The crossover market is hot as ever, particularly in America, where automakers are killing off traditional cars left and right. Cadillac is in need of fresh metal in its showroom, especially as the ATS, CTS, and CT6 are all being discontinued or replaced. One thing Cadillac has been missing for a long while is a three-row crossover. The new XT6 is poised to give Cadillac a more affordable option for three-row buyers who don’t need the full-on, body-on-frame, truck-derived Escalade, and it means GM will finally have a proper luxury three-row family hauler to compete with the Acura MDX, Lexus RX, and Infiniti QX60.
The XT6 and XT6 Sport will arrive with Cadillac’s tried-and-true 310-hp 3.6-liter V-6 and nine-speed automatic transmission. The Premium Luxury trim will come with either front-wheel-drive or optional all-wheel drive, while the Sport receives all-wheel drive from the get-go. Wheels will be provided at 20 inches for Premium Luxury, with the option to fit 21 inch on all four corners. The Sport trim also receives the 21-inch wheels but as standard, along with a faster steering ratio, and stiffer suspension tuning. All models will come with a power-folding third row and remote-operated folding second row for easier passenger access.
Cadillac is packing the XT6 with a solid roster of standard safety kit. Features include a rear camera with remote washing, forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. For options, you’ll be able to tack on adaptive cruise control, head-up display, night vision camera, 360-degree camera, and automatic reverse braking. Other upscale goodies, like semi-aniline leather, automatic heated/ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, and a new 14-speaker Bose sound system, are optional. And those of us living in cooler climates will be happy to hear that a heated steering wheel comes standard.
As far as tech, the XT6 will get an one-touch phone pairing feature that uses near field communication (NFC) rather than Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless charging, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. Also new is an evolution of the new rotary control knob for the infotainment system, first seen on the XT4, with an additional joystick-like tilt function. Cadillac caught a lot of heat for how clunky and unresponsive its old CUE system was, so this new system has a lot to prove.
The 2020 Cadillac XT6 will be on public display at the 2019 Detroit auto show, before orders open up this spring. Final pricing will become available then, as well. While the XT6 won’t be the ultimate game-changer that writes Cadillac’s story headed into the 2020s—GM recently announced the brand will be the standard-bearer for future EV technology—it is a much-needed volume seller that’s already long overdue.