At least in the realm of high-riding SUVs it did

Cadillac showed off its new XT6, three-row crossover at the 2019 Detroit auto show, but its debut took place at a private event prior to the kickoff of the Detroit Auto Show. As such, the other SUV debut (the 2020 Ford Explorer) received a lot more attention at the show. Is the Ford Explorer cooler and more desirable than the Cadillac XT6?

Why the 2020 Ford Explorer Stole the Show from the 2020 Cadillac XT6
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The Cadillac is such a predictable effort, both in terms of style and platform, that it’s kind of hard to get excited about it. Not to say that it’s a bad thing, but that we were expecting it to look a lot like this.

It's basically a larger version of the XT5 two-row crossover with styling cues from the CT6 flagship.

In case you didn’t know, it shares the same basic underpinnings as the front-wheel-drive-biased Chevrolet Traverse, as well as its powertrain.

Why the 2020 Ford Explorer Stole the Show from the 2020 Cadillac XT6
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The Ford, on the other hand, wasn’t predictable at all. For starters, it rides on a rear-wheel-drive platform (like most traditional luxury vehicles do and the XT6 doesn’t), it has more power, more seats, can be had in a desirable ST trim, and a look that will certainly get you noticed. Putting the two vehicles side by side, the Cadillac looks like a cross between a Kia and Volvo, with Cadillac cues grafted on.

Why the 2020 Ford Explorer Stole the Show from the 2020 Cadillac XT6
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Granted, the Explorer’s face takes some getting used to too, but it looks great from the side and (in my view) especially the rear.

The Ford is just a much more exciting package with more character and more performance, whereas the Cadillac was just made because the automaker needed such a model in its range to at least try to compete against the BMW X5, Mercedes GLE and Audi Q7.
Why the 2020 Ford Explorer Stole the Show from the 2020 Cadillac XT6
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The proof is just how much more attention the Explorer is getting compared to the XT6. The XT6 is the kind of car you are asked to write about by your editor-in-chief simply because nobody wants to actually cover it and it isn’t getting any attention. The Explorer, on the other hand, advertises itself and seems like a better and more fun alternative; plus it should be a bit cheaper too.

Further reading

2020 Ford Explorer
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Read our full review on the 2020 Ford Explorer.

Why the 2020 Ford Explorer Stole the Show from the 2020 Cadillac XT6
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The Cadillac XT6 is a Ground-Rule Double That Should’ve Been a Home Run

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