Cadillac’s two-year-old XT6 comes out of the gate with a new turbo four-cylinder for 2021 and introduces numeric torque badging with a twist.
This Caddy has generous interior room for six or seven and a smooth ride on par with other domestic jumbo SUVs but can get pricey compared with similarly equipped high-end German and South Korean imports.
Comfortable seating in all three rows
Generous cargo space
Premium safety gear optional
Towing trails rivals
The XT6 is available in three trim levels starting with base Luxury -$48,990, Premium Luxury – $53,790 and Sport – $58,190.
Pricing goes north in a hurry though with our Sport tester adding nearly $14,000 in optional gear for full leather, suede headliner, Visibility and Driver Assist packages and more bringing sticker price into the $70s.
With those numbers, many rivals come into play including the Mercedes-Benz GLE 450, Audi Q7 and BMW X5.
In addition to the 237-horsepower turbo four, GMC’s mainstay V6 produces 310 horsepower and is our choice for propelling the large SUV. Both engines are mated with a nine-speed automatic with available rear or all-wheel-drive.
The Sport trim includes a torque-vectoring rear differential that works with all-wheel-drive supplying power to the wheel needing the most traction with split second accuracy. While the XT6 has available power, its 4,700-pound curb weight lacks the giddyup of rivals.
The XT6 is a comfortable road car and passengers will not tire on long trips. Power front seats with lumbar support are contrasted with available second row bucket seats that slide and recline.
Fold-flat third row seating is power operated up and down from the rear liftgate area and has adequate leg and headroom unlike most other large SUVs.
The rear liftgate houses a new ‘400’ badge that is derived from the 271 lb-ft of torque from the imperial measurement. Drilling down, Newton meters equal .738 of lb-ft. and doing the math that equals 367 Newton meters. And with that, Cadillac chose to round up to 400 its liberal torque rating. Enough said.
With 20-inch alloys standard on the Sport, the XT6 has a commanding presence. Twenty-one- inch wheels are optionally available.
While the XT6 lacks in the performance category it makes up for in its posh ride. With damping sport suspension, the Cadillac smooths out road imperfections and delivers a whisper quiet ride at all speeds except for jack rabbit starts where engine growl is apparent.
The nine-speed automatic works its magic with upshifts and downshifts engaging as needed. The all-wheel-drive factored in the zero to 60 mile per hour sprint. We recorded 8.2 seconds consistently although we suspect consumers are not likely to be putting this SUV through its maneuvers on a regular basis.
Testing agencies praised the XT6’s abilities to withstand collisions while providing a safety cage for occupants. (See full test results below).
The XT6 has a longer warranty than most and includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection as well as lane departure warning and lane keeping assist standard with optional adaptive cruise and night vision.
(Contact independent automotive columnist Len Ingrassia at email@example.com)
What was reviewed:
2021 Cadillac XT6 Sport AWD
Engine: 3.6-liter V6 310 horsepower
EPA mileage: 18 city, 25 highway, 21 combined
Assembled: The XT6 is assembled in Spring Hill, TN U.S./Canadian parts content, 49 percent. Major source of foreign parts content, Mexico – 25 percent. Country of origin for engine and transmission, U.S.
Crash test ratings: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the XT6 its highest five-star rating overall with five stars in side impact, combined side barrier and pole ratings and four stars in rollover protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the XT6 a Top Safety Pick+ ranked the XT6 “Good” its highest rating in small and moderate overlap frontal and side impact, roof strength and head restraints, “Advanced” in standard crash avoidance and “Superior” for optional system.
Warranty: 4-year/50,000-mile bumper to bumper; 6-year/70,000-mile powertrain; first maintenance visit.