Road test: Cadillac XT6 is a decidedly shipshape ride

You might find the new, luxury entry into the SUV market a little familiar to water-based rides

Driving along in cars like the Cadillac XT6 can put one in mind of piloting a boat. Not entirely – you’ve no need to tie it up, for a start, the bumpers don’t come as an optional extra on the spec sheet and you won’t require a crew – but the experience of pointing cars like this in the right direction and sailing off towards your intended destination definitely has an aquatic feel to it.

This car looks decidedly shipshape as well. It has a sophisticated air that is also a little fearsome and, seen from the side, it reveals a profile that shows it to be as stylish as anything else in its class.

When you get it on the road there is an agreeable thrum from the engine, which, while not as quiet as some competitors, at least lets you know you’re accelerating. That sounds like a downside, but it isn’t necessarily – it’s easy to misjudge speed and distance in vehicles that cosset you to the point of leaving you unaware of almost anything happening outside – almost.

Inside, there are lots of nice features on the XT6. The head-up display is clear and the surround vision camera likewise. For some reason, the navigation system shuts down every time you stop, replacing it with the aforementioned camera view, which is irritating.

The XT6 has the feel of a much more expensive car. Inside the cabin, you might be in a Range Rover (though don’t tell that to anyone you know who has shelled out considerably more than the XT6 costs for that particular vehicle).

You can always tell what impression a car makes to the public at large by how easily someone will proffer a compliment. “Nice car,” a valet person said as he handed over the keys while his mate nodded in agreement. That’s a comment you might want to take into account, coming, as it did, from a pair of men who spend their lives shunting the country’s best and worst rides in and out of parking bays.

Besides, any vehicle that lets you channel your inner Horatio Hornblower must be a laugh. And, be assured, in a car like the XT6 there’s also plenty of headroom for the comedy ­commander’s hat should you really want to take the sailing metaphor on board. Anchors aweigh, indeed.

Updated: February 13, 2020 12:37 PM


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