With minimal changes that include three new colors and more standard safety features for a number of models, the 2019 Cadillac XT5 also continues to offer buyers a nicely-appointed interior, smooth ride, and an affordable base price that set it apart. But the price can climb quickly, the infotainment system can be frustrating, rear seat room for three is tight, and the front-wheel-drive model is a bore.

Best Value

Offered in base, Premium, Premium Luxury, and Platinum trim levels, prices start at $42,690 for a silver metallic (the only no-cost color option) front-wheel-drive model in base trim and extend beyond $69,000 for an all-wheel-drive Platinum model equipped with optional paint and 20-inch Midnight Grey wheels.

Like last year, we'd skip the base model for the next-level Luxury trim which adds leather seating (heated up front), a panoramic sunroof, memory settings for the driver's seat, steering column, and outside mirrors (heated with auto-dimming driver's side), a heated steering wheel, wireless device charging, front park assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rain-sensing wipers. It also brings along the base model's rear seat reminder, rear park assist, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-inch touchscreen with in-vehicle apps and Bluetooth, rearview camera, configurable teen driver settings, Bose audio system, and satellite radio.

Newly standard this year and unavailable on the base trim is the Driver Awareness Package that includes forward collision warning, a Following Distance Indicator, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, and low speed automatic emergency braking.

  • Model: 2019 Cadillac XT5 Luxury
  • Engine: 3.6-liter V6
  • Output: 310 hp / 271 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • MPG: 18 City / 25 Hwy
  • Options: All-wheel drive ($2,500)
  • Base Price: $49,490 (including a $995 destination fee)
  • Best Value Price: $51,990

Performance

Cadillac XT5

The XT5 is nimble, especially during cornering, while the responsive 3.6-liter V6 engine paired with a precise-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission offers a nice performance feel. Steering is light under low loads, centering nicely at high speeds, while Sport mode increases heft. Shifts are smooth and quick, there's an ear-pleasing note from under the hood, and the optional all-wheel drive makes things grippier.

On the flip side, the AWD system isn't intended for off-road use, the pause between gears in the shift-by-wire system can make rocking in snow difficult, while the drive-by-wire gear shift doesn't provide the same robust functionality as a traditional shifter. In addition, the best ride quality is only available on the top Premium Luxury and Platinum trims that are equipped with a continuous damping control suspension, while full speed automatic emergency braking is standard and only offered on the Platinum model.

Style

Cadillac's most recent styling language is softened for the XT5 with an improved stance, slick swept-back headlights and and pleasing lines. It's a small step forward from the previous SRX model. Interior changes are more apparent with solid and supportive front seats, soft-touch surfaces, and upscale features throughout the cabin. The rear seat features a 60/40 split with 30 cubic feet of cargo space behind it that can be expanded by moving the rear seats forward, while storage can expand to 63 cubic feet with they're folded flat.

However, Cadillac's infotainment system can't stand up to Apple CarPlay. Apple's system is more intuitive, responsive, and smarter than Cadillac's CUE system. In addition, taller occupants will notice a lack of head room, especially in models that have a sunroof. Despite the fact that the XT5 is a five-seater, it's narrower than many competitors, so three adults will struggle to fit in the back.

The Best and Worst Things

The XT5's upscale interior rivals offerings from both Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

The XT5's lack of rear seat space can be an issue.

Right For? Wrong For?

Cadillac XT5

Style-conscious buyers will find the XT5's elegant interior and rounded exterior lines attractive.

Eco-conscious buyers should look elsewhere because of middling fuel economy numbers. The FWD XT5 is rated by the EPA to get up to 19 miles per gallon city, 26 mpg highway, and 22 combined (18/25/21 with AWD) – good for the class, but nothing to write home about.

The Bottom Line

The 2019 Cadillac XT5 is a strong competitor in its class thanks to its upscale interior, improved styling, and smooth ride. Buyers just have to look past a lack of rear seat space and distracting CUE infotainment system.