Cadillac is a name that has always been synonymous with luxury. For example, I had a 1969 Cadillac Coupe Deville in the past, and I can assure you that General Motors always went out of their way to imitate a chic living room in the cabin of their cars. Cadillac has been overbuilt with no regard for weight and has always ensured that only top quality parts went into their cars. Over the years, automakers forced automakers to build vehicles with better fuel economy and a hefty list of standards. This meant there would be less heavy, luxury parts and more plastic materials.
Cadillac continued its luxurious 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 not quite as far as the Escalade due to its price tag or excessive size, the Cadillac XT6 is the perfect compromise. This SUV is right below the Escalade in their SUV lineup. The question is, does he have the same level of sophistication as his bigger sister? We tested the Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury AWD 2022 to find out.
- Bose Performance Series 14-speaker audio system
- Four wheel drive
- 9-speed automatic transmission
- Fashion model: XT6 Premium Luxury AWD
- Engine/Engine: 3.6-litre V6
- horsepower: 310 @ 6,600 rpm
- Couple: 271 lb-ft @ 5,000 RPM
- Drive: AWD
- Transfer: 9-speed automatic
- Decent fuel economy for the weight
- Luxurious, spacious cabin
- Great technology and loads of driver assistance features
- Exquisite exterior styling
- Great and efficient transmission
- Undersized engine
- Some poor fit and finish
Naturally aspirated V6 is the better option
While the luxury trim level in the Cadillac XT6 comes with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine, the Premium Luxury comes with a 3.6-litre V6 engine. The engine features a DOHC 24-valve aluminum direct-injection block 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 as front-wheel drive and produces just 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 if the power and torque will be enough to propel the heavy XT6 into the fun zone, but only a ride can tell.
Fresh design with stylish accents
As with everything from Cadillac, the design is as clean and crisp as you can imagine without deviating from the previous year. The stylish headlights are smooth and never feel like they’re taking over the front like most vehicles today. The grille is also well-sized and equipped with 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. As you go back, follow back without exaggerated lines or curves until you reach the back. The rear has the Baby Escalade taillights, beautifully designed vertical LEDs that completely set it apart from the competition. All in all, the design feels no-nonsense and is just as luxurious as you would expect from a Cadillac.
Tech-heavy interior with plenty of space
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 couch in the third row in the back. The front seats are quite comfortable, the dashboard is finished with a beautiful carbon kevlar upholstery. In the middle, the 8-inch screen houses wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Our XT6 came with plenty of features and additions, including the 14-speaker Bose Performance Series audio system.
Both driver and passenger get cooled and heated front seats. With the right settings, the heating and cooling options will turn on automatically based on the temperature. While the interior looks and feels sophisticated, the moonroof’s constant rattles immediately annoyed us, especially knowing our loner had only 3,000 miles on the odometer. 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 ride.
Premium ride on the road
It remains a Cadillac. We mentioned rattles, but the XT6 still rides like it should. The ride is OK and the suspension absorbs most of the bumps in the road. It still feels a little stiff at times, but it beats a lot of competitors. Braking is great. You shouldn’t need more braking power while driving this SUV. The XT6 comes with four drive modes, which switch between front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, snow and sport. Sport mode provides faster upshifts and downshifts, with the sharpest throttle response.
But even in sport mode, the engine is simply underpowered. 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 yell and downshift a few gears before you feel the catapult effect of this SUV’s acceleration. Fortunately, the transmission covers the engine’s flaws and ensures good shifting at the right times. We recently tested the 2022 Toyota Tundra with the twin-turbo 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. Obviously this XT6 would benefit a lot from a few turbos.
We said the suspension often feels stiff, and while this sacrifices a bit of the comfort we all know and love from Cadillac, it improves handling. The XT6 AWD feels well planted in corners and the 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 consumption. All in all, the 2022 Cadillac XT6 AWD is a great daily driver. The question is, does it offer enough to justify a premium price tag well above the competition?
A great SUV with a potentially hefty price tag
If you ask us whether the 2022 Cadillac XT6 has a good price or not, we will tell you it depends on the packages you choose. The packages together will be responsible for categorizing this SUV as either great value or overpriced. At 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. You are not far from the base Cadillac Escalade† This price tag also falls in the same range as the Mercedes GLE, Genesis GV80, BMW X5 and even the Audi Q7.
Cadillac is great, but these are very tough competition. However, if you opt for the 2022 XT6, you finally have a Cadillac at home. This means you will have style, class, comfort and luxury. If I buy an XT6, I’ll have to think long and hard about all the packs I want to add, and maybe, just maybe, I can get it for a good price. If you’re getting close to $60,000, know that you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck. If you find yourself climbing the $70,000 arena, stop and start doing some research for the competition.