Cadillac officially joins the family-friendly SUV crossover three-row segment and its entry into the burgeoning category is a showstopper. The Caddy XT6 is an all-new model for 2020.
Smaller than Escalade with its truck chassis foundation, the XT6 is smaller and lighter and is built on a car chassis. While the Escalade is a plush and lush lumbering land yacht, the XT6 is lithe and nimble – and much easier to park. The XT6 slides in nicely between Cadillac’s Escalade and the smaller XT5 and XT4 crossovers.
The XT6 has a sleek front profile, but a boxy silhouette from the side.
Usually third-row seats are just utilitarian and suitable only for small children. The third row was surprisingly comfortable, which I think comes from Caddy preserving interior room versus a more aerodynamic look on the outside. Two young adults rode in the third row and declared it “fancy” and “comfy like a couch at my grandma’s house.” My middle-school daughter even declared it her favorite seat after she figured out the no-hassle mechanism that tips the second-row seats up and forward for easy egress to the most-rear seats. The XT6 comes standard with seating for seven, or you can opt for second-row captain seats.
The bad news is that Cadillac reduced the cargo area to add room for the third row. With all the seats up the XT6 offers 12.6 cubic feet of cargo area. When you fold down all rear seats down, the XT6 offers 78.7 cubic feet of space.
The 2020 Cadillac XT6 is available in two trim levels, Premium Luxury and Sport. Both trims are powered by a standard 3.6-liter V6 engine that pumps out a capable 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Premium Luxury trims come standard with front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is optional. Sport trims are only available with all-wheel-drive.
Strangely, both trims come with nearly identical features, with the Sport offering a sprinkle of performance and cosmetic differences.
I got to test drive a Premium Luxury model and it featured a standard sunroof, a hands-free liftgate, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, an 8-inch touchscreen with a secondary dial controller, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio, six USB ports (two for each row of seats), a 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection and a wireless device charge pad.
The XT6 offers an impressive bundle of driver safety aids for a luxury crossover, including automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning and lane keeping assist and parking sensors. You also get Cadillac’s Rear Vision Camera, which fills the rearview mirror with a real-time image from a rear-mounted camera.
The Sport trim comes with the same features, but it adds an adaptive suspension, gloss-black exterior trim accents and towing aids.
Multiple options are available for both trims, with highlights including an upgraded Bose sound system, a navigation system, upgraded leather upholstery and interior trim and adaptive cruise control.
My XT6 Premium Luxury trim vehicle had a base price of $52,700. Some of the added optional equipment included the $5,000 Premium package (upgraded leather seating, leather trim on console, upgraded suspension and chassis and suede headliner), and a $2,350 tech package that included HD Surround camera and remote parking assist. Bottom-line price for this version of the XT6 was $68,890.