Under Cadillac’s new model-naming system, sedans start with a "CT" prefix while crossovers start with "XT." First of the latter is the all-new 2017 XT5 (Crossover Touring 5), which replaces the SRX model.
Practically nothing is shared between the XT5 and its SRX predecessor, though body proportions are similar. Appearance of the midsize luxury crossover is totally new, following the latest Cadillac design trends, and the new model weighs some 278 pounds less than the old SRX.
What's New for 2017
The XT5 is a brand-new model, replacing the departed SRX crossover.
Choosing Your Cadillac XT5
A new powertrain for the XT5 consists of a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. Active Fuel Management can shut down two of the six cylinders when the XT5 is pulling a light-to-moderate load, and full power isn’t needed. Standard Stop/start technology can cut the engine at traffic stops, as a fuel-saving measure. Fuel economy is estimated at 19 mpg in city driving and 27 mpg on the highway (22 mpg combined), dropping to 18/26 mpg (city/highway) with all-wheel drive.
An electronically-controlled shifter operates the new eight-speed automatic transmission, which includes paddle shifters. Front-drive is standard, but a newly available “twin-clutch” all-wheel-drive system can send up to 100 percent of engine torque to the rear if need be, as well as from side to side.
Built on a slightly longer wheelbase than the SRX, the new XT5 is a bit more compact. Lightweight construction helps provide greater interior space. As a heft comparison, Cadillac says the XT5 is more than 650 pounds lighter than a Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class. Standard wheels are 18-inch, but 20-inch tires are available.
Cadillac sought a strong visual presence for the XT5, and flowing lines are separated by crisp edges. Fitting between sweptback headlights is a big grille that contains a floating Cadillac emblem. Vertical LED running lights are mounted, along with wraparound taillights. A horizontal orientation of the dashboard surfaces helps give the cabin a wider appearance, and cut-and-sewn wrapped panels are the rule. Back-seat legroom is 3.2 inches greater than in an SRX. The rear seat reclines and slides fore/aft.
A newly available Rear Camera Mirror system is said to enhance rearward vision by 300 percent, displaying the exterior view within the inside rearview mirror. Software even deletes obstacles such as the car’s roof, rear pillars, and back-seat passengers from the displayed view. Cadillac’s CUE infotainment has been upgraded, and the system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Four trim levels are offered, two of them with a choice of front-drive or all-wheel drive:
Although the list of active-safety features is impressive, many are optional rather than standard, even on upper models. Picking the top Platinum model might seem excessive, and is certainly costly; but it’s the only way to get certain tech features, including the Rear Camera Mirror, Surround Vision, and head-up display.
For 2017, Cadillac replaces the aging SRX crossover with the all-new XT5. This new midsize offering solves many of the complaints buyers had about the SRX, but it is not without its own flaws.
Pricing and Equipment
The XT5 sits in a hyper-competitive market, so pricing is a pressing issue when battling more prestigious brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi. The base model, known as the XT5 FWD starts from just $38,995, putting it well below the $40,900 2016 Audi Q5. While that price sounds highly competitive, the Q5 comes standard with all-wheel drive and adding the same to the XT5 puts the base price at $47,390.
Though it lacks all-wheel drive, the base XT5 does come with a list of desirable amenities that includes:
Dual-zone climate control
Bose eight-speaker sound system
Adaptive remote start
OnStar with 4G LTE
The XT5 is also available in three higher trims: Premium, Premium Luxury, and Platinum.
The XT5’s retuned 3.6-liter V6 engine is a joy throughout the rev band and comfort is superb.
310 horsepower is plenty for this midsize crossover
Eight-speed transmission is the perfect match
Continuous dampening control delivers amazing comfort
While the XT5’s straight-line performance is good for this class, it lacks the finesse of its rivals on curvy roads. What’s more, the costs to feed this V6 engine could rack up over the years.
Doesn't deliver sedan-like performance like its German rivals
22 mpg combined will get costly and no fuel-efficient options
Front-wheel drive configuration takes away some of the fun
The XT5’s cabin is whisper quiet, making it a great place to spend time. This quietness is made even more enjoyable with great attention to detail and premium materials throughout.
Amazing craftsmanship throughout the cabin
Horizontal theme visually widens the space
Plenty of support in the driver's seat
It’s hard to find faults in the XT5’s cabin as Cadillac has come so far from the SRX. However, we did note that the back seat felt a lot more cramped than the numbers led us to believe.
Rear seat is nto as pleasant as it should be
Cue system, while whole better, is still quite frustrating
The Most Pleasant Surprise
We know that Cadillac has vastly improved its cabins over the years, but the XT5 is beyond expectations. Sure, the cut-and-sewn leather is amazing, but the list goes well beyond that as it is well laid out, loaded with features, and super quiet.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
We don’t necessarily expect a supercar in the luxury midsize crossover segment, but the XT5 falls well behind its competitors in performance. Sure, it is good in a straight line, but once the corners come up, the clinching begins.
The Bottom Line
For the bottom dollar, the XT5 is a great value, but the high cost to get all-wheel drive lessens its value a bit. If you need traction at all four wheels, make sure to cross-shop some competitors.