When it comes to automotive tech, writers like me usually like to go big. We test and review features like autonomous driving tech or how long an electric car lasts on a charge. Honestly, it’s a good idea because it means we are testing features that will hopefully help others decide if a vehicle purchase even makes sense — and if you get what you are paying for.
It’s also worth noting, however, that little things add up. In a luxury crossover or SUV, you want to have the sense that every feature is there for a reason, that the car is elegantly designed, and that it meets your practical needs in terms of a daily commute or carting the family unit around.
With the 2023 Cadillac XT6, I found a small cubby hole by the armrest and, initially, wasn’t 100% what the purpose was. A place to stash a wallet? A compartment meant for storing a parking pass when you enter a build at work? It didn’t dawn on me right away that Cadillac would make such a tiny compartment for your phone, but it’s actually quite brilliant.
First off, wireless charging pads are extremely common in cars these days. I am surprised when there isn’t one, although I do have to hunt around for the pad in some cases. I remember being surprised on the last day of testing a Toyota model once that I finally found the pad tucked under a center console storage area. I get the reason. Toyota was making sure when you stash your phone there that it isn’t easy to see if someone walks past. Unfortunately, the pad is also hard for a new driver to find and also to use on a routine basis. (Sadly, I can’t remember the exact model. If you know which one it is, feel free to post on my social media feed.)
On the XT6, the slow is not really hard to see or find, but there might be a moment when you wonder the same thing as me — e.g., if it is for a wallet.
Turns out the slot is ingenious because it’s really easy to use every time you sit in the car and yet it is also hidden from view. Most of us don’t constantly take our phones in and out of our cars when we park to get gas or drop off books at the library. Yes. we’re glued to them, but it’s nice to know you can leave your phone in the XT6 and not worry that it is sitting out in the open.
Because — most of the charging pads do sit out in the open. They are usually right at your elbow so you can easily grab the phone when needed. That means the pad makes it easier for thieves to see your phone and potentially try to break in to steal it. Car break-ins are becoming more common in my area of Minneapolis in particular, so I was happy to see the hidden slot.
Charging worked quite well with an Apple iPhone 14 Pro I am also reviewing right now. You just turn the phone so that the front is facing backwards and the back is on the pad.
It couldn’t be any easier, and I found I used the slot on each drive, knowing by the time I reached my destination, my phone would be charged up and ready to go.