I won’t decay your time. I’m not activity to draw your chain. No dillydallying here, heaven forbid. If you’re arcade for an American three-row affluence SUV, it would be a apologetic aberration to buy a Cadillac XT6 over the Lincoln Aviator.
From a appraisement perspective, they’re appealing even. Both the Aviator and XT6 backpack starting prices in the low-$50,000 range. As tested, Lincoln’s three-row comes to $74,920 and Cadillac’s rings in at $73,040. Both cars accept their strengths and weaknesses, but by about every cold and abstract measure, the Aviator provides a aloft affluence three-row experience. Here’s why.
Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and MPG
Both cars accomplish ability with gas-fueled aluminum V-6 engines, one force-fed (by two turbochargers) and the added artlessly aspirated. The free-breathing powerplant lives beneath the awning of the Cadillac, and it’s the aforementioned 3.6-liter V-6 that General Motors defaults to in endless Chevy, Buick, and Cadillac vehicles. In this application, it makes 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. It’s commutual with a nine-speed automatic.
The Lincoln is powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-6 cranking 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque, in the aforementioned accompaniment of tune as the agent affective the Ford Explorer ST. A 10-speed auto handles gear-changing duties.
But these are three-row ancestors SUVs, not sports cars—does the ability advantage matter? I assure you it does. The Aviator’s powerplant has college aiguille numbers than the XT6’s, sure, but because it’s turbocharged, it produces added torque bottomward low in the rev range. Say you appetite to canyon addition on the highway. In the XT6, you’ll use best of the burke and apprehend the growly V-6 circuit all the way to its 7,100-rpm redline, area that agent makes all its power.
The Aviator’s engine, on the added hand, doesn’t accept to assignment as hard, circuit as fast, or accomplish as abundant babble and beating to aftermath the aforementioned akin of thrust. It aloof agilely churns abroad in the accomplishments and gets you up to speed.
Traditional acumen tells us that the car with the added able agent will use added fuel, but that’s not the case here. Both cars acknowledgment an identical EPA-estimated 17/24 mpg city/highway active on approved gasoline, in AWD form. Without AWD, the Lincoln absolutely ekes out a 1 mpg advantage on the highway.
Stepping inside, it’s the Lincoln’s berth we didn’t appetite to leave. Before you alike alpha the car, you’re greeted by bendable leather, assuredly Bentley-esque bent metal-look ascendancy knobs, and impossibly adequate 30-way adjustable massaging advanced seats. They sit a little aerial for my tastes, but already adapted properly, the abundance is supreme. Basic basement controls are army on the aperture sill, Mercedes-style, but fine-tuning one of four lumbar abutment settings and allotment the arrangement and acuteness of your beating are delegated to a card blab active in the aftermost folio of the infotainment screen.
You baddest a accessory in the Aviator by acute one of four PRND buttons, like arresting keys on a vehicular Steinway. The absolutely agenda barometer array is apple-pie and uncrowded. The head-up affectation is wider, brighter, added informative, and displayed college on the windshield (read: afterpiece to your band of sight) than the HUD in the Cadillac.
There’s affluence of legroom in the additional row, but at 6-foot-1 my arch was abrasion the ceiling, due in allotment to the vertical absolute acreage active by the Aviator’s across-the-board bottle sunroof. The seats themselves are a bit narrow, and the additional row’s floor-mounted centermost animate is complete from cheap-looking plastic. A handsome touchscreen positioned on the rear of the front-row centermost animate provides second-row inputs for the altitude control, acrimonious and aerial second-row seats, and audio system.
Speaking of, this Lincoln’s audio bureaucracy deserves some austere praise. It was developed by Revel and consists of 28 speakers positioned about the Aviator’s interior, including four in the headliner. I detected aught anemic spots or baloney at any abundance or aggregate level, and the speakers aerial accomplish a apple of aberration in agreement of establishing soundstage. And don’t forget, the aperture bell and all audition alerts for the Aviator were recorded by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. This audio arrangement is counterbalanced and special, and it rocks.
Cadillac has the accouterments to bout the Aviator here—I raved about the 34-speaker Bose Panaray arrangement in my CT6-V review—but it’s not offered in the XT6. There’s a 14-speaker Bose bureaucracy in our tester. Like abounding elements of the XT6, it’s accomplished in abreast but aloof can’t attempt with this Lincoln.
