2020 Cadillac XT6 Vs. 2020 Lincoln Aviator: Battle Of America’s Newest Luxury 3-Row SUVs

If you’re in the market for a three-row luxury SUV of American descent, but don’t need something as humongous (and expensive) as a Cadillac Escalade or a Lincoln Navigator, the new XT6 and the Aviator should probably be on your shortlist.

But how do they compare? Is Cadillac’s latest SUV good enough to steer customers away from Lincoln’s tech-laden Aviator? That remains to be seen when the two companies release them for test drives, but for now, let’s start this comparison off by analyzing their looks.

No ugly ducklings

While you can argue that neither of the two is particularly stunning to look at, calling them mundane doesn’t sound fair either. The XT6 is all dressed up in Cadillac’s latest design language, combining sharp, elegant lines with a somewhat boxy form factor, although not quite as much as the Escalade.

Lincoln’s Aviator, on the other hand, is visibly sleeker, with a more sloping roofline and large ‘Aviator’ lettering on the front fenders – it almost seems as though Lincoln thought “luxury first”, and then proceeded to insert their own DNA into the mix. Meanwhile, the XT6 inscription on the Caddy’s doors is less eye-catching.

As for their rear end design, it’s again the Aviator that looks to announce itself to the world more blatantly, as the automaker’s name is plastered across the tailgate, right above that horizontal light strip.

Safe and alert

The two SUVs have differently styled interiors, with the XT6 adopting Cadillac’s usual V-shape dashboard design, whereas the Aviator’s cabin slightly resembles that of the Navigator, albeit with a less cluttered look. You can also see some minor similarities with the 2020 Explorer’s interior, though thankfully, the Aviator has a more traditional landscape-oriented infotainment display.

The Lincoln also comes with the ability to “see” potholes thanks to its Adaptive Suspension with Road Preview. Then there’s the Lincoln Co-Pilot 360 Plus bundle with Traffic Jam Assist, Evasive Steer Assist, Reverse Brake Assist and Active Park Assist Plus. On the Caddy’s side of the fence, there’s Automatic Emergency Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Park Assist, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert and Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning. You’re pretty safe, in either of the two.

What lies under their hoods

Since we’re discussing tech, we could say that the Aviator’s upcoming Plug-in Hybrid powertrain falls under that category. It’s projected to produce some 450 HP and 600 lb-ft (813 Nm) of torque, which on paper is vastly superior to the XT6’s 3.6-liter V6 petrol unit, with its 310 HP and 271 lb-ft (367 Nm) of torque. The Lincoln’s petrol option meanwhile is a 3.0-liter bi-turbo V6 that produces 400 HP and 400 lb-ft (542 Nm) of torque.

With pricing still unannounced, it’s hard to tell which one of the two will represent greater value for money. However, looking at how they stack up in terms of on-board tech, engines and aesthetics, which one of the two would you rather purchase as your next family car?



  • Dude

    I was about to say “lol 100% of votes for the aviator” but then I realized I’m the only vote

  • Mr. EP9

    I know which earned my vote and it wasn’t the Caddy.

  • TheToadPrince..~~ToadSquad

    i honestly dont neither….some guy ruined it forme for the lincoln…he called a lincoln promaster…and holy shit it looks like spittin image of ram promaster city…the caddy is a traverse in diguise..but if i had to choosee..its obvious lincoln.

  • Knuckle Buck

    well at least this article didn’t have u click thru 15 pages to read this pointless drivel

  • ErnieB

    Still pick the xc90.. oh .. nevermind ..

    • Stanley Williams

      Love the XC 90 but it is not as quiet as the Buick Enclave or Lexus RX which I have driven. The T6 with the supercharged plus turbocharged 4 sounds and feels gruff. The Volvo does look good and has a great interior! I like the Volvo infotainment system too.

