By Helmut Dostal
An archipelago, situated in the Gulf of St. Lawrence between Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, would appear to be an odd location for the press launch of a new luxury vehicle. And this is precisely where the fascination for an adventure-minded automotive journalist kicks in.
Given the Atlantic weather conditions on the island, getting there is not always routine. After several delays, my flight out of Quebec City was cancelled, but thanks to some maneuvering by Cadillac’s logistics team I find myself overnighting at one of my favourite haunt, the venerable L’Auberge St. Antoine.
The next day came in like a lamb, so it wasn’t long before the fleet of XT6 test cars were boarded by eager drivers at Domaine de Vieux Couvent, our event home base. Magdalen’s main island sports some 85 km of a lightly-travelled highway, plenty of stunning ocean views and an understanding constabulary more interested in the fleet of sparkling new Cadillacs than in their usual daily routines.
Big bold and beautiful
Cadillac has three crossover vehicles in its lineup, of which the XT6 is actually the largest. With three rows of comfortable seating for up to six passengers, the XT6 is available in Premium Luxury and Sport trim levels. The Sport variant gets black exterior trim elements, a more connected, accurate steering feel and more feedback from the road due to adaptive dampers. Both vehicles come with the smooth 3.6 l, 6-cylinder power plant that delivers 310 hp via the 9-speed automatic transmission to all four 20” alloy wheels.
With the XT6, Cadillac’s designers have delivered an elegant and authoritative look by cleverly mating iconically recognizable brand elements, such as the Cadillac’s signature vertical driving lights and wide grill with the necessary crossover features, such as tall stance and high positioned lighting.
Once behind the wheel of my test car, I’m impressed by the tasteful use of wood, leather and carbon fiber trim accents, attractive dash layout and sink-in comfortable seats front and back. The steering wheel and the front seats are heated and the large sunroof adds light to the spacious impression of the interior.
As may be expected in this category, the XT6 comes with a basket of standard safety features and an additional list of “must consider” safety technologies in the premium package.
On the road, I’m pleased to report the XT6 in Premium Luxury feels smooth, quiet and competent. Even some rough patches on the road across the island are absorbed well, without compromising the feeling of control and stability.
Not ready for Magdalen? A new and interesting way to explore the XT6 is with Cadillac’s Live Digital Showroom; try the live presentation online via one-way-video.
2020 Cadillac XT6 Premium Luxury & Sport
Engine: 6 cylinder
Power: 310 hp
Premium Luxury: CAN $60,998
Sport: CAN $63,798