- Pleasing ride and handling
- Generous interior space
- Excellent forward visibility
- Only one engine choice
- Tech interface can frustrate
- All-wheel drive not available in base trim
The new 2017 Cadillac XT5 continues the brand's push to revamp its lineup. Like the new CT6 luxury sedan, the XT5 brings about a fresh design, lightweight construction, generous passenger space and an unfamiliar name. What does that name mean, anyway? Going forward, Cadillac will start calling its sedans "CT" (for Cadillac Touring) and its crossovers "XT" (for Crossover Touring). The number following relates to the vehicle's place in the hierarchy of the brand -- the higher the number, the more premium the vehicle is.
The new 2017 Cadillac XT5 boasts front-end styling that's similar to the brand's latest sedans.
Where does the XT5 fit? It replaces the SRX, which was Cadillac's best-selling model. And that popularity means the XT5 has its work cut out for it. Though roughly the same size as the outgoing SRX, the XT5's wheelbase stretches about 2 inches longer. This pushes the wheels farther against the front and rear bumpers, opening extra interior space in the process. Other interior improvements include a renewed focus on the quality of materials, including the availability of higher-end leathers in the top Platinum trim. This trim also delivers cool new tech features, like a rearview mirror that can display the view from a camera mounted on the liftgate.
In addition to the newfound interior space and features, the XT5 also benefits from significantly lighter construction than the SRX. This weight loss helps it ride better, consume less fuel and accelerate more quickly. The driving experience is further improved by enlarged and relocated sideview mirrors, which aid outward visibility. For now, Cadillac is sticking with a 3.6-liter V6 as the XT5's sole engine.
If you're shopping for one of these luxury crossover SUVs, the options may seem endless. Yet, the competition in the segment ensures each entrant is worth a look. The Lexus RX 350 has slightly less cargo capacity, but offers excellent fuel economy and an optional hybrid drivetrain. The Lincoln MKX trails the XT5 in fuel economy, but has more passenger and cargo volume. It's also available with a powerful turbocharged six-cylinder engine. The German offerings (Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class) are a bit smaller, but have better fuel economy and a broader selection of engines -- from gas and diesel four-cylinders to high-output six-cylinders, depending on model. Still, we're sure many will find the XT5 the most appealing due to its distinctive styling, interior space and pleasing driving traits.
WHAT'S NEW FOR 2017
The Cadillac XT5 is a new model for 2017.
TRIMS & EQUIPMENT
The 2017 Cadillac XT5 is a five-passenger SUV available in four trim levels: XT5 (base), Luxury, Premium Luxury and Platinum.
The base XT5 comes standard with 18-inch wheels, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, LED daytime running lights, automatic headlights, a power rear liftgate with memory height, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, leatherette upholstery, an eight-way power driver seat, a six-way power passenger seat, a 40/20/40-split sliding and reclining second-row seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition and entry, and remote engine start. Technology features include an 8-inch central touchscreen with the CUE infotainment interface, voice commands, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, OnStar (with a 4G LTE connection and WiFi hotspot capability), GM's wireless device charging and a Bose eight-speaker sound system with satellite radio, four USB ports and an auxiliary input jack.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay come standard.
Upgrading to the Luxury trim gets you leather upholstery, an eight-way power front passenger seat, front seat power lumbar, heated front seats, driver memory settings, a heated steering wheel, interior accent lighting, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a panoramic sunroof. Added safety features for the Luxury include front parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring. The cargo area receives a management system and a retractable shade.
Options for the XT5 Luxury include a towing package, ventilated front seats, heated outer rear seats, three-zone climate control and a navigation system that comes bundled with a 14-speaker Bose stereo. The upgraded stereo also allows one to opt for LED headlights with front park and cornering lamps. A Driver Awareness package adds forward collision alert and mitigation (with automatic braking and pedestrian detection), lane departure warning and intervention, and automatic high-beam headlights. The Advanced Security package includes an alarm that senses vehicle movement outside and in, a locking steering column, door lock and latch shields, and locking wheel lugs.
The Premium Luxury trim gets the Driver Awareness package and navigation standard. It also comes with 20-inch wheels, illuminated door handles, continually adjusting suspension dampers, interior accent lighting and ventilated front seats.
Buyers of the XT5 Premium Luxury trim can option three-zone automatic climate control. Also available is a Driver Assist package that includes adaptive cruise control, an enhanced collision mitigation system and an automatic parking system.
The all-wheel-drive-only Platinum trim is loaded with features, including trim-specific 20-inch wheels, upgraded leather upholstery, heated outer rear seats, three-zone climate control, an upgraded gauge cluster display, a hands-free power liftgate and premium floor mats. It comes with a variety of visual aids, including a rear camera mirror, a top-view camera system and a head-up display. While the Advanced Security package is standard, the Driver Assist package remains optional.
