the BMW X7. Where those two German offerings aim largely for performance and road handling, however, the XT6 focuses on comfort and interior ambiance as only Americans can make it.
The 2020 XT6 has a roomier third row when compared to most of the luxury three-row offerings on the market. This comes at the expense of the cargo area, which shrinks to 12.6 cubic feet (356.8 liters) when the third row is deployed. Dropping both the third and second rows, however, opens up 78.7 cubic feet (2,028.5 liters) of space with a (mostly) flat floor for loading. So skimping behind the third row didn’t mean skimping overall.
In a nod to modern times, the comfortable interior features two USB ports for each row (six in all) and an 8-inch touchscreen for infotainment up front. This can be made larger with upgrades, adding a Wi-Fi hotspot and wireless device charging. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard, as is GM’s own screen-mirroring app. Upgrades can add GM’s Marketplace on-the-road shopping app and more.
Where the XT6 shines, though, is in its overall interior design. Seating is comfortable in all three rows. More than that, though, is the exquisite use of materials in the XT6’s cabin. Wood, plastic, metal and blends of the same complement leather (or leatherette) and carpeting for a seamlessly luxuriant experience. It’s clear that Cadillac’s expertise in finding ways to combine and complement materials choices into design elements was put foremost in the XT6’s interior. This Caddy is one of the most all-around opulent interiors we’ve experienced below the triple-digit price field.
The Cadillac XT6 has a starting price of US$52,695, making it one of the lower-priced entries into the three-row luxury field. This is surprising, given its interior accoutrements. The lower cost comes from a less refined powertrain, which is based off a well-performing, exuberant 3.6-liter V6 outputting up to 310 horsepower (231 kW). The engine is a great match for the XT6, but has a less refined, shift-happy nine-speed automatic attached. That transmission can make the vehicle feel jumpy at times. It’s tempered a bit in the all-wheel drive model, but not enough to remove the complaint. The XT6 is not nearly as smooth on the road as are its major luxury rivals.
Time behind the wheel teaches the driver to feather rather than press the accelerator when already moving, and to laze around corners rather than push. The XT6 is a luxury drive in the American tradition, where long, smooth, and uneventful is the expectation. Surprisingly, though, the XT6 is also very maneuverable and easy to park.
As with most modern Cadillac models, the XT6 is opulent, comfortable, and ergonomic for the user. Its exterior look is good, but not unique or eye-catching when compared to the rest of the segment. It fits in, save for its Caddy shield.
Inside, though, it’s difficult to name a better design or overall feel for appeal than what the XT6 offers. For those looking for something uniquely American, this new Cadillac crossover delivers.
Product Page: 2020 Cadillac XT6