Mar 6, 2020 - Economy & Business

What we're driving: 2020 Cadillac XT6

2020 Cadillac XT6. Photo: Cadillac

I just spent a week in the 2020 Cadillac XT6, a new three-row, family-friendly crossover utility from GM's luxury brand.

The big picture: The XT6 is a new entry that slots in below the brand's flagship Escalade SUV, and shares underpinnings with the smaller XT5 crossover, its best-selling model.

  • It checks most of the boxes you'd want in a luxury crossover, including a long list of driver assistance and safety technologies.
  • Most are standard, but you can pay thousands more for enhanced features including rear pedestrian alert and night vision.
  • It comes in two versions. The Premium Luxury starts at $53,690 ($54,695 for AWD) and the Sport version starts at $58,090. My fully loaded test drive was $70,890.

My thought bubble: Although it looks like part of the Cadillac family, the XT6 feels like a placeholder, especially after I saw what GM has in the pipeline with the all-electric, tech-oriented Cadillac Lyriq.

  • Cadillac is in desperate need of a makeover, and the XT6 can't hold a candle to the Lyriq.

Go deeper

GM begins historic shift to electric vehicles

GM CEO Mary Barra with the company's flexible electric vehicle platform. Photo: GM

General Motors on Wednesday took the wraps off a broad lineup of electric vehicles powered by a new proprietary battery technology, representing a dramatic transformation of the 112-year-old automaker.

Why it matters: It's a $20 billion bet over the next five years that GM hopes both consumers and investors will endorse as the company walks a tightrope between maximizing sales of its profitable gas-powered trucks and SUVs and delivering on a long-term vision for a cleaner, less congested world.

Tesla weighs Nashville for new vehicle factory

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he's "scouting" central U.S. locations for a factory that would build the upcoming Cybertruck, as well as the Model Y crossover for deliveries on the East Coast.

Why it matters: The announcements via Twitter Tuesday night add some clarity to expansion plans for the Silicon Valley electric automaker, which has recently found itself on better financial ground ahead of key product launches.

Lucid Motors plans to offer virtual-reality test drives to sell its electric vehicles

Photo: Lucid Motors

The electric vehicle startup Lucid Motors has a strategy for drumming up interest in its upcoming Lucid Air luxury vehicle that begins production late this year: ultra-designed retail spaces that offer virtual reality test drives.

Why it matters: The luxury EV market is getting more crowded. Startups like Silicon Valley-based Lucid — a largely unknown brand in what's still a very small market — need a way to differentiate themselves and gain cachet.