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2022 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury AWD Review: One Of The Best Looking SUVs In Its Segment

HotCars logo HotCars 6/18/2022 Bassem Girgis
© Provided by HotCars

Cadillac is a name that has always been synonyms with luxury. I for one owned a 1969 Cadillac Coupe Deville in the past, and I can assure you that General Motors used to go above and beyond to imitate a fancy living room in the cabin of their cars. Overbuilt with no regards to weight, Cadillac has always ensured nothing but top-quality parts go inside their cars back in the day. Over the years, restrictions forced automakers to build vehicles with better fuel consumption, and a hefty list of standards. This meant there would be fewer heavy, luxurious parts, and more plastic materials.

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Cadillac continued their luxurious journey, with some of the classiest cars on the market, like the Cadillac Escalade. For customers that want the finer things in life, just not as far as the Escalade due to its price tag or excessively-large size, the Cadillac XT6 is the perfect compromise. This SUV sits directly below the Escalade in their SUV lineup. The question is: does it have the same level of refinement as its bigger sister? We tested the 2022 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury AWD to find out.

2022 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury AWD

7.80 / 10
Key Features
  • Bose Performance Series 14-Speaker Audio System
  • All-Wheel Drive
  • 9-Speed Automatic Transmission
Specifications
  • Model: XT6 Premium Luxury AWD
  • Engine/Motor: 3.6-Liter V6
  • Horsepower: 310 @ 6,600 RPM
  • Torque: 271 lb-ft @ 5,000 RPM
  • Drivetrain: AWD
  • Transmission: 9-Speed Automatic
Pros
  • Decent Fuel Consumption For The Weight
  • Luxurious, Roomy Cabin
  • Great Tech And Tons Of Driver's Assist Features
  • Exquisite Exterior Styling
  • Great And Efficient Transmission
Cons
  • Underpowered 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-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, the Premium Luxury gets you a 3.6-Liter V6 engine. The engine features a DOHC 24-valve aluminum block with direct injection for fuel delivery. The engine works collaboratively with 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. The power goes to all four wheels; however, the 2.0-liter trim level comes as front-wheel drive, producing just 271 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The difference in starting MSRPs ($6,400) doesn’t truly justify going with the smaller engine. On paper, it’s not clear whether the power and torque figures are enough to propel the heavy XT6 into the fun zone, but only a drive can tell.

Crisp Design With Classy Touches

As per anything Cadillac, the design is as clean and as crisp as you can imagine without veering away from the previous year. The classy headlights are smooth and never feel like they take over the front like most vehicles today. The grille is also well-sized and features just enough chrome accents. We see so many cars these days with giant grilles (we’re talking to you, Lexus), and it’s nice to see a more refined piece on this Cadillac. Moving on to the rear, you will follow back without any exaggerated lines or curves until you reach the rear. The rear has the baby Escalade taillights, beautifully-designed vertical LEDs that completely set it apart from the competition. All in all, the design has a no-nonsense feel, and it is as luxurious as you’d expect from a Cadillac.

Related: How Cadillac Is Preparing For Its Electric Future

Tech-Heavy Interior With Tons Of Room

Despite being the younger, smaller sister to the Escalade, the XT6 feels quite roomy inside. Our loner came with the captain chairs in the middle row, and a third-row bench out back. The front seats are quite comfortable, with the dashboard finished in a beautiful carbon kevlar trim. In the center, the 8-inch screen houses wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Our XT6 came with tons of features and additions, including the Bose Performance Series 14-speaker audio system.

Both driver and passenger get cooled and heated front seats. With the right settings, the heating and cooling capabilities will automatically turn on based on the temperature. While the interior looks and feels refined, the constant rattles from the moon roof immediately annoyed us, especially knowing our loner only had 3,000-miles on its odometer. It was apparent that the classic reputation of Cadillac is no longer the case, but for today’s standards, the 2022 Cadillac XT6 is still a refined-enough ride.

Premium Ride On The Road

It’s still a Cadillac. We mentioned rattles, but the XT6 still drives like it’s supposed to. The ride is OK and the suspension absorbs most irregularities on the road. It still feels a bit stiff at times, but it bests a lot of competitors. Braking is great. You shouldn't need more stopping power when driving this SUV. The XT6 comes with four driving modes, which toggle between front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, snow, and sport. The sport mode provides quicker up and down shifts, with the sharpest throttle response.

Related: Cadillac Unveils 2023 GTP Hypercar For Daytona And Le Mans

Even on sport mode, however, the engine is simply underpowered. It reminds me of the Toyota Tundra V6 I once owned. Sure it can go quick, but it takes a ton of work for it to get there. Cadillac’s 3.6-liter V6 feels similar. It must scream and downshift a few gears, before you feel the slingshot effect of this SUV’s acceleration. Fortunately, the transmission covers up for the engine’s flaws, providing good shifting at the right times. We recently reviewed the 2022 Toyota Tundra with the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 hybrid engine. The performance of this engine makes a tough case that automakers should completely eliminate naturally-aspirated V6s in SUVs and trucks, and forced-induction should take over for V8s as well. It’s clear this XT6 would greatly benefit from a pair of turbochargers.

We mentioned the suspension often feels stiff, and while this sacrifices a little bit of the comfort we all know and love about Cadillac, it improves handling. The XT6 AWD feels well-planted around corners, and traction is great. We averaged 20mpg, which seems to be great given the XT6 weighs over 4,600-pounds. In this segment, however, there are a lot of three-row SUVs with great gas mileage. 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 over the competition?

A Great SUV With A Possible Hefty Price Tag

If you ask us whether the 2022 Cadillac XT6 has a good price or not, we will tell you that it depends on the packages you choose. The packages along will be responsible for categorizing this SUV as either a great value, or overpriced. For a base starting MSRP of $58,190 for the bigger engine, the XT6 is a great value. However, our loner came with a price tag that was over $73,000. For this you’re not too far off from the base Cadillac Escalade. This price tag is also in the same range as the Mercedes GLE, Genesis GV80, BMW X5, and even the Audi Q7.

Related: 2023 Cadillac Lyriq: Costs, Facts, And Figures

Cadillac is great, but these are some extremely tough competition. If you choose the 2022 XT6, however, you will finally own a Cadillac. This means you will have style, class, comfort, and luxury. If I’m buying an XT6, I will have to think long and hard about all of the packages I want to add, and maybe, just maybe, I can get it at a good price. If you’re anywhere near the $60,000, know you are getting great value for your dollars. If you find yourself climbing up the $70,000 arena, stop and start doing some research for the competition.

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