By on July 29, 2019

2020 Cadillac XT6

Earlier this year, on a cold winter’s evening in the city of Detroit, I snuck into a building in the Midtown area that I think is normally an art gallery, in order to see whatever Cadillac was showing at the North American International Auto Show.

I wasn’t party crashing because we’d been black-listed — I’d simply erroneously been under the impression that the event was open to all show-going media when it wasn’t. But I got in anyway.

What I saw wasn’t pleasant — a slab-sided three-row crossover called XT6 that didn’t exactly scream — or even whisper — “Cadillac.” My concerns for the brand’s present and future got worse.

Fast-forward seven months. I found myself on a plane to Washington, D.C. to drive the damn thing.

I always work to keep an open mind — what looks ugly on a show stand or on paper might actually prove to be well-built, well-priced, and a good vehicle to drive. Heck, even styling can look different in the real world as opposed to under auto-show lights.

Would the XT6 surprise me? Or would the doubt I expressed in the Motor City be borne out?

(Full disclosure: Cadillac flew me to Washington, D.C., put me in a nice hotel and fed me, and left branded cupcakes in the room. They offered a tour of the monuments, which I skipped, having seen them a few times on previous vacations to the capital.)

On second look, the XT6 did look better than what I remembered from Detroit. It had looked a bit sad and underwhelming in Motown, and I think the fact that the brand used a gray XT6 as the stage model didn’t help. Upon arrival at the hotel, I saw that Caddy had parked a red XT6 in the lobby, and that color popped better.

I liked the large, simple grille opening and its black cross-hatching, the narrow upper headlamps, and the vertical lower light bar. I’m less enamored of the slab-sided look — there’s just no pizazz. Out back, the vertical taillamps remind you it’s a Caddy, and the look is simple and clean.

Overall, it’s a boxy, slightly boring look that lacks the edge of recent Caddies. Being one who appreciates clean yet boring designs, I don’t mind as much as most probably will, although, again, the slabbed sides don’t appeal to my eye.

2020 Cadillac XT6

The problem, of course, is the badge on the front. Anonymity may be acceptable from Kia or Hyundai or any other plebeian brand, but the market expects more from Cadillac. Especially right now, as Caddy struggles to compete in a market it once held dominance over.

Even worse is that Kia and Hyundai’s entrants into the three-row game are more stylish, and they aren’t even competing in the luxury class. More on that to come.

Inside, the story is similarly mixed. The gauge cluster is only part digital — the cheaper Hyundai Palisade has gone full digital, by comparison. The infotainment system is nicely centered in the dash, and haptic touch buttons with barely noticeable indents control most of the rest of the HVAC and audio systems. They mostly work — although occasionally they needed to be pressed twice to perform the requested task. A rotary controller located aft of the shifter can also be used to manipulate the menus.

Road and wind noise were nicely shut out while on the road, and the seats were all-day comfortable. I had little trouble getting my tall frame into the third row, and I had adequate knee room when parked back there.

The Premium Luxury trim I drove in the morning had what Cadillac claims is real wood interior trim, but it neither felt nor looked real.

2020 Cadillac XT6

There’s just one engine and transmission combo available across the two trims (Premium Luxury and Sport): A 3.6-liter V6 making 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque and a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Premium Luxury models are available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive, Sport models are AWD only. I drove one of each, both equipped with AWD.

All-wheel drive models offer four selectable drive modes: Tour, Sport, AWD, and Off-Road (on FWD models, it’s Tour, Snow/Ice, and Sport). Tour mode keeps you in front-wheel drive all the time when piloting a model with all-wheel drive.

As one would expect, switching over to Sport mode tightened up the light-weighted steering a bit, and improved responses a bit in both models. The Sport trim gets a faster steering ratio, standard active damping suspension, an AWD system tuned for sportier driving, and different throttle and shift calibration mapping.

My drive partner claimed to notice a difference between trims, with the Sport trim being more engaging to drive, but the differences seemed subtle to me. Most of my time behind the wheel of the Sport model was on the freeway, though, so it made it hard to compare to the Premium Luxury model I’d earlier driven over the narrow and gently curving country roads of rural Northern Virginia.

2020 Cadillac XT6

Consistent between trims was a transmission that was reluctant to shift down. The V6 also struggled a bit to move the XT6’s mass — acceleration is adequate but no better. There’s some body roll in turns but it’s not too bad. The handling is about on par for a large luxury crossover — not terrible, not particularly fun. Both trims offered a fair amount of steering feedback, and the XT6 is game for gentle cornering.

The most pleasant aspect of the XT6 is the smooth, supple ride. It’s the one thing that reminds you of Cadillacs of yore. In fact, it’s better — no float or wallow. Smooth doesn’t mean too soft.

Too bad that doesn’t apply to the brakes — they could be a bit mushy.

2020 Cadillac XT6

On-road, the XT6 is flawed when pushed but pleasant enough in normal driving that it won’t offend. Drive it like a normal human, as opposed to an auto journalist, and it’s fine. Perfectly pleasant, and not really memorable.

Content-wise, the XT6 offers plenty of it, but some of it will cost ya. The Premium Luxury bases at $52,695 and the Sport at $57,095, with destination fees for both being $995.

Standard features include 20-inch wheels, sunroof, remote fold-down second-row seats, power driver’s seat, power-fold third-row seats, heated steering wheel, heated front seats, tri-zone climate control, power tilt/telescope steering wheel, heated outside mirrors, wireless cell-phone charging, type A and type C USB ports, noise cancellation, Cadillac User Experience (CUE, includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bose audio, in-car Wi-Fi, satellite radio, near-field communication, and power liftgate).

2020 Cadillac XT6

There’s more: Forward-collision alert, front pedestrian braking, front and rear park assist, low-speed forward automatic braking, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-change alert, lane-departure warning, and side blind-zone alert.

Available features include 21-inch wheels, night vision, rearview camera mirror, 360-degree camera, cooled front seats, heated second-row seats, second-row captain’s chairs, auto park assist, rear pedestrian alert, head-up display, Bose premium audio, uplevel headlamps, and navigation.

The Premium Luxury I tested rang the register at $70,290 after fees thanks to the Platinum Package ($4,900, included leather seating and trim, suede headliner, performance suspension, and active damping), the Enhanced Visibility and Technology Package ($2,350, includes rear camera mirror, 8-inch color gauge info screen, automatic parking assist, rear pedestrian alert, head-up display), night vision ($2,000), Driver Assist Package ($1,300, includes adaptive cruise control, enhanced automatic emergency braking, reverse automatic braking), Cadillac User Experience aka CUE (navigation, uplevel Bose audio), second-row captain’s chairs ($800), premium headlamps ($800), Comfort and Air Quality Package ($750, includes heated second-row seats, air ionizer, and cooled front seats), $625 for the paint job, and $75 for a cargo shade.

Despite the higher base price tag, the Sport I drove cost a bit less at $64,340 after fees. It was equipped with the Enhanced Visibility and Tech Package, CUE, the captain’s chairs, the Comfort and Air Quality Package, the same dark mocha paint job, the cargo shade, and the Smart Towing option ($650).

Fuel economy is listed at 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway/20 mpg combined for front-drive models and 17/24/20 for all-wheel drive.

2020 Cadillac XT6

I liked the XT6 better from behind the wheel than I thought I would. But the styling is going to be too boring for some (if not many), some of the interior materials were a letdown, and I spotted panel gaps that were too large in our pre-production test vehicles.

End result? The XT6 is a comfortable, pleasant crossover that won’t move the needle. It’s flanked on one side by Korean mainstream crossovers that are close in offered content and material quality, similarly engaging to drive (if not more so), better-looking, and cheaper; and on the other by the stylish Lincoln Aviator. Top-trim Ford Explorers are in the mix, price-wise, as well.

It’s true that luxury buyers may write the Kia, Hyundai, and Ford off right off the bat, because those badges don’t say “premium.” That still leaves the Aviator, Acura MDX, and Infiniti QX60 in the mix.

I’m curious to drive the Aviator, to see how it stacks up — I do think it’s styling is a lot sexier. I haven’t been in the Acura in a long time as a driver and I am not sure I’ve ever driven a QX60. But both of those also have more distinctive duds than the XT6.

I was perfectly content behind the wheel of the XT6, but it won’t turn heads, and if the badge doesn’t matter, you can come close in content for a lot less dough.

2020 Cadillac XT6

My concerns for Caddy aren’t fully assuaged — the XT6 is far too anonymous to make me feel better about the brand’s direction. But it’s not the terrible mess I thought it might be.

Cadillac still needs to take a long, hard look at where it’s been, where it is, and where it’s going. That said, the XT6 may not be memorable, but it’s not a disaster.

Unfortunately, that’s not good enough for a vehicle bearing the Cadillac crest. Pleasant yet forgettable won’t cut it.

Cadillac and its dealers don’t just need crossovers, they need ones that turn heads and feel worth every penny of the sticker price. The XT6 checks neither box.

I’m still concerned.

[Images © 2019 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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86 Comments on “2020 Cadillac XT6 First Drive – Better Than Expected, But Worthy of the Badge?...”


  • avatar

    The profile view looks like last generation of the Mitsubishi Outlander.

    • 0 avatar
      eng_alvarado90

      It looked more like a VW Atlas to me or a 2nd gen BMW X5. I think even the wheels looked alike.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      Funny, first thing that popped into my head when I saw the side profile above was Saab 9-7 (the old Trailblazer rebadge).

      I have seen a few on the road. They are pretty decent looking but couldnt see myself driving one if I had $50-60k to part with on a crossover.

      I was thinking today that I am just not excited about too many cars anymore. I think crossovers/trucks in general have dulled my senses and the ho-hum aura of this Cadillac is probably moreso related to the overall boredom of crossovers and trucks rather than actual dislike of this particular vehicle.

      If the automakers keep pumping out crossovers, maybe the buying public will simply see new autos as more of a commodity than ever before. Thus, making the best vehicle simply….something that’s paid for. Not good for an industry dependent on the constant rollover of new volume.

      • 0 avatar
        Secret Hi5

        @thegamper – Yes, it does resemble that Saab’s profile!

