So the sedan-heavy lineup didn’t work out so great for Cadillac. Sales are down, dealers are unhappy, it axed its former Audi boss for a General Motors lifer, it’s dumping New York for the Detroit suburbs and it’s pivoting away from a focus on luxury lifestyle marketing to an onslaught of sweet, sweet SUVs and crossovers. Key to that will be a big one, the Cadillac XT6, which we’ll see at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show next week.
Cadillac confirmed yesterday that the XT6 will be the latest addition to the family come January, and it’ll bow at the big show in Detroit. Unless we get a big surprise, it could even be the star of the show for General Motors, which isn’t bringing us a mid-engine Corvette there as some expected.
Automotive News says it’ll be a big three-row crossover to slot between the midsize XT5 and the huge Escalade, a segment Cadillac has needed to play in for some time. It’ll be built in Spring Hill, Tennessee, and should look somewhat like the Cadillac Escala concept from a few years back that everyone loves but never got built. (That happens there.)
The big question is this, though: Will the XT6 be any good? The XT5 is fine, but we (and a lot of other auto outlets) have found the compact XT4 to be kind of lacking. The best thing that car has going for it is its cheap price tag, but in terms of interior quality, refinement and the overall driving experience, it’s decidedly un-Cadillac-like.
It’s as if the guiding ethos lately has been to get as many SUVs into the stable as possible to grab those sales and profit margins, regardless of whether they’re any good or not, simply because that’s what’s selling hard right now. I definitely get that Cadillac’s New York City sojourn didn’t give them the returns they wanted, but it’s troubling to see Cadillac backslide into “slightly nicer Chevrolet” territory.
Anyway, we’ll see this big Cadillac crossover in a couple weeks. Perhaps it’ll have the mettle to take on Mercedes and BMW and the rest, and not just be a cynical cash grab.