Aging design. On paper, five years may not seem like a lot of time. In the insanely competitive compact luxury segment, that’s an eternity. Against all-new options like the Genesis GV70 and updated SUVs like the Porsche Macan and BMW X3, the XT5 feels like a senior. That’s not to say the XT5 is a bad SUV – it’s just that other options are much newer.

The XT5’s age is readily apparent on the outside. The vehicle is based on the SRX from 2010. When the competition features stunning, fresh designs, the XT5’s outdated design kicks things off on a bad note. The XT5 is barely competitive in the class, just because of how good other options in the class are. To make the XT5 more competitive, the SUV needs to be fully redesigned.

Well-equipped base trim. While higher trims seem tempting, the base Luxury has plenty of features to be an attractive starting point. With a starting price tag of $45,190 with destination, the Luxury trim also represents good value. For a model that brings extra luxury, the Premium Luxury is the way to go.

Regardless of trim, every XT5 comes with an eight-inch touchscreen. Compared to infotainment systems found in other SUVs, Cadillac’s system is on the smaller side. Still, the system includes wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and an eight-speaker Bose audio system. The Premium Luxury trim adds a wireless smartphone charger.

Cadillac offers the XT5 with a lengthy list of standard safety features. Things like lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking are standard. The Premium Luxury trim adds blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-change alert.

The Premium Luxury trim also opens the door to more advanced safety features. Reverse automatic emergency braking, enhanced forward automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, parallel and perpendicular park assist, a surround-view parking camera are available. Offering General Motors’ Super Cruise hands-free system would give the XT5 a large advantage over competitors in the segment, but it doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon.

Sharp V6 power. The XT5 is a bit of a head-scratcher on the performance front. The SUV’s engines have peppy performance, but the handling isn’t up to scruff for the class. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 237 horsepower is standard. The available 3.6-liter V6 engine that makes 310 hp is a better overall option, bringing more power and extra refinement.

The XT5’s available V6 engine isn’t a match for performance SUVs from Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, or BMW. Additionally, regardless of what engine the XT5 is fitted with, the SUV has an uncomfortable ride on anything that’s not a perfect stretch of road. The Sport trim ads Brembo brakes, adaptive suspension, and a steering assist system, but these don’t really make the XT5 feel that much sportier.

Keep the XT5 on a highway and the SUV’s ride smooths out immensely. On the right stretch of road, the Cadillac feels like a capable cruiser that puts comfort first.

Restrained, spacious cabin. Against Mercedes-Benz, which offers some of the most lavish, high-end interiors on the market, the XT5's restrained interior seems like a downgrade. The SUV lacks the same shock and awe as its rivals, featuring a much simpler design. The base Luxury trim is only available in a black interior color scheme, which makes the XT5 feel drab.

The good news is that the XT5’s cabin has an above-average amount of space. There’s nothing to complain about in the front, as the seats are comfortable and supportive. Passengers in the back get spacious accommodations, though taller passengers may find headroom to be a little tight.

Cargo capacity is plentiful for a road trip. The XT5 offers 30.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and a total of 63 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. These aren’t class-leading figures, but they line up well with the majority of the competition.

Final thoughts. The 2022 Cadillac XT5 isn’t a bad SUV, it just competes in one of the most cutthroat segments. Others are far more well-rounded than the XT5. When it comes to technology, performance, luxury, and styling, the XT5 can’t compete against newer rivals. You really need to wow consumers in this class and the XT5 simply doesn’t do that.

All-new for 2022, the Genesis GV70 arrives with a chip on its shoulder. It has a stunning design, an available V6 engine that makes 375 hp, loads of tech features, and an opulent cabin. The GV70 isn’t a roomy SUV, but it’s a fantastic choice.

The BMW X3 is the quintessential compact SUV. It has athletic handling, powerful engines, and some high-tech features. The X3’s interior design is starting to get old and it’s hard to see out of because of its small mirrors, but it continues to be a fun SUV that pampers passengers.

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