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2020 Cadillac XT6 Tops Caddy XSUV Lineup

7-passenger Crossover Competes with Acura MDX and Audi Q7.

2020 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury

These are heady days for 7-passenger crossover SUVs (XSUVs) in the American market.  The 2020 Cadillac XT6 is the latest addition.  XT6 enters the market following the highly-regarded Kia TellurideHyundai Palisade and the rear wheel drive based Ford Explorer.  Of course, Telluride and Palisade are from mainstream Korean brands.  The Ford is a mainstream domestic product.  The Koreans might not be direct competitors with the XT6, but loaded up their prices can approach the lower end of the XT6 price range.  Cadillac would never want to be compared with a Korean mass market brand, but the Explorer can be priced up into the low $60,000s.  But lets think about what is next from an American premium brand – Lincoln.  Arriving in the market at about the same time, XT6 and the Lincoln Aviator (Explorer and Aviator are on the same platform) could not be more different.  XT6 is based on a front wheel drive platform.  The Aviator is based on a rear wheel drive platform.  But that is a story for a different time.

The 2020 Cadillac XT6 tops the Cadillac crossover SUV lineup.  Starting in the mid-$50,000 range, the XT6 completes Cadillac’s stairstep of three crossovers.  The XT4 compact XSUV starts in the mid $30,000 range.  The XT5 5-passenger mid-size XSUV starts in the mid-$40,000 range.  Adding a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo to the XT5 for 2020 allows Cadillac to rationalize its crossover line in terms of pricing and content.

The 2020 Cadillac XT6 rides on 112.7-inch wheelbase and has a 198.8-inch overall length.  Its width is 77.3-inches which allows for excellent shoulder room.  Inside, the package is spacious with good first and second row seating.  Where many of the 3-row crossovers fail is in the third row seat.  XT6 provides good 3rd row comfort and spaciousness.  The driver and front seat passenger have excellent ingress and egress.  The front door opening is generous and the step-in height is not too high.  The 2nd row entry is deceiving.  From the outside, the rear doors look very large, but on opening the doors the C-pillar structure intrudes on the door opening.  The foot space at the front of the rear door is somewhat confined.

So much for the passenger package.  The XT6 thankfully does not suffer the cargo obstruction of the older, larger Escalade.  Escalade’s 3rd row does not fold flat.  Escalade’s 3rd row folds on top of the load floor.  The 7-passenger XT6 has a standard power fold-flat 3rd row seat that yields a generous cargo area behind the 2nd row.  There is a useful storage bin aft of the 3rd row for groceries, plants, etc.

The styling is contemporary, but does not particularly break new ground in XSUV styling.  It is handsome and adopts the front end style seen in the Cadillac Escala show car at Pebble Beach in 2017.  The XT6 front style has vertical light pipes that have become the distinguishing feature of the Cadillac face over the past several years.  From the side, the XT6 is relatively conservative and doesn’t really push any boundaries.  The side windows are large and outward visibility is excellent.  The taillamps draw from the XT4 and XT5.  They are conventional wrap-around affairs.  Looking at the top of the line large SUV from Cadillac – the Escalade – that uses vertical light pipe taillamps, that theme could have been an additional distinguishing feature.  Cadillac probably wants to save that look for its top of the line SUV.

2020 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury

2020 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury

There are two basic models for the XT6.  Premium Luxury is the lower priced and is biased towards interior comfort, quietness and ride quality.  The higher priced Sport model has an active handling set-up, faster steering and quicker responsiveness.  Luxury has bright grill accents and the Sport, of course, has black.  On both there is a higher trim Platinum package available.  This swaths the interior in more premium leather, premium carpeted floor mats, and an Alcantara hearliner.  Selecting the Platinum upgrade for the Premium Luxury model adds the active suspension.

All 2020 Cadillac XT6 models are powered by the General Motors 310-horsepower naturally aspirated 3.6L V6 engine.  This is mated to a nine-apeed automatic transmission

The instrument panel is easy to understand and looks very upscale.  In today’s market, using an 8-inch center display seems out of date.  The latest competition has moved to 10-inch, 12-inch or even upcoming 14-inch center displays.  Cadillac pulls it off by having very crisp screen graphics.  A configurable instrument cluster is available with the Enhanced Visibility and Technology Package.  Also included in that package is a head-up display.  Interestingly, a $1,000 Cadillac User Experience Package includes navigation and an upgraded Bose audio system.  With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard, Cadillac may be joining other automakers in letting owners rely on their phones for navigation rather than an embedded system.

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