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.”
We’re not going to sugarcoat it — Cadillac routinely bests Lincoln in terms of sales. General Motors’ luxury marque constantly carves out a larger portion of the domestic market and has managed to make global inroads Ford’s premium division has not. For example, Cadillac saw 228,043 deliveries in the People’s Republic of China last year. Lincoln only saw 55,315.
However, the race at home is much closer. Last year in the United States, GM shipped 154,702 premium-badged cars to Ford’s 103,587. But Cadillac has been losing ground in North America while Lincoln has remained comparatively stable, slowly rebuilding its strength. Cadillac may still outsell Lincoln overall, but the gap is beginning to narrow.
The internet was awash with reviews of the Cadillac XT6 on Monday, with our own Tim Healey being of the mind that it is “pleasant yet forgettable.” In a sea of three-row crossovers, any new machine — no matter the brand — needs to have a killer app in order to stand out.
What form does that take for you? Prodigious power? Let-them-eat-cake seats? I think there’s one item in particular that would allow the XT6 to pole vault most of its competition … and Cadillac already has it in its parts bin.
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?
Subaru started its first full decade in North America in the Seventies, where it sold the microscopic rear-engined 360. By the Eighties the company had found its niche among crunchy granola types and professors with four-wheel drive wagons like the GL. But Subaru wanted more; specifically customers with more money. Enter the XT.
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.
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.
As I’ve mentioned before, Colorado junkyards are full of Subarus of the late 1970s through the early 1990s. Mostly I’m sort of indifferent to Subarus of this era, with two important exceptions: the BRAT and the XT. Both are fairly rare (the last time I saw a junked XT was last year, when I found this Juggalo-abused ’91), so I came to a screeching halt when I found this XT6.
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- Ajla GM didn't do this even when Corvette sales and cocaine use were at their peak.
- Dwford How many more wealthy performance car buyers does Chevy think they can drag into their showroom full of middle of the road crossovers? I guess they will find out
- SCE to AUX It's been done before, with varied success:Ford --> LincolnHyundai --> GenesisGM --> XLR (Cadillac), ELR (Cadillac)VW Touareg --> Porsche CayenneI suspect GM is trying to avoid the Mustang fiasco (which is working for Ford, BTW), by not making the Corvette name a sub-brand - only its hardware.(In the Mustang's case, YTD 46% of "Mustang" branded vehicles are the Mach-E, but they share no hardware. GM's plan is much different and less controversial.)Back to the sub-brand: the XLR and ELR experiments were total duds, borrowing hardware from the Corvette and Volt respectively. Both sullied Cadillac's name - not Chevy's.
- Art Vandelay I don’t care what they do with the brand. But I do want to see how a mid engined platform spawns a 4 door and a crossover
- Varezhka If they’re going to do this, might as well go all the way and make it a standalone brand instead of a Chevy sub-brand. They already have a unique emblem, after all. Shouldn’t there be enough empty former Hummer, Saab, or Cadillac dealer showrooms to house them?