It's hard to make a resurgence in the market when you end up with a lineup of vehicles in soft segments. No matter how good they are. With the three-row XT6, Cadillac is now firmly, and finally in the crossover camp, and is moving out of the slow sedan segment very quickly.
The latest model is hot on the heels of the compact XT4
, and the trucklet puts Cadillac into all of the hottest luxury segments. They're clearly excited about it. So much that they let all of the information and photos slip early this morning. Just hours before the official reveal.
Cadillac's latest design language, with boomerang headlights and sharp lines, has been a good one. But it looks like they're moving away from that nose with this latest model. The grille is the same, especially the V-inspired mesh on the Sport trim, but the headlights and side profile seem, well, a little bland. It lacks the visual presence of its smaller siblings and the mammoth Escalade. And while sometimes that's just in photos, in this case, it transfers to physical presence too. It's a case of "where do I recognize that styling feature from" on several important character lines taking away from the whole.
While the XT6 rides on a platform shared with GM's other midsize crossovers, this one's a bit shorter than the Chevrolet Traverse. A 2,863 mm wheelbase vs 3,071, and 5,050 vs 5,189 overall. It's 32 mm narrower as well. With that smaller footprint, it's little surprise it has less room in the third row. 750 mm for knees instead of 850. But the middle-row room is 4 mm better at 994 mm. With 1,220 L behind the second row and 2,228 L with all the seats folded, cargo space is about 400L less in both measurements. But surprisingly enough, that still gives it nearly the same amount of cargo room as the gargantuan Escalade. It only seems small in comparison to the Traverse because that one is the size of a small warehouse back there.
The XT6 will come loaded with tech, including some features that are new to the Cadillac brand. Like the latest version of Cadillac's infotainment system, which adds a jog function to the rotary controller knob on the center console. Letting you tilt the knob to move between menus instead of just scrolling. Other highlights include cloud storage for driver profiles. That lets you bring your radio and car settings to other so-equipped GM vehicles. There's wireless charging and six USB ports too.
An HD rear vision camera is standard, along with forward collision alert, low-speed emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, park assist, lane change warnings, rear cross traffic alert, and lane keeping. GM's rear camera mirror is on the options list along with forward and reverse automatic braking, adaptive cruise, self-parking with braking, rear pedestrian warnings, surround-view, head-up display, and night vision.
Powering all trims of the XT6 will be GM's 3.6L V6 that makes 310 hp, backed by a nine-speed auto. In other applications, this is a smooth and powerful engine, with a gearbox that will let it rev well past redline before a shift to help make use of that power. We'd expect it to perform similarly here. Sport and Premium Luxury trims will get all-wheel drive standard with Sport getting a torque-vectoring twin-clutch system.
Premium Luxury trim XT6s will be identified by bright galvano grille trim and side mouldings, along with unique fascias and special 21-inch wheels. It's the lighter-coloured one in the photos.
Sport gets a black V-style grille with black trim and roof rails. The Sport fascia will get tinted clear taillight lenses and its own 20-inch wheels with 21-inch hoops optional. Cadillac says the Sport will have "a greater feeling of agility," aided by Continuous Damping Control active suspension and a faster steering ratio.
Inside, Cadillac is offering a new Bose Performance Series audio system with 14-speakers. An automatic heated steering wheel is standard, with automatic heat and ventilation for the front seats, heated outer middle-row seats, and an optional air-ionizer. The rear seats power fold across the line, and the middle seat can fold remotely as well.
We couldn't get seat time inside the XT6 at the launch to test out Cadillac's claims that "every seat was the best seat in the house." But we'll be trying to cram into that third row and test that claim as soon as possible. For the most part, the dash and seats copy Cadillac's other crossovers. That's no bad thing, it's a good look that's functional and ergonomic in their other applications. There are definitely some more upscale materials here than in the lesser crossovers, especially the suede-look on the door panels. It's a suitably premium look and feel that keeps from putting everything in the touchscreen. Climate control buttons are always appreciated.
The XT6 is part of Cadillac's onslaught of a new model every six months through 2021. That should give them an impressively fresh lineup, though we hope they get a bit more of the rest of the line's style back. What's new after 2021? A new electric with a skateboard platform and what Cadillac called an "ice cube tray" modular battery. And yes, it'll come as a crossover first.