2019 Cadillac XT5 Platinum AWD Hits And Misses

Jerry Reynolds | October 16, 2018
2019 Cadillac XT5 Platinum AWD Hits And Misses

This week we take a look at the 2019 Cadillac XT5 luxury crossover SUV.  XT5 was completely redesigned in 2017 after replacing the Cadillac SRX.

2019 Cadillac XT5

The XT5 has the signature Cadillac look with the vertical LED lights in the front, 20” wheels, and a large grill that gives the XT5 an aggressive look.  When they did the redesign, GM also set the wheels out to the corners and they made the wheelbase longer, both improved ride and handling, and I like that they tucked the rear wiper under the rear spoiler, that’s a nice feature when going through a car wash.

Pop the hood and you’ll find the very proven 3.6-liter V6 putting out 310-horses that is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles.  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 $41,695.  From there you move up to the Luxury, the Premium Luxury, and then to the top-of-the-line Platinum, which is what I am testing.

In the Cabin

Inside the XT5, you will find rich leather seating that is unbelievably soft and if you have back problems, the power lumbar supports have a lot of range.

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. This is where you switch drive modes from Touring, Sport, and Snow on the all-wheel drive, although I have to say, there is not much difference in the feel from Touring to Sport.


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 probably 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.  It takes a little getting used to.

Infotainment and Technology

Above the shifter are the climate controls, heated and cooled front seats buttons, then just above that is the 8” color touchscreen that operates the Cadillac CUE system, which stands for Cadillac User Experience.  It has been one of my favorite interface systems for years.  CUE offers an 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 also have a terrific head-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.

Room and Cargo Space

The back seat of the XT5 is spacious and built in a 40/20/40 configuration.  You can also slide the seats forward and backward, and if you need more cargo area, they do fold very 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 is 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.

Safety Features and Options

On the safety front, you get blind-spot monitoring, forward collision alert, lane keeping assist, forward and reverse automatic braking, and adaptive cruise control. 

There are only two options on this SUV totaling $1270. It has the trailer towing package and the cargo convenience package, which includes the butt- ugly roof rack.  For the life of me, I can’t imagine who would want these.

Ride and Drive

The XT5 handles, rides, and corners extremely well, and it is incredibly quiet inside.  Fuel economy is 18 in town and 25 on the highway, thanks to 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, and that would prevent me from owning this vehicle.

I will add that I find the interior to be rather bland.  The leather feels very soft, but it needs offset-colored stitching, or perhaps a different color leather insert in the seats to break up all the black inside.

What You'll Pay

MSRP on this SUV, completely loaded, is $68,100 and that puts it in line with other SUVs in its class.

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2019 Cadillac XT5 Platinum

  • What I liked most: The ride and handling, aggressive exterior looks.     
  • What I would change: Let me turn OFF the start/stop & those roof rails!
  • MSRP:  $68,160.
  • Fuel Economy:  18 city/25 highway/25 Combined.
  • Official Color: Shadow Metallic. 
  • Odometer reading when tested: 1900 miles.
  • Weight: 4257 pounds.
  • Spare Tire: Inflator kit.        
  • Length-Width-Height:  190” long/75” wide/66” high.
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 19.4 gallons with filler on the driver’s side.
  • Towing Capacity: 3500 pounds.   
  • 2019 XT5 in a few words:  Nice driving SUV, not overly exciting, but comfortable and capable.
  • Warranty:  4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 6-year/70,000 mile power train warranty with roadside assistance and courtesy transportation.  First maintenance visit is free. 
  • Final Assembly Location:  Spring Hill, TN.     
  • Up Next:  The redesigned 2019 Subaru Forester.
Car P.
Thanks Dennis. I complained loudly about a 2018 Buick that you couldn’t turn off and they changed it for 2019. I am sure they heard the same from many customers and the dealers too. It would keep me from buying one for sure.

Thanks for listening to the show.

Jerry Reynolds, President
Car Pro Radio Network
Car P.
Ken, good to hear from you. I can’t say on XT5, I only had it in clear weather and haven’t heard any reports from anyone in bad weather areas that have one.

I really like the GLE, if it were me I’d go that way. I don’t know enough about Q8 yet, but X3 and Q5 are probably going to feel small after the X5. They are all worthy of consideration. I agree on not putting any more money in the BMW, odds are the spending will not stop.

Jerry Reynolds, President
Car Pro Radio Network
Dennis P.
I had a chance to rent one of these in Boston last week, we drove up through New Hampshire and Maine. Nice ride, comfortable interior. Seemed to get solid MPG. Could've used a bit more power, but the dang start/stop system is a deal breaker. My wife and I were pouring over the manual, looking for an override. I thought how can this be, doesn't everyone listen to the Car Pro??
Ken K.
I read somewhere that the All Wheel Drive function on the Cadillac was great as long as you drove it in nothing more challenging than Slush. Has that been your experience. We get show here and that would make it a non starter. The other thing I wanted to ask about was a replacement for my BMW X 5 diesel. It is becoming a maintenance headache. I just replaced the Particulate Filter which is the diesel equivalent of the catalytic converter. That was about 6K with all of the sensors and labor. I was considering a gas X3 but also the Mercedes GLE, the Audi Q 5, (or Q 8 which is coming out in the December time frame) Do you have any suggestions. I did not consider the Mercedes GLC because I have had two C c;ass sedans but they seemed to fall short of what I expected so I am looking at an E class this go around., but I would appreciate any input even alternatives


Ken Kaiser

Battle Ground Wa