Cadillac XT6 Sport: Dynamic And Luxurious

2022 Cadillac XT6: Overview

Cadillac, once an icon of the “space age design” in the 1950s, is the most prestigious brand of GM and still has its own identity. By then, before anything else, spacious sedans with enormous chrome bumpers and tails were associated with this brand. Back in the 21st Century, the 2022 Cadillac XT6 is a member of General Motors’ crowded SUV Family.

As Cadillac is the luxury brand of the group, the XT6 is positioned at top of the hierarchy of GM’s midsize SUVs. The XT6 is unmistakable a Cadillac, with its bold style, sharp, vertical lines, the blade for DRL and finer details such as the small Cadillac crests in the grill.

2022 Cadillac XT6 Sport

Sharing the same platform with the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave, the XT6 is the most expensive brand among GM’s midsize SUVs. It is significantly smaller at first sight and actually than the Escalade, the full-size SUV of the brand, that we are much more associated with a Cadillac SUV.

As many other multi-brand automotive groups do, GM fills every gap in each market segment with all the brands to increase the scale of production and to give more choices to the buyer.

2022 Cadillac XT6: Engine and Powertrain

The 2022 XT6 offers two engine options: The 2.0L turbo-4 or the 3.6L V6. My tester was a V6-powered XT6 Sport AWD. Both engines are mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with 2 or 4WD.

2022 Cadillac XT6: Design and Interior

The interior of the XT6 does not disappoint with a combination of nice and high-end materials and superb workmanship. Our tester had Jet Black, Leather Seating Surfaces with Mini-Perforated inserts as a standard feature. It pleases the eye and gives a truly luxurious interior and ambiance.

There are no cheap plastic parts also in the lower sections of the dashboard or door panels and the cabin is a seamless combination of leather, wood or plastics of the highest quality.

The instrument cluster with conventional gauges and a big digital centre screen is easy to read especially easy for more senior buyers who are used to a simpler, classic dash with almost no electronic gimmicks.

The infotainment system or CUE (Cadillac User Experience), now so important in not only luxury but also every mass-market brand, works seamlessly. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connect wirelessly but can also be connected via a USB cable. The wireless charging pad is integrated into a cubby ahead of the centre armrest and charges even a phone with a thick protective cover. The capacitive buttons on the screen work well and remind us how much progress Cadillac had in the last 10 years when it comes to infotainment screens.

The 14-speaker Bose Audio system delivers superb sound and does not leave an unfulfilled wish even for the addicts for sound quality.

And if you prefer a more traditional style of control, the buttons in the centre console do the job without the need of touching the screen.

The seating arrangement is 2+3+2. As we experienced in real life, pulling down the middle seat in the middle row and using it as a middle console with extra cup holders seems to be the best option. The outward, middle seats are not heated and the lack of this feature in a luxury vehicle is an unfilled wish, especially in Canada. The head and legroom for the middle seats are good and you never feel cramped even with a tall driver and passenger occupying the front seats.

The third row is for two adults. Not the best place even for short drives. In this regard, it is unfair to blame just Cadillac. Having recently driven so many midsize SUVs, the third row is, in my humble personal opinion, a second-class place no matter how expensive the vehicle is. Unless you move up to the bigger, full-size and more expensive Escalade, the XT6 is, also a disappointment when it comes to the third-row seating. Only the minivans provide the best option for transporting five, six or even seven passengers. The small cargo space with the third row up is, probably not capable of long drives with the occupied third row.  The nice feature of our tester is that the second and third-row seats can be power-folded with the press of buttons from the trunk.

One unusual feature is to easily exit the vehicle you have to press the last button in the memory set to move the seat back. Many other non-luxury vehicles have seats that automatically move back when the engine shuts off. It looked to me as an unnecessary complication. 

2022 Cadillac XT6: Driving Impressions

The much-advertised Super Cruise is a big step toward autonomous driving.  It works intermittently as long as the system recognizes the lanes and/or the road is marked in the navigation system. It is much better suited for long and uncomplicated highway drives and thus may not always fit your daily driving route.

And with snowy or muddy roads of winter ahead of us, you will have to fully eliminate this driver assistance system in most cases. This is a real-life example of how far we are from fully autonomous driving. And it is unfair just to blame Cadillac. We cannot disregard GM’s efforts to develop the technologies and put them to use. These are important steps toward an autonomous future.

Autonomous driving set aside, the XT6 has a solid and composed drive with more comfort than the sporty side even if the name implies it differently. The sound insulation is superb and will not disappoint a luxury car buyer. The adaptive shock absorbers make a palpable difference when you jump over the bumps or iron out the potholes and cracks on the streets of Toronto.

The AFM (ActiveFuel Management) system, AKA Cylinder Deactivation shuts off two cylinders under light conditions. During our test drive, this system kicked in rarely. This is a heavy vehicle and to make use of this system, you have to press the gas pedal, very slowly and smoothly as if there is an egg under your foot. Underwise, the XT6 has smooth, linear acceleration and the integration between the engine and transmission is seamless. GM engineers must have worked a lot to finetuning the shift map.

The start-stop system, another feature to save fuel is most annoying when you stop at traffic lights. I shut it off most of the time and bear an environmental sin.

During our one-week test drive in the city more than on the highway, we measured an average consumption of 11.5 litres which is within the range of the average consumption data.

2022 Cadillac XT6: Pricing and Equipment

Our tester, with the 3.6L V6 engine and in Sport trim had an MSRP of $78,483. It includes options worth almost 16K. For details, please see the spec sheet below:

2022 Cadillac XT6: Conclusion

When you drive a Cadillac, you are a member of the luxury club without a doubt. However, for a midsize SUV with a small trunk and very limited space in the third row, Cadillac falls short of expectations for a spacious family SUV. Our fully equipped tester with expensive options has a price tag of almost 80 Grand. This pricing range creates two problems and dangers for the XT6: Just with a few more thousand dollars, the potential buyer may consider moving upmarket and choose an Escalade or even a Yukon, for a full-size SUV. Or he or she may think of corporate cousins from Buick, GMC or Chevrolet at a significantly lower price tag.

But, if you want to drive an SUV with the prestigious crest logo, you will be rewarded with the quality of engineering, a luxurious cabin and a high-quality, comfortable ride.

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