Meant to compete with the likes of the Lexus RX 350 and Audi Q5, the 2019 Cadillac XT5 is the compact SUV of GM's luxury brand. The XT5 offers a comfortable ride, a great looking interior, and stylish looks that are competitive with other segment offerings, but the rear seat can feel a bit cramped and it sacrifices fuel economy for power.
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2019 Cadillac XT5 Overview
What's New for 2019
There are no major updates for 2019 with the exception of some price changes and the shuffling of some features.
Choosing Your Cadillac XT5
Clearly, someone at Cadillac still believes that there's no replacement for displacement, because unlike most of its compact competitors, the Cadillac XT5 eschews a miserly four-cylinder for a big 3.6-liter V6 that produces 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque in all trim levels. While this does provide more old-school power, it also hampers the fuel economy rating, depressing it to just 19 miles per gallon in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 22 combined – a score that's several points below many other compact SUVs these days.
The engine is tied to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is available on all trim levels for an extra $3,000.
If you go for the 2019 Cadillac XT5 Luxury trim, and just add the upgraded navigation and speakers, tri-zone climate control, and heated rear seats, you'll get most of the comfort of the Premium Luxury trim for about $4,000 less. That's a pretty good deal, and you'll still have a vehicle that feels like a luxury SUV.
2019 Cadillac XT5 Review
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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