If you’re in the market for a real luxury SUV, we have one question for you: did you forget about Cadillac? If so, it’s time to reacquaint yourself with the iconic General Motors-owned luxury nameplate. One look at the 2022 Cadillac XT6 or the upcoming all-electric Cadillac Lyriq is all the proof you need that Cadillac engineers have been busy.
Cadillac has always been synonymous with luxury, but many buyers don’t realize the current lineup is loaded with high-performance SUVs and sedans that rival any European import. Not only that, but the upcoming 2023 Lyriq, Cadillac’s first foray into the EV segment, offers numerous industry-first features.
It’s way beyond time to shed the idea that Cadillac is for older buyers. While it’s true that luxury and comfort are always present in Cadillac cars and SUVs, you’ll also find a surprising amount of next-generation infotainment and safety technology and as much performance and ride handling as your driving style demands. What’s new for 2022? We have all the info, including a look at the all-electric Lyriq.
2022 is the Year of the Small SUV
As sure as the sun will rise and the sky is blue, automakers will continue releasing more SUVs. Americans caught the SUV bug back in the early 1990s, and today, we quite literally can’t get enough of them. SUV sales hit a milestone in the 2020 model year, with SUVs making up 50 percent of all new vehicles sold.
Cadillac’s four-vehicle SUV lineup offers a size and price in just about every category. It includes the XT4, the XT5, the XT6, and the flagship Escalade and prices range from the mid-$30,000s for an XT4 to well over $100,000 for a fully-loaded Escalade. All of Cadillac’s SUVs offer premium luxury-level features.
Don’t let the XT4’s diminutive size fool you; it’s surprisingly roomy for a small crossover, offering generous cargo space and comfortable seating for five. It has the most available rear legroom in its class, making it a great choice for families with frequent back seat passengers. Three available trims offer plenty of high-end luxury features, but even the highest Sport trim still receives a roughly $40,000 starting price.
Moving up to the latest XT5 unlocks not only more cabin space, but additional luxury features as well. It’s somewhat like a downsized version of the plush Escalade, but with its own personality and curb appeal. The XT5 offers a quiet interior cabin and two available engines – a standard turbocharged four-cylinder and a 310 horsepower V6 for drivers looking for more power. It starts at under $45,000, keeping it well within the affordable range for many luxury SUV buyers.
Full-Size Cadillac SUV Highlights
If three rows of seats are what you’re seeking, but the idea of a land yacht doesn’t appeal to you, check out the 2022 Cadillac XT6. It’s a just-right-sized alternative to going huge without sacrificing 7-passenger convenience. Not only that, but you’re upping the luxury quotient substantially, as this vehicle directly competes with some of the most high-end SUVs on the market.
Opting for the top-of-the-line Sport trim equips the XT6 with just about every performance, convenience, and luxury feature Cadillac makes. The Sport receives special 20-inch wheels, a performance suspension with selectable drive modes, and Brembo brakes with the signature red calipers. The cabin features heated seats, leather seating, a large power sunroof, paddle shifters, and tri-zone climate control.
Technology features on the XT6 include an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, an upgraded Bose audio system, and all the connectivity you need, including Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, and Android Auto. The available 14-speaker Bose system is worth the extra cost, as is the Technology Package, which adds a head-up display, a rear camera mirror, a 360-degree HD Surround Vision camera, and more.
If the 137 cubic feet of passenger volume in the XT6 doesn’t quite do the trick, we invite you to graduate to the granddaddy of all SUVs, the venerable Escalade. Having just received a complete redesign, the newest generation Escalade is a technological marvel. It’s not for everyone since this giant rig starts at over $75,000, but if you have the cash, it’s the best and most luxurious full-size SUV on the road.
One of our favorite features is the series of three immersive curvilinear LED display screens. It’s tomorrow’s infotainment touchscreen; only you can have one now for a scant $100,000. Car and Driver declares that the newest Escalade has “more technology than an Apple store,” but even that is an understatement.
In addition to 38 inches of digital displays, your Escalade offers an immersive navigation system that dabbles in augmented reality in a way that has to be experienced to be understood. Rear seat passengers will enjoy dual 12.6-inch entertainment screens set up for wireless streaming, and the driver gets an AKG 19-speaker sound system with studio-quality audio.
The Lyriq EV: Elegantly Aggressive
Cadillac made major waves in the EV segment when it announced the upcoming 2023 Cadillac Lyriq. This all-electric cross between a sedan and an SUV is not only breathtaking to look at, but reportedly delivers thrilling on-the-road performance, thanks to the instantly available 340 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque.
The Lyriq runs on GM’s advanced Ultium battery platform with DC Fast Charging, which means you’ll get as many as 52 miles of range per hour of charging capability at home. Move to a public DC Fast Charging station, and that number increases to 76 miles in just 10 minutes. It’s convenient enough that buyers will wonder why they ever drove a gas-powered car.
Capability is just the beginning of the Lyriq’s story, though. Perhaps the most exciting news is its Super Cruise feature. Super Cruise is a hands-free cruise control system that communicates with connected roads and highways, allowing drivers to set a speed and remove their hands from the wheel. Yes, you still have to watch the road, but the monotony of highway driving becomes a thing of the past.
Industry insiders report that Cadillac is ahead of its Lyriq production schedule by nearly nine months, which means it’ll hit dealerships in the Spring of 2022. Advance reservations sold out months ago, so there’s still a wait for anyone that missed the boat, but the exciting news is that the production Lyriq looks almost identical to the concept vehicle revealed by Cadillac at its introduction.
It’s futuristic in a Back-to-the-Future DeLorean kind of way, with bold contours and angles, a sloped nose, and a slanted roofline that somehow manages to combine both a sedan and crossover body style. Some prominent and unique exterior features include vertical LED headlights and a simple two-color (black and silver) paint palette.
2022 Is the Year of the Cadillac
With all the excitement surrounding Cadillac’s first-ever EV, the Lyriq, it’s easy to forget that this year’s lineup includes 11 different models, including six sporty sedans. For Cadillac, it doesn’t matter how much the SUV body style dominates: the company reinvests in its sedan lineup every year. There may be fewer sedan buyers overall, but those who opt-in on the classic body style want it all: performance, fuel economy, and good looks. Cadillac even offers a manual transmission in the new CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing!
Which Cadillac is right for you? That may not be the best first question to ask. Instead, ask yourself why you haven’t considered a Cadillac. Nowhere else will you find such a dogged commitment to premium luxury without the price creep associated with high-end vehicles. Cadillac is stalwart in its over 100-year mission to build affordable luxury vehicles without compromising on technology and performance.