Premium Price War: 2020 Cadillac XT6 Starts Above Rival Lincoln Aviator

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
premium price war 2020 cadillac xt6 starts above rival lincoln aviator

Americans gain two new domestic midsizers for the 2020 model year, and both of the premium crossover rivals take a different approach in how they propel their human cargo.

The Cadillac XT6, which debuted in Detroit in January and hits dealers this summer, adopts front-drive architecture; the 2020 Lincoln Aviator goes a different route, donning Ford’s rear-drive CD6 platform. It’s V6 power only for both, though Lincoln will slap on a potent plug-in hybrid system for added power and expense.

While pricing lines up closely on the bottom end, Lincoln has the edge.

A base XT6 Premium Luxury FWD retails for $53,690 after destination, Cadillac announced today, placing the three-row vehicle $1,495 above the starting price of an Aviator Standard. Perhaps RWD is an additional perk for some buyers?

All XT6 trims carry the same powertrain: GM’s trusty 3.6-liter V6, good for 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque, paired with a nine-speed automatic. Lincoln chose a Continental-sourced twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 for its new ride, mating it with a 10-speed automatic. Output is an even 400 hp and 400 lb-ft.

Sadly, the XT6 isn’t yet on Cadillac’s build and price site, though the automaker did say all-wheel drive comes standard on the XT6 Sport, which starts at $58,090 after destination. Buyers can outfit a base Aviator with AWD for the after-destination sum of $54,695. While base model (well, “Premium Luxury”) XT6 buyers can also add AWD, the automaker hasn’t revealed that particular trim’s price.

As we told you already, the availability of a 450 hp, 600 lb-ft hybrid drivetrain and Black Label trappings pushes the Aviator’s price ceiling to within striking distance of the Navigator flagship (and stratosphere), surely beyond the borders of the XT6’s price envelope. Automakers are always glad to take whatever extra cash you have in your account.

It’s on the lower end where much of a vehicle’s volume lies, and here is where Caddy and Lincoln will really do battle, searching for bragging rights. Neither vehicle forgoes a high level of standard content. Both XT6 and Aviator boast a healthy list of standard safety features, including automatic emergency braking, though the Aviator’s touchscreen (10 inches) beats the XT6’s 8.0-inch unit.

Cadillac’s base model wins in the wheel size challenge with standard 20-inchers. However, depending on the condition of the roads in your area, this may not be a selling point. The GM vehicle also carries the automaker’s Rear Seat Reminder, a feature not available on the Lincoln.

As for that starting price, at least one full-line GM dealer thinks it might be too high.

Speaking to the Detroit Free Press, Lynn Thompson, co-owner of Thompson Motor Sales in Springfield, Missouri, said, “Will (XT6) sell at that price? I’m not sure. With pricing it seems like everything’s gotten so high and analysts are saying that prices have gone up so much it’s hurting new vehicle sales. We’re seeing it too. Our used car sales are doing real good, but new is suffering.”

Thompson noted that, through the end of February, his store’s Cadillac sales were down 2 percent. In contrast, GMC sales rose 10 percent.

[Images: General Motors]

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  • TomLU86 TomLU86 on Mar 08, 2019

    Lots of good points by the commentariat. It looks bland, reminiscent of a 2010-2017 Traverse. They "phoned it in". Rather disappointing. On the other hand, Ford seems to have difficulty getting things going. These players, one overpriced, and one that takes a while to get up and running, are arriving just as the party is ending.... Demographics, interest rates, lots of cars coming off-lease, overly high transaction prices....these are the headwinds coming that are going to end the party any day now... And of course, GM and Ford have whacked their lower-priced offerings (FCA's were not credible, so FCA's move made sense for FCA)

  • Speedlaw Speedlaw on Mar 09, 2019

    20 inch wheels on what is a family truckster ? Cue the arguments "why can't you miss potholes". What possible reason could there be ? Make the ride more "jiggly" ? I'm sure the wheel and tire is a $1200 day.

  • Arthur Dailey "Check out the used car market." Late model, low mileage vehicles are in many instance selling for more than you would pay if you put a deposit on a new vehicle. The reason? Supply and demand. You can take the used vehicle home now. Whereas you might have to wait up to 24 months for your new vehicle.
  • VoGhost Matt, you say 'overpriced', but don't you mean 'underpriced'? It's when a manufacturer underprices, that dealers add their markup. If they were overpriced, the dealers would discount.
  • Bobbysirhan I'm surprised by the particular Porsches to make the list, and also by the Cadillac. Most of all, I'm shocked that the 2-door Mini Cooper is on here. I didn't even know they still made them, let alone that anyone was still buying them.
  • Ajla I assume the CT5 is on the list due to the Blackwing variant.It would be interesting to take the incentives that existed in October 2019 and include that in an analysis like this as well. The thing about the used market is that while you'll pay less in total dollars, in some cases the percentage increase from 2019 is even worse than with new cars. Buying a Saturn Relay for $6k isn't exactly a winning move.
  • VoGhost Reminder: dealers exist to line the pockets of millionaires who contribute to local politicians.