Cadillac XT6 vs. Cadillac Escalade

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Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

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, Automotive Editor - December 11, 2020

Cadillac offers a pair of three-row models: the Cadillac Escalade and the Cadillac XT6. While the Escalade is a full-size SUV with a massive price tag, the XT6 is a large crossover with a more accessible price and doesn’t require a first mate to navigate through traffic.

The Escalade runs nearly $30,000 more than the XT6 and has the equipment to warrant the higher price. However, a higher price doesn’t always mean a better vehicle. Continue reading to determine if the XT6’s value makes it a better option than the loaded-to-the-gills Escalade.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Cadillac XT6 & the Cadillac Escalade »

What the XT6 Gets Right

The Cadillac XT6 gets a quick jump on the Cadillac Escalade with its 198.5-inch body, which is 13.4 inches shorter than the Escalade and 28.5 inches shorter than the Escalade ESV, making it easier to drive and park. And it does so while hauling the same number of passengers.

The XT6 also starts at $48,990 including destination, making it $28,500 cheaper than the Escalade. Buyers can opt for the range-topping XT6 Sport and still save $19,300 compared to the base Escalade.

Finally, the XT6 is more efficient than the Escalade. With its optional V6 engine, the XT6 delivers an EPA-estimated 19 miles per gallon city, 26 mpg highway, and 21 combined. The base Escalade earns 15/20/17 mpg (city/highway/combined). The new-for-2021 four-cylinder-powered XT6 widens the gap with ratings of 21/27/23 mpg.

What the Escalade Gets Right

The Cadillac Escalade may have copied the Cadillac XT6’s design, but it’s a far better execution of it. Maybe it’s because there’s a larger canvas on which to paint, but the Escalade’s grille-to-headlight proportions are better, its front bumper looks more luxurious than the borderline cheap-looking XT6 bumper, and its upright glasshouse oozes class.

Inside, the Escalade is about as modern as a luxury SUV can get with 38 inches of curved OLED screens, including a 7.2-inch touchscreen, a 14.2-inch digital gauge cluster, and a 16.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Some buyers may be a little overwhelmed by the tech, but the younger generations and other tech-savvy buyers will gravitate toward it.

Though it rings in at a significantly higher price, buyers get what they pay for in the Escalade. Not only does it come standard with the acres of OLED screens, but it also includes a 19-speaker AKG audio system, an automatic heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, navigation, and much more. Plus, its luxury ceiling is far higher.

The Escalade also boasts a far more powerful engine lineup, starting with a 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V8 that helps it tow up to 8,200 pounds. These numbers beat the XT6 by at least 110 hp and 4,200 pounds – the gap is even wider in the four-cylinder XT6.

Though it loses in base fuel economy to the XT6, the Escalade's turbodiesel delivers 21/27/23 mpg, which beats the V6 XT6 and matches the four-cylinder model.

Finally, the Escalade has a far roomier cabin with its second- and third-row seats boasting 41.7 and 34.9 inches of leg room, respectively. The XT6 comes up short by 1.9 and 5.4 inches, respectively.

The base Escalade offers 25.5 to 121 cubic feet of cargo room to the XT6’s 12.8 to 78.7 cubes. The extended Escalade ESV expands upon this lead with 41.5 to 142.8 cubic feet.

On a Budget? The Cadillac XT6 Will Do the Trick

The Cadillac XT6 loses to the Escalade, but its significantly lower base price makes it an option for a far wider range of buyers. And at that lower price, it still offers plenty of room and features to satisfy many buyers.

Our Verdict: Cadillac Escalade

When an SUV is nearly $30,000 more than the crossover you’re comparing it to, it’d better come out on top. The Cadillac Escalade does just that with its roomier cabin, high-tech features, potent powertrain options, thrifty diesel engine, and more. If you have the budget and need for the extra space, the Escalade is the easy choice.

Take a closer look at the Cadillac XT6 »

Take a closer look at the Cadillac Escalade »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Justin Cupler has specialized as an automotive writer since 2009 and has been published in multiple websites and online magazines. In addition to contributing to CarsDirect, Justin also hosts a web-series car-review show and dabbles in the world of personal-finance writing.

His specialty is in the high-performance realm, but he has a deep love and understanding for all things automotive. Before diving into the world of writing, Justin was an automotive technician and manager for six years and spent the majority of his younger life tinkering with classic muscle cars.

Follow On: Twitter

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