2017 Cadillac XT5: Homegrown Luxury SUV Takes on Europe’s Best

on Jun2

2 June 2017 | 10:18 pm

There’s no doubt about it, the SUV has become the most popular vehicle in the USA, especially for families looking to haul their lives around. Typically, that means lots of compromises, whether it be comfort or performance. Over the years, as these vehicles’ popularity grew, those compromises fell away as manufacturers refined them. One great example of an SUV that just missed the mark a bit was the Cadillac SRX, which this XT5 replaces. So has Cadillac caught back up with the rest of the field with its newest offering? The answer is both yes and no.

First of all, Cadillac is really killing it when comes to design these days. The edgy design that runs across its whole lineup really does evoke a strong sense of style. With angular lines and a V-shaped theme, there’s nothing boring about the looks of the new XT5, either inside or out. Compared to older Caddies, the new design language also promises a sportier driving experience, with a really athletic and modern take on luxury.

Powering the XT5 is Cadillac’s all new 3.6-Liter V6, a bold choice in this day and age of smaller displacement turbo cars. That means instead of a potentially buzzy 4-cylinder, this has a silky smooth V6. While not as efficient, it does give a more refined driving experience and has less parts to fail down the road without the turbo system. The trade-offs are a little less torque and fuel mileage rated at 18-City and 26-Highway MPG. We never did manage to reach that high, getting about 19-MPG in combined usage. The lack of torque is noticed off the line, and you need to rev the engine to have it feel powerful. The 8-speed automatic transmission could do a better job of keeping it in the powerband, but it feels like it’s tuned more to keep the revs low for efficiency.

Technology is another focus for Cadillac, and the XT5 delivers on the safety front with a full suite of active-driver aids. Unfortunately, the infotainment system struggles to provide ease of use to accompany its plethora of features.

Awkward controls and a complex menu still put this system near the bottom of the market, unfortunately. The good news is that with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto you don’t need to use the base system if you prefer to tie it in with your mobile device.

There is plenty of room in the XT5, and despite only having a 5-passenger capacity, those five passengers are coddled in some of the most comfortable seats you could find. The material choices and design of the interior is again a home run for Cadillac. They are simply getting it right when it comes to interior design. It’s clean, modern and luxurious without feeling overdone in any way. Truly a comfortable place to be, and with tons of cargo room at the back, you won’t be short of room to haul your things.

Overall, this new XT5 does bring Cadillac up from where the SRX was. There’s a more cohesive and refined package here, and with great looks to boot. The price is a bit steep, with our test vehicle topping out at around $64k, putting it up against a bunch of more-refined competitors from Europe. With its own unique style, and the history of the iconic Cadillac brand riding along with you, it’s okay to forgive a few of the faults. We really hope that they address the infotainment system soon, but otherwise this is a great option for your next luxury SUV.


By Jason Saini

Special thanks to  the Cadillac Division of General Motors for providing the 2017 Cadillac XT5 for review.

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