        Does Toyota/Lexus not have a vehicle in this class? I wonder why they would cede it to other automakers.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        I also was; what, Saab is here?
        But I see here Mazda mixed with Volvo upfront. Body distinctly – Chevy. Ford in the back.
        Looks like imagination runs out

        • 0 avatar
          SPPPP

          I think the front and rear styling are OK, though uninspiring. I dislike the treatment of the sides. Yes, I definitely see the Saab DNA there (haha!). What really irks me is the way GM designs their wheel arches. They are just poorly integrated with the sides or “flanks” of the body. I don’t get why the wheel arches need a huge vertical plane on every GM car. Possibly aerodynamic reasons, but I don’t see this on every car. The vertical plane is here as usual. Yet on this car, it seems GM saw fit to add an extra lip around the wheel opening. A flare within a flare? Why? Are they thinking of adding a 24″ wheel option later on? Furthermore, rather than design some sort of “organic” transition between that big vertical plane and the main body of the car, it looks like they simply let a 3D program interpolate between the wheel arch feature line and the body crease/taillight feature line. If this was a De Havilland Mosquito, with a body made of cotton stretched over wood, that shape would make sense as a practical necessity. But it’s not good styling for a stamped steel car body. The way the surface warps is just inelegant, and it’s unfortunately one of the most noticeable parts of the car. One additional contour in between those two feature lines could have really improved the looks of that area.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        There’s just something about the front end that doesn’t flow together. An Outlander ripoff isn’t wrong. The land Rover headlights just don’t seem to flow with the grill, and the bumper seems to protrude a bit too much.

    • 0 avatar
      SatelliteView

      Chevy traverse I’m a Mitsubishi outlander last generation disguise indeed. Cadillac. How sad the times are. By the way, have you seen Jalopnik lately? I think there’s a general trend here that’s been unwinding for a while now. Sad times.

      At this point, cars are a commodity. Just like smartphones and flat screen TVs. No longer quirky, just mundane

  • avatar
    33873

    A chevy traverse “sport” bleh

  • avatar
    A Scientist

    Seems like maybe Cadillac has heard the years of comments about their hyper-aggressive styling, took those comments to heart, and (predictably) took the solution too far. Being generous, I would call this design “stately” compared to previous offerings from the brand, and a definite step in the right direction. Unfortunately, it does cross over from “stately” right into “boring”.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I actually like the basic shape quite a bit – it reminds me of an XC90, and that’s not a bad thing. But the XC90’s trim has some pizazz. This just looks…plain.

      • 0 avatar
        A Scientist

        I suppose I can see that. The first thing I thought from the side view was the Saab 9-7 someone mentioned above. Either that, or “The all new (rebadged), Chevrolet Blazer!” ;)

  • avatar
    IBx1

    In what dimension could this vehicle be considered aspirational?

  • avatar
    dwford

    I wish Cadillac would aspire to be more than 1/2 step above Infiniti. All of GM’s recent designs seem like pulled punches, and that’s not going to get it done these days. Cadillac especially needs to be way more than it is. Let Buick handle the middle luxury market. Why buy a $70k XT6 when you can get the bigger Enclave Avenir with all the same features for $15k less?

  • avatar
    JoeBrick

    OK, I will admit that I have never DRIVEN one of Cadillac’s SUVs or CUVs. I have had 3 Cadillacs, all were DeVilles. So that dates me. So my opinion is only about the STYLING of this car/truck. I don’t like it. The styling does not say CADILLAC to me. I am not saying that a Cadillac has to be a sedan or coupe to be a Cadillac. That is not it at all. You could look at a Cadillac from the 30s,up to about 2011 and without seeing any emblems or nameplates, you KNEW it was a Cadillac from a block away. I don’t care WHAT style of cars Cadillac makes- just make them say CADILLAC.

    • 0 avatar
      JoeBrick

      Somehow, I lost part of my comment. I am not as computer literate as the rest of you. Sorry. I also wanted to say that when I said 2011, I was thinking of the STS, which still looked Cadillac-y to me. And one more thing. I think that the DeVille lost its Cadillac-ness somewhere around 2000.

      • 0 avatar
        DweezilSFV

        I don’t know, JoeBrick the last SRX had looked, to me, more like a Cadillac than any of their offerings, especially the Cimmaron-ized Escalade.

        One that I would have sought out, had I been in the market. Nothing before or since and ironically the SRX had some of the worst reliability of any Cadillac.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    This is a big bunch of meh in a segment that’s full of meh.

    Know how to stand out, Cadillac? Stuff some horsepower in the thing. The twin-turbo six from the CT6 would fit the bill here.

    From there, dress up the exterior styling a bit (but not too much – I actually like the boxy look), and sell it for around $60,000, and you’ve got something with some character and personality, not an upscale soccer-mom bus.

    Cadillac just seems lost.

    The other big question, I suppose, is how this compares to the Aviator, and Tim’s review confirms one area this will beat the Lincoln in: as a people-hauler. I haven’t seen an Aviator, but I have seen a new Explorer, and the third seat in that car is basically useless.

