2020 Cadillac XT6 first drive: Arm candy

The only engine we’re getting for now is a 310-hp, 271-lb-ft 3.6-liter V6 and the only transmission is a nine-speed automatic with paddle shifters. Base versions are front-wheel drive and $2,000 will get you an all-wheel-drive model. The XT6 has a MacPherson strut front suspension, a five-link rear and adaptive dampers are standard on Sport models and optional on the others.
The XT6 uses a new rotary-style selector in the center console for radio and nav functions and all come standard with selectable drive modes. Two-wheel drivers come with settings for tour, snow/ice and sport; AWD cars add an off-road mode that looses up the suspension even further than tour for deep ruts and rough dirt roads. I did sneak off the pavement for a few minutes on a little two-track loop off the main highway and am happy to report I brought the Caddy back in one piece.
On-road or off-, the new crossover is quiet. Cadillac went heavy on the noise abatement quieting rogue sounds in the dash, pillars, quarter window seals, center console, in the HVAC ducts and in the wheel wells. Closing the door almost makes you feel like you need to pop your ears because it gets so serene in the cabin.
The V6 is adequate in this application, generally smooth but maybe a little raspy in the higher rev range. It moves the XT6 around well, but if you want any velocity, you’ll really have to floor it. Throttle tip-in is good with the three-row moving off the line quickly without much nose lift. Braking is a little numb but the pedal movement is minimal, which always inspires more confidence. Shifts from the nine-speed are mostly unnoticeable, still, the overall feel doesn’t scream “torquey American luxury” like I would want it to.