2020 Cadillac XT6 Review - Saving Lives

Chris Tonn
by Chris Tonn
Fast Facts

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.
2020 cadillac xt6 review saving lives

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.”

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

[Images: © 2020 Chris Tonn/TTAC]

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  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Apr 06, 2020

    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.

  • HotPotato HotPotato on Aug 24, 2020

    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.

  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.
  • Master Baiter "I like the Earth."The idea that modern combustion engines are incompatible with the ongoing survival of the Earth, or of humanity, is breathtakingly stupid. Climate alarmism is akin to a religion--one to which I do not subscribe.
  • Skippity Key takeaways.Toyota is run by competent businessmen.Art doesn’t like Toyota.
  • MaintenanceCosts Audi has been a full player in the German luxury club for 20 years. It started to get there with the first A4, which was a 500-foot home run, and then achieved full recognition with the spectacular D3 A8.
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