One of the most beautiful SUVs in its segment

Cadillac is a name that has always been synonymous with luxury. For example, I owned a 1969 Cadillac Coupe Deville in the past, and I can assure you that General Motors used to go to great lengths to replicate a chic living room in the cabin of their cars. Overbuilt with no regard for weight, Cadillac has always made sure that only top quality parts go into their cars back in the day. Over the years, constraints have forced automakers to build vehicles with better fuel economy and a hefty list of standards. This meant there would be fewer heavy, luxury parts and more plastic materials.


Cadillac continued its luxury journey with some of the most stylish cars on the market, such as the Cadillac Escalade. For customers who want the finer things in life but don’t go as far as the Escalade due to its price tag or excessively large size, the Cadillac XT6 is the perfect compromise. This SUV sits directly below the Escalade in their SUV lineup. The question is: does it have the same level of sophistication as its bigger sister? We tested the 2022 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury AWD to find out.

Most important features

  • Bose Performance Series audio system with 14 speakers
  • Four wheel drive
  • 9-speed automatic transmission
Specifications

  • Fashion model: XT6 Premium Luxury AWD
  • Engine/Engine: 3.6-liter V6
  • PK: 310 at 6,600 rpm
  • Couple: 271 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
  • powertrain: AWD
  • Transfer: 9-speed automatic
Advantages

  • Decent fuel economy for the weight
  • Luxurious, spacious cabin
  • Great technology and loads of driver assistance features
  • Excellent Exterior Styling
  • Great and efficient transmission
cons

  • Underpowered engine
  • Some poor fit and finish

Naturally aspirated V6 is the better option

2022 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury General AWD Engine
Photo by Bassem Girgis

While the Luxury trim level in the Cadillac XT6 comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, with the Premium Luxury you get a 3.6-liter V6 engine. The engine features a 24-valve DOHC aluminum block with direct injection for fuel delivery. The engine is mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with manual paddle shifters. The V6 makes 310 horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 271 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm. Power goes to all four wheels; however, the 2.0-liter trim level comes with front-wheel drive and only produces 271 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The difference in starting MSRPs ($6,400) doesn’t really justify going with the smaller engine. On paper it’s not clear whether the power and torque figures are enough to propel the heavy XT6 into the fun zone, but only one ride can tell.

Fresh design with stylish accents

As with everything from Cadillac, the design is as clean and fresh as you can imagine, without deviating from the previous year. The stylish headlights are sleek and never feel like they take over the front like most vehicles today. The grille is also well-sized and has just enough chrome accents. We see so many cars with giant grilles these days (we’re talking to you, Lexus), and it’s nice to see a more refined piece on this Cadillac. If you go to the back, follow back with no exaggerated lines or curves until you reach the back. The back has the baby Escalade taillights, beautifully designed vertical LEDs that completely set it apart from the competition. Overall, the design has a no-frills feel and is as luxurious as you’d expect from a Cadillac.

Related: How Cadillac Is Preparing For Its Electric Future

Technically heavy interior with lots of space

2022 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury AWD Dashboard
Photo by Bassem Girgis

Despite being the Escalade’s younger, smaller sister, the XT6 feels quite roomy inside. Our loner came with the captain’s seats in the middle row and a third row bench in the back. The front seats are quite comfortable, with the dash finished in a beautiful carbon kevlar finish. In the middle you will find wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on the 8-inch screen. Our XT6 came with a host of features and additions, including the 14-speaker Bose Performance Series audio system.

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Both driver and passenger get cooled and heated front seats. With the correct settings, the heating and cooling capabilities will automatically turn on based on the temperature. While the interior looks and feels refined, the constant rattling of the moonroof immediately annoyed us, especially knowing that our loner only had 3,000 miles on the clock. It was clear that Cadillac’s classic reputation is no longer the case, but by today’s standards the 2022 Cadillac XT6 is still a refined enough ride.

Premium road ride

2022 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury Rear AWD
Photo by Kareem Girgis

It’s still a Cadillac. We mentioned rattles, but the XT6 still drives like it should. The handling is OK and the suspension absorbs most bumps on the road. It still feels a little stiff at times, but it beats many competitors. Braking is great. More braking power should not be needed while driving this SUV. The XT6 comes with four drive modes, switching between front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, snow and sport. Sport mode provides faster upshifts and downshifts, with the sharpest throttle response.

Related: Cadillac Unveils 2023 GTP Hypercar for Daytona and Le Mans

But even in sport mode, the motor is just too weak. It reminds me of the Toyota Tundra V6 I once owned. Sure, it can go fast, but it takes a lot of work to get there. Cadillac’s 3.6-liter V6 feels similar. It has to scream and downshift a few gears before you feel the slingshot effect of this SUV’s acceleration. Fortunately, the transmission covers up the engine’s flaws and provides good shifting at the right times. We recently reviewed the 2022 Toyota Tundra with the twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 hybrid engine. The performance of this engine makes it difficult for automakers to completely eliminate naturally aspirated V6s in SUVs and trucks, and forced induction should take over for V8s as well. It is clear that this XT6 would benefit greatly from a few turbos.

2022 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury AWD Rear Photo
Photo by Kareem Girgis

We said the suspension often feels stiff, and while this sacrifices a little bit of the comfort we all know and love from Cadillac, it improves handling. The XT6 AWD has a good cornering feel and traction is great. We averaged 20 mpg, which seems great considering the XT6 weighs over 4,600 pounds. However, in this segment there are many three-row SUVs with high gas mileage. All in all, the 2022 Cadillac XT6 AWD is a great everyday driver. The question is, does it offer enough to warrant a premium price tag well above the competition?

A great SUV with a potentially hefty price tag

2022 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury AWD Center Console
Photo by Bassem Girgis

If you ask us whether the 2022 Cadillac XT6 is a good price or not, we will tell you that it depends on the packages you choose. The packages together will be responsible for categorizing this SUV as a great value or too expensive. For a base MSRP of $58,190 for the larger engine, the XT6 is a great value. However, our loner came with a price tag of over $73,000. For this you are not far from the base Cadillac Escalade. This price tag is also in the same range as the Mercedes GLE, Genesis GV80, BMW X5 and even the Audi Q7.

See also: Cadillac Lyriq 2023: cost, facts and figures

2022 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury AWD Touch Screen
Photo by Bassem Girgis

Cadillac is great, but these are extremely tough competition. However, if you opt for the 2022 XT6, you finally own a Cadillac. This means that you will have style, class, comfort and luxury. If I buy an XT6 I will have to think long and hard about all the packages I want to add, and maybe, just maybe, I can get it for a good price. If you’re anywhere near $60,000, know that you’re getting your money’s worth. If you find yourself climbing the $70,000 arena, stop and start doing some research ahead of the competition.

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