2020 XT6 three-row crossover is a Cadillac for families

Cadillac spent almost two decades building a lineup of sedans Americans can be proud of, only for buyers to abandon those vehicles in favor of crossovers and SUVs. So Cadillac changed course, deploying the XT5, and then the smaller XT4. At the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, those two models get a bigger sibling in the form of the three-row 2020 Cadillac XT6.

The XT6 bridges the gap between Cadillac’s other XT-series crossovers and the massive Escalade SUV. The new crossover is based on the same basic platform used by the Chevrolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, and GMC Acadia from Cadillac’s fellow General Motors brands. Likely competition includes the Acura MDX, Lexus RX 350L, and the equally new Lincoln Aviator.

What does Cadillac bring to the party that’s different? The same ruthlessly angular exterior styling as the XT4 and XT5, modified to fit the XT6’s bigger frame, for starters. The XT6 looks distinctive but, as with those other Cadillac models, the styling isn’t exactly pretty.

Under the skin, the XT6 features standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. The sole available engine is a 3.6-liter V6, which produces 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. A cylinder deactivation system lets the engine run on just four cylinders under light loads to boost fuel economy. The V6 is coupled to a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Sport trim level (one of two, alongside Premium Luxury) gets adaptive dampers, a faster steering ratio, and a retuned all-wheel drive system.

The XT6 gets the latest Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system, with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot. CUE has been troublesome in the past, but the XT6 does get a rotary knob (borrowed from the XT4) that reduces reliance on the touchscreen. Six USB ports (two for each row of seats) are standard, but wireless phone charging is an optional extra. Other options include a 14-speaker Bose audio system, head-up display, power-folding third row, heated and cooled front-row, and heated second-row seats.

Cadillac offers autonomous emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and park assist as standard equipment. Optional driver aids include adaptive cruise control, reverse autonomous emergency braking, night vision (first seen on Cadillacs in the early 2000s), and the clever rear camera mirror, which switches from a conventional mirror to a screen showing feed from a rearview camera. Cadillac didn’t discuss availability of its Super Cruise driver-assist system, but the brand recently announced that all of its models would get the feature by 2020.

The 2020 Cadillac XT6 starts production this spring. Pricing will be announced closer to that time. Cadillac parent General Motors is cutting staff and cars in order to fund future plans for more electric cars and autonomous driving. But the XT6 is very much a vehicle for the present moment, aimed at exploiting the current buyer obsession with crossovers.

Cars

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.
Cars

Someone just paid supercar money for the very first 2020 Toyota Supra

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Cars

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Michigan OKs digital license plates with Rplate’s connected car platform

The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan's Department of State to pass the bill.
Cars

This Chevy Silverado pickup truck is made from more than 300,000 Lego bricks

To promote The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Lego and Chevrolet teamed up on a life-size replica of the automaker's Silverado pickup truck made from more than 300,000 plastic bricks.
Cars

Prices for using Tesla Supercharging just skyrocketed

Tesla is updating their Supercharging pricing based on local electricity rates and customer demand, which has lead to an increase in charging costs by as much as 33 percent in some regions.
Cars

Can electric motors finally make three-wheeled cars great?

Every few years, someone tries to sell a three-wheeled vehicle to Americans. Historically, it hasn’t gone very well. We’ve got our suspicions about why people don’t buy trikes, and they boil down to this: a trike is just not a real…
Outdoors

Is Uber planning to put its self-driving tech into bikes and scooters?

Uber reportedly has its eye on building autonomous electric bikes and scooters that ride to a user when summoned by an app. The technology could also be used to make its two-wheelers safer with obstacle avoidance systems.
Cars

Lincoln’s stately, limited-edition flagship sedan sells out in a month

The 1961 Lincoln Continental became a design icon thanks to center-opening "coach doors" (also known as "suicide doors"). Lincoln is bringing those doors back for a special edition of the 2019 Continental.
Cars

Volkswagen is planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car will head to the Nürburgring for a lap-record attempt. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car with the I.D. R.