Multiple media outlets have released their first drive review impressions. I figured it makes more sense to organize them into one thread here, rather than splitting the discussion among 10 threads. Add reviews as you find them.
On the Platinum Edition, there’s a carbon fiber interior trim that has some unique thought put into it. It features a copper wire that’s actually woven through the structure and it gives off a reflection in the light. There’s also a unique finish applied. “You’ll notice on the instrument panel it has a hand-painted ombre effect. You get this darker shift as you move down to the lower section of the detail and it just accentuates the form. After the part’s been formed and the gloss coating is on it, there’s someone that adds that coloring to the bottom section, to add a little bit of movement as well,” Mara Kapsis, a color and trim designer tells us.
She explains how decisions like this are based on trends, but also how the team interprets them: “Obviously it’s a really big trend in fashion, in furniture, in interiors and this was a way of sort of bringing that in, in a really sophisticated way,” she says.
Andrew Smith, Cadillac’s Design Director, shares that “as the portfolio of SUVs has expanded, it’s been critical for the design team to think about the different customers for each (model) and then define the character of that vehicle. The XT6 has…a relaxing and spacious interior experience. We wanted to make it feel incredibly spacious irrespective of where you sit. The exterior brief was to deliver Escalade-like presence with a scale that fits everyday life.” The XT6 delivers on each of these intentions.
“Better than an Escalade in every way”
The XT6 uses the same C1XX platform as Buick’s Enclave (and its smaller five-seat XT5 sibling), which means a monocoque (unibody) chassis and a transverse-mounted engine. In this case, that engine is a 310hp (231kW), 271lb-ft (367Nm) 3.6L naturally aspirated V6 coupled to a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Not that this is really a car for hooning, given how big it is and the fact that it weighs 4,690lbs (2,127kg) even in Sport trim. But it drives well for a three-row SUV, and the adaptive dampers filter out road imperfections. It doesn’t roll very much when cornering. And thanks to acoustic glass in the windshield and front windows, and a possibly obsessive focus on NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) detail work, it’s a quiet place in which to cruise along.
Switching the XT6 from Tour to Sport mode causes the transmission to hold each gear for longer, the stability and traction control intervention thresholds relax, the dampers work harder to control body motion, and the steering provides better road feel. The drivetrain also becomes more rear-biased in the case of AWD Premium Luxury versions; in Sport mode the XT6 Sport turns on that active yaw control function.
As the time approached to fly back home, a few of us were once again ushered into an Escalade, and I was a little disappointed we weren’t riding to the airport in an XT6. It’s a better-looking, better-driving SUV with more tech and more comfort. It’s a shame that Cadillac’s flagship SUV needs to be a massive, hulking beast like the Escalade. If it were my money and my big family, I’d grab the keys to the XT6 in a heartbeat.
I’ll add a few to thread. I think the reviews are positive overall.
This review from CNET mentions hidden headlight functionality that I had not heard of before. Hopefully this feature is unlocked in the future.
Intellibeam single-projector LED headlamps with automatic high beams are standard, but the XT6 can be upgraded to three-element LED projectors capable of adaptive lighting function, which selectively dims portions of the high beams’ light around camera-detected vehicles. This should allow drivers to keep their high beams on without dazzling oncoming cars. However, like a similar technology from Audi, adaptive lighting isn’t yet legal in the US, so the feature is temporarily disabled. If and when the law changes, Cadillac will unlock the functionality for so-equipped XT6 owners.
Anyone considering a Kia Telluride? This review makes a compelling case for the Kia, at $20,000 less:
At $49,000 the Mazda CX-9 Signature may be the best-looking three-row ute, period. And the Kia Telluride has gone and lifted Cadillac’s design cues — LED-infused vertical lights, sculpted face, headlights pushed to the corners. Then Kia really gets cheeky.
With a leather interior right out of Ethan Allen, the all-wheel drive Kia Sport trim options the same standard sunroof and safety-assist systems as my favorite XT6 Sport trim for $20,000 less. Ouch.
This review casts the Lincoln Aviator in a more favorable light. I haven’t had a chance yet to see the new Lincoln and compare Lincoln Aviator vs. Cadillac XT6.
And while the Cadillac’s interior could be nicer, it is a fair sight more impressive and usable than the Acura and Infiniti interiors. However, the same could not be said in reference to the Volvo’s gorgeous cabin, and based on what we saw at the L.A. Auto Show, the upcoming Lincoln Aviator’s cabin should put on a much fancier show than its American competitor manages. The Lincoln’s base price is actually closest to the XT6 at $52,195, but as we mentioned earlier, it pumps out 400 turbocharged ponies.
So, it’s possible the XT6 will be eclipsed in the near future by the Aviator, which seems much more appealing on paper and in person. Until then, though, Cadillac’s long-awaited three-row crossover is another reminder not to judge a book by its cover, or rather a car by its sheetmetal. It may not be a design revelation, but its refinement, spaciousness and pleasant driving dynamics make it a solid choice for families seeking something ritzier than the usual three-row crossover.
Looks like the Kia Telluride is a recurring theme here
I need to check one out, but I’ve never seriously thought about comparing a Cadillac versus a Kia, maybe I’m outdated
This review favors the XT6’s technology interface over competitors. For me, the ease of use of the technology is very important because that’s a touch point you interact with on most drives.
The XT6’s interior integrates technology seamlessly without any of the frustrations we found in recent Acura, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz models, where the controls can be confounding. The dashboard is uncluttered, with only a touch screen in the center and buttons and switches for climate control beneath. We appreciate that drivers can also use a rotary controller between the two front seats to make selections on the screen.
Overall, our biggest complaint about the XT6 is that it lacks the refinement to justify its luxury price. A fully loaded Kia Telluride retails for just under $48,000. By comparison, the XT6 starts at just under $53,000—plus an extra $2,000 for shoppers who choose all-wheel drive. Options drove the cost of ours up to $62,515. We’d have a hard time justifying spending that much money on an SUV that doesn’t deliver any significant value over its less expensive competitors.