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2020 Cadillac XT6 Performance Review


Performance: 6.7

The 2020 Cadillac XT6 features a V6 engine that delivers enough power for all driving situations, though it'll never really wow you. This Cadillac rides smoothly and gets decent fuel economy, but it lacks the handling prowess of some other luxury midsize SUVs.

  • "The V6 is adequate in this application, generally smooth but maybe a little raspy in the higher rev range. It moves the XT6 around well, but if you want any velocity, you'll really have to floor it. Throttle tip in is good with the three-row moving off the line quickly without much nose lift. Braking is a little numb but the pedal movement is minimal, which always inspires more confidence. Shifts from the nine-speed are mostly unnoticeable, still, the overall feel doesn't scream 'torquey American luxury' like I would want it to." - Autoweek
  • "I will say the XT6 in either guise is a relatively good handler. It drives much smaller and more controlled than the monster Escalade." -- Motor Trend
  • "The result is certainly a more dynamic feel than the Premium Luxury model, but I don't know if I'd go as far as calling it 'sporty.' This is, after all, a nearly 4,700-pound, three-row SUV. That said, turn in and cornering grip were impressive enough and I enjoyed my brisk drive through the roads of northern Virginia. Personally, I'd rather have the extra dynamic edge than not and preferred the Sport model, but luxury SUV buyers looking for something quiet and comfortable won't be missing out on too much by going with the more relaxed, less expensive trim." -- CNET

Acceleration and Power

The Cadillac XT6 features a 3.6-liter V6 engine that puts out 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. It's mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Critics' opinions are split when it comes to the powertrain. Some say it has ample power to move this Cadillac and that the transmission shifts smoothly. Others argue that acceleration is lethargic and that the transmission sometimes has to hunt for the correct gear.

According to EPA estimates, the XT6 returns 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway when equipped with front-wheel drive. All-wheel-drive models get 17/24 mpg city/highway. In either setup, the XT6 gets decent fuel economy ratings for the class.

When properly equipped, the XT6 can tow up to 4,000 pounds. Many class rivals can tow more.

  • "You hear plenty of intake and exhaust from the … V6 under hard acceleration, but the engine is smooth and has a pleasantly throaty note. That's fortunate, since you'll be at full throttle a lot trying to encourage the unhurried V6 to deliver adequate acceleration. While it's on par for its current competition, the upcoming Lincoln Aviator's standard 400-horsepower turbo V6 will embarrass it. The transmission, a nine-speed unit, slips through gears without the occupants noticing in most situations. It shifts slowly in both auto and manual mode, however, and under hard acceleration it always seems to need two downshifts to find the right ratio." -- Autoblog
  • "At 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque, this feels like a decent fit for the SUV's chassis and its standard nine-speed automatic transmission. … It might sound a bit wheezy when hammering it, but the XT6 is a quiet cruiser with solid passing power when you need it." -- CNET
  • "If there's a tell that the XT6 isn't built from blue-chip bits, it's the naturally aspirated 3.6-liter V-6 that is the only available engine. We like this silky and quick-revving 310-hp six-cylinder in, say, a reasonably priced Camaro. But it's out of its element in a 4700-pound three-row crossover. The XT6 needs a turbocharger to provide the low-end torque that minces suburban traffic so effortlessly. At least the nine-speed automatic transmission remains alert and shifts smoothly to drop the V-6 into its sweet spot at a moment's notice." -- Car and Driver

Handling and Braking

The XT6 delivers competent handling in most situations, but it's not the most athletic vehicle on the road, making the Sport trim's moniker something of a misnomer. The steering feels a bit vague, and you'll notice some body lean when taking turns at speed. Still, this is a pleasant SUV to drive overall, and it rides smoothly even over rough roads.

You can choose between four modes that alter driving dynamics to your liking, and Sport models come with an adaptive damping performance suspension.

  • "Body motions were well controlled with the available adaptive damping and directional control was precise. While the XT6 generally went wherever it was pointed, the steering didn't really offer much feedback, even on the Sport." -- Forbes
  • "Body motions are gracefully restrained, and the brake-based torque-vectoring and the Sport's rear axle help pivot the XT6 into turns willingly. It's all well-controlled, but you won't call it sporty." -- Car and Driver
  • "… Even with the XT6 Sport's 21-inch wheels and adaptive suspension, the XT6 felt comfortable on most road surfaces, exhibiting only a bit of choppiness over broken pavement. The Premium Luxury model with 20-inch wheels and fixed suspension rides fantastically well over every surface, including unpaved gravel roads. The tradeoff for that ride quality is a lack of feeling. … There's noticeable body roll at speed when going around turns, and there's no feedback from the road through the steering wheel. The Sport model has a quicker steering ratio. But beyond the quicker response, there's nothing really more sporty about the way it drives. … The quiet and separation that the XT6 provides will, for most buyers, be a strength. But a driver's vehicle this is not." -- Edmunds
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2020 Cadillac XT6

MSRP: $52,695 - $57,095

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