2020 Lincoln Aviator vs. 2020 Cadillac XT6

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Lincoln Aviator have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Cadillac XT6 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

Both the Aviator and XT6 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Aviator has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The XT6’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Aviator has standard Post Collision Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The XT6 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Aviator’s optional Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The XT6 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Aviator’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The XT6 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Aviator and the XT6 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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.

Reliability

The Lincoln Aviator’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the XT6’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

The Aviator has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The XT6 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Aviator has a standard -amp alternator (250-amp - Aviator optional). The XT6’s standard 155-amp alternator and largest (optional) 170-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are better in initial quality than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lincoln vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lincoln 19th in reliability. With 19 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 23rd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lincoln vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lincoln 8 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.

Engine

The Aviator’s standard 3.0 turbo V6 produces 90 more horsepower (400 vs. 310) and 144 lbs.-ft. more torque (415 vs. 271) than the XT6’s 3.6 DOHC V6. The Aviator’s optional 3.0 turbo V6 hybrid produces 184 more horsepower (494 vs. 310) and 359 lbs.-ft. more torque (630 vs. 271) than the XT6’s 3.6 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Aviator RWD gets better fuel mileage than the XT6 FWD (18 city/26 hwy vs. 18 city/25 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the Aviator Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The XT6 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Lincoln Aviator, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the XT6.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Aviator has larger tires than the XT6 (255/55R19 vs. 235/55R20).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Aviator offers optional 22-inch wheels. The XT6’s largest wheels are only 21-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The Aviator has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Aviator’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The XT6 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Aviator’s wheelbase is 6.4 inches longer than on the XT6 (119.1 inches vs. 112.7 inches).

Chassis

The front grille of the Aviator uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The XT6 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Aviator has 1.7 inches more front headroom, 1.8 inches more front legroom, 8.4 inches more front hip room, 3.2 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 1 inch more rear legroom, 2.6 inches more rear hip room, 3.9 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.4 inches more third row hip room and .5 inches more third row shoulder room than the XT6.

Cargo Capacity

The Aviator’s cargo area provides more volume than the XT6.

Aviator

XT6

Behind Third Seat

18.3 cubic feet

12.6 cubic feet

Servicing Ease

The engine in the Aviator is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the XT6. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

The Aviator’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The XT6’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the Aviator the driver can close them all from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the XT6 can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Aviator’s exterior PIN entry system. The XT6 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its OnStar® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Aviator’s exterior PIN entry system. The XT6 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its OnStar® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The XT6’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The Aviator’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

Optional air conditioned the front and second row seats keep the Aviator’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The XT6 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.

The Aviator has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The XT6 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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