The 2020 Cadillac XT6 is an entirely new vehicle for the luxury automaker. As SUVs continue to sell in droves, it seems Cadillac is jumping on a lucrative bandwagon. But just how does the new XT6 actually drive and handle?
Safety & Tech Features
Seat Belt Tensioner
Minimal Cargo Space Behind 3rd Row
Cadillac’s first three-row crossover is here and it needs to be on your Christmas shopping list. The new entry from Cadillac signals they are serious about competing in the three-row luxury SUV segment with popular models including the Acura MDX, Infiniti QX60, and Lincoln Aviator.
The 2020 Cadillac XT6 is available in two trim levels, Premium Luxury and Sport. We recently drove the Premium Luxury with all-wheel drive.
Cadillac XT6: What’s New For 2020?
The Cadillac XT6 is an all-new model for the Detroit luxury brand. The seven-seat SUV made its official debut during the 2019 North American International Auto Show.
Features & Options: Comfort & Technology
The XT6 Premium Luxury with all-wheel drive ($54,695) comes standard with plenty of features for luxury shoppers like a sunroof; hands-free liftgate; heated front seats and steering wheel; upgraded leather upholstery and interior trim; Bose sound system; and adaptive cruise control.
Infotainment features are generous and include an eight-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 charging pad.
Features & Options: Safety & Style
The XT6 offers safety aids like automatic emergency braking; blind-spot warning; lane keeping assist; and parking sensors. This XT6 tester came loaded with the Platinum package with Aniline leather, a performance suspension, and the Technology package which added automatic parking assist; a high-def surround-vision camera system; and a heads-up display.
Cadillac’s Camera Mirror fills the rearview mirror with a real time image from a rear-mounted camera. The video below shows how it works.
As for other options, our XT6 tester had 20-inch polished wheels; night vision; navigation; cooled front seats; heated rear seats; premium headlamps; and the added driver safety assist package.
How Much Does The 2020 Cadillac XT6 Cost?
Total MSRP including destination for our test vehicle: $71,585. By comparison, the 2020 Cadillac XT6 starts at $52,695.
Interior Highlights: Warm & Inviting
You buy an SUV like this for its luxurious interior and the Cadillac XT6 does not disappoint in this key area. This tester came with the upgraded Aniline Leather seats that brought an extra level of comfort to our longer commutes. We made liberal use of the heated steering wheel and seats as temperatures plummeted to the teens in Denver.
The tri-zone climate control kept us toasty warm and things like the windshield defroster and wipers you normally take for granted worked to perfection. Visibility was good through the side windows and windshield as the XT6 kept them both clean of snow and ice.
Interior Highlights: Some Annoyances
One thing we don’t like is the available driver assist package, which adds the slightly annoying automatic seat belt tightening system. Every time we started up the XT6 and attached the seat belt, it gives a tightening tug that makes you feel like you are being squeezed, and then it releases.
The infotainment system features a rotary selector knob just behind the electronic shifter. After we figured out how to change the radio station, the technology is fairly easy to use, and the eight-inch touch display is clear and responsive.
Interior Highlights: Lots of Space
In the back, passengers will be as comfortable as the front. Fortunately, the XT6 has a third row that is actually usable for adults. It’s one of the best three-rows on the market with a low floor, so your passengers’ knees won’t be touching their chin. Because there is more third row space, cargo room behind the seat is limited (12.6 cubic feet).
Both second and third rows fold easily, and our tester came with a quick, power-folding feature that’s controlled by a switch inside the cargo area. Folding both rear rows opens up a properly-large 78.7 cubic feet of cargo space, ideal for when you need to carry furniture from IKEA.
2020 Cadillac XT6: Engine & Powertrain
The 2020 Cadillac XT6 is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine putting out 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft. of torque. It comes mated with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Premium Luxury trims come standard with front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is optional.
What Is The Gas Mileage of The Cadillac XT6?
The EPA rates the XT6 at 17/24 city/highway and 20 combined with all-wheel drive. Front-wheel drive models come in a little better at 18/25 city/highway (the combined rating is the same). To boost fuel economy, the XT6 will shut down cylinders (from six to four) when full engine power is not needed.
In terms of fuel economy for all-wheel drive models, the 2020 Cadillac XT6 matches the new Lincoln Aviator but falls behind the Infiniti QX60 and Acura MDX.
How Does The Cadillac XT6 Drive?
Cadillac’s V6 engine provides adequate power and sounds excellent under full throttle, but that may not excite luxury SUV buyers like it does us. However, the XT6 is quiet at highway speeds and the conventional nine-speed automatic provides smooth shifts and keeps the revs low. As we do with every vehicle we test, we pushed the XT6 hard up I-70 and had plenty of power to pass slower traffic.
This luxury SUV handles like a much smaller vehicle, without any of the lean that many larger ones have in the corners. Through the mountains west of Denver, there were little to no issues with handling at the higher altitudes. We had no problem maneuvering it through city streets, either. The XT6 smooths out rough surfaces with its Continuous Damping Control, and provides a cushioned ride even on bad roads.
Cadillac uses seat vibrations for alerting drivers to any potential safety issues. It notifies you when you are getting too close to something. It does take some getting used to, but worked well as we parked in front of a concrete wall. It kept us from hitting it!
Conclusion: Better Than The Escalade?
Overall, the Cadillac XT6 offers superior driving dynamics and plenty of cargo space. Luxury SUV buyers will want to include it on their shopping list as they compare all the different options on the market. When it comes to Cadillac’s larger SUVs, we think the XT6 has more high-tech features and more comfort than even the mighty Escalade.
Denis Flierl has invested nearly 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his firsthand reviews are archived on our test drives page. Follow Denis on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy