By on April 1, 2020

2020 Cadillac XT6 front quarter

2020 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury AWD

3.6-liter V6, dual overhead cam (310 hp @ 6600 rpm, 271 lb/ft. @ 5000 rpm)

Nine-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive

17 city / 24 highway / 20 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

20.9 (observed mileage, MPG)

13.5 city / 9.7 highway / 11.8 combined. (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

Base Price: $55,695 US / $63,198 CAD

As Tested: $70,690 US / $79,963 CAD

Prices include $995 destination charge in the United States and $2,200 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

You’ve seen them lurking in your neighborhood. The suburban ninja. Clad head to toe in skintight black – usually from Lululemon, but other brands work here, too – they jog early in the morning and late at night, oblivious to the world beyond their AirPods. They’ll never jog on the sidewalk, either. They’re always in the street, ready to strike the hood of your car.

Drivers are taking back the streets, however, defending themselves and their precious rides by all means necessary. Cadillac has upped the game with the available Night Vision camera on the 2020 Cadillac XT6. No joke, the feature saved the good folks at Cadillac PR from headlines such as “Hack Journalist Slays Jogger.”

2020 Cadillac XT6 profile

I mean no offense to the runners out there. While I don’t jog (bad knees, lack of motivation top the list of reasons/excuses), I applaud those who’ve either maintained or improved their general health by lacing up the sneakers. But I’ll never understand those runners who insist upon running down the center of a road, especially when wearing non-reflective clothing.

[Get new and used Cadillac XT6 pricing here!]

As you’ll see below, the optional Night Vision display – a $2,000 option – appears between the speedometer and tachometer, highlighting that which cannot be seen. My cell phone shot below was taken safely while waiting to pick up my kid from practice one night – the kids walking in front of the car were clearly visible, even though many of the overhead lights in the parking lot were dim.

2020 Cadillac XT6 night vision display

The interior works pretty well, save a minor annoyance and some weirdness to a safety feature. Every time the cover for the center console cup holder was closed, there was a persistent but gentle rattle. It’s one of those things I’d normally leave open and filled with coffee, but it’s worth mentioning the noise in the otherwise quiet interior.

2020 Cadillac XT6 front seats

The weirdness comes from the seat belt tensioner. A number of cars will, upon engine start or putting the transmission into gear, tug a bit on the shoulder belt of the driver and front passenger to cinch them just a bit – ensuring a snug fit. The automatic seat belt tightening in the XT6 is the most aggressive I’ve encountered. It’s not uncomfortable, by any means – just a firmer tug than I’ve noticed in other cars.

My wife was a bit more colorful in her description. In her words, “it’s almost like foreplay.”

2020 Cadillac XT6 second row

I had to pull over to laugh when she said that. We’ve been married for fifteen years, and I don’t ever recall bringing belts to bed.

2020 Cadillac XT6 third row

Anyhow, those seats against which my beloved was held briefly captive were nicely supportive, with supple semi-aniline leather (part of the $4,900 Platinum package) coddling our rears in genuine luxury. I’d have liked more luxury materials draped across the dashboard, however. The plank of carbon fiber (with a copper tone?) on the vertical surface of the dash, alongside the same material adorning the door panels – it’s out of place. While the standard for luxury cars dashboard trim has long been wood (anachronistic, since no car made outside Worcestershire uses structural wood anymore), Cadillac’s signaling of a high-tech future with high-tech materials leans a bit too far on the science side of the Art and Science equation.

Second row leg and headroom are plentiful, and the optional ($800) captains’ chairs in that row are nearly as pleasant as those in the front row. The third row isn’t quite as nice – it was a bit tight on leg room for the tall tweens. Behind that third row is a shallow cargo area in which a couple of 20-inch carry-on bags fit fine (or plenty of groceries), but don’t expect to haul six and all their bags to or from the airport. Press a button to fold a seat down, and the space opens up easily.

2020 Cadillac XT6 cargo area

The exterior is nicely executed – at least from the front or the side. The rear view is a bit uninspiring and generic, with a too-wide cove dedicated to the license plate flanked by the pair of tail lamps and topped by a thin chrome mustache. From the front, it’s distinguished and understated, though with a bit too much front overhang dictated by the front drive-based architecture. Cadillac calls this color Dark Mocha Metallic, but the hints of brown are so subtle that I’d hesitate to submit this to the Brown Car Appreciation Society.

2020 Cadillac XT6 rear quarter

Driving the XT6 is unremarkable. It’s reasonably quiet, though the corporate 3.6-liter V6 will make its presence known under acceleration. The nine-speed automatic works beautifully here, with imperceptible shifts up or down. The ride is controlled, with few disturbances from expansion joints. The steering is as numb as one would expect in a crossover, however. It’s hard to tell what the front wheels are doing.

2020 Cadillac XT6 interior

I’m a bit disappointed with the lack of Cadillac’s Super Cruise hands-off driving assist. In the CT6 I drove a couple years ago, it worked remarkably well – one would think GM would like to get that tech into a more mainstream vehicle. Otherwise, the safety bits here work well, keeping pedestrians and passengers safe – in an occasionally exciting way.

2020 Cadillac XT6 center stack

But the Cadillac XT6 doesn’t excite me. It’s perfectly fine for a three-row crossover, and I wouldn’t fault anyone for whom this fits their needs. For the money, however, it’s a bit too close in character to downmarket stablemates from elsewhere in the GM portfolio. It’s a bit like jogging in discount store sweatpants, rather than high-tech workout gear. Or so I’m told by my fitness-crazed friends.

2020 Cadillac XT6 logo badge

[Images: © 2020 Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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36 Comments on “2020 Cadillac XT6 Review – Saving Lives...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Kia would like to thank Cadillac for helping promote the Telluride @ $25K less

    • 0 avatar

      I knew that the first comment will be about how Kia sets the example for the rest of the segment.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        I guess it’s obvious to everyone except Cadillac :(

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Lie2me is right on target. My first look at this “Cadillac” was at a local dealer that also sells Kias. There was a Telluride about 100 feet from the XT6 I checked out, and it was FAR better looking, offered a similar level of luxury, was mechanically similar, and cost something like twenty grand less. If I were in the market for something like this, I’d take the Kia…no question about it.

        When your brand new “prestige” product gets shown up by a Kia, there’s something seriously wrong.

    • 0 avatar
      crtfour

      I don’t see why the American’s even bother in this segment at this point. Even if you halfway pay attention to crossovers it’s apparent that the Kia and Hyundai are blowing the rest out of the water. Seems the best decision is to get one of the Korean or Japanese offerings and be done with it.

      The Lincoln and Ford seem nice on paper but then you have to worry about how many recalls you will have, bad fit/finish, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        Mike-NB2

        Full disclosure: I have no idea what I’m talking about.

        Is part of the reason that Cadillac, in particular, stays in this market because there are a lot of people who buy purely on prestige, or what they perceive to be prestige? Is the XT6 for people for whom an Escalade would be too much of a stretch – at least until 120 month loans are available.

        I recall getting this feeling a few years ago when I had a Jeep Patriot as a rental. Hands down, this was the worst vehicle I had driven in years. What struck me is that the market for the Patriot was likely people who saw Jeep as an aspirational vehicle and wanted their friends to see them in a Jeep because, well, it’s a Jeep thing. But this was all they could afford and it had the name “Jeep” on it.

        But, I have to admit that my Jeep argument doesn’t apply here since the XT6 is expensive. Maybe I’ll just stick to my argument that Cadillac makes it for people who can’t yet afford an Escalade.

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Mike your more right than you think you are. I recall listening to a late 30s woman talk about how much she loved the Tahoe and just go on and on about it, unfortunately she said the prices had exploded out of her reach (the prices have exploded) so she would be getting a Traverse instead.

          What sells these at GM dealers is the bigger ones that consumers actually want, evidence suggests the reliability on GM midsize crossovers such as the Traverse is in the dumps compared to the full-size SUVs but the fullsizers get them in the door to buy these turds.

          I’m sure the same goes for the little minivan Jeeps and this.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            I’d also say it’s a little different market – the Tahoe buyer is different than someone who wants, say, an Acura MDX or Volvo XC90. A Tahoe or Escalade would probably be too “trucky” for these buyers (and it’d probably be too trucky for me too).

            Too bad this car sucks in comparison to a MDX or XC90. And if it was my money going to buy something like this, I’d pick a Kia Telluride 10 times out of ten over this disappointing blob.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Never realized how much this looks like the Pacifica until now.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Cadillac desperately needed an entry in this segment, but they got a lot of things about this one wrong. The styling is too generic (I suppose we can thank the Chinese market for that), the interior isn’t on par with Audi or Lincoln, and they really need an uplevel powertrain at least to put in the press fleet to shut up the “it’s just a fancy Traverse” complaints. I know their current 3.0TT hasn’t seen a transverse installation yet, but I think it would have been worth it to engineer that. Or even put a rear electric motor in and make it a PHEV, Volvo-style.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    The urban ninja joggers deserve some of the blame (and so do the various pedestrians and cyclists… even the poor guy who got himself too many DUIs and now has to ride a bike everywhere), but the drivers deserve a lot of the blame too-

    Turn your [email protected]#*% dashboard lights and your *%#@$ touchscreens down from full bright!!

    An amazing physiological phenomenon happens: your eyes adapt and you can see better outside! And you can still see the gauges inside!

    Sheesh.

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    If I were into jogging as a fitness activity, I most certainly would not do it in the presence of fume spewing and potentially body crushing vehicles. I just don’t get why they do it on busy roads.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      TTACGREG:

      Precisely why i mountain bike and not road bike.
      Jag offs.
      Brodozers
      Diesel Pig up truck exhaust.
      Texting while driving.

      you d have to be nuts to put your 200 pounds any where near these folk with sub 3 digit IQs.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        I agree, and now that we’re wasting away in Coronaville, there are tons of people out riding; as usual, there’s the brain-dead minority that just doesn’t care about traffic laws. I saw one dumbs**t rider the other day who ignored a red light…to cross a six-lane major thoroughfare with a 50 mph speed limit. He probably saw no traffic coming, and just decided to go for it.

        Wouldn’t surprise me one bit if rider fatalities increased as a result of this.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    I really like the night vision feature. I seem to recall Cadillac having something similar years ago that would project onto the windshield as a “heads up display.” Don’t know how well it worked, but it was a very worthwhile idea.

    • 0 avatar
      Lightspeed

      Yes, I recall that. Whatever happened to HUD, it made far more sense to me than these obnoxious touch-interface screens. Wasn’t HUD invented so fighter pilots could have the info they needed WITHOUT distractions or having to look down at the instruments? Props to Caddy for bringing night vision back though. too bad their offerings are junk.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        Automotive HUDs are a little gimmicky. For one thing they draw your focus to a few feet in front of your face (the image is usually over the hood) instead of in the distance where the actual objects you need to see are. Real airplane HUDs have their image focused at optical infinity, but the proper equipment to do that is very expensive. That and most dimwitted drivers will leave the brightness turned up much too high to be able to see those actual objects until they’re very close- maybe too close to be able to react.

  • avatar
    BrandonHarlow

    In 2000 the DTS had HUD night vision which is far superior than this. The cost of the vehicle was the same as this though 20 years ago.

  • avatar
    conundrum

    I cannot see the value in this vehicle. It’s overpriced beyond all reason.

    It has the second generation LGX V6 introduced a few years ago to replace the LFX, but so do umpteen other GM vehicles. And it was so stealthy an introduction most people, including motoring scribes, still think the V6 is the same LFX one that powered the original Traverse and its ilk and the demon Impala of 2012. The XT6 also has the same 9 speed automatic as a million other GM’s.

    So the the only USP is a Cadillac badge, a few doo-dads, better leather, and maybe a shot more expanding foam insulation. Bespoke, it ain’t. And due to low production numbers, you’ll be lucky if the addenda are screwed on straight due to lack of practice by assemblers.

    There are probably some people out there who still believe in the tooth fairy and that GM lavishes extra care on each and every one of these things because Cadillac, so they sell some regardless. Amazing. There’s one born every minute.

  • avatar
    hreardon

    This is one of those cars that I look at and think, “why did they even bother?”

    Between this and the new Aviator, it’ll be the Lincoln every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Seriously, all Lincoln has to do is run an ad showing the Aviator, then show this. It could be a guy holding up blown up photos and nothing else.

    Seriously. What the heck, Cadillac?

  • avatar
    Firestorm 500

    I don’t see anything here that makes me want to rush out and spend $71,000 dollars.

  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    1) Aside from maybe extra 3rd row leg room, there’s nothing I see here that I would ABSOLUTELY want that would justify the price tag (or even the likely lower real transaction price), over a Kia Telluride, an Acura MDX, or whatever 3 row CUV/SUV Genesis is supposedly working on.

    2) I run 3-5 days a week, and if there’s a sidewalk, I always use it, and encourage other runners to do so as well. If there is no sidewalk, I run on the shoulder, facing road traffic. Doing anything other than these two is intentionally putting yourself and drivers risk of a collision…which the runner will lose. The runners described here are anti-social, selfish you-know-what-holes. These are the same people who are probably bemoaning why their 10k and half marathons are cancelled, and are still taking their kids the parks right now.

  • avatar
    OverHypedVirusVSTheB&B

    Boy, that sure is a fancy, expensive Chevy.

  • avatar
    cprescott

    Perhaps Cadihack should go look at the new Genesis GV80 to see what a luxury SUV should be. Pictures of that SUV don’t do it justice. Video shows an amazing level of attention to detail. The Cadihack looks okay, but it is not a luxury product in the least.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      In fairness, the GV80 is more like a Lincoln Aviator, Mercedes M-whatever-the-hell-they-call-it or a BMW X5 – it’s going to be on a more performance-oriented RWD platform. The driving experience on any of those is going to be far more sedan-like.

      This thing is more like a Volvo XC90 or Acura MDX – a FWD-platform Mommy mobile kid hauler with a nice interior and a “prestige” label.

      Too bad the XT6 sucks even in comparison to the Volvo or Acura…

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Criminy, I loathe joggers in the bike lane, let alone the middle of the road. That’s what the sidewalk is for. “Asphalt is better for your knees than concrete.” Sure, pal. Get a better shoe or a better hobby.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Agreed, I’ve never been a big runner, but running on any kind of paved surface is hard on your lower body, and if you’re an old fart like me, that’s important – I don’t want a knee replacement anytime soon.

      That’s why I bought an elliptical machine – it’s lower-impact. Plus you can catch up on all your favorite shows, and you can use it even when the weather’s crappy.

  • avatar
    amca

    Get those Tellurides while you can. Telluride is just the latest in a long line of primarily Asian models which get put out on the market as loss-making products designed to pull in new buyers. They overspend on the car, make it too nice and it gets rave reviews, they lose money for a while. The next model, they cheapen it up.

    Remember the generation two Camry? Ford took one apart and couldn’t believe the expense that went into it and decided it was a surefire money loser. But it established Camry in the market and new 30 years later, it’s still number one.

    So get your Tellurides while you can. They’re a mirage.

  • avatar
    Wodehouse

    Disappointing giant wad of mediocre for a luxury brand. Cadillac’s current interior design language should go to Buick giving GM room to do something much more upscale for Cadillac. .

    Is this XT6 another stopgap vehicle until Cadillac builds something better? I remember them stressing, at their appropriate introductions, that both the XTS and CT6 were stopgaps until something more luxurious could be produced. Nothing came of that, though.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    The best news about the XT6 is that all Cadillac needed to do to fix it was to use the Catera name. At least then we would all know what it was…. underpowered, overpriced, bland and not long for this world.

    How is it that anyone at GM has a job when this is what is getting churned out? Truly, I don’t get it.

    This would be appropriately priced at 45-50k. So it’s 40% overpriced.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    There was a “Caddy that zigs” for sale at my mechanic for months. I was really tempted. I have a soft spot in my head for ALL of GM’s Opel orphans.

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