Cadillac’s new 2020 luxury crossover hits the mark

Cadillac calls its new-for-2020 full-sized luxury crossover “the vehicle you didn’t know you were waiting for.” From this somewhat awkward example of the advertising copywriter’s art emerges a full-sized, six- or seven-passenger crossover that exhibits refinement and superior driving qualities.

The XT6 is one of three Cadillac crossovers; the others are the compact XT4 and midsize XT5. Cadillac also offers a true sport-utility vehicle, the huge, body-on-frame Escalade. Meanwhile, Cadillac continues to build the luxury sedans that long ago made the Cadillac nameplate a mark of excellence.

General Motors’ Cadillac Division experienced lagging sedan sales in 2019, but crossovers are filling the sales gap. The XT6, which debuted in June, racked up 11,559 sales last year despite a pricing structure starting well north of $50,000.

The XT6 competes with crossovers by European and Japanese premium automakers, as well as the domestic Lincoln Aviator. The XT6’s assets include a 310-horsepower V-6 engine, seating for up to seven, a maximum of 78.7 cubic feet of cargo room with both rows of rear seats lowered, and Cadillac style and luxury. While it isn’t a true off-road SUV, its four drive modes include an off-road setting.

2020 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury AWD

Price: $70,890

Engine: 3.6-liter V-6, 310 horsepower, 271 lb.-ft. torque

Transmission: 9-speed shiftable automatic

Drive: all-wheel

Ground clearance: 6.7 in.

Weight: 4,441 lb.

Suspension: MacPherson strut front, multi-link rear

Wheels: 20-in. 12-spoke fully polished alloy

Tires: P235/55R20 H all-season

Seating capacity: 7

Luggage capacity: 12.6 cu. ft.

Maximum cargo capacity: 78.7 cu. ft.

Towing capacity: 4,000 lb.

Fuel capacity: 22 gal.

Fuel economy: 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway

Fuel type: regular unleaded gasoline

The XT6 accelerates briskly and grips the road well around corners, delivering acceptable levels of road feel as well as a smooth, quiet ride. Cadillac offers just two trim levels, the Sport (starting at $57,095) and Premium Luxury. Our test car was a Premium Luxury example with all-wheel drive, and was priced with options at $70,890. Its base price was $54,695.

Our Garnet Metallic test car, with second-row captain’s chairs, had seating for six. The second and third rows had plenty of head room, which isn’t always the case in midsize and even some full-sized crossovers. The third row is accessible to adults, though it takes some practice to do so with a semblance of grace.

The XT6’s fuel economy is rated at 17 mpg city, 24 highway, using regular unleaded gasoline.We averaged about 19 mpg in mostly urban and suburban driving.

This crossover’s interior is exceptionally well-designed in most respects. Its controls are simple and logical, and redundant where they need to be. For example, the audio system can be controlled with buttons on the steering hub and with a knob between the front seats. Our only complaint involved the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Long-legged drivers who levered the seat all the way back felt the steering wheel didn’t telescope out far enough. Another deficiency that would make a difference to some drivers is the XT6’s relatively low towing capacity of 4,000 pounds.

The standard features didn’t leave much of a wish list, but Cadillac managed to add about $15,000 worth of options to our test car. Among them were improved interior materials and a performance suspension, $4,900; enhanced visibility package, $2,350; and Cadillac User Experience system with premium audio system and embedded navigation, $1,000. But the standard-features list is quite thorough, including such things as 20-inch wheels, ultraview sunroof, heated steering wheel, hands-free liftgate, power-folding third-row seats, and satellite radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The XT6 has been rated a Top Safety Pick Plus by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and received top 5-star ratings for frontal crash protection.

Steven Macoy ( is a longtime car enthusiast and full-time editor who lives in Bethel.