Cadillac’s three-row hauler not called “Escalade” returns this year for family shoppers. The 2021 Cadillac XT6 adds a turbo-4 engine on lower trims for a lower entry price and wireless smartphone compatibility.
We rate it at 7.0 overall, which is buoyed by good safety scores and good room inside. Three-row competitors are all elbows these days, and offerings from Ford, Lincoln, Kia, and others are just as compelling. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Starting from $48,990, the XT6 Luxury tabs a 2.0-liter turbo-4 from the smaller XT4 and XT5 two-row crossovers and presses it into duty in the three-row XT6. It makes 237 horsepower, and we’ve liked it in other crossovers, but we haven’t yet driven it in the XT6. Our hopes aren’t high: it’s saddled with 400 to 800 more pounds to lug in the XT6, and that’s before passengers and gear are aboard. We’ll report back once we drive that version.
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More common and likely more palatable is a 3.6-liter V-6 that makes 310 hp and used in the XT6 Premium Luxury and XT6 Sport. Both engines are paired to a 9-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is a $2,000 option except on the XT6 Sport, where it’s standard equipment.
We have our nitpicks with some of the tuning in the XT6, but most ride comfortably thanks to a four-wheel independent suspension. Adaptive dampers are optional and can help, too.
The XT6 seats up to seven inside, although we prefer the six-seat configuration with second-row captain’s chairs. The first two rows are supremely comfortable, we wouldn’t complain in any of its seats. Stick us in the third row with 29.5 inches of leg room and we may have words.
Although the XT6 is related to the Traverse and Enclave, it’s shorter and it shows in cargo capability. With all three rows in place, the XT6 carries just 12.6 cubic feet of gear. That grows proportionally to the number of seats that are folded—all the way to 78.7 cubic feet.
Federal and independent testers agree that the XT6 is safe in a crash, and every crossover has automatic emergency braking.
The new XT6 Luxury base trim wants for little. It’s equipped with an 8.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, 18-inch wheels, synthetic leather upholstery, seating for up to seven, heated front seats, front-wheel drive, sunroof, and a turbo-4. We’d step up to an XT6 Premium Luxury for about $5,000 more and add 20-inch wheels, leather upholstery, and more available luxury options.
It’s possible to spend more, but it’s also possible to spend less on rivals and get nearly as much.