The XT6 rides on a 112.7-inch wheelbase, which is 0.2 inch more expansive than the GMC Acadia and aforementioned XT5 with which it shares its platform. The XT6 is obviously larger than the XT5, but it’s also a bit longer and wider than the Acadia. Furthermore, its roofline is nearly 3 inches higher with a squarer profile toward the rear, which should open up space for passengers in the way-back.
Curiously, however, interior space doesn’t seem to improve over the Acadia, in part because the Cadillac will come standard with a sunroof that likely eats into rear passenger headroom a bit. The XT6 does boast greater cargo capacity with the third-row seats down, meaning this should be a capacious long-hauler for a family of four. Still, the XT6’s third-row seats should be habitable for day trips around town, if not exactly a coast-to-coast road trip.
Like the XT5 and unlike the Acadia, the bigger Caddy will feature a standard 3.6L V-6 with direct injection, a mill that puts out a healthy 310 hp at 6,600 rpm and 271 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm. We’ve experienced this engine under the hood of a variety of GM products, and it makes all the right moves and sings all the right notes even when loaded down. Backed up by a nine-speed automatic and equipped with V-4–enabling Active Fuel Management, the XT6 should be class-competitive in terms of fuel efficiency.
All-wheel drive will be available on the XT6 Premium Luxury and standard on the XT6 Sport, and the latter trim will boast Sport Control, Cadillac’s version of torque vectoring, for enhanced nimbleness. The Sport will also get Continuous Damping Control on the suspension, allowing the driver to dial in as much ride compliance or stiffness as desired. We don’t expect the XT6 to embarrass a sports car in the twisties, but it’s fair to assume it will be as nimble and pleasant to drive as any three-row crossover shopper could want.
Where the XT6 most obviously shines is in its smart exterior styling. The new SUV ushers in an updated design philosophy for Cadillac, abandoning the vertical headlamps for slick new LED peepers inspired by the Escala concept sedan. Two exterior design themes are available: Premium Luxury, which gets a block-pattern front grille, “Bright Galvano” exterior jewelry, and red-tinted taillight lenses; and Sport, which uses a V-Series–inspired mesh grille, blacked-out exterior trim, clear taillight lenses, and available 21-inch wheels.
Either trim makes good use of the longer, taller, and wider sheetmetal relative to the XT5—the XT6 features a surprising wheels-at-the-corners stance that’s a commendable achievement for a front-drive–biased crossover. The only exterior styling misstep, to our eyes, is found on the rear, where delta-shaped taillights should have been jettisoned in favor of slick vertical units like what’s found on the Escalade and entry-level XT4.
Inside, the XT6 apes the smaller XT4 very closely, offering the latest iteration of “Cadillac user experience” (don’t say CUE) infotainment. The XT6 gets the same rotary knob controller as the XT4, but it now offers a “jog” function that allows the knob to tilt horizontally, allowing drivers to more easily switch between displays. We like the look of the interior, and if it’s rendered in pleasant materials, we think it will be a good place to spend time. Cadillac’s latest interface is also a welcome addition to the XT6, as it’s reasonably intuitive and simple to use. Furthermore, the XT6 will be available with a Cadillac-first Bose Performance Series 14-speaker audio system, heated and ventilated front seats and heated second-row outboard seats, and a cabin-air ionizer. A heated steering wheel comes standard.
Also standard are forward collision monitoring and automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure monitoring and prevention, front and rear parking sensors, and more. Available advanced safety features include adaptive cruise control with advanced collision prevention, active parking assist, and rear pedestrian monitoring with automatic reverse braking.
Manufactured in the Spring Hill, Tennessee, plant that also builds the XT5 and Acadia, the 2020 Cadillac XT6 will be available for ordering in the second quarter of 2019. Pricing has yet to be announced, but we predict it will start at around $50,000, rising to more than $60,000 with every box checked. That price schedule would put it in line with the Lexus RX 350L, which demands around $65,000 fully loaded, and the Acura MDX, which costs about $60,000. Whether Cadillac can conquest three-row luxury shoppers remains to be seen, but such vehicles tend to print money for manufacturers, so at the very least, it will be good for the company’s bottom line to have the XT6 in its showrooms.