    A lot of folks value that in this class, so it’ll sell.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      I’m not arguing your point because I haven’t seen the new explorers 3rd row, but why do you say it’s useless?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Because I tried sitting in it and I could barely get in; once in, there wasn’t much headroom. Admittedly, at 5’10” I’m probably quite a bit bigger than the kids who will be sitting back there, but there you have it.

        Not too long ago, I was the target market for a car like this, and I’d have had second thoughts about putting any kids who were past fifth grade or so in the third seat of the Explorer (or the Aviator, by extension). Passenger hauling capability was a consideration for me, and it will be for lots of other buyers who are looking at this kind of vehicle. The XT6’s faults are pretty evident, and Aviator’s clearly got it going on when it comes to performance and sex appeal, but I think the Caddy’s practicality will win it quite a few sales.

        My prediction is that the Caddy ends up outselling the Aviator due to that, and the inevitable GM blue-light-special pricing. Whether that’s good or bad for the brand is debatable, of course.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          If your 5’10” and don’t fit I would agree that’s ridiculous. Wasn’t the whole point of going to IRS to gain that lost space of a traditional axle? How does a 1987 Suburban have massive amounts of head room, acceptable amounts of leg room, and a log axle yet nothing modern outside of a minivan can match it? What happened?

          I’m not going to bore anyone on my thoughts on crossovers but I do agree the Aviator (although a little too Range Rover-ish for my tastes) is the clear winner between these two.

          I think the saddest I’ve ever been in my car life was about 2012 when I was at the old Cadillac, SAAB, HUMMER dealer and noticed a beautiful 50s Buick* in Burgandy-ish that looked restored to AACA specs, I asked the dealer about it and he said a couple had traded it in on a new SRX. I lost almost all faith in Humanity in a split second.

          *Please note, I don’t remember exactly what he said it was and I am much to young to be able to recognize cars from that decade. So I say Buick but it could have been Cadillac or Olds or something else, I remember it had either the top or the bottom hinges exposed on the outside of the car but the other door Hinge was not exposed. And I remember it being one of the GM premium – Lux brands of the time.

          • 0 avatar
            DweezilSFV

            That would have been a 1939 or so GM vehicle.

            Buick exposed the lower hinge until the 1941 models apparently.

            GM used nothing like that from the 50s.

            And yes, horrifying to think someone would trade in something like that for a modern GM vehicle they call Cadillac for marketing purposes only.

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    Bleh.

    After Dad passed in December, my brother and I have been encouraging Mom to swap out the two cars she has (2011 Ford Edge and 2005 BMW X5) for one new one that includes maintenance.

    At first she thought she wanted something smaller but after looking at the Buick Encore and even the Ford Escape now she’s thinking that’s not what she wants and has actually started to like the X5 now that she’s been driving it regularly.

    We’ve been encouraging Mom to get something she likes since Dad was all about utility and value, but with her plan to move back to rural Iowa, leasing a new X5 would mean 90 minute trips to Des Moines for service.

    At the start of the article I thought maybe this would be an alternative that would be easier for her to find local service. I don’t see her being into this though, which is unfortunate because when I was a kid Mom aspired to have a Cadillac someday, but I haven’t heard that from her in the last 15 years.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    “Know thyself” – how could something so fundamental to success evade GM for so many years.

    As a base model with a V6, the XT6 isn’t bad but it’s not competitive. The V6 is an average engine attached to a decent looking body the equivalent of the Kia Telluride. That’s not a slam… The Kia looks good!

    But the Kia starts much lower and has a better reputation than Cadillac.

    This is just another poor value from Cadillac in a line of mis-priced but decent vehicles. And decent isn’t really good enough if you’re gluing a Cadillac badge to a vehicle along with a laughable MSRP.

    In fact, “good enough” may be the mantra chanted at every marketing meeting based on what we continually see from Cadillac.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    It’s the Caddy that Zings!

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    The company that says it’s going to sell a mid-engine sports car with exotic performance for $60K currently offers this mid-sized CUV with a drivetrain amortized across a million mass-market units for more. Do they think Cadillac customers are fools? Do they think they’re on the verge of bait and switching a bunch of sports car buyers into C8s that are optioned up to 911 prices? Are they fools who are about to lose most of what they spent bringing the C8 to market based on nothing but wishful thinking? Stay tuned! And buy a Lexus RX350L if you’re looking for a fancy three row station wagon.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      “And buy a Lexus RX350L if you want a CUV with front end styling that reminds you of something H.R. Giger dreamt up during a bad acid trip, and you’re looking for a fancy three row station wagon for kids with amputated legs.”

      There, fixed it for you!

      (The other questions you ask about GM are completely reasonable, but the RX is INSANELY ugly, and the third seat is a joke. Personally, I’d take an up-level Highlander and be done.)

      • 0 avatar
        ToddAtlasF1

        Who has a good third row? I’m 6’2″, over 200 lbs so I can only tell you that I don’t fit in any of them.

        Lexus styling is pretty bad, but it is recognized as Lexus styling. That’s better than having a car people know is a Cadillac, and much better than trying to sell or trade in a car that people know is a Cadillac.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Basically, what you’re looking for is a third row that can fit a couple of kids who are ten or so, with some room to grow (the kids grow while you have the car, after all). Highlanders, Pilots, Traverses, et al fit that bill, but the Explorer is so-so, and the RX is a joke.

