2017 Cadillac XT5 Review – This is no mini Escalade • 14 September 2016
As a Brit who harbors a dark, some might say unnatural love for Cadillac’s Escalade , I’m used to wearing my perversions on my sleeve, but I may be immune to the charms of the 2017 Cadillac XT5. Though sharp styling and clever all-wheel drive are welcome, as is an impressively high quality cabin that in most respects punches above its weight, there’s the all-important question of that magic spark that true love requires. The XT5 was overdue. Crossovers are the hot segment in automotive sales right now, and Cadillac’s only option, the aging SRX, fell far short of what rivals were offering. Never mind competing with the Germans, Cadillac’s stodgy crossover paled in comparison to far more mass-market fare. Caddy’s answer is the XT5, a Mini Me to the Escalade’s boxy-suited bruiser. If the Escalade stands, arms folded, barring your way into the club, the XT5 lurks, glaring in its shadow, waiting to stamp the hand of those permitted through. The crisp design is still evident, though without the near Art Deco flourishes that help give the Escalade its presence on the road. Instead, the XT5 is more city-scale, probably no bad idea given the target audience. It’s easy to navigate through traffic, the higher seats giving a suitably elevated, imperious perspective, but with big side-mirrors, cameras, and bleeping radar sensors to aid with parking. Inside, it’s a mixed bag. Cadillac’s love-it-or-hate-it CUE system takes center stage, with CarPlay, Android Auto, and an interface that errs on the slightly-busy, slightly-sluggish side more often than I’d prefer. The company can do better, as evidenced by the slightly more refined version of CUE in the CT6, and has better still planned as the recent Escala concept previews. Build quality feels higher than you’d experience in, say, Lexus’ NX, with broad sweeps of soft-touch Alcantara and leather, punctuated with brushed metal and matte-finish wood. It shouldn’t work, particularly in the turnip purée beige of this particular review car, but it does. Some of the switchgear and control decisions are questionable, mind: the gearshift that looks like a robotic prosthesis and operates in about as confusing a way, for instance, and the heated/cooled seat buttons feel cheap and fragile. There’s wireless charging under the driver’s armrest, but it’s a narrow bay you need to squeeze your phone into. Cadillac puts a sizable LCD between the analog speedo and tachometer, which I like, but then monopolizes a huge chunk of it with dials for engine temperature, fuel level, oil temperature, and battery charge. I’ve no doubt they’re useful if you’re off-road in the dessert, but I’d have preferred smaller gages and a bigger navigation display, or media information. In the back, the seats are even higher and the panoramic glass roof keeps things from feeling too dark, despite the tinted windows, even if it does cut into head room a little. Trunk space is, at 30 cubic feet with the rear seats up or 63 with them down, stronger than most competitors in the segment. Cadillac’s powertrain, though, leaves something to be desired. Its naturally aspirated 3.6-liters are rated for 26 mpg on the highway, 18 mpg in the city, and 21 combined for this AWD model; in my mixed testing, I saw 20 mpg. That’s less than 2 mpg better than I managed in my (far from light-right-footed) testing of the Escalade last year, despite its 6.2-liter V8. I could forgive the XT5 were it sucking down fuel in return for copious performance, but that’s really not evident. 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft. of torque sounds ample but the Caddy is content to thrum along without much in the way of eagerness. The eight speed automatic transmission can be slow to downshift unless your right foot gets especially aggressive. All-wheel drive is a $2,495 option, but it’s worth noting that you can’t add it to the $39,990 base car. Instead, you’ll need the Luxury trim or higher, starting out at $45,890, which means the cheapest AWD XT5 is a hefty $48,385. Still, it’s a clever system, with an electronically controlled rear differential and the ability to shift up to 100-percent of the torque to the front or rear wheels. In Tour mode, AWD only kicks in when the car starts to lose grip; otherwise, it’s FWD. A button on the center console allows you to manually switch it on. There’s more grip than there is power to unsettle it, I suspect, and with AWD active the XT5 clings in corners impressively. Sadly, even Sport mode doesn’t really coax more than extra noise out of the engine. Better, then, to treat the XT5 as a comfy cruiser, a task at which it does impressively well. Potholes and poor quality road surface are dealt with in short order, with little in the way of noise or jerkiness making it through to the cabin. Cadillac couldn’t afford to not be in the crossover segment, but while the XT5 ticks the right boxes, it lacks both the confusing charm of its Escalade big brother and the surprising refinement of its sedan cousins on the road. Its cabin is comfortable and nicely appointed, its ride smooth, and its AWD system confident, but there’s none of the brutish eagerness to play that the rest of its family displays. Perhaps, though, that doesn’t really matter. The outgoing SRX was, despite being old, and lumpy, and not especially pleasant to drive, Cadillac’s best-selling vehicle. The 2017 XT5 is notably better in every respect, and I think should therefore have no issues picking up the torch its predecessor set down and running with it. Just don’t expect the same forbidden love affair that an Escalade inspires.
2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum • 7 September 2016
The 2017 Cadillac XT5 enters a competitive compact crossover luxury field, but it's up to the challenge with a sizable interior, revised CUE infotainment system, and solid performance and fuel economy.
2017 Cadillac XT5 Review • 9 August 2016
Given how readily I’d recommend the rest of Cadillac’s lineup for an MVP award, I anticipated the XT5 would deserve similar recognition. Compared to the outgoing SRX, the XT5 is a massive leap – improved in every way (yes, even the rear end design). But while Caddy’s other offerings no longer rely on their value proposition to lure buyers, the XT5 may not yet be ready to take off its training wheels. Cadillac has a genuine competitor on its hands in Mercedes — a fact that is crucial to the luxury marque’s continued renaissance — but blending in won’t cut it when buyers are convinced their only choices hail from foreign lands. It takes more than a whiff of greatness to persuade stodgy shoppers to expand their horizons.
Auto Express • 22 July 2016
We drive Cadillac's new XT5 SUV, but should we be happy or disappointed that it's not coming to the UK?
2017 Cadillac XT5 First Look Review • 9 November 2015
In the styling department, the XT5 gets many familiar cues from its sedan siblings. The headlight treatment, for example, is a riff on the CT6, and the taillights are similar to the ATS and CTS. Like the Q5 and GLE, the overall look is a bit conservative, especially compared to the sharp and edgy 2016 Lexus RX . For more visual punch, customers can upgrade from the standard 18-inch wheels to larger 20 inchers, which also add continuous damping control. Interior design will look similar to other Cadillacs, and accents will include a choice of aluminum, carbon fiber, or wood. Pricing hasn't been announced but shouldn't be too far off from the SRX's base MSRP of $38,600. Cadillac says production of the 2017 XT5 will begin next spring. Based on the preliminary specs and details, the XT5 should continue the SRX's reign as Cadillac's best-selling model, especially if the range expands with the turbo-four and the plug-in hybrid options.