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In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the XT6 are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The GLS doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The XT6 offers optional Reverse Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The GLS doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
To help make backing safer, the XT6’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The GLS doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the XT6 and the GLS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, night vision systems and around view monitors.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XT6 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GLS has not been tested, yet.
Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the XT6 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLS. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the GLS ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
The XT6’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the GLS’ (6 vs. 5 years).
There are over 2 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the XT6’s warranty.
On the EPA test cycle the XT6 AWD gets better fuel mileage than the GLS 450 V6 (17 city/24 hwy vs. 16 city/22 hwy).
An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the XT6’s fuel efficiency. The GLS doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Cadillac XT6 uses regular unleaded gasoline. The GLS requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The XT6 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The GLS doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Cadillac XT6 higher (6 out of 10) than the Mercedes GLS (3). This means the XT6 produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the GLS every 15,000 miles.
The XT6 stops much shorter than the GLS:
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
60 to 0 MPH
60 to 0 MPH (Wet)
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XT6 has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 19-inch wheels are standard on the GLS.
The Cadillac XT6’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mercedes GLS only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XT6 is 1.1 inches wider in the front and .1 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the GLS.
The XT6 Sport AWD handles at .88 G’s, while the GLS 450 pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
The XT6 Sport AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the GLS 450 (27.2 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 28.1 seconds @ .62 average G’s).
For better maneuverability, the XT6’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the GLS’ (39.1 feet vs. 40.7 feet).
The Cadillac XT6 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 900 to 1050 pounds less than the Mercedes GLS.
The XT6 is 3.5 inches shorter than the GLS, making the XT6 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The XT6 uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The GLS doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The XT6 has .9 inches more front legroom, .6 inches more rear legroom and 3 inches more third row shoulder room than the GLS.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the XT6’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The GLS doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Mercedes. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 10% lower rating, Mercedes is ranked fifth.
The XT6’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the GLS.
The XT6 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The GLS doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the XT6 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the GLS only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
The XT6 has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the vehicle heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the GLS.
The XT6 has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the GLS.
To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Cadillac XT6 has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The GLS doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The XT6 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The GLS doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
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