Say hello to the handsome face, a direct descendant of Cadillac’s Escala concept car. With thin headlights complementing a taut grille, XT6 is a nice cut of filet mignon next to the Escalade’s rack of brontosaurus.
Built on a stretched version of the compact unibody chassis that undergirds the two-row XT5, the XT6 feels as you’d expect it would — like an athletic, upsized version of the popular XT5. That will be especially good news to parents who always wanted a three-row Cadillac but thought the truck-based, blingtastic Escalade was more suited for professional sport players driving to practice than their kids’ soccer team to a game.
It’s inside where you will really get comfortable. Last-generation Cadillacs intimidated with their maddening button-free, haptic-touch Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system. On par with the industry’s best, the XT6’s second-row captain chairs (bench seats are standard) can be collapsed with the simple pull of a button. The seats can be adjusted forward and back, too. On a cool Washington, D.C., evening, I lounged comfortably under the standard, panoramic moonroof while adjusting my second-row seat heat and climate controls.
The XT6 is reformed. Indeed, it has one of the best systems in luxedom. Drivers choose how to interact with the console screen: by touch, console buttons, voice commands or a remote rotary controller located at the driver’s elbow.
Women will cheer the console basement storage for their purses — a hidden space made possible by the electronic monostable shifter. Determined to separate the XT6 from the Escalade but still offer the latter’s living space, veteran Caddy engineer John Plonka and his team chose the smaller XT5 platform over the long-wheelbase C1XX platform that the Buick Enclave and GMC Acadia share. Then they apparently used huge scallop knives to carve out interior space. The second and third row seats are remarkably spacious for 6-foot-5 giraffes like me.
Let Escalade do bling. The new three-row is humbly aimed at families who want reliable, roomy transportation.