The 2018 Cadillac XT5 carries over from the all-new model introduced last year. While the exterior closely follows the SRX model it replaced, a finely-detailed interior, smooth ride, and impressive range of advanced safety features set it apart. But rear seat room for three is tight. Perhaps the bigger concern for owners, though, is Cadillac's lack of brand cachet compared to its European and Japanese rivals.

Best Value

With a lineup that offers a choice of four trim levels, pricing begins at $41,190 for a silver metallic (the only no-cost color option) front-wheel-drive model in base trim and tops out at over $70,000 for an all-wheel-drive Platinum model equipped with the rear entertainment system, 20-inch Midnight Grey wheels, and the Driver Assist Package.

We'd pass on the base model and pick the step-up Luxury trim which adds leather seating, a panoramic sunroof, memory settings for the driver's seat, steering column and outside mirrors (heated with auto-dimming driver's side), heated steering wheel, front and rear park assist, rear seat reminder, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, and rain-sensing wipers. It offers a leather interior, a larger eight-inch touchscreen with in-vehicle apps and satellite radio, plus access to a number of advanced safety features.

  • Model: 2018 Cadillac XT5 Luxury
  • Engine: 3.6-liter V6
  • Output: 310 hp / 271 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • MPG: 32 City / 40 Hwy
  • Options: All-wheel drive ($2,500), Driver Awareness Package ($770, safety alert seat, forward collision warning, following distance indicator, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, low speed automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, automatic headlights)
  • Base Price: $47,590 (including a $995 destination fee)
  • Best Value Price:$50,860

Performance

Cadillac XT5

The XT5 feels fairly agile, especially during cornering, while the combination of a responsive 3.6-liter V6 paired with a precise-shifting eight-speed automatic offers very good performance. Shifts are quick and smooth, and there's an ear-pleasing note from under the hood.

The pause between gears in the shift-by-wire system might make rocking in snow difficult. In addition, the best ride quality is only available on the most expensive Premium trim, and on models with optional twenty-inch wheels, that come equipped with a continuous damping control suspension.

Style

The softened exterior look is only a small step forward – although a welcome one – from the SRX, with crisper lines and a better stance. Inside, however, the changes are more pronounced with soft-touch surfaces and elegant details throughout the cabin. This feels like a premium cabin.

On the other hand, Cadillac's CUE infotainment system is outshone by Apple CarPlay. Apple's iPhone-assisted system is smarter, more responsive, and more intuitive than Cadillac's oft-criticized infotainment.

Taller occupants will notice a lack of headroom, too – especially in sunroof-equipped models. And while Cadillac bills the XT5 as a five-seater, three adults will find the accommodations tight in back, with a limited amount of shoulder space. Cargo volume is reasonable, though, and the front seats are comfortable for longer stints.

The Best and Worst Things

With elegance and attention to detail, the XT5's interior matches up nicely with offerings from both Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

Falling in size between a compact and mid-size crossover, the XT5's rear seat accommodations – especially for three large adults - are not its strong suit.

Right For? Wrong For?

Cadillac XT5

The XT5's rounded exterior lines and elegant interior details should have more style-conscious buyers visiting Cadillac's showrooms.

While EPA-estimated fuel economy numbers of 19 miles per gallon city, 26 mpg highway, and 22 combined for FWD models and 18 miles per gallon city, 25 mpg highway, and 21 combined for AWD models are good for its class, they'll hardly make tree huggers swoon. On top of that, no hybrid model is available. Eco-conscious buyers will be looking elsewhere.

The Bottom Line

While it faces challenges with headroom, rear seat room, and the CUE infotainment interface, softer styling, elegant interior touches, and a smoother ride – albeit with the available continuous damping suspension - make the XT5 far more competitive - and a solid consideration – in its class.