          Here’s a story about the RX I found – scroll down for the picture of the third row and you’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s all good as long as the kids have had below-the-knee amputations!

          https://www.chicagotribune.com/autos/sc-auto-review-1018-lexus-rx350l-20181015-story.html

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            @ FreedMike

            In fairness to the RX, the 2nd row is adjustable fore-aft, and it’s not clear where the author has it for that photo.

            It’s not a vehicle I particularly like, but per the article:

            “To be fair, we fit four kids in the second and third row of the tester, which came with seven seats. There is a six-seat option with captain’s chairs in the middle. We put a smallish 12-year old and a wiry 6-year-old in the third row, then shifted the midrow seats forward to fit two average-sized 11-year olds. All those bony knees were touching each seat back. And the driver (me) is 5 feet, 8½ inches (the half counts!), so that seat was more forward than back.

            “An argument could be made that it could work for grandma to help out ferrying the grandkids around in a pinch, or for anyone who occasionally helps out getting the young kids to and fro. Or it could be the ideal dog seat. Or simply for more cargo room. The advantage is that it’s not as large to park, handle and drive as other three-row crossovers. So it has that going for it. And its mate, the RX 350, had nearly double the sales of the second-best-selling crossover in 2017.”

        • 0 avatar
          JoeBrick

          @ToddAtlasShrugged- Chevy Suburban. Nuff said.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            AtlasF1 was a bulletin board that a friend of mine owned until she sold it to Autosport. I’ve been in Suburbans. The third row is only suitable for occasional use by people my size.

          • 0 avatar
            JoeBrick

            I meant no disrespect. I was only funnin’ you. I often “customize” names when I reply to a comment. My goal is to type enough of the name to distinguish it from the other names while adding a little of self-amusement. No offense meant.
            “I crack myself up sometimes.”- Dudley Moore, in Arthur

        • 0 avatar
          thegamper

          @Todd,

          I have the problem of finding a good third row as well. I have huge kids, my 13 year old is 6’2″. My wife wont drive a minivan, so I will tell you the only crossovers that come close to minivan levels of passenger space are the Chevy Traverse, Buick Enclave and VW Atlas. Otherwise, you can buy a Suburban, Expedition, etc but why would you want to if you arent towing. In a thread where everyone is concerned with getting ripped off, BOF SUVs are the biggest rip off on the market.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            How many kids do you have? How tall is your wife? Maybe should try out sitting in that third row. ;) Will she drive a full-sized van? BOF SUVs are definitely expensive. New Sequoias start at $45K, which might be the best value.

          • 0 avatar

            New Armadas start at $47, and are more modern than the ancient Sequoia, and nicer inside.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I had an Armada as a rental for a family vacation last summer – as long as you have a serious monthly gas budget, and you’re OK with circa-2009 infotainment, I’d recommend it wholeheartedly.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            How big is the third row in the Armada? The current ones look to be more Land Cruiser sized than Sequoia sized. A Sequoia will last forever. I’m not sure Nissan will last forever, let alone their SUV. If I didn’t have a fairly low opinion of Nissan, I’d certainly consider the bargain-priced Armada-Patrol.

    • 0 avatar
      JoeBrick

      @ToddAO- I was also thinking about the C8 vs the Cadillacs in the same price ranges. The new Corvette C8 has a TON of technology in it for a starting price of $60,000. Why can’t Cadillac put an equal amount of technology and FLASH into a car starting at the same price ? Cadillac needs to put the Corvette team that designed the C8 on the design of their next few cars. They scored a Grand Slam Platinum record on the Vette. Cadillac needs some winners like that before it is just a badge-engineered Chevy(Even more so than it is now.).
      From now on, I want an EQUAL number of blueberries in each muffin. An EQUAL number.

      • 0 avatar
        JoeBrick

        I did not mean to imply that Cadillac should make a mid-engined sports car. And I hope NO ONE at GM gets that F#CKING HORRIBLE IDEA. I only meant that their $60.000 starting priced cars should have as much tech and flash as the C8. And they should scale the amount of tech and flashs UP and DOWN to match the starting price of each model. If all Cadillacs got as much hype and good press as the C8 that would be a FANTASTIC start.
        One more thing- if Cadillac starts using the phrase ‘Tech and Flash’, I want a new car of my choosing from GM.

        • 0 avatar
          ToddAtlasF1

          Cadillac should totally sell another Corvette variant. They can lift the ride height by five inches, throw on some Pontiac-style body cladding, put a shooting-brake hatchback body on it, and glue some cosmetic rear door handles and rear door cut-lines on its flanks to guarantee market acceptance. Call it an SCUV.

          • 0 avatar
            JoeBrick

            @AtlasSaturnVtotheMoon-
            SCUD. Or Aztek II.
            Back on the road to Bataan Death March…er…I mean GM Death Watch.