  • Dennis Scipio

    Personally, I’d hate to admit it, but the Lincoln Aviator has a retro take but modernized and a step up aside from the Pig like nose and the push button gear shift, but the Cadillac XT6 has clean lines and put well together. However, If i’m looking for a new car it would be neither.

  • MayTheBestCarWin05

    This is no contest. Cadillac brought a knife to a gunfight. While the Aviator does look exceptional from the rear….that front is meh.

    I don’t understand why GM refuses to put a 10 – 12” infotainment screen in their LUXURY cars.

    It immediately makes the interiors look a class below.

  • Merc1

    Absolutely no contest. Exterior styling is the only area where the Cadillac even compares, otherwise it is totally outclassed. The Lincoln has the better interior, engine, RWD layout, exterior design and likely will drive worlds better due to it’s layout and engine. Cadillac will be incentive rich with the XT6 to keep it going once the initial hype wears off.


    • Сафиуллина-Мохамед Рамазанов

      Was going to say the exact words
      Caddy can only be compared exterior wise

  • LJ

    “While you can argue that neither of the two is particularly stunning to look at, calling them mundane doesn’t sound fair either.”

    Uh… the Aviator and XT6 are the definitions of stunning and mundane, respectively.

    • Dennis Scipio

      While do think the Aviator looks attractive enough, I don’t see the “Stunning” view of it.

  • designer_dick
  • FordMopar

    Lincoln has blacked out A and D pillars which make it more modern and elegant looking over the XT6 with bland painted exterior color on front and rear pillars. Looking at the side profile without a badge, it’s easily as a Chevy. Like come on, GM! Stop saving time and energy and just go bold! If the XT6 is looking like this, I bet the Escalade is gonna be bland looking too, maybe with few more chrome trims.

    • Stanley Williams

      The side profile of the XT6 loses with the rear quarter window treatment. Needs to be more formal. Think range Rover as Ford clearly has. At least the XT-6 looks to have good materials within. the fit and finish had better be spot on.

      • FordMopar

        Yea. Now that Lincoln has revealed the pricing which starts at 52K. I bet this XT6 is gonna be like $44,995, given how bland it is and with non-matching interior with Lincoln.

  • Felipe Politano

    The writer has put some good effort into selling the idea that it’s a fair fight… come on, the Lincoln is the FAR superior entry in this category… the XT6 actually has me worried about Cadillac’s direction, it looks like what the Traverse should look like in order to stay competitive with the Explorer and Palisade and CX-9… man, is it sad.

    • Felipe Politano

      By the way, I can’t help seeing a lot of Kia Telluride in the XT6, it’s almost like a rebadge job or something (and the Kia is the most unique among them).

      • ErnieB

        Except that the telluride is way nicer and looks more luxurious (inside at least).

    • ErnieB

      Not even R Kelly can save them now!

  • Dennis Scipio

    Is it too late to change my vote?

  • john1168

    If the XT6 is Caddy’s answer to the Lincoln Aviator, then Caddy is in trouble. A few short years ago people were thinking Lincoln was about dead. Although Caddy is far from death they’ve been complacent for way too long and now they’re in trouble. GM already knows this according to a Mark Reuss interview with Jalopnick. Now they need to pull their heads out of their asses and make stuff that people actually want.

  • Darnell Robeson

    That Lincoln is on another level it looks like Cadillac barely tried

  • Rocket

    This might be the most one-side comparison you folks have ever done here. The question to me isn’t “which is better overall?” That’s a no-brainer. What I want to know is: does the Caddy best the Lincoln in any category? I suppose some of the interior specs will favor the Cadillac, but visually or mechanically? Absolutely nothing. Zilch. Nada. The Aviator pushed the XT6 down and stole its lunch money.

  • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

    Aviator. It isn’t even close.

    Cadillac is going to rely on heavy incentives, as usual, to move this thing. What an embarrassment for GM.

    • Bo Hanan

      All these “luxury” failures and you start to wonder who the help is on the planning team at Caddy? And who is the target audience.

