The 7-seater mid-size luxury SUV segment is on the rise, and Cadillac is not staying quiet. Built on the same chassis as the GMC Acadia and Chevy Blazer, the Cadillac XT6 is the brand’s new player in this segment.
Having entered the market last year, the XT6 is still young. However, with Cadillac’s experience in making premium luxury SUVs, there is no need to worry about its credibility. Last year, 22,610 XT6s were sold, and this sales figure was just 470 units behind its earlier established rival, the Lincoln Aviator.
Despite its young age, the XT6 gained some significant changes this year. The Luxury trim joins the XT6 family as the new entry-level trim, featuring a smaller but more fuel-efficient engine. Moreover, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity are now standard across all trims. And lastly, the top of the range Sport model gets a new 20-inch alloy wheel design.
The 2021 Cadillac XT6 has got to be one of the most handsome luxury SUVs in the market. It adopts a sophisticated yet futuristic design. Dimension-wise, it is on the larger side at 198.8 inches long, 77.3 inches wide, and 68.9 inches tall.
The front has a large grille, sharp-looking headlights, and long vertical LED foglights shaped like fangs, making it look aggressive on the road. Meanwhile, the side profile looks dashing and proportional, especially with the larger 20-inch wheels in the mid-trim. And the rear-end appears very clean and elegant, featuring LED taillights mimicking the front and chrome dual trapezoid-shaped exhaust.
Overall, Cadillac has always succeeded in making posh-looking SUVs, and it certainly nailed it with the XT6 once again.
The large exterior size means plenty of interior space. You can get the 2021 XT6 in either 6- or 7- seating configuration. Everyone will sit comfortably without feeling any lack of space, as it has an almost class-leading passenger space at 137 cubic feet. In fact, it’s even more spacious than the full-size SUV BMW X7.
The dashboard layout is pretty to look at, easy to use, and features multiple storage compartments. However, the interior quality is lower than expected for an SUV at this price range, with the appearance of some unwanted plastic gaps. The Audi Q7 and Volvo XC90 seem to have better interior quality.
With all the seats upright, the cargo space is decent at 13 cubic feet. Folding down the third-row seats gets you a large 43 cubic feet of cargo volume, and extend the flat surface to the second-row seats gets you a massive 79 cubic feet. Folding the seats down is also no sweat, thanks to an electric button seat release at the side of the trunk.
2021 Cadillac XT6 Luxury
Starting price: $48,990 (FWD), $50,990 (AWD)
The Luxury trim joins the XT6 lineup this year as the new entry-level trim.
This new base trim of the 2021 XT6 features a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine, producing 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It’s the same engine that you would find in its little brother, the Cadillac XT5. Paired to this engine is a 9-speed automatic transmission, channeling power to either the front wheels or all four wheels.
Accelerating from 0-60 mph takes 7.7 seconds, while the top speed is electronically-limited at 132 mph. Not too shabby for an SUV weighing 4,565 lbs., but it is kind of underpowered when you start to compare it to something like a similarly priced entry-level Genesis GV80.
On the other hand, in return for the slightly dull performance numbers, you are getting quite a decent fuel-efficiency, performing at 21 MPG/city and 27 MPG/highway. The 19.0-gallon of fuel capacity also gets you 437 miles of range, which is plenty enough for long family road trips. It’s also worth mentioning that the AWD models can be set to ‘Tour,’ engaging full-time FWD for a better fuel economy.
Although entry-level, the trim still carries the ‘Luxury’ moniker, and its exterior features reflect that. As standard, you will get an LED headlights with cornering lights, an acoustic laminated windshield that dampens road noises and sounds coming from outside, and deep-tinted glass for added privacy. There are also active aero shutters for improved aerodynamics, roof rails, and heated side mirrors—manually-operated, unfortunately.
The only free exterior color is Satin Steel Metallic, with the rest of the premium color pallet available at an extra $625-$1,225. Meanwhile, the standard wheels are 18-inch alloys, but upgrading to a 20-inch for $2,495 might be worth the better look. Lastly, a power sunroof and electric tailgate are a nice touch.
The ‘Luxury’ features carry on the inside. As a starter, the front seats are 6-way power-adjustable and heated. The steering wheel is leather-wrapped, and it has an auto-dimming rearview mirror as standard. There is also tri-zone automatic climate control. Sadly, the only interior color available is Jet Black.
Infotainment-wise, there is an 8.0-inch touch screen display with voice recognition. It has Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, and it is connected to an 8-speaker Bose® sound system. There is a 4G LTE Wi-Fi® hotspot capability as well.
2021 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury
Starting price: $53,750 (FWD), $55,790 (AWD)
The Premium Luxury is now the mid-trim in the XT6 lineup, containing power and luxury upgrades.
The Premium Luxury trim maintains its 3.6-liter V6 naturally-aspirated unit from last year, producing 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. The power unit is paired to a 9-speed automatic transmission, and both FWD and AWD drivetrain configurations are available.
Thanks to its bigger engine and two extra cylinders, the SUV goes from 0-60 mph at a modest 6.9 seconds, almost a whole second sliced off from the Luxury trim’s figure. The top speed is still electronically limited to 132 mph, though.
However, despite having an automatic stop/start feature that turns off the engine during traffic light stops, there is no avoiding the fact that this is quite a thirsty engine – it is performing at 19 MPG/city and 26 MPG/highway. Also, with the same 19.0-gallon fuel capacity, it provides a range of up to 399 miles.
With features carried from the Luxury trims, there are a few additions and replacements. Notably, it now features 20-inch alloys as standard, power-folding side mirrors, and rain-sensing wipers. A hands-free power liftgate is now standard as well.
