Strengths: Geometry / Steering
Beefy thru-axles on both ends
Triple crank for all around riding
roller bearing suspension - rare and lifetime guarantee
Weaknesses: Cables are long, didn't like clamps
Brakes are not great but work
Rockshock fork not stellar but works well
I needed to get my wife a bike and decided after much looking to get the XC6. It had reasonable spec, a great looking frame design. We were not disappointed when the mail delivered the bike. The beefy through axles, well designed frame, etc. The frame fit her short torso very well, and the front end steering is excellent and tight for technical trails. The shifters are precision and solid for being value oriented. We love it and at the price of below $1400 was a huge bargain.
I did swap out the fork for a Manitou Tower Pro which really enhanced the performance of the bike. The headset is caged ball instead of sealed and was short on grease, but otherwise very impressed. I like the ability to upgrade to specific parts we want instead of buying higher spec models that still may not have what you want. The XC6 is a great bike for starters and can be ghetto tubeless converted. With some heavy pedals (huge rat trap ones I had laying about) it in 17" size weighs about 32-33 lbs (bathroom scale).