Cadillac XT5

At the heart of the Cadillac XT5 is a new 3.6L naturally aspirated V6 engine, the same unit that powers their new ATS sedan. In the XT5, the engine is rated at 310 hp and unlike many of its rivals, the XT5's engine makes its power smoothly and with the kind of refinement that simply can't be replicated through turbocharging. Despite its lack of turbocharger though, the XT5 promises to be plenty fuel efficient, thanks to modern advances in technology. Start/stop tech allows the engine to shut off in traffic, while cylinder deactivation allows two of the cylinders to shut down when the engine is only at part throttle. Power is sent to either the front wheels or to all four wheels via a refined 8-speed automatic, the only transmission option.

The XT5 comes in four different trims, Base XT5, Luxury, Premium Luxury and Platinum. The base version is only available in front-wheel drive guise, but it still comes equipped with most of the features one would expect on a near $40,000 vehicle. Standard items include an 8-speaker Bose stereo, Cadillac's CUE infotainment system, an 8" color touchscreen, an 8-way power adjustable front driver's seat, SiriusXM satellite radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start and a 5.7-inch color driver information center in the instrument panel. Exterior features include 18-inch wheels, roof rails, heated mirrors and a power rear liftgate.

Luxury trimmed XT5's add a panoramic double sized sunroof, heated front seats, rear parking assist and cross traffic alert, machine-faced aluminum wheels, power folding side mirrors, an automatically dimming rearview mirror and a memory package for all seat and mirror settings.

Premium Luxury adds vented front seats, a 14-speaker Bose sound system, computer controlled performance suspension, 20-inch aluminum wheels, LED headlamps, illuminated exterior door handles, a navigation system and additional interior lighting.

The top of the line Platinum package pulls no punches when it comes to luxury. With its standard all-wheel drive, the Platinum trim includes heated rear seats, tri-zone climate control, a rearview display mounted in the mirror, a heads up display, a no-touch feature on the power rear liftgate, unique 20-inch wheels, a more advanced security package and an 8-inch high definition gauge cluster.

Editors' Review

The XT5 is Cadillac's midsize luxury utility vehicle, a versatile and cushy hauler that competes with rivals like the Lexus RX 350 and Lincoln Nautilus. To keep pace with these foes, and others, the XT5 was mildly enhanced last year, gaining a new turbocharged base engine, some updated tech and mildly tweaked styling, changes that continue forward for 2021. But while the XT5 is pleasant enough to drive and has a neatly trimmed cabin, the whole package feels a bit middle of the road in a segment where excellence is expected.

This Sport-trim model features a fetching five-sided grille outlined in satin chrome and filled in with a black mesh texture. This prominent opening is flanked by LED headlamps, which are standard across the XT5 range. When viewed head-on, this vehicle is elegant, though, regrettably, the rest of its body is less attractive. If the XT5's styling were one of the seven dwarves in Snow White, it'd be Dopey. The proportions seem off, which makes the whole thing look dull. With an oddly elevated hood and body that seems too tall and narrow, this Cadillac is a bit ungainly, reminding me of a smaller vehicle dressed in a fat suit. 

But there is good news: None of that awkwardness carries through to the cabin. The XT5's interior is beautifully designed and more comfortable than you might expect. With plenty of soft, semi-aniline leather along with a wrapped-and-stitched instrument panel, microfiber-suede headliner and fetching bronze-hued carbon-fiber trim, it's attractive and upscale. These upgrades are all included in the $3,650 Platinum Package. The front bucket seats are supportive enough to maintain good posture yet they're still supple, so your ass doesn't fall asleep on longer drives. This Caddy's backseat is great as well, with plenty of room for taller adults, plus the lower cushion is a good height above the floor and nicely angled for a natural seating position.

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The Good ~ Excellent infotainment system ~ Over-the-road refinement ~ Upscale interior

The Bad ~ Real-world fuel economy could be better ~ Sluggish climate controls ~ Frumpy proportions

The Bottom Line The XT5 is a nice luxury utility vehicle, one that nonetheless feels like it could achieve a bit more.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 7
  • Features 7.5
  • Design 7
  • Media 9

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