2020 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury AWD

Luxury SUV with mainstream bones
March 21, 2020 Updated: March 21, 2020

Cadillac’s XT6 is handsomely styled in-and-out. It is available in two trim levels — the Premium Luxury and the Sport. The Premium Luxury AWD was my selection because of comfort and value while losing little if any performance. Plus, there is a savings of about $3,000 if you just want a smooth, comfortable ride.

This sleek vehicle carries a base price of $53,690 for the Premium Luxury FWD. The AWD drivetrain adds $2,000 to the price. Going up to the Sport AWD model brings the price up to $58,090.

“Improbably and effortlessly capable. The first of its kind, XT6 is the vehicle you can really want to own,” said a Cadillac spokesman.

XT6 is based on the same underpinning as the GMC Acadia and the smaller Cadillac XT5.

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Unique Cadillac tail lamp. (Courtesy of Cadillac)

This 7-seater is spacious and family friendly. It has Cadillac’s unique styling cues, including a front inspired by the Cadillac Escalade concept car, and the brand’s signature lighting elements.

The XT6 is powered by a 310-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine coupled to a 9-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive system. Fuel economy with AWD is estimated at 17 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, for a 20 mpg combined.

Actually, I did have a little issue with pushing the gear selector up to reverse once the car was started, because it takes a bit more effort to shift down into drive after. The small, shallow button on the left side of the shifter knob had to be held down move the shifter. I seemed to be slow developing the skill of doing that properly. After some time, I was able to successfully complete the shifting task.

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The gear selector. (Courtesy of Cadillac)

The default passenger capacity is leather seating for seven, with a 60/40-split second row. An $800 option replaces the second row with two captain’s chairs, reducing the total seating capacity to six.

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With second-row captain’s chairs upgrade. (Courtesy of Cadillac)

The steering wheel is heated and leather-wrapped, while the steering column is power tilt and telescopic. The driver’s spot appears slightly elevated, allowing for easy access to features like tri-zone climate control and ultra-view sunroof.

The absolute best interior feature is the Caudillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system, featuring Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, onboard Wi-Fi, and a wireless smartphone charging plate. All easily accessible.

The infotainment is displayed on a sharp and crisp 8.0-inch touchscreen that reacts smoothly to commands. The XT6 can also add a rear seat entertainment system with dual headrest screens and an on-board DVD player.

Outside the XT6 is very handsome. The polished finish, LED headlamps, and LED daytime running lights make for an attractive approach. The vehicle is grounded on 20-inch 12-spoke alloy wheels (21-inch optional).

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the XT6 with 2020 Top Safety Pick+ honor, because of a host of driver assist features. One of the more exotic safety features is Night Vision, which uses infrared sensors to display a high-contrast view of what’s ahead.

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Default 60/40-split second row. (Courtesy of Cadillac)

Cadillac offers several optional packages for your XT6. To improve situation awareness, the $2,350 Enhanced Visibility And Technology Package adds Rear Camera Mirror with washer, 8″ color Driver Information Center digital gauge cluster, Automatic Parking Assist with braking, parking assist, Rear Pedestrian Alert, reconfigurable color Head-Up Display, HD Surround Vision, and Surround Vision Recorder.

You can also option the XT6 with the $750 Comfort and Air Quality Package that offers heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, and an air ionizer. There is also an $1,000 upgrade that adds in-dash navigation and premium Bose 14-speaker audio system.

It rained heavily on-and-off over the week I drove the Cadillac XT6. After three days of being home bound I had things to get out and do. The rain was pouring as I settled behind the wheel of the XT6. I found bar ditches overflowing onto the road, leaving scattered debris. Cars had paused on the shoulder, some to wait out the storm while some were due to mechanical problems. Traffic was heavy with frequent “quick stops,” because of hazardous conditions and impatient drivers. Water was rising with no place for traffic to flee. Suddenly there was an empty space ahead that I moved into quickly. Traffic picked up but was still moving slowly.

The cabin was quiet except for classical music playing on satellite radio. Comfortable, elevated seating allowed me to quickly evaluate the road ahead. The peacefulness of the interior and confidence I felt in the car made for a most pleasant adventure as opposed to a driving nightmare.

4-year/50,000-mile Bumper-to-Bumper Limited Warranty
6-year/70,000-mile Powertrain Warranty
4-year/50,000-mile Corrosion Protection
6-year/70,000-mile Roadside Assistance Program

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or durhlcaussey@gmail.com.