      • Stanley Williams

        They need the early 2000’s crew back at Caddy. Mary Bara has turned her back on them. Well at least the Esca-Tahoe gets IRS for 2020.

        • Merc1

          The early 2000’s crew? What on earth for?


        • enthusia

          early 2000’s?! that was one of the bleakest times for Cadillac and all of GM.

  • DetrinKD

    I think the approach taken on these two vehicles are pretty evident…

    To me it seems that Ford/Lincoln said we need to bring something luxurious to the class that is clearly American yet beats the Germans at their own game… and the Explorer benefitted from that decision by inheriting the same platform which will keep costs down.

    GM/Caddy… we have a huge gap in our lineup that happens to be a booming segment, how can we fill it and do so quickly? We can utilize the Traverse/Enclave platform. Add the Escala’s styling and utilize the popular XT5’s interior and it should be a hit.

    So I think both employed badge engineering… but from different starting points. I like where Ford/Lincoln started.

    More than I am shocked by the lack of Super Cruise (sure the platform doesn’t support it), is the fact that they used the exact same dash as the lesser XT5!

    • Merc1

      They both didn’t do badge engineering. Ford actually did some real work to separate the Lincoln and it shows. GM didn’t do nearly enough to separate the Caddy from the Chevy it is based on.


      • Stephen G

        “The Aviator doesn’t beat the Germans as their own game”. SUV’s are the German’s game? The Caddy and Aviator are clearly American Flare. There is a market for vehicles that are purely American, not everybody cares for European or Asian configurations.

        • Merc1

          Did you just not understand what I wrote?


  • Mr. EP9

    And as expected, the Aviator is decimating the Caddy in the poll.

  • Navy Pier Morroccan ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Lincoln all day!

  • designer_dick
  • SpongeBob99Swell

    The Lincoln is better in pretty much every way.

  • Stanley Williams

    I love the work Cadillac has done with its sedans, the CT6 is probably the best American sedan ever made re: the materials science and assembly techniques. However, the new rear drive based Navigator platform is very advanced and has the advantage of a bigger engine and probably a stiffer chasis than the GM product. I have heard tales of Traverses shaking on rough roads that the Mazda CX-9 shrugs off. Also give CUE knobs GM, just do it!

    • Merc1

      ” I have heard tales of Traverses shaking on rough roads that the Mazda CX-9 shrugs off.”

      And people say GM doesn’t still build junk.


  • ErnieB

    I’d take The explorer ST and run donuts around the little old couple driving the Cadi

  • JTL2017

    It’s definitely interesting to see where Cadillac prices the xt6. I have a feeling most people (to be fair to Cadillac) will compare the Lincoln reserve to the top Cadillac trim. I just have a feeling Cadillac won’t want to touch +80,000. The Lincoln configurator has just been released and it can be quite expensive ( grand touring reaching at high $80,000 range) but the Lincoln reserve MAXES out at $72,000 (which isn’t bad at all).

  • Darius Davis

    Highly disappointing for Cadillac…first of all why was the Omega Platform not utilized?

    GM what are you doing still shoving that “weak” 310 hp 3.6 V6 every single vehicle you have? Why was the Chevy blazer not based on the Alpha platform?(Or what ever the CT5 is supposed to be using)

    Ford currently has:
    2.3 T I4 280 hp/310 lb-ft
    2.7 TT V6 335 hp/380 lb-ft
    3.0 TT V6 400 hp/400 lb-ft
    3.5 TT V6 450 hp/ 510 lb-ft
    And uses these engines in everything

    GM currently has:
    2.0 T I4 275 hp/295 lb-ft
    ——>3.0 TT V6 404 hp/400 lb-ft<——
    3.6 TT V6 420/430 lb-ft
    4.2 TT V8 500-550 hp/553-627 lb-ft

    So why is the 404 hp 3.0 TT V6 not in every single vehicle they make?
    XT6 top trim level option
    Blazer SS
    Regal GS(X?)
    ATS/CTS(future CT4/CT5 perhaps?)

    • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

      I suspect the Omega platform will be kept for something to rival the Range Rover.

  • TheBelltower

    I do like both of these. But next to the super-elegant Lincoln, the Cadillac looks way too slab-sided and conventional. Lincoln is going to eat Cadillac’s lunch.

  • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

    Don’t get the love for the Lincoln. It looks very dated already. It has a nicer interior. But I bet the Cadillac will outsell it. The Lincoln looks very Garish in some areas and that will appeal to a very specific buyer. The Cadillac may be favoured by those that would prefer a more understated Euro look and I suspect that that demographic is much wider. Frankly I would take a Volvo or an F pace over either.

    • Cobrajet

      The Aviator’s tail lights look 10 years old.

  • Bash

    You see this is the thing. I love the caddy’s face, face only. And I love everything else about the Lincoln. So can we have a face off transplant sorta thing?
    Seriously I’m gonna go with the Lincoln.

  • SteersUright

    Not even close to an even match, the Lincoln is better in nearly every single way.

  • The only good thing on the Cadi is the Front (maybe the tail lights). But problem is, it could be any brand. Put it in the street tomorow, take the badges off, people wouldn’t know what it is. You could tell them it’s a Geely, Tata, well anybrand they don’t know they would believe it. The Sedans didn’t fail because of their looks.

  • J. P.
  • Craig

    So the Eldorado vs Mark IV days have come to this. Is that it?

    • Cobrajet

      At least the Cadillac still has the Deville (CT6).

      • Craig

        I guess one could argue that the Lincoln ‘still’ has the Continental. Neither is quite the same but at least their both CARS!

  • Stephen G

    The Lincoln clearly has the styling edge. Not that the Caddy isn’t nice, but it appears that GM phoned this one in ten years too late. On the upside the XT6 will probably have some awesome lease deals very shortly.

  • Paul

    I’d take the Lincoln with a better face.

    • happy to see I’m not the only one to think that it’s a great looking car when you don’t see its face.

  • TB

    LOL…well said!

  • TB

    Hands down the Lincoln…the Caddy overall looks blah. I’m tied with the interiors for both…they are both well designed.

  • MarkoS

    I am not sure they are even direct competitors. I see the Aviator actually competing more with the Escalade, and Navigator. The XT6 seems to stand alone. Sales will tell.

  • Stealth333

    I think both look amazing, but if I had to chose, it would be Cadillac 🙂

  • Mikestroh

    Lincoln has this one hands down. But for the conservative styling preference types……they will choose the Cadillac. I think Cadillac fell asleep on the styling right past the A-pillar rearward. Front is is agressive but everthing else is “bleh.”

  • Maximilian Norlande Rabbitt

    *sees people standing next to and driving the Aviator and no one near the XT6* Welp, I think the people know what they want, and I’m with em

  • S T

    Traverse, Explorer, Enclave, XT6, Aviator, Acadia.

    Traverse out of those listed looks best to me (but I believe is larger then most by a bit). We have the 17 Acadia (smallest I believe), and looking at these I don’t regret it!

    The Linc has an ugly Audi look on the outside and I cannot stand the removable tablet looking infotainment systems. The Caddy is fine of the inside, but the exterior, while I like the overal shape, is boring; its the first Caddy in a long time that I have felt this way about.

  • Galaxium

    The difference is that the XT6 was made/based after the Traverse, whereas the Aviator was made first, then used as the base for the Explorer.

    • nellydesign

      Not really. Two different vehicles designed on the same platform at the same time without either needing to borrow interior bits from the other.

  • Harry_Wild

    Just based on both looks(inside & out) and engine option, it hard not to take the Aviator over the XT6.

  • Bill Nguyen

    And… Everyone will just end up buying a Japanese or German car.

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