• Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

2024 Cadillac XT6 Review: Comfortable and capable, but not a class leader

Bynewsmagzines

May 12, 2023
2024 Cadillac XT6 Review: Comfortable and capable, but not a class leader

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Pros: Super Cruise is great; Sport trim really is sporty; roomy interior

Cons: Uninspiring powertrains; small touchscreen; mediocre interior storage; less cargo space; bland design

Cadillac, as is the case with several other automakers, has signaled its intent to fully electrify its lineup of cars, crossovers and sport utility vehicles. Today, however, the Wreath and Crest-emblemed brand is still reliant on internal combustion vehicles like the 2024 Cadillac XT6. Back in 2020 when this three-row crossover was first introduced, we pointed out that it was quite late to the party.

Not much has changed since then — a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine was added, a Sport trim was created, and General Motors’ class-leading Super Cruise hands-free driving tech was fitted — leaving the latecomer without a whole lot to make it stand out from the rest of the premium SUV pack.

None of that, it should be pointed out, makes the Cadillac XT6 a bad vehicle, or even a poor choice for a sizable chunk of the buying public. Still, with Super Cruise being the one key exception, the XT6’s dour interior furnishings and plain-jane driving dynamics mean it isn’t going to be a top pick in the competitive segment it competes within.

Interior & Technology   |   Passenger & Cargo Space   |   Performance & Fuel Economy

What it’s like to drive   |   Pricing & Trim Levels   |   Crash Ratings & Safety Features

What’s new for 2024?

Some colors disappear, and a few new colors take their place. That’s about it for 2024. Last year, the Luxury trim got a standard 8-inch touchscreen, the Premium Luxury and Sport got standard GPS navigation, ventilated front seats and heated outboard rear seats. Those changes remain in place for 2024 as well.

What are the XT6 interior and in-car technology like?

We’re going to break this into a few parts. First, the overall design and materials of the Cadillac XT6 aren’t up to the quality standards of competitors from Acura, Lexus, Lincoln or Volvo. The layout is good, most touchpoints are covered in leather or some other quality material, and it’s roomy and comfortable. But a closer look reveals that there’s a lot of black plastic with obvious moldings, and while the trim of the upper-level Sport model we tested was an interesting carbon fiber-esque pattern, the overall aesthetic wasn’t as luxurious as we’d expect given the XT6’s price (more on that below).

Technology is a mixed bag. Super Cruise impresses (read more about that in the safety section below), but rest of the XT6’s tech suite is merely decent and not the latest-and-greatest Cadillac or General Motors in general has to offer. The 8-inch touchscreen is well integrated into the dash, but it’s small by today’s standards. The Cadillac User Experience software is easy enough to use and features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is nice.

Finally, interior functionality could be better. We like the damped sliding cupholder cover, but the cupholders themselves are narrow, shallow and don’t hold bottles in place well. We also like the handy, angled wireless smartphone cubby hidden at the lip of the under-armrest bin, but then the bin forward of the shifter is small, oddly shaped and not grippy, meaning it’s next-to-useless. There’s also under-console storage, but as in other cars, is of negligible use.

How big is the XT6?

Cadillac prioritized passenger space with the XT6 – even tall adults can fit quite comfortably in the third row. It’s more comfortable back there than in the Volvo XC90, Lincoln Aviator and Audi Q7, while the XT6’s boxy shape makes things less claustrophobic. If there’s one complaint, it’s that the second row doesn’t slide as far forward for access as in GM’s other three-row SUVs. Space in the second row is also excellent, and our passengers back there loved the elevated, theater-like seating position that makes it easier to see out over front-seat passengers.

Unfortunately, the XT6 pays for this passenger-friendly space in terms of cargo capacity. As we discovered in our luggage test, it has one of the least useful cargo areas with all three rows raised. Things are at least more competitive when the third row is lowered, but this is something to remember if you’re counting on using all rows for road trips.

What’s the XT6’s performance and fuel economy?

Most Cadillac XT6 models come with a 3.6-liter V6 engine good for 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic and front-wheel drive are standard, and all-wheel drive is an option. With this powertrain, the XT6 will go from zero to 60 mph in a rather pedestrian 6.9 seconds. Fuel economy stands at 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined with FWD and 18/25/20 mpg with AWD.

