Any time an automaker sets out to completely re-do its best selling vehicle, there is risk. Such is the story of Cadillac completely redesigning the SRX crossover, but that is exactly what it did, and it was long overdue. Introducing the all-new 2017 Cadillac XT5 luxury crossover SUV.
You notice right off the bat the new Cadillac signature look with the vertical LED lights on the front that proudly announces that you own a Cadillac. New exterior lines, 20” wheels, and a large grill give the XT5 a much more aggressive look. GM also set the wheels out to the corners and they made the wheelbase longer, both to improve ride and handling. I love, too, that they tucked the rear wiper under the rear spoiler.
Other improvements over the SRX is that XT5 is lighter by over 300 pounds, gets better fuel economy, has a tighter turning radius, and it is inherently quieter inside.
Pop the hood and you’ll find the workhorse 3.6-liter V6 putting out 310-horses, and an 8-speed automatic transmission. XT5 comes standard with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive is optional, which is what I am reviewing this week.
The XT5 comes in 4 trim levels. The base model starts out at $38,995. From there you move up to the Luxury, the Premium Luxury, and then to the top-of-the-line Platinum, like the one I have been driving all week.
For me, the old SRX interior was not what I would call true luxury. That has all changed with the XT5. Inside you will find rich leather, lots of stitching, real Rosewood, and suede headliner and dash accents. The leather seating is unbelievably soft and if you have back problems, the power lumbar supports have more range than anything I’ve ever been in.
A bright, colorful dash greets you when you sit behind the power tilt steering wheel with controls. In the center of the large tachometer and speedometer, is the driver information system that is controlled from the steering wheel and gives the driver a ton of information, including being able to switch drive modes from Touring, Sport, and Snow (on the all-wheel drive).
The center console has large, hidden, cup holders, and there is a place to charge your cellphone. You will also find the shifter, which I am not a fan of, although some people are fine with it. Basically, there is a button to push if you want to put it in park, but if you want reverse, you push forward and to the left. For drive, you hit a release and pull back. The first few days, I missed shifting into drive about 50% of the time. Call me old school, but I still like park being at the top, reverse under that, then neutral, then drive, but I digress.Cadillac CUE system, which stands for Cadillac User Experience. It has been one of my favorite interface systems for many years. CUE offers Pandora Radio, enhanced 3D GPS navigation and Phone Integration compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
You also access the 360-degree rearview camera, the navigation system, real-time traffic and weather, and it will completely sync with your smart phone. Everything is simple and easy to operate.
From the driver’s seat, you have a terrific heads-up display, and if you hit a button on the inside rearview mirror, it becomes a rearview camera to give you a much wider view of what is behind you. It is a neat feature for sure, but the things behind you are not as clear as using the regular mirror.
The back seat of the XT5 is spacious and built in a 40/20/40 configuration. You can also slide the seat forward and backwards, and if you need more cargo area, they do fold flat. Five people will be very comfortable in this SUV, and the cargo area is quite spacious.
The XT5 Platinum comes with everything you would expect from a loaded Cadillac. Most notable are the Bose stereo system with 14-speakers, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, a power moon roof, power hands-free lift gate, keyless entry, and remote start. The only option on this particular SUV is a $350 compact spare tire.
There is much to love about the XT5. It handles, rides, and corners extremely well. I’ll note again, it is incredibly quiet inside. Fuel economy is 18 in town and 26 on the highway, and I actually got 28 on the highway at 70-miles per hour. XT5 has cylinder- deactivation that cuts you down to 4-cylinders at cruising speeds.
It also has start/stop technology, which shuts the engine down at idle, but allows everything else to run. Unfortunately, this cannot be disabled.
MSRP on this SUV, completely loaded, is $63,845. That hits me as a little higher than the Lexus RX and Lincoln MKX, but this is a great SUV, chocked full of safety technology, and is one of the most pleasurable SUVS I’ve had.