It’s easy to forget this, but Cadillac now has a full line of crossovers and SUVs. Starting from the compact XT4 and going all the way up to the body-on-frame Escalade, there’s a size for every buyer. While the Escalade remains ever-popular and a signature in the lineup, there was space for a three-row unibody crossover for the masses, with a more palatable five-figure price tag. We snagged the keys to a 2023 Cadillac XT6 Sport, equipped with Caddy’s slick Super Cruise feature, to see for ourselves how it fares.
In the design arena, the XT6 is an attractive ute, with brick-like styling and the futuristic cues that the current Cadillac lineup is known for. The LED lighting is sharp and the overall proportions are lovely. The XT6 shares its bones with the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, and Buick Enclave, so the general dimensions are very similar while all four have dramatically different interior and exterior styling.
Inside, the Cadillac version gets slightly more upscale cabin appointments, but the overall design is fairly simplistic. An eight-inch touchscreen packs the latest version of Cadillac’s “CUE” infotainment system, now offering wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Wireless charging is also on board, though tech expected at this price point like a digital gauge cluster is missing. Overall materials feel a bit cheaper than I’d like for the $80,000 price point, but the parts bin sharing is to be expected given how many platform siblings the XT6 has.
XT6s are powered by either a base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (like the base Volvo XC90 and Mercedes-Benz GLE 350), or the ubiquitous GM 3.6-liter V6. We strongly recommend the latter, which is tested here. It outputs 310 horsepower at 6,600RPM and 271 lb-ft. of torque ta 5,000RPM. The transmission is a nine-speed automatic which does its job quietly and fairly smoothly, though we observed a few jarring and confused shifts in lower speed city driving.
The XT6 drives every bit its size. The 310-horse V6 is adequately quick, but it doesn’t feel as fast or torquey as the V6 in the Acura MDX. The Cadillac feels tuned for comfort, and that’s a job it does very well. Ride quality is good, with excellent damping over road imperfections, but the XT6 does not have air suspension. It’s worth mentioning that a few of its rivals do offer this feature, and it results in a cloud-like ride, while the XT6 doesn’t have much more premium feel out on the road than its Chevrolet/GMC siblings.
Fuel efficiency is rated at 13.1L/100km in the city and 9.5L/100km on the highway, for a 11.3L/100km combined average. We spent a week driving around the city with the XT6, entertaining extended family during our managing editor Nick’s wedding, and saw 12.4L/100km. Premium fuel is recommended, but given it’s the same powertrain as the Chevrolet and GMC versions, regular 87-octane is acceptable. The tank will hold 83-liters of fuel, meaning a decent amount of long-range driving is possible without frequent fill-ups.
Cadillac Canada prices the XT6 from $58,298 to start, while our Sport trim tester starts at $63,698. The Argent Silver Metallic equipped is the only “free” paint scheme, while any other colour will set buyers back an additional $900. Our tester was also equipped with a series of packages including the $2,875 Super Cruise driver assistance feature, bringing the sticker to just shy of $80,000. It’s not cheap, but any version of the larger Escalade would be six-figures to start. There’s definitely some value in stepping down a size here.
Competition is tough in the premium three-row crossover segment, with the XT6 going up against heavy hitters like the Acura MDX, Lexus RX 350L, and aforementioned XC90. It does its best to hang with the big German players such as the BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE, but overall quality just isn’t there.
However you look at it, the 2023 Cadillac XT6 Sport is a very necessary offering in Cadillac’s lineup. Without it, the only three-row model available is the massive Escalade, which is simply too large for many buyers’ lifestyles, and definitely isn’t practical for urban dwellers. The more palatable dimensions, unibody refinement, and similar upscale look mean the XT6 is the right size for most young families. It has the looks and comfort, and drives pretty well.