A More Basic Base: 2021 Cadillac XT6 Sheds Cylinders, Price
Cadillac’s XT6, a midsize crossover our reviewers had something to say about, arrived in mid-2019 with one powertrain in tow. Instant rivalry sprung up between the front-drive-biased XT6 and the rear-biased Lincoln Aviator. Our preference lands firmly on the latter CUV.
Regardless of our feelings on the model, Cadillac has decided to broaden the XT6’s net, introducing a new base model for 2021 that sinks the model’s power and price.
Appearing beneath the hood of the 2021 XT6’s entry-level “Luxury” trim is General Motors’s tried and true 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder — an engine you’ll find in all versions of the smaller XT4. Making 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, the four-banger moves the XT6’s 4,362 pounds (4,565 with all-wheel drive) through a nine-speed automatic.
With the Chevrolet Traverse having ditched its optional four-cylinder, this base XT6 becomes the girthiest GM vehicle to pack a 2.0L under hood.
Like numbers? We like numbers. Because of the power drop, XT6 owners who turn up their nose at the previously standard 3.6-liter V6 will discover their trailering capacity has shrunk fourfold, from 4,000 pounds to a weak-sister 1,000 pounds. Fuel economy rises a bit, however. As noted by GM Authority, the EPA has just weighed in on the matter, rating both the FWD and AWD 2.0L XT6 at 23 mpg combined. That’s a 3 mpg increase from the 3.6L model.
More numbers, and ones that might be more important to this model: the front-drive ’21 XT6 Luxury carries an after-destination MSRP of $48,990 — a fairly healthy decrease from the ’20 XT6 Premium Luxury FWD’s $53,690.
You’ll be able to tell the base XT6 apart from loftier variants by its standard 18-inch wheels, as well as its seven-passenger-only cabin. No executive-minded six-person configuration in this trim. Luxury trim buyers will still see a standard 8-inch infotainment screen, heated and ventilated front seats, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
Safety aids come in the form of standard automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, HD rear-vision camera, Safety Alert Seat, intelligent headlamps, and front and rear park assist. However, because this is GM, one must move up the Cadillac trim ladder to receive blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
[Image: General Motors]