This trim also includes Advanced Security Package bringing a door lock, latch shields, theft-deterrent alarm system, and locking wheel lugs.
On top of the features from the Luxury trim, it features lumbar support for the front seats, a power-adjustable steering column and heated steering wheel, wireless charging, and some lighting accents. Also, there are now more interior color and seating material options.
The Advanced Security Package also includes a locking steering column, inclination sensor, and vehicle interior movement sensor.
2021 Cadillac XT6 Sport
Starting price: $58,190 (AWD)
While the Luxury and Premium Luxury trim focus on delivering ride comfort, the top-of-the-range Sport features several upgrades that enhance its performance and sporty driving experience. It is only available in AWD, though.
The Sport variant features the same 3.6-liter V6 unit as the Luxury Premium. However, the transmission is now twin-clutch for more agile gear changes. As a result, 0-60 mph time is improved to 6.4 seconds. Moreover, it comes with a Sport Control AWD system allowing to send all available torque to the right or left tire depending on the conditions.
The trim also benefits from a performance suspension with Driver Mode Selector and chassis damping control for better handling.
However, there is a trade-off for the enhanced performance. Namely, it is slightly less fuel-efficient than the Premium Luxury at 18 MPG/city and 25 MPG/highway. Thankfully, Cadillac has been kind enough to increase the tank capacity to 22.0-gallon, meaning it can have a driving range of up to 440 miles, which is very positive.
Apart from the dark exterior accents and sportier black-colored 20-inch wheels, no changes appear from the previous trim.
The interior features are also carried over from the previous trim without any changes.
Safety and Driver Assistant
In the safety department, Cadillac is not compromising. As standard, all trims come with 7 airbags, a traction control system, a forward collision alert, and Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system reducing the risk of a frontal collision. A rear cross-traffic alert is also available but only on the two highest trims.
When it comes to driver-assist features, there is a front and rear parking sensor, following distance indicator, and lane-keeping assist. The Driver Assist Package brings more options but is only available on the two highest trims.
Available exclusively on the Luxury Premium and Sport trims are some significant extra packages that enhance the XT6’s owning experience. It is a shame that the entry-level Luxury trim does not get to enjoy any of these additional packages.
Comfort and Air Quality Package
The Comfort and Air Quality Package features ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, and an air ionizer.
Enhanced Visibility and Technology Package
The Enhanced Visibility and Technology Package features an 8.0-inch digital driver’s display and a head-up display. There is also a rear camera mirror that lets you see out of the back without any cargo intervention and a surround-view camera system that displays a 360-degree view of the SUV to ease out the parking process. Finally, you will also get an Automatic Parking Assist feature that automatically steers into a parking spot without driver intervention.
Driver Assist Package
The Driver Assist Package features adaptive cruise control, automatic seat belt tightening, enhanced AEB system, and rear automatic braking. Unfortunately, you can only purchase this package after opting for the Enhanced Visibility and Technology Package.
Price: Premium Luxury – $4,900, Sport – $3,700
The Platinum Package features some nice interior touches, such as the Semi-Aniline leather seating, French-stitched leather wrapped horn pad, microfiber suede headliner, and leather-wrapped instrument panel, console, and door trim.
You can only purchase this package once you opt for the Driver Assist Package and the Comfort and Air Quality Package.
Smart Towing Package
The Smart Towing Package is Cadillac’s solution for towing enthusiasts, featuring a 170-amp alternator, heavy-duty cooling system, and hitch guidance with hitch view.
Single Optional Extras
|6-passenger seating with captain chairs||$800|
|Rear-seat infotainment system with DVD player||$2,195|
|Night Vision system||$2,000|
|Engine block heater||$100|
The towing capacity of the 2021 Cadillac XT6 is on the lower end of the spectrum at up to 4,000 lbs. Something like a Genesis GV80 or BMW X5 can handle heavier trailers.
Cadillac would secure the 2021 XT6’s buyers with a limited warranty of up to 4 years/50,000 miles, a powertrain warranty of up to 6 years/70,000 miles, and complimentary scheduled maintenance coverage on the first visit.
Overall, the 2021 Cadillac XT6 is a handsome and roomy mid-size luxury SUV. The naturally aspirated V6 is turbo-lag free, and the serenity of the cabin is excellent for its class. However, its sub-par interior quality and thirsty V6 engine are drawbacks that you would not encounter in European rivals like the Audi Q7 or the Volvo XC90.
Nonetheless, if you are looking for a 7-seater Cadillac but don’t want to spend Escalade money, the XT6 is your best bet. We would recommend getting the Luxury Premium trim, as its stronger and smoother V6 engine suits the SUV, and you won’t miss out on the significant extra packages.
2021 Cadillac XT6
|Body Style(s)||Sport Utility Vehicle|
|Engine(s)||Gas I4||Gas V6|
|Displacement (L/cu. in.)||2.0/-TBD-||3.6L/222|
|Horsepower @ RPM||235 @ 5000||310 @ 6600|
|Torque @ RPM||258 @ 1500-4000||271 @ 5000|
|Fuel Injection||Direct Injection|
|Fuel Economy – City||21 MPG||19 MPG||18 MPG|
|Fuel Economy – Hwy||27 MPG||26 MPG||26 MPG||25 MPG|
|Fuel Economy – Combined||23 MPG||21 MPG||21 MPG|
|Passenger volume (cu.ft.)||NA|
|Cargo volume (cu.ft.)||43.1|
|Curb weight (lbs)||4362||4565||4441||4644||4690|
Wheels & Tires
|Wheel size||18 x -TBD-||20 x -TBD-|