There’s simply one thing a couple of third row. Folding up these again seats to haul a gaggle of youngsters is a profit gargantuan SUVs have, however they normally include extra actual property than some people want or need. That rear bench isn’t normally an choice with smaller car-based crossovers. So, to feed the American want for third rows—which has grow to be a bona fide search filter—Cadillac rolled out its second iteration of the XT6 midsize SUV. GM handed over the keys for a 900-mile New York to Virginia household street journey. Right here’s what we realized concerning the 2021 Cadillac XT6 Sport.
Day 1: That third row
Whereas it might sound mundane to begin on the third row, it’s an essential distinction with the XT6. The Cadillac’s rear seat is roomier than you’d anticipate. Our Sport trim tester had a center row of captain’s chairs as a substitute of an optionally available bench. This reduces the full seating from eight to seven, however gives ample leg room. Nonetheless, this orientation makes it a lot simpler for youths to get in and down a middle aisle. As soon as they get into the again, they’ll have nearly essentially the most headroom within the class. Taller adults can squeeze again there too with out feeling claustrophobic.
Controlling the rear break up bench is simple. Switches on the rear doorways and within the trunk offer you entry irrespective of the place you might be. Everybody within the rear has entry to cost ports and their fair proportion of the HVAC. The place issues can get tight is the cargo area behind that third row. At about 12 1/2 cubic toes, it’s sufficient for 3 carry-on suitcases, a mid-week grocery retailer run, or possibly some baseball gear from little league. That each one adjustments in the event you fold each rows down. Then you may simply toss in a mountain bike—not that you just’d need to muddy up a Cadillac’s inside, however the precept is good.
My spouse and I are night time packers. We folded the rear seats down the night earlier than our early-morning begin and had sufficient room for 2 carry-on luggage, a full-size duffle, a number of totes of odds and ends, snacks, gear for the canine we had been dropping off alongside the best way, and even a fan (we’re critical about sleep hygiene, OK?).
Day 2: Settling into the styling
The XT6 is true at house with the identical aggressive styling stretched throughout Cadillac’s 2021 lineup. These trendy, clear strains are all around the exterior. Nevertheless, it’s most predominant upfront with the large grille, slender horizontal headlights, and vertical fog lights. The rear finish is much less dramatic although it does a intelligent job tucking the windshield wiper up into the spoiler. The shiny black accents and darkish paint contained in the 20-inch wheels—which additionally assist visually fill the wheel effectively—give the automotive a really street-forward look from the curb.
Inside, the design and seating may be very comfy—even seven hours in. An intuitive entrance console makes controlling the 8-inch infotainment display a snap. The XT6 syncs with Apple and Android fairly seamlessly and USB ports are sprinkled all through the cabin; there’s additionally a useful wi-fi charger port. Controlling the infotainment is a well-positioned click on wheel. It’s in excellent putting distance for many who like to hold their proper hand down off the padded middle armrest to spin, shift, and press away. Whereas the colour and graphics are crisp, and the data is well seen (aka not cramped), it’s frequent to see screens upwards of 12 inches on this class.
The comfortable surfaces just like the seats, wheel, and sprint are a buttery leather-based with contrasting stitching. Our Sport tester had carbon fiber accents unfold across the cabin. The big two-pane glass roof stretches virtually fully over the center row, introducing loads of daylight. A retractable sunscreen takes the sting off arduous mid-day solar, and temperature-controlled seats preserve everybody comfy in a extra private approach than twin local weather controls can.
We discovered the inside to be quiet when buzzing alongside at freeway speeds, and our tester got here fitted with 16 Bose audio system (as a substitute of the usual eight), which carried out effectively with respectable readability and bass.
Day 3: Hitting the open street
For 2021, Cadillac paired the XT6 with both a four-cylinder engine or the V6, which powered our tester. The smaller engine is new for 2021 and is just out there in considered one of three trim ranges. Our guess is that it helps deliver the beginning price down. However an SUV of this dimension wants the three.6-liter V6, which will get the XT6 to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. Examine the specs and that’s respectable for a journey of this dimension, nevertheless it’s removed from a pace demon. You will discover extra nimble choices on this class. It’s additionally not one thing you’ll need to take off-roading. For one, the entrance finish would possibly scrape pulling out of some suburban driveways. There’s an AWD choice, nevertheless it requires guide implementation if you suppose you’ll want it in snow, ice, or rain, as a substitute of robotically adjusting at a luxurious journey’s value level.
On the I-95, our Sport tester did effectively easing the dingy street surfaces for a supple journey. There was a contact of bounce within the cabin we may see being a consolation concern, nevertheless it proved soft for cruising round city and lengthy stretches of windy backroads. Are there seats with extra changes in the marketplace? Sure, however the XT6 had sufficient lumbar assist to maintain us blissful. It has sufficient guts to move at freeway speeds in addition. If you happen to spin the dial to sport mode and mash on the pedal, there’s a satisfying quantity of throaty suggestions. Visibility is superb as effectively, with a collection of cameras overlaying each angle.
In areas the place the XT6 lacks in comparison with the home and imported third-row phase—like towing, infotainment display dimension, what would possibly appear to be an underwhelming drivetrain—it makes up for with security tech. As mother and father are the likeliest consumers of the XT6, that carries a variety of weight. The Cadillac’s an IIHS high security choose and earned a five-star NHTSA score for entrance and facet crash score. Our tester got here with Cadillac’s commonplace bag of security tech together with cruise management with distance help, computerized emergency braking, and cross-traffic alert. The space management characteristic was a snap to regulate from the steering wheel’s controls. However there’s an optionally available Driver Help bundle (about $1,300 additional) if you would like options like adaptive cruise management with braking right down to zero, high-speed computerized emergency braking, and rear computerized emergency braking.
Backside line: The XT6 has top-notch security options, comfy seats, and extra room within the third row than you’d anticipate. However topping out at about 310 horsepower, we want GM fitted the XT6 with a punchier engine. It begins at $56,890 and the Sport trim we examined clocked in at over $72,000, which places it in a category with German imports and Lincoln.
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