    • 0 avatar
      thegamper

      That is a great point about the cost of the new Corvette vs cost of this Cadillac CUV. The new mid engine Corvette sort of puts a lot of MSRP’s in question regardless of manufacturer. Its really our fault though as consumers. We let the automakers lull us into paying by the pound when in fact most pickups/Crossovers don’t cost substantially more to manufacturer than the sedans owners are flocking away from just so they can pay twice as much for a bigger footprint and earthcrushing weight. Steel is dirt cheap, it would cost you more to buy actual dirt.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        This, modern cars are an absolute ripoff. A thousand paper cuts have led us to a world where automakers are making money on us hand over fist.
        We were sold that going unibody and away from BOF would create cars that sold for less.
        Sold that FWD could be a cheaper alternative to RWD
        Sold that 6 cylinders are a better choice than 8, and now we see 8 cylinder cars creeping up on 30MPG, while V6s are just touching it.
        Sold that fake leather would be cheaper.
        Etc

        Yet now we seem to have choices that are the worst of all worlds and the prices reflect the best of all worlds. All those costs cuts weren’t made to make cars cheaper for us but to make cars more profitable for automakers.

      • 0 avatar
        cprescott

        You assume that the Corvette will be available at the $60k price point. First, Chevrolet will build all of the most heavily optioned ordered cars FIRST and if there is any room left, they might build the cheap ones – and that assumes the greedy market value stickers won’t also inflate prices by $10k on the cheap ones. I don’t trust GM and with good reason – they will pull a Tesla for sure and profit will drive them over customer satisfaction. And those who were pushed out of the order system now will be invited back in 18 months once the sales have disappeared and the lines need volume to keep them going.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Chevrolet has sold the C7 with $10k discounts multiple times over its life, I have no doubt that in 3 years we will see the same on this. And yes I did see plenty of Corvettes for ~45k when I was searching my SS sedan and comparing the two.

          At first GM will do what GM always does, destroy goodwill by allowing dealers to sell with markup on cars that won’t even be able to sell at sticker 24 months later. The thinking man isn’t going to touch the first two years of production anyhow, as someone else said, the first couple years of any new GM model is still testing and development phases, around year 3-4 is when it’s safe to jump in assuming the testing phase didn’t show huge flaws.
          The $100k cars are going to do what they do right now, which is take up dealer showroom space for months – years. The dealers know that sweet spot is in the $60k range.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      Oh ffs, if you’re looking for a fancy third row, you should be asking the question of who will be sitting back there. If its big kids, get a fancy minivan. If it’s little kids, get a Highlander/Pilot.

      If you need to tow a big boat AND haul 6 people, get a Tahoe.

      Of course, you can do what we did and buy a POS X5 and pay dearly for the entirety of the time you own it.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Crossovers have one purpose, move people and there’s better devices than them already in existence. So imo the 3rd row shouldn’t seem vestigial, of course no ones ever called fashion reasonable.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    I would honestly be interested to read an interview with someone who actually wrote a check or signed a note starting with a ‘7’ for an XT6. Assuming such a person actually exists, and these don’t arrive from the factory with the 20% discount coupons in the glovebox.

    What kind of thought process is required to consider this vehicle to be worth more than the median income in this country?

  • avatar
    Extra Credit

    I’m no Sajeev Mehta, but Cadillac’s vertical front and rear light signature was developed to compliment the “fins on the fenders” look they introduced 60+ years ago. Without flamboyant fins on the fenders, the only way to tie together their front and rear vertical lights is with slab sides – especially on a 2-box SUV. If Cadillac was truly committed to “dare greatly”, they’d ditch their vertical light signature for something that enabled them to style greatly. Until then, enjoy your slab sides.

    • 0 avatar
      JoeBrick

      No, no, no ! Just because a car has a “vertical front and rear light signature” does not mean that it has to be a slab-sided monstrosity. Look at the designs of the great Harley Earl(C2 Corvette), or the designs of Bill Mitchell (Buick Riviera and Olds Toronado). There are many other examples of how to do a car.

  • avatar
    210delray

    Is it just me, or wasn’t Cadillac starting to get its mojo back around 2003 when those “breakthrough” ads came out (with the Led Zeppelin “Rock and Roll” soundtrack)?

    Now it seems that Caddy is sliding back into mediocrity.

    • 0 avatar
      DweezilSFV

      Those were ridiculous, 210. That music had zero to do with Cadillac. They screamed trying too hard to me.

      Like “Not Your Father’s Oldsmobile” with music.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Nice job, Tim. A lot of the recent reviews on TTAC have been too wishy-washy IMO, and I was worried you were just going to give this a “it’s fine, could always be worse” shoulder shrug. But, you dished out some deserved shots in the second half.

  • avatar
    Best_Ever

    I guess its a decent Durango refresh. Pretty boring.

  • avatar
    Acd

    This thing could have any badge on the nose–Kia, Hyundai, Buick–and you’d believe it. One badge that doesn’t work is Cadillac. Very underwhelming and very disappointing.

    This thing is going to help sell a lot of Lincoln Aviators.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    This is Roger Smith era $hit all over again.

    Mary ‘Roger Smith’ Barra, continuing to cement her reputation as Mrs. “rebadge all the things” 1980s/1990s nightmare retro/redux.

