Cadillac XT6 good, not great

It happened during the media preview of the 2019 Los Angeles International Auto Show at Cadillac’s booth. I examined the 2020 Cadillac XT6, the new three-row car-based crossover that fits under the Escalade, which uses the Chevrolet Suburban’s body-on-frame platform, and above the two-row XT5, which a car-based crossover architecture. The design tames the brand’s aggressive styling with mixed results.

The front, clearly inspired by the Escala concept, is beautiful and quite memorable. But as I walked to the rear, I was unpleasantly surprised to find that Cadillac is ditching the vertical taillights, a signature styling element that’s been a brand signature since the 1960s. Even worse, the rear three-quarter view resembles a Kia Telluride.

Like many crossovers, the XT6 is offered in Premium Luxury and Sport models. Front-wheel drive is standard on the former; four-wheel drive is a $2,000 option and standard on the Sport. Critically, the XT6 uses the XT5 platform instead of the C1XX platform used for the Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia. Being shorter than its three-row GM cousins ​​reduces the XT6’s payload capacity. In fact, with all three rows in use, there is less than 13 cubic feet. Cadillac also uses the same 310-horsepower V-6 engine and nine-speed automatic transmission used in the lower-cost offering, rather than installing a more powerful alternative. Here we again see the cheap nature of GM product development rear its ugly head.

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