Until now, anyone who wanted a Cadillac that could seat more than five had to go big—really big—and get the full-sized truck-based Escalade. Shoppers looking for luxury midsized seven-seaters had to shop European or Japanese brands. The new XT6 SUV debuted at the Detroit Auto Show, filling a space between the massive Escalade and the midsized XT5 five-seater.

In addition to the new Lincoln Aviator, which bowed last month in Los Angeles, the Cadillac XT6 gives buyers another choice for an American-made, three-row luxury SUV.

The XT6 faces stiff competition when it hits dealerships in early summer—including the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Infiniti QX60, and Lexus RX350 L, all of which CR recommends. 

2020 Cadillac XT6 front

What it competes with: Acura MDX, Audi Q7, BMW X7, Infiniti QX60, Land Rover Discovery, Lexus RX350 L, Lincoln Aviator, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Volvo XC90.
What it looks like: Cadillac’s take on a three-row SUV. In other words, it’s big—but it still incorporates the same styling cues as the new XT4 SUV.
Powertrain: 310-hp, 3.6-liter, V6 engine; nine-speed automatic transmission; front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.
Price: $53,690 (base), $58,900 (Sport)
On-sale date: Summer 2019.

Outside

The angular design of the new XT4 carries over on this larger SUV, including vertical lights that illuminate the front and rear. The larger XT6 gets larger, prominently featured air intakes.

Underneath, the XT6 shares its fundamental structure with the GMC Acadia

There are two trim choices: Buyers who pick the Premium Luxury trim get silver-toned accents and red taillight lenses. Those who pick the Sport trim get black trim and clear taillight lenses. Twenty-inch wheels come standard, and optional 21-inch wheels are available only on the Sport trim. 

2020 Cadillac XT6 dash

Inside

The dashboard is similar to what drivers see in the CT6 sedan. It comes with a new rotary controller that “jogs”—moving side to side, like a joystick—in addition to the XT4’s spinning-only action. It gives drivers another option of how to choose selections on the touch screen if they’d rather not let their fingers do the walking.

The three rows can seat either six or seven—a middle bench seat comes standard, but one can upgrade to a pair of captain’s chairs. A power-folding third row and remote-folding second row come standard.

Owners can choose between wood and carbon fiber trim. Heated front seats and a heated steering wheel come standard. Cooled front seats are optional, as are heated second-row rear outboard seats. But alas, the driver seat has only a two-way lumbar support. Six USB ports—two for each row of seats—come standard, as does a dual sunroof with a power shade. 

2020 Cadillac XT6 seats

What Drives It

There’s only one engine and transmission choice: a 310-hp, 3.6-liter V6 that’s mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The engine gets GM’s Active Fuel Management technology, which deactivates cylinders when the SUV cruises at a steady speed, in order to save fuel. All-wheel drive is optional; front-wheel drive comes standard. 

Safety & Driver-Assist Systems

The XT6 comes with a generous amount of advanced safety technologies, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross traffic warning, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. Optional features include rear pedestrian warning, reverse automatic emergency braking, and a rear camera mirror similar to the one found in the GMC Sierra.  

CR’s Take

The XT6 is Cadillac’s belated entry into the contemporary three-row luxury-SUV segment. We like that Cadillac has included advanced safety features as standard that were optional on the XT6’s siblings from Chevrolet and Buick. 

2020 Cadillac XT6 rear