The base Luxury model comes standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Power output is the same as the compact XT4 crossover that uses the same engine, with 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with the nine-speed automatic transmission and comes with front-wheel drive as standard — all-wheel drive is a $2,000 option. We haven’t driven an XT6 with this base engine; regardless, we feel comfortable suggesting buyers stick with the V6, in part because fuel economy numbers of 23 mpg combined regardless of powertrain isn’t really going to save you much on gas.

Unlike most competitors, there is neither a real performance upgrade nor a hybrid one.

What is the XT6 like to drive?

The XT6’s primary engine offering is effectively shared with the Chevy Traverse and other non-luxury GM vehicles, which may not be a problem per se, but it’s relatively unrefined and produces 310 horsepower. That’s just not good enough in a segment where the Lincoln Aviator produces a standard 400 horsepower, the Volvo XC90 offers multiple engine upgrades (including a plug-in hybrid) and the Audi Q7 can pump out 325 lb-ft of torque from its optional twin-turbo V6. There’s little evidence to suggest the turbocharged four-cylinder is a better choice.

On the upside, the XT6 is quiet, and the available adaptive dampers sop up bumps in an impressively damped manner befitting a luxury brand. Although it’s built on the same platform that underpins the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave, it feels like a more sophisticated machine behind the wheel. Again, though, we have to consider the segment, and the XT6 also doesn’t do enough to stand out. Its handling lacks the verve of a Cadillac CT4 or CT5 (the uncommunicative steering in particular is a real letdown), nor does it lean into the sort of uber-comfortable, grand touring experience one might expect from a giant Cadillac – and that Lincoln accomplished with the Aviator.

What more can I read about the Cadillac XT6?

2020 Cadillac XT6 Sport Drivers’ Notes Review

From the styling and interior to the engine and handling, the big Caddy in its sportiest form left our editors split.

 

What features are available and what’s the XT6’s price?

The 2024 Cadillac XT6 starts at $49,940 (all prices include $1,395 for destination) for the base Luxury trim with front-wheel drive. Premium Luxury is the next step up, and it brings with it the V6 engine and a starting price of $56,765. All-wheel drive is a $2,000 option for either of those first two trims. The Sport model comes only with AWD and starts at $61,440.

While the Luxury and Premium Luxury represent the usual trim levels, with the latter layering on substantially more standard equipment, the Sport goes beyond in a number of ways. It is available only with all-wheel drive and adds continuously variable dampers that stiffen in Sport mode and an upgraded all-wheel drive system that adds twin clutches on the axles to facilitate torque vectoring (good for poor-weather traction and improved handling). And the steering ratio is changed to 15:1, as opposed to the 16:1 ratio used on Premium Luxury trim models. In other words, Sport is much more than a mere appearance package, which is nice.

You can find a full breakdown of the XT6’s features, specs and local pricing here on Autoblog.

What are the XT6’s safety equipment and crash ratings?

Every 2024 XT6 comes standard with forward collision warning, a low-speed automatic emergency braking system, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems, and GM’s Safety Alert seat that buzzes your butt in response to inputs from the above safety systems. The Driver Assist package ($1,300) adds adaptive cruise control, higher-speed automatic emergency braking and reverse automatic braking. The Enhanced Visibility and Technology package adds GM’s rear camera mirror, a surround-view parking system (with a video recorder for security purposes), a head-up display and a rear pedestrian alert system when reversing.

The $2,500 Super Cruise option (available on Premium Luxury and Sport trims) functions just as well in the XT6 as it is in any of the rest of GM’s lineup — which is to say it’s quite good indeed — but unfortunately doesn’t work on as many roads as some of GM’s newest vehicles with Super Cruise. If having even a limited version of the best driving assistance package available is important to you, this somewhat more limited system works in your area, and you’re shopping for a premium crossover, the XT6 has to be on your list.

NHTSA awarded the XT6 a five-star safety rating, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the XT6 a Top Safety Pick for its best-possible performance in all crash tests as well as for the Superior-rated performance of both its standard and optional forward accident-avoidance systems. Its headlights got an “Acceptable” rating – most do worse.

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