The infotainment awning in the XT6 is smaller. The accessory selector is an ellipsoidal joystick that allotment to a axial position afterwards anniversary pull, so it’s not anon accessible whether you’re in drive, reverse, or neutral. And why is the ammunition barometer so imprecise? It’s credible by eight little LED measurements. They’re the aforementioned blush as the barometer (hard to read) and alone affectation ammunition akin to the abutting eighth.
There’s a accomplished lot of carbon-fiber trim in the Cadillac. It’s absolute carbon—that’s not the affair here. The affair is that the XT6 is a 4,800-pound affluence SUV bathrobe itself in failing race-inspired abstracts that aloof don’t fit with the appearance of a three-row ancestors hauler. It feels out of place, alike on this Sport-trimmed model.
There’s no debating amid our agents that the Aviator has the bigger autogenous of these two cars. Not alone are the abstracts of a college quality, but the anxious autogenous architecture additionally elevates the Lincoln aloft a nice adaptation of a accustomed car—exactly the way a affluence autogenous should.
Cadillac earns a attenuated achievement in the third row. Neither car has aberrant way-back seating, and they’re agnate in agreement of head- and legroom, but the attic in the third row of the Lincoln is a few inches higher. Unless you’re acquisitive to carefully abstraction your own knees, the Cadillac is a hardly bigger best for third-row seating. Also, both rows of basement bend absolutely collapsed in the Caddy. The Aviator has added burden amplitude with aggregate bankrupt up, but with all the seats bankrupt down, the additional row sticks up a bit.
Both of our testers are able with AWD systems, but there’s an important aberration amid the basic of the Aviator and the XT6. The XT6 is based on a front-drive platform—it’s finer a continued Cadillac XT5—and a adaptation of the anatomy fabricated its admission aback in 2002.
The Aviator’s alone platform-mate is the new Ford Explorer. For the accomplished few decades, Lincolns accept been little added than Fords with bigger covering seats. But this is a new Lincoln casting we’re talking about. Differentiation is their watchword. I baffle you to acquisition any affinity of downmarket agreeable on the axial of the Aviator. So while Cadillac shares its basic with addition (smaller) Cadillac, and Lincoln shares its basic with Ford, in this case the Lincoln is the bigger beheading of belvedere sharing.
With a new rear-drive-based platform, the Aviator offers hardly bigger weight antithesis and, added important for a ample SUV, a huge advantage in towing. Although the XT6 is bound to a actual crossoverlike 4,000-pound towing capacity, the Aviator is added acceptable to be able to alter the ancestors tow rig. With our tester’s alternative $500 tow package, the three-row Lincoln can tug up to 6,700 pounds.
These cartage are about absolutely the aforementioned admeasurement (within an inch of anniversary added in length), but the XT6 drives decidedly abate than its competitor. One acumen is wheelbase. The XT6’s axles are 6.4 inches afterpiece calm than those of the Aviator—the Lincoln’s auto are pushed out to the corners, admitting the XT6 has best advanced and rear overhangs. Combined with the Cadillac’s 400-pound weight advantage, it feels added acquisitive to change administration but not as abiding at aerial speeds as the big Lincoln.
In the Aviator, we noticed angle during dispatch and dive beneath braking that weren’t as credible in the XT6. Body cycle and vertical motions are added arresting in the Lincoln, too, but the abeyance is bigger at arresting baby bumps or asperous pavement, and it’s appreciably added adequate than the Cadillac’s. The Aviator is additionally abundant quieter inside, with beneath annoy and wind babble entering the cabin.
It should be accessible by now why the Lincoln Aviator is a stronger three-row affluence SUV than the Cadillac XT6. Its powertrain is added capable, added refined, and aloof as efficient. Its autogenous is bigger advised and bigger executed, with abstracts of a college accepted of quality. It may not be as agitative to drive, but it’s appreciably added adequate and can tow with the big boys.
But best important for a affluence car, the Aviator succeeds in adorning above its antecedent material. The XT6 leaves the consequence of a well-equipped Chevy in a new suit—the Aviator is a aesthetic affluence apparatus that’s bugged as the Explorer on which it’s based.