Vehicles

2020 Cadillac XT6 Luxury AWD: Is It Really An SUV?

Martin Romjue
Posted on September 16, 2019
The Cadillac XT6 reveles in rear seat comfort and legroom. In this photo, the right front seat is not even all the way forward. (LCT photos)

The Cadillac XT6 reveles in rear seat comfort and legroom. In this photo, the right front seat is not even all the way forward. (LCT photos)

Driving the Cadillac XT6 brings to mind a question that will be endlessly debated: Is it an SUV?

In some ways, an identity crisis could be an advantage, since the XT6, like a clever politician, can be whatever you project on to it.

 

Structured, Flexible Luxury

Let’s start with what it’s not: It’s not as big as a Cadillac Escalade, nor is it a cross-over-utility vehicle like a Cadillac XT5, Toyota RAV4, or Honda CRX. It’s definitely not a station wagon, although the body style looks like a smooth-shaped inflated one. It can seat seven passengers like an SUV, but forget about putting adults in the third “kiddie” row, as you could in a Suburban or Escalade.

What we can conclude is the XT6 rides like a luxury sedan, provides a mid-level height that allows for smooth upward entry and downward exit, and hints at the heft, strength, and bulk of a full-size SUV. In sum, it checks all the luxury boxes.

So while you and your passengers could indulge in transgressive discussions about vehicle identity, the XT6 will pamper, please, and try to be all you want it to be. The XT6 tested came with all available options at a price tag of $71,585.

Whatever you can picture in a vehicle, the XT6 has it: Multiple charging ports for Android and Apple smartphones; cooled/heated front seats; air ionizer; security cargo shade; 14 speaker Bose system; customizable three-zone climate controls; high-definition vision camera w/ wash; universal tablet holder; odor/particulate cabin filter. If a vehicle bears all those amenities, you can be assured it gets the big ones right.

The roomy XT6 could serve as a worthy successor to the once big "E-chassis" sedans that once dominated the chauffeured transportation industry.

The roomy XT6 could serve as a worthy successor to the once big "E-chassis" sedans that once dominated the chauffeured transportation industry.

Detailed Safety & Tech

This micro-padded level of detail is supported by a sophisticated technology suite that will mostly delight the generation that grew up with potty training apps. The rest of us need to finally read the instructions. Cadillac has improved upon its earlier generation CUE technology that confused drivers with its expected poking, pawing, and pressing from refined piano fingers.

While Cadillac prioritizes safety, some of the features were a bit, shall we say, hyperactive. The rear cross-traffic alert several times flashed on the camera screen, but there were no vehicles, pedestrians, or cats behind us. The safety alert vibrating seats seem to look for any excuse to jiggle, massage, or goose the driver, leaving you to figure out why, why, why: Was it a passing bird? Did I stray onto a lane marker? Am I too close to the car ahead, behind, next? Is it an incoming drone? Stop harassing me! And every time you turn off the engine, the dashboard screen alerts you to check the rear seat: Again, why? A gift package? My lunch bag? A carjacker?

FAST FACTS
2020 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury AWD
Engine: 3.6L, V6
Transmission: 9-speed shift automatic
Fuel tank capacity: 22 gal.
Combined MPG: 20
Rear legroom: 39.1 in.
Cargo capacity (all seats up): 12.6 cu.ft.
Max cargo capacity: 78.7 cu.ft.
Basic warranty: 4 yr./50,000 miles

XT6 Website

However, the panoramic rear back-up camera, which includes an above-vehicle view, eases all parking experiences and ensures a chauffeur or fleet driver has no excuse for at-fault scrapes and fender benders. These are the type of safety features indispensable to providing duty of care and reducing insurance liability.

As to cargo space, if the third seat is up, you will only get 12.6 cubic feet, enough for one airport passenger’s bags. With it down, you beat out any luxury sedan, with plenty of room for two luggage sets and golf clubs. Darkened windows and a cargo screen maintain trunk-like privacy.

The XT6, with ample leg- and head-room, rolls ready as a viable alternative to the dwindling, downsizing sedans in America. If Cadillac chooses it as part of its limousine/livery program, the XT6 would ride as a worthy successor to the outgoing XTS and CT6 sedans. Whether for an executive driving alone, or being chauffeured, the XT6 creates a sense of abundant personal space enhanced with plenty of attributes to enjoy sailing the open road or sitting stuck in the congested urban one.

Now after spending some quality time with the XT6, what would I call it? I’ll say it’s a teenage, but not baby, Escalade. It could grow up and fill out a little, but arrested development works here. I hope that clears it up.

More Photos: LCT Cadillac XT6 Photo Gallery

Related Topics: Cadillac, Cadillac XT6, new vehicles, SUVs, Vehicle Reviews

Martin Romjue Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • DHN

     | about 2 months ago

    In one of your photo captions of the Cadillac XT6, you state "The XT6 has a third row, but it's better suited for children, who can be seen but not heard on an adult business trip.". That's a rather presumptuous, and asinine, statement. I've encountered many children, and adults, on business trips, and in several instances, felt completely ashamed for the adults, as the children around them were more well spoken, and better behaved.

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