Cadillac plugged a gap in its XT lineup at the Detroit auto show. The new three-row XT6 will join the XT4 and XT5 in the company’s new breed of crossovers. This one will seat 6 or 7 and go on sale this spring as a 2020 model.

The new XT6 is more square and vertical than the XT4 and XT5 with an upright front end sporting Cadillac’s new design language. If you squint your eyes it looks a lot like Mercedes’ GLS people hauler from the wheels back. Luxury versions get a crosshatch grille with baby Caddy signs in the pattern; sport versions get an all-black grille.

A 3.6-liter V6 will be the only engine available at launch making an estimated 310 hp and 271 lb-ft with a nine-speed transmission. Front- and all-wheel drive versions will both be available. Luxury versions get a single clutch differential that can decouple to save fuel. Sport versions use a twin-clutch system that can torque vector for better handling. All will ride in FWD until a button is pushed. Neither XT6 will switch automatically. Engineers say that saves fuel. Even with an on-demand system some parts of the system still spin when in two-wheel drive, using precious dino juice.

Like the rest of the family, the XT6 will get different drive modes. Cadillac says they will different enough to feel the change.

An adaptive suspension is optional on both Sport and Luxury versions. However, the transmission tuning and steering are unique to each of the versions. By the way, those versions are separate from the trims, which will be the usual premium, platinum and the like.

Inside, the XT6 gets the usual mix of leather and wood. Sport models get carbon fiber. The base sound system is a Bose 8-speaker system, upgraded models get 14 speakers and a more powerful amp. The infotainment is no longer called CUE, it’s now Cadillac User Experience. The XT6 gets the latest iteration, now with a jog dial in the center a la BMW’s iDrive. There are USBs in each row, the back features USB Type-c ports.

“Those third-row passengers are usually early adopters,” an engineer jokingly told us.

Both the second and third row fold flat when asked, either with a pull handle on the seats or a series of buttons in the cargo area. The second row slides forward to allow easier access to the back row. Speaking of, my 5-foot, 10-inch frame fit perfectly under the headliner, a taller person would have to crane their neck. It does have a spare, along with a small covered area for more sensitive cargo.

Safety features like automatic emergency braking, lane keeping, lane departure, blind-spot warning and parking sensors are standard. Adaptive cruise control (no Super Cruise), night vision and a few other things are optional.

The 2020 Cadillac XT6 will be built at GM’s Spring Hill, Tennessee plant.

Source: Autoweek

January 13, 2019