Two years ago, Cadillac launched its first mid-size seven-passenger SUV, the XT6, adding to the luxury brand’s existing line-up of the smaller XT4 and the best-selling XT5 Cadillac SUV siblings. Of course, these “kids” are in addition to the grand-daddy of Cadillac SUVs, the Escalade.
For 2021, the XT6 added a new entry-level Luxury trim package with a four-cylinder engine to make the full XT6 line-up to now include Luxury, Premium Luxury (our test-drive) and the top-trim Sport model.
Some features are now standard for 2021, for example wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and others included in various optional packages.
Our test drive was the Premium Luxury All-Wheel Drive with 10 options that costs $14,675. Each of these options deal with safety, comfort, performance, technology and driver aids that Cadillac added in order to match competitors like the Audi Q7, Acura MDX, Lincoln Aviator, BMW, and Mercedes.
The exterior remains relatively unchanged except for the 20-inch 12-spoke Diamond Cut alloy wheels that complement the car’s sculpted body. Labeled mid-size by government standards, the XT6 feels close to full-size with three two-chair seating rows.
Behind the wheel, the XT6 has responsive handling and a composed ride with variable suspension damping.
The car’s adaptive cruise control can be sluggish when regaining speed, but functions well otherwise. The XT6 comes with other top-notch driver safety aids.
One added safety aid is an alert reminding drivers to check the rear seat before leaving, as well, the gear reverts to park when the door closes and XT6 locks automatically.
Mileage is not the best out there, but the XT6 uses regular fuel; most competitors require premium. Towing is limited to 4,000 pounds – some competitors can tow 5,000.
With 6.65-inches ground clearance, the XT6 is not designed for off-roading.
Cornering front lights help at night, along with night vision, which picks up the hard-to-see infrared of pedestrian and animal heat signatures. The XT6 also has top safety ratings.
The spacious cabin contains a variety of storage spaces, perforated leather seats, an ergonomic 8-inch infotainment center and features a touchscreen, also manipulated by a center console knob.
Wood strips and chrome accents intersect with a black themed interior. All seating rows have charging ports with a 14-speaker BOSE audio system producing clear acoustics. In addition, there is a power-operated liftgate.
With third row seats is easily power-folded and the second row manually drops down, cargo space expands generously above underfloor storage.
Seats up, however, leaves cargo space scrunched behind the third row, which can be tight for taller adults. The XT6 offers a temporary spare compact tire.
The 2021 Cadillac XT6 nationwide discounts have ranged up to $4,000. One free year scheduled maintenance is included in the purchase price.
At a Glance
LIKES: Cabin comfort, front seats, ride, looks, handling, luxury, cargo space, safety features, quiet, night vision
DISLIKES: Requires pricey safety options, poor mileage
BOTTOM LINE: Adequately muscled for overall drive requirements the XT6 is a luxurious domestic family hauler especially when top-safety aids are added as options.
Fact File: Cadillac XTS
3.6-liter, V-6, direct injection,
310-hp @ 6,600 rpm
271 lbs.-ft. @5,000 rpm
9-speed shiftable automatic
18 mpg city/25 hwy
22 gallons, regular
0 to 60 in 7.1 seconds
If you are shopping for a new or pre-owned car, let AAA’s Auto Buying Service do the work for you. We can find any vehicle make and model, and we’ll pass the manufacturer’s savings on to you. Buying has never been easier. Reach out to our experienced sales team at 1-866-710-6226 or get a quote today, and we will help you get started with your search.
Tom Crosby has written more than 1,000 automotive reviews and is a retired Vice President of Communications for AAA Carolinas. He has seen dramatic changes in the automotive industry over the past 25 years and ponders the advent of self-driving vehicles, electric-only vehicles, sophisticated in-car telematics, and the financial challenges facing automotive manufacturers in an increasingly congested worldwide market.