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Cadillac’s XT6 Crossover – Taking the middle road, with a middle row

Car Reviews

Cadillac’s XT6 Crossover – Taking the middle road, with a middle row

Cadillac’s XT6 Crossover – 

Taking the middle road, with a middle row


If you’re used to driving a big SUV and want to downsize a bit, a full-size crossover is the logical alternative. It’s certainly smaller, and it’s somewhat more fuel efficient, but it still offers a third row when you need it.  And third row crossovers are all the rage today, so there are plenty from which to choose.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to test drive a Shadow Metallic 2021 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury AWD that came with a $54,795 MSRP price tag, which is about $7,000 over a base model.  Compared in price to the much larger Escalade – which  starts at over $76,000 and can easily top out at over $100,000 – the XT6 is a relative bargain.

The XT6 I drove had the optional 310 hp, 3.6 liter V6 under the hood, whereas the base model comes standard with the less peppy 237 hp, 2.0 liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine.  If you expect to be driving around with a full load of passengers plus gear, the V6 engine seems like the most viable option.  Both engines are mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission and fuel economy numbers for the V6 are 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.  The inline four engine gets just slightly better numbers.   

The exterior design is pretty sharp and very contemporary, with just enough chrome to make sure you realize this is a Cadillac.  What has become a brand design cue are the

signature LED-illuminated light blades in the front for the daytime running lamps.  Those LED lights make for an appealing look once the sun goes down.  In short, from an aesthetic standpoint this is a sharp-looking crossover.

The interior is roomy, especially for the passengers in the first two rows.  I don’t advise attempting to sit in the third row unless you’re under eleven years old.  I’m a sucker for the hands-free liftgate that projects an illuminated Cadillac crest onto the ground.  You can only see it at night, but I get a kick out of it every time.  There’s a tri-zone automatic climate control so even those smaller passengers in the third row can determine their environment.  

Every conceivable driver safety feature seems to be included in the Cadillac XT6’s driver assistance technology package.  I found the Lane Keep Assist a bit too pushy for my liking, although the Reverse Automatic Braking did save me from backing into a wall when I got distracted.  I’m assuming the cost of the safety feature paid for itself, considering the potential damage I might have inflicted to the vehicle.

The 2021 Cadillac XT6 is a very visually attractive luxury crossover and a very pleasant platform for a long drive. It’s a Cadillac so it feels very American in the way it handles, a bit on the boaty side but still quite comfortable.  No doubt, it’s going to be a big hit with families that need that third row and want to let the neighbors know they own (or lease!) a Cadillac. 

Steve is a veteran automotive journalist and former head of Ford Public Relations in its South Central region. He’s a native New Yorker who fell in love with a Texan (and Texas) over 20 years ago. Steve’s been living here happily ever since. His current automotive ‘want’ is an early 3-Series convertible, while his daily driver is a 2006 Toyota Tacoma.

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