By Peter Perrotta
The days of the big, long and large finned Cadillac sedans are long gone. A distant memory mostly enjoyed in old movies anymore, those Caddys were the pride of my old neighborhood in the Bronx in the ’60s.
Sundays were usually reserved for going to church and then finding a nice shady spot where you could wash and wax your Caddy before preening it around the neighborhood.
Like most Italian American families in my neighborhood, we didn’t have much money, but we enjoyed great food and we some how always managed to have a big-finned Cadillac as our family car.
My dad was a fairly large man and with six kids he reasoned it was one of the only cars that could fit his brood. There weren’t any three row SUVs back then.
Besides that, I could still hear him saying, “There’s nothing like the ride of a Cadillac”.
Well, many decades later, I must admit there still isn’t anything like the ride of a Cadillac.
I recently spent one week behind the wheel of the all new 2020 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury AWD mid-sized, three-row SUV, and if smoothness, comfort and luxury are what you are after, this vehicle certainly fits the bill.
While the XT6 is a brand new addition to the Cadillac lineup for 2020, it is based on the same platform as GM’s Buick Enclave, which was last redesigned in 2018.
Cadillac offers the new XT6 in front and all wheel drive versions and in two trim lines, the Premium Luxury – like my tester – and the Sport model.
The XT6 only comes with one engine choice, a 3.6-liter, V-6 coupled with a 9-speed automatic transmission. This engine puts out 310 horsepower.
While I found the ride of this new XT6 to be very comfortable, I must admit that I felt that at times, this engine was a tad bit underpowered for this SUV.
Don’t get me wrong, this XT6 could perform all the necessary everyday driving functions quite well. It has adequate acceleration and passing skills. However, there were times when I “punched” the accelerator that I expected a more robust response.
But, to be honest, at the end of the day, that’s not what Cadillac is all about.
Cadillac has long built its reputation and following, not on performance, but instead on offering comfort and luxury. And, for those reasons, this Caddy holds true to form.
I found the XT6 to be very roomy and spacious and it offers that floating on air ride quality one can only find in a Cadillac.
I truly believe that most car brands carry their own unique DNA. And, when I first took the wheel of this new model Caddy and took it down the road, it didn’t take me long to harken back to the days when my dad used to say, “There’s nothing like the ride of a Caddy”.
The base price on my XT6 tester was $54,695. This XT6 featured $8,100 in added optional equipment and $995 for destination charge. The total MSRP sticker price came in at $63,810.
The options included: $2,350 for an enhanced visibility and technology package; $2,095 for upgraded 20-inch polished wheels; $1,300 for a driver assist package; $1,000 for an upgraded Bose audio system with 14 speakers; $750 for heated rear seats and an air quality package; and $625 for the Manhattan Noir metallic exterior paint.
Some of the items included in the technology package include: rear camera mirror; automatic parking assist with braking; HD surround vision; heads up display and an 8-inch color gauge display.
The driver assist package includes: adaptive cruise control; automatic emergency braking and automatic seat belt tightening.
As far as the EPA transportation department fuel ratings, this Cadillac could do better.
The EPA fuel ratings for this model come in at an overall of 20 miles per gallon – featuring 24 mpg in highway driving and 17 in city driving.
The EPA estimates that the average annual fuel cost for driving this XT6 to be about $2,000 as it is rated at using 5 gallons of gas for every 100 miles driven.
The government’s crash test ratings for this new vehicle are incomplete.
It got the highest ratings of five stars for both the driver and passenger frontal crash tests. It got 4 stars for the rollover test. However, it was not rated for an overall score or the side crash test.
As far as the interior ergonomics go, I found the new XT6 to be above average, but not outstanding. The interior quality and build are solid, but not over the top.
All the XT6 models come with touchscreen infotainment, Apple carplay and Android Auto, on board Wi-Fi, wireless smartphone charging and Cadillac’s latest version of its CUE (Cadillac User Experience) infotainment software that is all displayed on an 8-inch screen.
The infotainment system easily functions. I was able to sync my phone and iPod music system and use the navigation system without much problem.
However, I found the navigation system to be frustrating at times. Instead of taking me on the most direct routes to where I was going, it had a penchant for rerouting me on a roundabout route instead.
Moreover, when I was stuck in traffic in Center City Philadelphia one day, it had me circling the same block over and over. I’m not sure why this was, but there must be a software glitch that could easily be corrected.
Overall, I was fairly impressed with this new addition to the Cadillac line up. I would say that anyone who is considering buying or leasing a mid-sized, three row, luxury SUV should give this vehicle serious consideration.
Peter Perrotta’s On The Road column appears weekly. Comments and questions are welcome. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org