2020 Cadillac XT6 vs. 2020 Mazda CX-9

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/06

The XT6’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The CX-9 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 CX-9 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 CX-9 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 CX-9 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the XT6 and the CX-9 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, 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 CX-9 is only a standard “Top Pick” for 2020.

Warranty

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The XT6 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The CX-9’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the XT6 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mazda covers the CX-9. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the CX-9 ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The XT6’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the CX-9’s (6 vs. 5 years).

There are over 58 percent more Cadillac dealers than there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the XT6’s warranty.

Reliability

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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 CX-9’s 110-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Engine

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The XT6’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 60 more horsepower (310 vs. 250) than the CX-9’s 2.5 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the Cadillac XT6 is faster than the Mazda CX-9:

XT6

CX-9

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

7.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

16.6 sec

20.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.6 sec

8.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.1 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

96 MPH

88 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the XT6’s fuel efficiency. The CX-9 doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the XT6’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The CX-9 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Cadillac XT6 uses regular unleaded gasoline. The CX-9 requires premium for maximum efficiency, 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 CX-9 AWD’s standard fuel tank (22 vs. 19.5 gallons).

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 CX-9 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Cadillac XT6 higher (6 out of 10) than the Mazda CX-9 (3). This means the XT6 produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the CX-9 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Cadillac XT6, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the CX-9.

Brakes and Stopping

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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 CX-9 are solid, not vented.

The XT6 stops much shorter than the CX-9:

XT6

CX-9

70 to 0 MPH

171 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

134 feet

139 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

143 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the XT6 Sport’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CX-9 (265/45R21 vs. 255/60R18).

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 CX-9 Sport/Touring’s standard 60 series tires. The XT6 Sport’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XT6 has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the CX-9 Sport/Touring. The XT6 Sport’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels on the CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature.

The Cadillac XT6’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Mazda CX-9 only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

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The XT6 offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The CX-9’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XT6 is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1 inch wider in the rear than on the CX-9.

The XT6 Sport AWD handles at .88 G’s, while the CX-9 Signature AWD pulls only .80 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 CX-9 Touring (27.2 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

Chassis

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The XT6 uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The CX-9 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The XT6 has .5 inches more front headroom, .2 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 1.8 inches more third row headroom and .4 inches more third row shoulder room than the CX-9.

Cargo Capacity

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The XT6’s cargo area provides more volume than the CX-9.

XT6

CX-9

Third Seat Folded

43.1 cubic feet

38.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

78.7 cubic feet

71.2 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the XT6’s second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The CX-9 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the XT6. The CX-9 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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Maximum trailer towing in the Mazda CX-9 is limited to 3500 pounds. The XT6 offers up to a 4000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The XT6 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The CX-9 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Mazda. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 69% lower rating, Mazda is ranked 25th.

Ergonomics

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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. The CX-9 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the XT6 and the CX-9 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 CX-9 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

On a hot day the XT6’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the CX-9 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

When the XT6 is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The CX-9’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The XT6’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The CX-9 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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 is only available on the CX-9 Grand Touring/Signature.

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 CX-9 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 CX-9 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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