When General Motors announced the imminent arrival of the 2020 Cadillac XT6, the big question was: What took so long? Cadillac now has a full lineup of SUVs, from the compact XT4 to the 2-row XT5 (the company’s global best-seller) to the 3-row XT6 to the large body-on-frame Escalade. Cadillac finally has covered the bases. So, was it worth the wait?
What’s New for 2020?
The XT6 is all-new for 2020, sharing a platform with GM’s other 3-row crossovers (Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia), all of which recently entered a second generation of production. See the 2020 Cadillac XT6 models for sale near you
What We Like
- Fills an important gap in the Cadillac lineup
- Comfort in all three rows
- Simple packaging and trim level strategy with luxury at its base
What We Don’t
- Only one powertrain selection
- The Sport trim level offers handling upgrades, but no horsepower enhancement
FWD examples of XT6 are rated to achieve 18 miles per gallon in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg in combined driving, while the AWD XT6 gets 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway/20 mpg combined rating.
Standard Features and Options
The XT6 comes with a 3.6-liter V6 engine with direct gasoline injection, variable valve timing and auto stop/start. Output is rated at 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque. A 9-speed automatic transmission with FWD is standard on the Premium Luxury. AWD with a single-clutch rear axle is available on the Premium Luxury, while AWD with an electronic positraction twin-clutch rear axle is standard on Sport models. Both trim levels use MacPherson struts in front and a 5-link rear suspension. The Sport gets real-time damping.
Both Premium Luxury and Sport get an HD rear vision camera, 7-passenger seating, 8-way power-adjustable heated front bucket seats, a heated steering wheel with power tilt and telescope adjustment, Bose premium 8-speaker audio, a hands-free power lift gate, automatic wipers, a power sunroof, LED daytime running lamps and LED headlamps, front cornering lamps, heated outside mirrors, capless fuel fill, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot capability, the latest generation of Cadillac’s CUE user experience infotainment system, keyless open and push-button start, memory package, power-release second-row seats, power up and down third-row seats, a tire pressure monitoring system, USB ports, a universal home remote and wireless mobile device charging.
The Premium Luxury gets exotic wood interior trim, while the Sport gets carbon fiber. The Premium Luxury comes with 20-in 6-split spoke alloy wheels, and the Sport comes with 20-in 12-spoke alloy wheels. The Sport can be ordered with 21-in 12-split spoke wheels.
The big options package on both the Premium Luxury and the Sport is the Platinum Package. It includes a rear camera mirror, Semi-aniline leather seating surfaces, ventilated front seats, a Bose Performance Series 14-speaker audio system, HD Surround Vision with a recorder, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, Cadillac user experience with navigation, rear pedestrian alert and more. When added to the Premium Luxury, it also upgrades the suspension to match the real-time damping that is standard on Sport. Adding the Platinum Package to the Sport increases the bottom line by $9,875, while adding the Platinum Package to the Premium Luxury pads the price by $11,175, when all of the other required options and packages are invited along.
Standard safety on the XT6 includes seven airbags, automatic emergency braking, electronic traction control, forward-collision warning, front pedestrian braking, front and rear park assist, an HD rear vision camera, lane change alert with lane-departure warning, OnStar and Cadillac Connected Services capable, a passenger sensing system, rear cross-traffic alert, a Teen Driver system, and a tire pressure monitoring system. Optional safety features include advanced adaptive cruise control, automatic parking assist with braking, automatic seat belt tightening, enhanced automatic emergency braking, night vision, a rear camera mirror with a washer, rear pedestrian alert and a surround vision recorder.
Behind the Wheel
We had a chance to drive both the Premium Luxury and the Sport XT6 during a recent launch event in Washington, DC.. and northern Virginia. The 3.6-liter V6 engine delivers decent power, and the new 9-speed automatic transmission does a good job of keeping the engine in the right rev range. The cabin is quiet, even under heavy throttle. The interior is lovely and has some clever storage options. A particular highlight is the center console slot that incorporates a QI compatible wireless device charger, one of the best placement choices for this technology yet. A new jog/shuttle rotary controller in the center console is well-mated to the new Cadillac user experience infotainment system and the 8-in diagonal HD color touchscreen display on the dash. There’s plenty of room in the second row for adult seating, and the third row is easily accessible with a one-handed flip of the second row. There’s 12.6 cu ft. of luggage space behind the third row.
Both of the XT6 examples that we drove were AWD models. The Premium Luxury version of that system uses a single-clutch axle, while the Sport AWDuses a twin-clutch axle that allows for more sophisticated control of the power delivery to the rear wheels. On dry public roads at speeds below 45 mph, we didn’t really notice a difference in performance, though experience tells us that higher speeds and more challenging road conditions like rain and snow would show off the twin-clutch more. Sport’s adaptive dampers did deliver a stiffer ride than the Premium Luxury’s standard set-up. Both the styling differences between the two trim levels and the driving experience contrasts will be a matter of taste and budget, but the Sport has a slight edge for those who love driving.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 Buick Enclave/Chevrolet Traverse/GMC Acadia – General Motors’ non-luxury 3-row crossovers share a platform with the XT6, but offer the opportunity to enter the class at a much lower price with simpler standard features and options.
The good news is that the 2020 Cadillac XT6 is an attractive, modern, capable crossover with a great feature set. The bad news is that XT6 is not exceptional, which is a bit of a disappointment considering Cadillac has had a lot of time to evaluate the competitive set before entering the fray. Find a Cadillac XT6 for sale
To gain access to this information, Autotrader attended an event sponsored by the vehicle’s manufacturer.