Better on the inside than on the outside. The exterior styling of the 2020 Cadillac XT5 doesn’t catch the eye, or at least not to the level equaling the Lexus RX or the Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. Its front fascia is dominated by a gaping maw and is offset by long LED lights. Its shoulders stand tall, while its profile sweeps up and back to the rear. From the backside, its boomerang taillights impart visual interest, but not on the level of the Cadillac Escalade. That’s not a bad thing, however.
Inside, Cadillac’s attention to design and detail is laudable. Most of the materials are of sound quality, although Cadillac can’t get away from plastics, even if they’re mostly limited to out-of-the-way places. The XT5 is roomy enough for five, although tall passengers may find rear-seat headroom constraining. You’ll find an average amount of storage space: 30.2 cubic feet behind the second row and 63 cubic feet with the rear seat folded.
A strong base engine and a powerful V6. Cadillac supplies the XT5 with two strong engine choices. The standard 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder generates 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The available 3.6-liter V6 engine develops 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque.
Both engines offer strong step-off acceleration and near-equal passing power. The nine-speed automatic transmission works well under most situations, although we noticed it may strain to move to the next gear when it's cold.
Upgrading to all-wheel drive from front-wheel drive in the Luxury and Premium Luxury trims is a costly proposition, adding $2,000 to your price.
Generous standard safety equipment. We’re happy to see Cadillac equips the XT5 with a long list of standard driver assist safety gear. These include automatic high beams, lane keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. The Teen Driver feature allows parents to limit certain features, including radio volume. You’ll also receive a report, which tracks your teen’s behavior.
Move away from the base trim, and the XT5 comes with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, a surround-view camera system, and a night vision infrared option for detecting large animals and pedestrians are also available.
A long list of features, even on the base model. Luxury models typically come equipped, not stripped. That said, some base models lack the features we’d expect to go along with the steep price tag. Happily, the standard XT5 Luxury trim lives up to its name.
All models come with keyless entry, push button start, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, the standard active safety equipment, an 8-inch touchscreen, a Bose audio system, and imitation leather seats.
Among the upgrades are leather seats, a heated steering wheel, wireless charging, ventilated front seats, and heated outboard rear seats.
Final thoughts. The 2020 Cadillac XT5 offers plenty of safety features and a comfortable ride, but it struggles to stand out in the crowded midsize luxury crossover segment. The subpar quality of cabin materials, lackluster exterior styling, and lack of driving engagement cause it to lag behind rivals.
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