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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 MDX 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 MDX doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
A passive infrared night vision system optional on the XT6 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The MDX doesn’t offer a night vision system.
Both the XT6 and the MDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive 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 MDX has not been fully tested, yet.
The XT6’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the MDX’s (6 vs. 5 years).
There are over 3 times as many Cadillac dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the XT6’s warranty.
A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the XT6’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the MDX’s camshafts. If the MDX’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the XT6 has a standard 155-amp alternator (170-amp - XT6 optional). The MDX’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 17th in initial quality. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are more reliable than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 23rd in reliability. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 26th.
The XT6’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 20 more horsepower (310 vs. 290) and 4 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 267) than the MDX’s standard 3.5 SOHC V6.
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Cadillac XT6 uses regular unleaded gasoline. The MDX requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The XT6 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the MDX’s standard fuel tank (22 vs. 19.5 gallons).
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Cadillac XT6 higher (6 out of 10) than the Acura MDX (3). This means the XT6 produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the MDX every 15,000 miles.
The XT6’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the MDX are solid, not vented.
The XT6 stops much shorter than the MDX:
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
60 to 0 MPH
60 to 0 MPH (Wet)
The XT6’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the MDX’s standard 60 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XT6 has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the MDX. The XT6 Sport’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the MDX.
The Cadillac XT6’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Acura MDX only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XT6’s wheelbase is 1.7 inches longer than on the MDX (112.7 inches vs. 111 inches).
The XT6 Sport AWD handles at .88 G’s, while the MDX SH-AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
The XT6 has 1.7 inches more front headroom, .8 inches more rear headroom, 2.5 inches more rear legroom, 1.6 inches more third row headroom and 1.4 inches more third row legroom than the MDX.
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the XT6’s second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The MDX doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
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 MDX doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
While the MDX SH-AWD Sport Hybrid is not recommended to tow, any XT6 can tow a minimum of 1000 pounds.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Acura. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 14% lower rating, Acura is ranked 6th.
The power windows standard on both the XT6 and the MDX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the XT6 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The MDX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The XT6’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The MDX’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the XT6 has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The MDX doesn’t offer cornering lights.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the XT6 has standard extendable sun visors. The MDX doesn’t offer extendable visors.
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 MDX.
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 MDX doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.
The XT6’s optional Automatic Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting and stopping automatically, with the driver only responsible for switching from reverse to drive. The MDX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
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