Auto123 examines two prestigious SUVs. Here is our comparison between the Cadillac XT6 2020 and the Lincoln Aviator 2020.
Cadillac XT6 2020
We won’t beat around the bush; the XT6 left us unimpressed. The vehicle is based on the same platform as the Buick Enclave and the Chevrolet Traverse, but in a shorter format, closer to the GMC Acadia. The styling follows the current trend of the brand’s models, with a sleek silhouette that also translates into the long configuration, offering a unique and distinctive look typical of Cadillac.
You’ll also find the signature vertical L-shaped rear lights that are present on all the brand’s utilities, as well as standard 20-inch wheels (optional 21-inch wheels), which create a nice effect. The physical appearance of the vehicle is its best feature.
A Disappointing Interior
When you take a seat inside, you immediately realize that this vehicle does not compare to the German competitors offered at the same price. The attention to detail found in German models is lacking. The wood or carbon fiber trims feel fake. The visible stitching throughout the cabin is done by a machine; you can find the same kind of details in a Kia Sorento or a Hyundai Santa Fe that costs much less.
All models offer six or seven seats and come with touchscreen infotainment that includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and integrated internet with wireless phone charging. A host of driving assistance features are included: automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, and blind-spot monitoring, to name a few. You can also opt for an available 360-degree camera system that provides an aerial view of the vehicle, making tight maneuvers and obstacle avoidance easier.
The XT6 inherits the 3.6-liter V6 engine found in half of General Motors’ SUV lineup. A slightly disappointing reality for a model that aims to be exclusive. In contrast, Lincoln took the time to develop a unique engine when introducing its new Continental, a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 with 400 horsepower, which is also found in the Aviator.
The power output is decent at 310 horsepower, and the nine-speed transmission does a good job. However, knowing that you can get the same engine at a lower price in another model might discourage many buyers. In Canada, only all-wheel drive is available.
Uninspiring Driving Experience
The driving experience left us wanting more. Among the good news, the ride is impressively quiet. The available space is decent but less than what the Aviator offers. The third row of seats is better suited for children than adults. Behind the wheel, the handling in the Luxury trim leans more toward comfort with a softer suspension and, in our opinion, a slightly too light steering with little road feedback. But the biggest problem is that there’s nothing special about the driving experience. We expect more from a Cadillac product. Otherwise, why would we expect a starting price of over $60,000?
Lincoln Aviator 2020
The first generation of the Aviator had a brief presence on our roads between 2002 and 2005. For 2020, Lincoln is giving this model another chance with a more compelling presentation. This time, the division offers a clearer distinction. You can see some inspiration from the Navigator in the design of the grille and the overall line, which is also inspired by the beautiful Land Rover Velar. The design is very well executed.
Bigger Than the XT6
When you climb inside, you notice two things. First, the space for occupants is more generous, especially in the second and third rows. Second, the build quality surpasses Cadillac. When the seats are upright, the Aviator offers the best cargo volume in its category behind the second row.
You also get all the expected driving aids of a high-end vehicle, along with exclusive features like traffic jam assistance. This includes adaptive cruise control with automatic braking, lane centering technology, and a road sign recognition system that scans speed limit signs to adjust the vehicle’s speed. The steering assistance during evasive maneuvers, which helps the driver avoid a collision with a stopped or slower vehicle ahead by providing steering assistance, is also part of the package.
The overall comfort is also noteworthy. The “perfect position” seats with active motion function are available as an option. They have 30 different adjustments and offer a massage function and additional lumbar support, making driving incredibly pleasant. The materials are generally of high quality, with plenty of leather and premium materials, with the exception of the hard and unattractive plastic that covers the lower part of the doors.
The base engine comes from the Lincoln Continental, a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. It produces 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid version uses the same base engine with a 13.6-kilowatt-hour battery pack. The power output increases to 494 horsepower and torque to 630 lb-ft, which are respectable figures.
On the road, the driver can choose between five driving modes (for the gasoline model) depending on the season and road conditions. These include Normal, Preserve (the eco mode), Excite (the sport mode), Slippery, and Deep Conditions for more challenging off-road paths.
Our model equipped with the air suspension added an impressive level of comfort and also included a feature called “road preview” that uses the forward-facing camera to monitor the upcoming 50 feet, detect changes in height between 2 and 8 inches, and adjust the suspension accordingly to mitigate uncomfortable bumps. This feature, combined with the air suspension, provides a smooth driving experience.
We finally have a clear winner. The XT6 is not a bad product, but it simply falls short of the brand’s expectations. The Lincoln Aviator had all sorts of teething problems even before its market launch. Transmission issues, electronic problems, seatbelt and design flaws resulted in numerous recalls. Unfortunately, these teething problems are too common with Ford. But despite all of that, the Lincoln formula is more enticing from every perspective.
Advantage Cadillac XT6
A more modern style that will appeal to a certain clientele at a more affordable price.
Advantage Lincoln Aviator
The Aviator offers more powerful engines with a hybrid option. Its interior is better designed and executed, with superior quality materials. It is more comfortable, and Lincoln manages to make us forget its predecessor, the Explorer, while the XT6 resembles a better-equipped Chevrolet. It also offers a much larger cargo space.
In terms of warranties and base model pricing, they are in the same ballpark.
We must applaud Lincoln, who took many, many years to come up with a product that would interest a certain clientele. The Aviator is that kind of product. Cadillac will need to go back to the drawing board.
Cadillac XT6 2020 Pros
- Excellent soundproofing
- Successful styling
Cadillac XT6 2020 Cons
- Lackluster finishing
- Narrow third-row seats
- Light steering
Lincoln Aviator 2020 Pros
- Effective air suspension
- High-quality audio system
- Good power reserve
Lincoln Aviator 2020 Cons
- Expensive options
- Complexity of the technology
Cadillac XT6 2020 | Lincoln Aviator 2020
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Transmission: 9-speed auto | Transmission: 10-speed auto
Drivetrain: AWD | Drivetrain: AWD (3.0L Turbo)
City Fuel Consumption: 13.5 L/100 km | City Fuel Consumption: 13.7 L/100 km
Highway Fuel Consumption: 9.7 L/100 km | Highway Fuel Consumption: 9.7 L/100 km
Hybrid City Fuel Consumption: 10.9 L/100 km | Hybrid Fuel Consumption: 9.6 L/100 km
Hybrid Highway Fuel Consumption: N/A | Hybrid Highway Fuel Consumption: N/A
Fuel Tank Capacity: 83 L | Fuel Tank Capacity: 76.5 L (68 L for hybrid)
Engine Type: Gasoline | Engine Type: Gasoline
Power: 310 hp | Power: 400 hp
Torque: 171 lb-ft | Torque: 415 lb-ft
Cylinders: 6 cylinders | Cylinders: 6 cylinders
Displacement: 3.6 liters | Displacement: 3.0 liters turbo
Hybrid Power: 494 hp | Hybrid Power: 630 lb-ft
Hybrid Torque: N/A | Hybrid Torque: N/A
Hybrid Cylinders: N/A | Hybrid Cylinders: 6 cylinders
Hybrid Displacement: N/A | Hybrid Displacement: 3.0 liters turbo electric
Cargo Space: 357 L to 1220 L | Cargo Space: 518 L to 2200 L
Length: 5042 mm | Length: 5062 mm
Width: 1963 mm | Width: 2090 mm
Height: 1775 mm | Height: 1768 mm
Wheelbase: 2863 mm | Wheelbase: 3025 mm
Warranty: 4 years / 80,000 km | Warranty: 4 years / 80,000 km
Price: $60,998 to $63,798 | Price: $69,000 to $81,000