    This is a Chevy/GMC in every respect but some different exterior design and gingerbread (that make it arguably look worse by comparison) built on the same line/in the same facility as those Chevys and GMCs .

    All the lane watch, cross-lane warning, radar, pre-collision etc crap cited is no more sophisticated, and arguably less so, than the full suite of similar tech that now comes standard on a $21,000 base model Honda Accord.

    That Cadillac has the balls to put an MSRP as such on this kissing cousin of the Chevy and GMC is just one of Cadillacs problems, that’s destroyed its brand name, heritage and good will.

  • avatar
    whynotaztec

    Looks like a Durango or a Toyota or a Kia. And it has the motor from a 10 year old Malibu, or a 2014 impala. Or a Colorado.
    I really have no idea what a Cadillac is anymore.

  • avatar
    22_RE_Speedwagon

    Stop besmirching the name of my beloved Subaru XT6 with your Explorango.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    This is Hellcat JGC money, which by the way looks a lot better than this and actually seems worth the price. This Saabrango looks like it was designed by 3 different teams circa 2008. This is sad V6 trash, when little old FCA builds better vehicles that are half the price with twice the content then Cadillac should just pack it in and go home.

  • avatar
    Michael S6

    Cadillac needs better differentiation from its GM stablemates, Traverse and Enclave and the interior or exterior treatment does not warrant a $20,000 difference. I doubt that i would choose this over a Kia Telluride.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    I fail to grasp what Cadihack is all about now. Why does the company spend so much money on better than average performance and handling and then spend so little time with designs (both inside and out)? For all of the laughter that Lincoln earned up until the Continental was launched, the company finally discovered its niche and that is delivering genuine AMERICAN luxury in wonderfully designed exteriors and now superbly crafted interiors. Compared to a Lincoln, Cadihack is worse than what Hyundai builds.

  • avatar
    Good ole dayz

    I’m no fan of GM (can’t respect a company with a decades-long history of corner-cutting, poor quality and bean-counter induced mediocrity in engineering, materials and assembly).

    Never been a fan of Cadillac — may once have been a legitimate luxury vehicle with bona fide aspirational status — but it hasn’t had that since the 1960’s.

    That said, while this vehicle is a little on the bland side, KUDOS to GM / Cadillac for keeping the styling relatively subdued — and it appears to have a real greenhouse with a decent amount of glass and so visibility!

    MUCH better than the over-styled, angry arthropod look currently de riguer amongst the Japanese manufacturers, and flat slab / oversized grille look of the Europeans.

  • avatar
    rickkop

    Looked at most all the 3 row SUV’s and for the price, was disappointed with most of them. Liked the Telluride from Kia but they were back-ordered for 3 months. The salesperson couldn’t even take my order. Was lucky to stumble upon a loaded Hyundai Palisade right of the truck. Saved a ton of money and still got all the safety tech plus some features that aren’t even available on some of the competitive models. I feel I got a better vehicle, a better warranty at a better price. This thing is awesome. You should check it out.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    #WhatIsCadillac?

    #RebadgedChevrolets

    #StandardOfTheWorld

    #RogerSmith-v2.0

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Apologies in advance – my comment is going to be rather crude and unrefined – much like a design staff which has lost its design language.

    Some butts are cute. Then you have your average butts, and then there are the really ugly butts.

    When I say the 2020 Cadillac XT6 is “butt ugly,” I’m not referring to the cute ones.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    toolguy- Consider this:

    Whether one likes the Hyundai Palisade or not (I’m not a Crossover guy, as I prefer a beefier vehicle if I’m going vertical), the Palisade looks way better than this Chevillac XT6, has way better materials, switchgear, assembly quality, as much interior room, and it starts at $31,550, and at a $42,000 level, has WAY MORE features (ventilated and diffusing, fully reclining seats all around, 360 degree exterior sensors to detect moving vehicles before doors can open, ability to control all speakers individually, and that’s just maybe 4 out of 30 features the Chevillac XT6 lacks), the Palisade will be 300% more reliable, 300% more durable, actually have more prestige on the street, and has a way better warranty (powertrain and b2b).

    And again, that is with a Palisade optioned to maybe 42k versus 70k for this POS Chevillac XT6 Roger Smith v2.0 Edition.

    Cadillac is so fckud as usual; the XT6 Chevillac is analogous to the 3rd gen CTS, being WAY too expensive, but worse yet still vs the 3rd gen CTS, which at least had a somewhat bespoke chassis, the Chevillac XT6 has a pedestrian Chevy chassis, the same Chevy powertrain, and actually worse styling than its Chevy/GMC twins.

    This thing is so 2012 and late (literally, its platform and ppwertrain date back to 2012).

    GM is lost at sea as usual, but the current and waves are kicking up much more quickly and violently around its rudderless hull than in the past, when it last capsized.

  • avatar
    Oldschool

    I agree with many on here, WTF are you thinking Cadillac!? As a diehard classic Cadillac and Lincoln enthusiasts, the days when they actually built solid, cool looking, quality stylish luxury cars , this thing is embarrassing and downright bland for a Cadillac! A disrespect of the Cadillac heritage and wreath n crest. It looks like a Mazda up front, minus the badge, and a Dodge Durango from the 3 quarters view.

