Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury: First Drive Review

The seven-seat Caddy gets an upgraded 310-hp V6 that has no problem carrying a full compliment of passengers and cargo.

(Cadillac)

Cadillac lost its way several years back. Once synonymous with the best in American luxury and style, the division of General Motors (named for the historic founder of Detroit) made, big blowzy builds coveted by everyone from pimps to presidents. In short, anyone looking to make a big impression with a bigger car longed for a Caddy.

Then, over the last couple of decades, Cadillac turned more toward high-tech performance cars. It still made large, luxury, grand touring people carriers like the massive Escalade, but its coupes and sedans began looking more like they were trying to avoid ground-to-air radar than hold up the brand image for smooth, confident style. 

(Cadillac)

These stealth Cadillacs of this age were fast and powerful, but there had to be lovers of the company’s stately offerings of olde longing for the return of more classics Cadillacs – vehicles that elevated the driver above the road and beyond the average driving experience. 

The $75,000+ 2022 Cadillac XT6 Premium is a return to the automaker’s true identity. Available as a maxed out Premium Luxury all-wheel-drive SUV and a paired down (but still well-kitted) SUV, the XT6 is a seven-seater built for maximum comfort and equipped with enough power to cruise through urban environments with style. 

(Cadillac)

The XT6 is not a crossover. Though that automotive class continues to dominate sales in the automotive industry, this Cadillac’s curb weight of 4,644 lbs. and a length of 199-inches sets it well into the midsize SUV class. Its design lines resemble a smaller sister of the Escalade – though that comparison reminds us of just how huge the Escalade is amongst all of the SUVs. 

Powered by a 3.6-liter, 310 horsepower V6 engine in its Premium Luxury form — or by a 237-horsepower, turbocharged power plant in the standard SUV trim — there’s ample power to cruise effortlessly in either version. A full compliment of passengers and cargo has no effect on that power’s efficacy. 

(Cadillac)

The driver’s aide and infotainment systems are so complete they can on occasion intrude into the behind-the-wheel environment as the vehicle warns the driver if there are any possible collisions sources before, behind, alongside, in the next county, etc. The vibrator in the driver’s seat warning the operator of possible threats is so busy you’ll end up wondering where insert a quarter. 

Beyond that quibble, the driving experience is right back on the rails where a Cadillac needs to be. Dignified and slanted entirely toward maximum comfort, the XT6 works to keep driver and passengers more isolated from the road — as opposed to some of those recent performance coupes and sedans with stiffer suspension and handling for tighter feels during Nurburgring testing sessions.

Though a mid-size SUV, the 2022 Cadillac XT6 is still a serious vehicle aimed at family use. It’s an unlikely choice for an urban day commute. But for a family of means looking to move people and their stuff in traditional Cadillac luxury, the XT6 is here to do its part in putting Cadillac right. 

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