By NITISH S. RELE
Another three-row luxury crossover from Cadillac? Like the Escalade, you wonder? Not at all. Unlike the truck-based Escalade, the XT6 debuting this year sits on a car-like framework but offers all the bells and whistles of its larger and renowned sibling.
This all-new vehicle is packed with ample power, oodles of it, and luxury that only a Cadillac can offer. Under the hood sits a 3.6-liter V6 engine pumping out 310 horsepower at 600 rpm and 271 pounds-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. The front-wheel-drive SUV, which goes from 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds, is coupled to a seamless 9-speed auto gearbox. A MacPherson strut front and a five-link independent rear work well to absorb unpleasant road bumps or curves. Steering response with the electric power rack-and-pinion is swift and accurate. Tow capacity is a satisfactory 4,000 pounds. And you can select tour, sport and snow/ice drive modes.
Bright Galvano accents on the front grille, roof rails, side window surround and door handles lend the XT6 a sophisticated and bold look. The crossover boasts an upscale and luxurious interior with exceptional fit and finish, gloss levels and materials. An 8-inch color touchscreen in the center stack includes cabactive controls, haptic feedback, gestures and voice recognition (yes, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available). Replacing the redundant knobs is a rotary dial controller with a new jog function. To accommodate drivers of all heights, Cadillac has equipped the CT6 with a power tilt/telescopic three-spoke steering wheel. There is plenty of room – 78.7 cubic feet behind the first row; and total passenger volume is a laudable 149.9 cubic feet. Standard goodies are tri-zone auto a/c, wood accents, eight-way power driver and front-passenger heated seats, remote start, sun roof, third-row power fold seat, hands-free lift gate and hands-on CUE (Cadillac User Experience).
Standard safety features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, driver knee airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes, forward collision, rear cross traffic, lane change and side zone blind alerts, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, front/rear park assist, stability and traction control, rear view camera, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.
Of course, the coddling comes at a price. Our test drive was based at $52,695 and peaked at $70,000 after options. But don’t be deluded into believing that the nearly 4,500-pound vehicle lacks power. In fact, the gas pedal unleashes strong acceleration to make this a nimble, smooth and easy-riding companion. Now, all you need is an inflated bank balance to indulge yourself and the family.
XT6 PREMIUM LUXURY
Tires: P235/55R20 all season
Wheelbase: 112.7 inches
Length: 198.8 inches
Width: 77.3 inches
Height: 68.9 inches
Fuel capacity: 19 gallons
City: 18 mpg
Highway: 25 mpg
Nitish S. Rele, editor/publisher of Motoring Tampa Bay and Khaas Baat (www.khaasbaat.com), was an automotive editor/columnist for The Tampa Tribune.