    Lincoln is going to eat Cadillacs lunch all day everyday for the coming years with what they have coming up and their vehicles look much more upscale and higher quality than this thing.

    The XT6 interior lacks any nice bright work, nothing elegant or stylish to point out on the interior either. It’s just plain Jane.

    I’m starting to notice that designers/stylists are running out of ways to design and style CUV/SUV’s as they all have the same typical profile. It’s the disproportionate dimensions of a longer front end, and a short rear end that makes it difficult to make it look stylish without cutting into valuable interior room and cargo capacity. Whereas with a sedan or a coupe, designers have more freedom to play with its overall look.

    Cadillac is in for a rude awakening, Never before has competition been so fierce, I mean when Kia and Hyundai vehicles look better than a Cadillac and feel close in quality, you have serious problem! It’s hard to justify forking our so much dough for a luxury vehicle that nobody will take a second glance at, and it’s overall look is so Ho-Hum vs the competition, Cadillacs marketing team must be panicking right now and shitting bricks in how will come up with lies so big, it will be completely obvious to potential buyers, especially things like it’s insane asking price.

    With all the plastics, lightweight materials used in modern cars today, you know damn well charging up to 70K for a SUV like this is just asinine.

    When you know damn well it probably cost only 20K or less to produce, especially if it’s made in Mexico.. What we are all paying for, and this goes for all automakers, is for all the fancy tech that they all have now plain and simple. It’s not the materials that’s for sure. When plastic and.composite materials is what mostly the vehicle is made up of, all the extra cost has to be tied up in either R&D and or labor cost.

    All these FWD unibody cheap plastic cars and CUV’s are no way more durable than the tanks that Cadillac used to build back in the 50’s-70’s. Even the RWD 80’s Fleetwoods and Broughams were tanks too.

    I’m sure those must have cost a fortune to build with all the resources it took such as steel and real chrome to make one Cadillac back then vs what it takes to make one today. Everything was obviously more sturdy back then in a Cadillac too, everything from the heavy doors, to the massively heavy hoods, thick glass, chrome metal door handles, real high quality super plush leather seats, and real metal switch gears and buttons made you know you owned a much better car than say a Chevy or an Olds, there was real noticeable quality differences between GM brands, unlike now.

    So damn sad where Cadillac is headed, I do blame the CEO Barra, for her soft sidedness and not giving Cadillac what it needs to succeed better. Not sure if it’s the lack of funds, GM’s culture and or lack of talent, but something desperately needs to be done to help Cadillac compete again. If Chevy can design and build the awesome C8 Corvette, why in the hell cant Cadillac build something even better!!?? Seriously?? It just pisses me off knowing that they do have people that can design a great super car, but are clueless when it comes to building and designing luxury ones?

    If only we can resurrect the likes of Harly Earl, Bill Mitchell and Chuck Jordan, just maybe Cadillac could be saved, because as of right now, I’m sure those guys are hating what the brand has become and would gladly lend a helping hand to get the company back on track to when they once were building cars that were the best on the market and was the gold standard when it came to luxury. Because as of now, the brand has zero identity and doesn’t know how to be a leader anymore. That was lost decades ago.

  • avatar

    Why did GM spend all that money to develop the Omega (CT6) and Alpha (CTS, ATS, Camaro) R/AWD platforms and then NOT use them for Cadillac’s CUV’s? It would have given Cadillac’s CUV’s exclusive and critically acclaimed platforms not shared with other GM divisions. Instead we get warmed over Chevy/GMC’s at Mercedes/BMW prices.

  • avatar

    From a styling perspective the xt6 gets the worst of both worlds. The front styling is overwrought like the Aztec, and the side and rear quarters are bland. The real tragedy here is the XT6 design elements are influenced by the beautiful Escala show car. Of course GM found a way to muck up the appealing design elements of the Escala and instead give us the design misfire of the XT6. What is up with those large gill-like intakes under the head lights. This is one of GM’s most atrocious design themes ever.

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    GM really loves that 3.6

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    Cue hologram of Dinah Shore singing “See The USA In Your Chevrolet….”.

  • avatar

    It is a flop.

  • avatar
    amca

    Cadillac screwed up the introduction of this vehicle massively. They released photos of a bland vehicle with a 3.6L V6. Everyone said “Meh” and the XT6’s reputation was already mud.

    Now that the press are seeing the XT6 and driving it, they’re discovering it’s a nice machine. That it’s got great presence when seen live. And that it’s well beyond “Meh.”

    But the damage has already been done.

    They should have introduced it live, with actual vehicles for the press to look at. It would have gotten a much better reputation out of the blocks.

  • avatar
    Drew Cadillac

    First impression of the XT6 – it’s ugly, boring, and already looks dated. The exterior/profile looks more like a schoolbus than a Cadillac. The front/face looks like it’s squinting, embarrassed to be seen. The dashboard is a boring mishmash of outdated gauges.

    In no way does this resemble the brash bold luxury once known as “the Cadillac of cars”. No wonder Johan deNysschen was fired. That guy talked a big game and never delivered for Cadillac. Given the way the product pipeline moves, this is all on JdN.

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