Experienced by Kimatni D Rawlins
Cadillac has reinvented itself with a bevy of new products on deck and in the pipeline, including the reimagined 2021 Cadillac Escalade, which drives impeccably, and the inventive LYRIQ EV crossover arriving at the beginning of 2022. Continuing the momentum, I recently utilized the 2021 XT6 Premium Luxury AWD for a week in my Silver Spring, MD hometown and fondly enjoyed the experience. With three rows of seating, the XT6 is practical, elegant, and imbues technological modernism to the thoughtful cabin.
Starting at $48,990, the 2021 XT6 joins an SUV portfolio featuring the XT4, a revitalized XT5, and the all-new Escalade. Cadillac’s mobility pinnacle also includes an increase in electrification and the extension of Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving. My Premium Luxury AWD had an initiation price of $54,795 but topped out at $70,465. This cost jump was due to options such as the $4,900 Platinum Package with Semi-Aniline leather seating, suspension performance, and a microfiber suede headliner; the $2,350 Enhanced Visibility and Technology Package (rear camera mirror, 8” color gauge cluster, and HD surround vision); Night Vision at $2,000; and the $1,300 Driver Assist Package which is always a must. This advances the XT6 with Adaptive Cruise Control, Reverse Automatic Braking, and Enhanced Automatic Emergency Braking, which will halt the vehicle if your reactions are too slow.
My Shadow Metallic exterior and Maple Sugar with Jet Black Accented interior XT6 was outlined with bright metallic and Galvano finishes, including the Cadillac crest-shaped grille. Advanced LED lighting is featured on all models with an ode to the vertical LED-illuminated daytime running light blades. The 20” alloy rims are paired with 235/55/R20 Michelin Primacy tires, while the sporty tailgater spoiler and dual exhaust tips add a bit of flavor.
The beautifully curated XT6 interior representing the mid-size utility market is blessed with three rows (power-folding 3rd row and $800 folding 2nd-row captain chairs ). It is both technological and comforting due to upgrades such as the rotary controller that simplifies the operation of Cadillac user experience (CUE), which is the American brand’s proprietary infotainment and connectivity system. There should always be redundant physical knobs and dials for drivers who do not wish for touch only. Thankfully, CUE has evolved to meet this standard and made my time in the XT6 more pleasurable. It operates from an 8” screen and is complimented with a 14-speaker Bose Performance Series audio system with Active Noise Cancellation and unique metallic grille speakers. The XT6 connects passengers with six USB ports including USB-Cs, Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot, OnStar Services, and a 15-watt wireless charging pad.
Behind the new power tilt and telescopic steering wheel with paddle shifters, the XT6 felt good and provides enough power from the 3.6-liter V6, which kicks out 271 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration is perfectly adequate, and stopping power is on point. The 3.6L is paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission featuring Electronic Precision Shift. It offers up to four Selectable Driving Modes, perfect for East Coast winters to customize the ride based on road and weather conditions, while the Ultra-view sunroof is ideal for spring and summers. The electric variable-assist rack-and-pinion steering was sharp as well. Expect 25 highway miles from the AWD and towing capacity of 4,000 pounds. The standard 2.0L turbo engine with 237-horsepower comes with the XT6 Luxury model, while the Premium Luxury and Sport models roll with the 3.6L. You may also opt for FWD.
The XT6 is a welcomed guest in a crowded automotive field of crossovers demanded by families, couples, and singles on the go. With sedan-like driving mannerisms, utility and storage capabilities for road trips, and premium amenities, the Cadillac is sure to catch the eye of many and find a home in the driveways of plenty.