Cadillac introduced the midsize XT5 for the 2017 model year as a replacement for the outgoing SRX and gave it a midcycle refresh for 2020. The XT5 is a middle child in Cadillac's lineup of crossover SUVs. It is positioned above the subcompact XT4 and below the three-row XT6 and Escalade. The XT5 competes against other premium SUVs including the Lincoln Nautilus, Lexus RX, and Volvo XC60.
The XT5 was Cadillac's best-selling model last year, but we're questioning why quite so many buyers chose to turn over their cash for this SUV middle child. Its cabin looks premium, but looking toward areas of the cabin that see less traffic reveals hard plastics and obvious cost-cutting. The smattering of different materials is a head-scratcher, too, but the infotainment system is excellent.
Where the XT5 really falls behind, though, is when the Cadillac is compared to other luxury SUVs. Premium Luxury models can easily cross into the $60,000 range; competitors like the Volvo XC60, Lincoln Corsair or Nautilus, and Lexus RX offer superior dynamics and better material quality at a lower price.
The XT5 isn't all bad. Both engines provide adequate power, though the nine-speed can be hesitant to downshift, and the comfortable suspension surprises with minimal body roll and decent handling. The back seat is another strong point; it's spacious enough for 6-footers and offers available heated seats. The XT5 cabin is pretty quiet, too. As a package though, this is yet another Cadillac we struggle to recommend.
The XT5 features the same powertrain offerings as its larger sibling, the XT6. Both engine choices feature standard FWD, available AWD, and a nine-speed automatic transmission.
Entry-level trims utilize a 2.0-liter turbo-four developing 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque that, in our test of the slightly smaller XT4, resulted in a 0-60 time of 7.5 seconds. Expect the 2.0T XT5 to be a few tenths behind. Fuel economy measures 21/26-28 mpg city/highway.
Those seeking more power should opt for the available 3.6-liter V-6. It generates 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque, but fuel economy suffers compared to the turbo-four. The V-6 XT6 is EPA-rated at 18/25-26 mpg. When we tested an AWD V-6 example with the older eight-speed automatic, it reached 60 in 6.5 seconds, though the FWD variant achieved the same in 6.4 seconds. It might be a tad quicker with the new nine-speed.
Yes! Well, sort of. The 3.6-liter V-6 optional on XT5 Premium Luxury and standard on Sport models serves myriad purposes across the General Motors portfolio. Not only is it available as a mid-level option on the Chevrolet Camaro, it also powers versions of the GMC Acadia, Chevrolet Blazer, and Cadillac XT6. A twin-turbocharged version can be found under the hood of the now-discontinued Cadillac ATS-V and it just might make a comeback for the upcoming CT4 Blackwing.
The XT5 performs well in IIHS safety testing with the highest possible Good crashworthiness tests and Superior or Advances scores for the optional and standard front crash prevention systems. That said, a Marginal headlight score due to inadequate visibility holds it back. The XT5 also earns a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA with five-star front and side crash scores and a four-star rollover rating.
As for driver-assist active safety features, the XT5 includes automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and front and rear parking sensors as standard. Adaptive cruise control, reverse automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring, night vision, and a 360-degree camera system are all available as optional extras.
The XT5 includes seating for five with 41.2 inches of legroom up front and a generous 39.0 inches for rear seat passengers. Cargo capacity measures 30.2 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 63.0 cubes with the rears folded down.
Regardless of trim, every XT5 features an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that gains wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality for 2021. Entry-level models feature an eight-speaker Bose audio system, but a 14-speaker setup is available.
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