Cadillac’s XT6, a midsize crossover our reviewers had something to say about, arrived in mid-2019 with one powertrain in tow. Instant rivalry sprung up between the front-drive-biased XT6 and the rear-biased Lincoln Aviator. Our preference lands firmly on the latter CUV.
Regardless of our feelings on the model, Cadillac has decided to broaden the XT6’s net, introducing a new base model for 2021 that sinks the model’s power and price.
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.”
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?
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.
I wasn’t sure if I’d see the Cadillac XT6 in person, even though I assigned myself the story when us editor types divvied up our coverage of this year’s Detroit Auto Show.
You see, I asked to be added to the media list a little late, and was told the event would be at capacity. But a journalist doesn’t let little things like “fire codes” stand in the way of his story. So I showed up a little late and used my Midwestern charm to get in the door. In a very polite way, I crashed the party.
Which is what Cadillac is doing, in a way.
It’s no wonder the Cadillac brand is having a rocky time of late — the marque fields only two crossovers, and one of those, the XT4, only reached lots at the end of September. Having pledged to return its headquarters to its ancestral homeland of Detroit, Cadillac also plans to unveil a new vehicle there in January.
The XT6, not to be confused with the marked-for-death CT6 sedan, will bow at NAIAS 2019, the automaker has stated. With this vehicle, Cadillac gains considerable coverage of the light truck field.
Now that former brand president Johan de Nysschen has left the job of running Cadillac to a Canuck, it would be nice to see the brand take a page from Lincoln and revamp its naming strategy. What you see above is purported to be the upcoming Cadillac [s]CT6[/s] XT6, a full-size unibody crossover that’s on track to plug a major hole in the brand’s lineup.
Slotted above the popular XT5 midsize crossover and below the top-rung Escalade, the XT6 (as it’s tentatively named) promises three roomy rows of lux-mobile motoring. This vehicle, along with the compact XT4 launching later this year, was all part of de Nysschen plan to bring home the bacon in the domestic market.
It didn’t take long after the North American debut of the 2017 Cadillac XT5 for people to ask, “What’s next?” for the crossover-starved luxury brand.
At the Los Angeles Auto Show, Cadillac chief Johan de Nysschen told Automotive News that the next Caddy crossover will come in two years and would likely slot below the XT5, in terms of name — but not necessarily in terms of size.
Cadillac’s next crossover, the XT4, will likely go on sale in 2018 with a bigger, three-row crossover coming one year later to bookend the XT5. The battleship-sized Escalade will remain, and a smaller, subcompact crossover could arrive at the end of the decade to give the brand a full range to offer a crossover-crazed market.