Thursday, October 1, 2020
Should-you-buy Should You Buy a 2020 Cadillac XT6?

Should You Buy a 2020 Cadillac XT6?

When an XT5 is too small and an Escalade is too big.


  • 2020 Cadillac XT6 starts at $60,998 before freight and delivery charges.
  • Great ride quality, decent fuel economy.
  • Some disappointing interior materials, tight third-row seat.

While many luxury brands were stuffing their product lineups with a vast array of crossovers and SUVs, Cadillac had only a couple of models to choose from, with wide white spaces to fill in between. In addition to offering the new entry-level XT4, the gap between the XT5 and the gargantuan Escalade has recently been filled with the 2020 Cadillac XT6.

This midsize crossover shares its platform with many other GM products, but said platform has spawned various sizes and seating layouts. The XT6 is the same size as the Buick Enclave, slightly smaller than the Chevrolet Traverse, but bigger than the GMC Acadia and Chevrolet Blazer.

2021 Cadillac Escalade Has a 38-Inch Screen and a Diesel Engine

The 2020 Cadillac XT6 is an alternative for those who don’t want to deal with the Escalade’s sheer size and fuel consumption, but still need room for six or seven passengers. It rivals the Acura MDX, the Lincoln Aviator, the Lexus RXL, the Land Rover Discovery, the Infiniti QX60 and the Volvo XC90, but the poshest variants of the Hyundai Palisade, the Kia Telluride and the Mazda CX-9 can also give it a run for its money.

The XT6 is equipped with a 3.6-litre V6 engine that develops 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque, managed by a nine-speed automatic transmission. In Canada, an all-wheel drivetrain is standard, but it comes with driver-selectable modes that include Tour (front-drive only), AWD and Sport. Nothing utterly sophisticated here, and nothing exclusive to the Cadillac compared to the other GM crossovers mentioned above.

There’s space for everyone, and the second-row bench can be swapped for two captain’s chairs, reducing capacity from seven to six. Cargo space is rated at 356 litres with all the seats in place, 1,220 litres with the third-row seat folded down and 2,228 litres with all rear seats stowed away. That places the 2020 Cadillac XT6 about mid-pack in the luxury midsize, three-row segment.

The Caddy also boasts city/highway fuel economy ratings of 13.5/9.7 L/100 km, for a combined average of 11.8 L/100 km. Again, these numbers place the XT6 right in the middle of its category.


Why You Should Buy a 2020 Cadillac XT6

The XT6 is a much more manageable vehicle than the Escalade, and although it’s smaller on the outside, it’s almost as spacious inside as the 2020 model. Granted, the redesigned 2021 Escalade will be significantly roomier.

Although the 2020 Cadillac XT6’s fuel economy isn’t spectacular—we managed a decent 11.5 L/100 km during our winter test—we appreciate the fact that the V6 engine runs on regular fuel, while most of its rivals require much costlier super unleaded.

We used to despise the Cadillac CUE system with its touch-sensitive dashboard buttons and unresponsive touchscreen. That’s all been replaced with a variation of GM’s infotainment interface that’s found in all of its brands. It’s easy to use, even while driving, thanks in part to the console-mounted rotary dial and volume knob.

Cadillac’s strategy of offering two different exterior designs, including the edgier Sport trim, is a good idea. Traditional buyers will prefer the classy Premium Luxury version, while the younger crowd might have a preference for the more aggressive-looking Sport.

The 2020 Cadillac XT6 offers great ride comfort, in addition to a swell drive and decent handling. It’s not as sharp or performance-oriented as the German luxury SUVs, but not all buyers in this segment want a hard-rock suspension and overly powerful—and unnecessarily complex—twin-turbo engines.


Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2020 Cadillac XT6

There are some little things that bug us inside the crossover, such as the large front pillars that obstruct the view ahead. Some interior materials don’t match the XT6’s price, and seem to be shared with the more affordable GM crossovers. The Nappa leather-lined Palisade and Telluride’s cockpits look just as fancy, and cost much less.

It may be a Cadillac, but the XT6 doesn’t have the prestige as the Escalade does. Buyers who choose the XT6 will be giving up more than just power and towing capacity. Speaking of which, the XT6 can pull up to 4,000 pounds, (1,814 kg), which is below average among three-row SUVs.

There isn’t much room for occupants in the Cadillac XT6’s third-row seats. While that’s not much of a surprise, we would’ve liked to have more leg and foot room, which means teenagers and adults won’t be comfortable back there for very long.

The biggest complaint we have here is price. Starting at $60,998 before freight and delivery charges, or at $63,798 for the Sport trim that we’d prefer getting, the 2020 Cadillac XT6 doesn’t come cheap. Our test vehicle included more than $15K worth of options, but didn’t feel any more substantial or luxurious. At close to $80,000, we’d take a serious look at a discounted 2020 Escalade.


Final Word

The 2020 Cadillac XT6 has a lot going for it. It’s attractive, it’s roomy and it’s simple to drive and to operate. It’s not technologically advanced as the German competition, but in the long run, the Caddy should prove cheaper to maintain.

On the other hand, the as-tested price of our XT6 makes us frown. Even fully loaded, we don’t think this crossover can cost the same as a BMW X5 or an Audi Q7 and offer less prestige, performance and luxury. So far, sales haven’t been great in Canada and in the United States, and this might explain why.

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