INTERIOR & SAFETY
The 2017 Cadillac XT5's interior presents a renewed focus on design and quality of materials. While base models come with leatherette surfaces, most models will have a choice of four leather seating surfaces. The higher-end leather options in the Platinum trim look and feel special. Unfortunately, Cadillac continues to use piano-black trim around the infotainment displays, a choice that highlights fingerprints.
Thanks to real wood and stitched leather, the XT5's interior looks great.
Every XT5 comes with an infotainment system called Cadillac User Interface (CUE). Though we've voiced distaste for this system in previous Cadillacs, a quicker processor and small design tweaks reduce the headache. CUE now responds quickly to inputs, but the display can appear cluttered at times, especially when using the optional navigation. Fortunately, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard across all models and provide a friendlier user experience.
Where previous Cadillacs used touch-sensitive panels to adjust things like climate settings, every switch in the XT5 is a physical button. We welcome this change, as the tactile sensations of real buttons take the needless guesswork out of setting the temperature or the level of desired seat heating. Unfortunately, there's still no volume dial. Instead you swipe your finger across a horizontal bar below the infotainment screen. As it doesn't have the accuracy or response of a dial, we were content using the physical steering wheel controls.
We do like the XT5's spacious interior. The second row will feel roomy to normal-sized adults, with plenty of knee- and legroom -- enough to cross your legs. Even though the size of the XT5 is roughly the same as the SRX it replaces, Cadillac added 3.2 inches of rear legroom by moving the front and rear wheels closer to the corners. Rear headroom is a little tight, but you can recline the rear seatbacks to give yourself some extra space. The second row also slides forward and back, either benefiting legroom or storage space. Backseat passengers will also appreciate the two USB ports for charging devices.
At 30 cubic feet behind the second row, cargo capacity compares favorably to the Audi Q5 and Lexus RX 350. The second row folds flat and extends storage space to 63 cubic feet. Elsewhere in storage, front passengers will find a clever pass-through cubby underneath the center console. It's sized to fit a handbag or purse.
Standard safety features include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front airbags, curtain airbags, driver knee airbag and OnStar support, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking and stolen vehicle assistance.
Most XT5s will be optioned with a Driver Awareness package that includes forward collision alert, a following distance indicator, lane departure warning and intervention, front pedestrian detection, forward collision mitigation and a seat that vibrates to alert its driver if it senses the vehicle drifting or nearing an obstacle when parking. An optional Driver Assist package (Premium Luxury and Platinum trims) bolsters these features with added collision mitigation functionality.
Putting a window where the sideview mirror used to sit on the XT5 helps improve forward visibility.
The 2017 Cadillac XT5 has excellent forward visibility. The large sideview mirrors sit on the door versus ahead of the side windows, opening up the space in front of the driver. And though only available with the Platinum trim, a rear camera mirror looks to be a promising safety feature. Flipping a switch on the mirror activates a video feed from a camera mounted above the rear license plate. The wide-angle image shows a rear view unobstructed by rear headrests or roof pillars. We weren't able to test it extensively, but found it capable of solving rear visibility concerns at the cost of minor disorientation.
PERFORMANCE & HANDLING
The 2017 Cadillac XT5 comes with a 3.6-liter V6 that produces 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque and is joined to an eight-speed automatic transmission. While front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is available on all trims except for the base and is capable of sending 100 percent of its power to either the front or rear wheels. Power can be further apportioned to individual wheels, depending on traction needs in rain, snow, ice or other surface conditions.
An automatic engine stop-start feature to help save fuel at stoplights is also standard. The EPA rates front-drive models at 22 mpg combined (19 city/27 highway), while the all-wheel-drive XT5 gets a rating of 21 mpg combined (18 city/26 highway).
When equipped with the optional Trailering package, the XT5 offers 3,500 pounds of towing capacity.
While 18-inch wheels are standard, many XT5 models come with 20-inch wheels that include an upgrade to continually adjusting shocks. Despite the size of the wheels, the ride remains compliant -- you don't feel bumps more than once. Around turns, the XT5 feels sharp and conveys a sense of poise.
The 2017 XT5 is quiet and comfortable on the highway.
The XT5 employs a few tricks to boost fuel economy: The engine turns off when you come to a stop and restarts when you're ready to move, and the V6 will occasionally run on four cylinders alone. You might notice the stop-start system at work, but the cylinder deactivation is near invisible. The biggest tell is a page in the digital gauge cluster that shows "V4" when the system is activated.
The 3.6-liter V6 easily motivates the XT5, and it does so with impressive quietness. You only hear the engine after standing on the gas pedal for extended periods, but even then it's still subdued. We're still curious to find how the engine deals with a full load of people and cargo. We're also curious to see if Cadillac will offer more engine choices, like most of the competition.
The new 2017 Cadillac XT5 combines a large interior with a pleasing ride, plentiful outward visibility and a striking design. If you're shopping in the competitive compact luxury SUV segment, the XT5 is worth a look.