PINEHURST, NC — April 25, 2020 — Somewhere between $51K and $71K sits a really nice, really big, seven-seat luxury mid-size crossover SUV manufactured by General Motors. The vehicle was introduced on January 12, 2019 at the North American International Auto Show. The vehicle went on sale in June 2019 as a 2020 model, with early orders commencing prior to the launch.
It’s sitting in our garage. I love Cadillac’s. American made. Solid as a rock. A luxury vehicle anyone could be proud of. Like a lot of brands these days, the Cadillac symbol is unmistakable – and it means something. Trying driving around a gate community slowly in a 87 Ford Ranger with peeling paint and see what kind of stares you get. But drive slowly past some million-dollar houses in a fine neighborhood in the Cadillac, and people wave and smile – “Howdy neighbor.” You know it’s true.
Growing up in Tennessee in the 60’s and venturing out on my own in the 70’s, there were two vehicles that meant you had ‘arrived’ – the Lincoln, and the Cadillac. Today, 50 years later, at least in my opinion and mind, Cadillac still lives up to the luxury image it has always had – and the XT6 is just another example.
What does Cadillac itself say about the vehicle? “Improbably spacious. Impressively stylish. Effortlessly capable. The first of its kind XT6 is the vehicle you didn’t know you were waiting for.” This is a seven passenger ‘mid-size SUV, but it sure seems big to me.
What do other people say?
Let’s start with other people who agree. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded it the 2020 Safety Pick +. Why you say? Let me list some of the safety features that the XT6 boasts – Front Pedestrian Braking, Night Vision, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Change Alert and Blind Side Zone Alert, Forward Collision Alert, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. The Lane Keep Assist not only gently keeps the car from crossing the center and side line, but all vibrates your butt to make sure it has your attention. It works!
Leather everywhere, heated steering, seats, mirrors, driver position memory, fully adjustable seats both heated and cooled.
The 3.6L V6 engine is powerfully advanced with Variable Valve Timing and Active Fuel Management. When the car goes from V6 to V4, you are notified in the display panel in front of the driver. Power when you needed it and fuel efficiency when you needed it. We managed 23 mpg in the week we had it and all that was around town driving, so kudos again to Cadillac. The all new 9 speed automatic transmission was smooth as silk and certainly helped contribute to the overall wonderful feel of driving the XT6. The XT6 with two-wheel drive comes with settings for tour, snow/ice and sport; the AWD cars add an off-road mode that loosens up the suspension even further than tour for deep ruts and rough dirt roads. I have to say, and I don’t mean this in anyway derogatory regarding the XT6, but I believe a vehicle this size, with room for seven passengers and an additional towing feature should be equipped with a V8. Maybe that’s old school with all they can do with engines these days, but it they can do it with 6 cylinders, they can do it with 8 as well. And you have plenty of power if you need it. Just saying.
We aren’t driving around nearly as much as we used to in pre-coronavirus days and having a car such as the 2020 Cadillac XT6 was…well, heartbreaking because it was just the car we would have loved to drive north to see the grandchildren, all 12 (soon to be 13) of them.
With three rows of seats, you can comfortably seat six; and while the third row of any SUV usually can accommodate children comfortably, something happened this morning that was utterly amazing. Johnny said, “Let me see if I can fit in the third row,” and my first thought was, he might get in but he’ll never get out. Oh, ye of little faith! He did! And with the second-row passenger seats moved up a bit, he even had plenty of legroom. And while it is possible to fit seven passengers, three in the third row is really tight and impossible, especially now. However, with 78.7 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row, you can almost say this car abides by social distancing, providing no one is sitting in the second row, I guess. One more thing about that third row—there’s 37.2 inches of headroom back there and that really does give you a real sense of spaciousness. Fold down the second-row seats and the third row, which also folds down automatically, and get a couple of pillows and a comforter and have a good sleep. Or fit in a couple of large dog crates, your tent and gear for a camping trip, whatever suits your lifestyle because with all-wheel-drive, this baby can go places (though I wouldn’t push it as you would a 4WD off-road SUV or truck.) Fact is, whether you step out of this car dressed to the nines in black tie, or are wearing your favorite hunting coat, which you never had dry cleaned since you bought it 23 years ago, the Cadillac XT6 fits your lifestyle perfectly, either way.
As to seating, the drivers and shotgun seats are, of course, bucket seats but so are the two second row seats—something you see more usually in a van rather than a large SUV. That made for very comfortable seating in the second row and, as I just pointed out, the third row, as well. This said, that third row is really only for youngsters and very agile adults with single-digit body fat.
As with every Cadillac, the finish, features, and design are exquisite, from the leather-covered dash and such comfortable seats that if you put legs on them, they could go in your living room.
There are nine exterior color selections and five interior color combinations. I’m never disappointed in Cadillac but I do have to say that besides black and white there are five shades of grey (if you include taupe, which is a brownish grey) and two reds, garnet and red. I would have loved to see a wonderful blue, a British racing green…but you can’t have everything.
As to driving and handling, what can I say besides, it’s a Cadillac. Responsive, clean, powerful. But I’ll let Johnny talk about that. The Bose performance system is concert-quality. 24 driver assistance and safety features. Available night vision and infrared technology.
There are several optional packages. The Platinum Package, $4,900, includes semi-aniline leather seating in all rows, a leather-wrapped instrument panel, console and door trim—which we had, and loved—other trim options but most important, a performance suspension for a silky smooth ride. The enhanced visibility and technology package, at $2,350, has an 8-inch diagonal color Driver Information Center, rear camera mirror and washer, and automatic parking assist with braking and rear pedestrian alert, surround vision recorder—not necessary, but desirable. Small change for great features that are useful, indeed, valuable from the safety standpoint.
The Driver Assist Package for $1,300 is a no-brainer. Get it.
It’s all safety oriented—automatic seatbelt tightening, advanced adaptive cruise control, enhanced automatic emergency braking and reverse automatic braking.
The Radiant Package is cosmetic—20” polished alloy wheels, bright grille with Galvano surround, etc.
The floor linter package ($405), Premium Carpet Package ($550), and Interior Protection Package ($360) all depend upon how hard you’ll use this car, four-season living, dogs, cargo, etc. Basically, it’s cargo trays and floor mats. These thing, though optional, do extend the life of your wall-to-wall interior carpeting.
The Comfort and Air Quality Package at $750 is again small change for what’s included—most importantly, an in-vehicle air ionizer system, which could be very important for people with allergies, and ventilated driver and front passenger seats.
We’ve really just covered the basics with this review because like everything you come to expect from Cadillac, they deliver so much more. And besides, there’s nothing like a Cadillac.
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Cadillac Dealerships Serving Pinehurst, NC
Clark Chevrolet Cadillac Inc.
35 Dundee Road, Pinehurst, NC 28374
Sales: 1-866-770-3927; Service: 1-877-244-0540
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Cadillac Dealerships Serving Westchester County
Mount Kisco Cadillac
175 North Bedford Road, Mount Kisco, NY 10549
Sales: 1-866-233-3089; Service: 1-866-233-3089
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15 Water Street, White Plains, NY 10601
Sales: 1-877-504-5165; Service: 1-877-504-9994
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Cadillac Dealerships Serving Connecticut
Cadillac of Greenwich
144 Railroad Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830
Sales: 1-203-987-6147; Service: 1-203-987-6383
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