2017 Cadillac XT5

PHOENIX — The reinvention of Cadillac into a contemporary luxury brand continues with the latest introduction to the lineup with the first ever XT5 an all-new replacement for the outgoing mid-size SRX crossover vehicle. The SRX was first introduced for the 2004 model year and has been the sales leader for Cadillac.

The new XT5 is powered by GMs latest version of its 3.6-liter 310-horsepower V6. The engine includes cylinder deactivation that allows it to switch down to four cylinders when the vehicle decides it doesn’t need the extra power and can also shut off completely when the vehicle is stopped to save fuel. It’s connected to an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission. This is the only engine and transmission offered for the model.

The driver can even shut off the optional all-wheel drive system to squeeze out a bit more gas mileage.

Front-wheel-drive is standard with all-wheel-drive a $2,645 option but is not available on the base trim model.

The XT5 is built on a new lighter chassis and overall sheds about 300 pounds of weight compared to the SRX and, should also help improve fuel economy.

Designers at Cadillac have paid special attention to presenting the XT5 with a more sophisticated execution of the exterior design. The new grille has a softer look with more rounded edges and features the prominent new Cadillac escutcheon. Front LED headlamps and rear taillamps carry the thin, vertical look seen on both the Escalade and new CT6 sedan. Overall the look is luxuriously elegant and looks absolutely striking.

Like the SRX it’s still a five-passenger crossover with no options for a third row of seats. Second row seats recline slightly, and can slide for and aft to maximize cargo space or add to passenger legroom.

Driving the XT5 is a pleasant experience. It feels steady and planted on the highway with excellent handling, minimum body roll on corners and overall impressive road manners riding on standard 20-inch wheels. The roomier cabin is exceptionally quiet and the ride comfortable.

The 3.6-liter V6 delivers ample power and acceleration with instantaneous power for passing on the highway.

If there is one concern that stands out it’s the rearward visibility that’s compromised with thick rear roof pillars and a very small rear window. However some help is available with standard blind spot monitoring and the inside rearview mirror that comes standard in the top trim level.  The mirror actually is a display for a rear view camera and does take some getting used to.

From the intoxicating pheromone released by supple ventilated leather upholstery, real carbon fiber interior trim pieces, real wood veneers, the cabin is sophisticated, upscale and decadent.

Overall the new XT5 feels refined, luxurious and substantial and, definitely brings back that feeling of driving something special. It’s a feeling Cadillac once had years ago and is now desperately trying hard to bring it back.

Vital Stats

Price: $39,990 - $63,495
Price as Tested: $56,730
Seating: 5
Engine: 3.6-Liter V6
Horsepower: 310 hp
Fuel Economy: 19-MPG City – 27-MPG Highway

Fab Features

Striking design
Gorgeous interior
Impressive drive and handling quality

— Jim Prueter