Cadillac XT5 — Generally fine, but nothing really stands out from crowd

By Jim Prueter

(October 9, 2022) In recent years, luxury crossovers have gotten wildly popular, with the segment featuring excellent vehicles like the Mercedes GLE, BMW X3, Audi Q5, Lincoln and others. As the luxury marquee for General Motors, Cadillac is aiming for a large slice of the pie with its two-row, five-passenger XT5 that slots above the subcompact XT4 and below the larger three-row XT6 and Escalade.

First introduced for the 2017 model year, the XT5 received a mid-cycle refresh for the 2020 model year, and other than adding a few more standard features there aren’t any major differences between the 2022 and 2023 XT5 models tested.

For 2023 the XT5 is offered in three trim levels: Luxury (base price $44,195) Premium Luxury, (49,995) and Sport ($57.095). All-wheel drive is an extra $2,000 for the Luxury and Premium Luxury and standard for Sport.

For this review we spent a week behind the wheel of the mid-range Premium Luxury trim with the upgraded 310-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine, for an extra $1,000 over the base 2.0-liter 235-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder. The engine is linked to a nine-speed automatic transmission.

Our Premium Luxury XT5 came equipped with the $4,850 optional Platinum Package that included semi aniline leather seating, leather wrapped instrument panel, door trim and center console, microfiber sueded headliner, premium carpeted floor mats, real-time damping performance suspension and illuminated door sills. It also came equipped with seemingly every available extra-cost option, including the enhanced visibility and technology package, night vision, larger wheels and tires, driver assist package, comfort and air quality package, embedded navigation with Bose performance series audio system and $625 extra cost Wilder (dark grey) metallic paint finish. Our XT5’s base price was $53,390 including shipping and jumped to $68,340 with options.

The XT5 has a roomy and comfortable cabin that’s quiet and comfortable and delivers a refined, luxury ride and handling along with a powerful engine and transmission combination. On the road, acceleration is brisk and comes on instantly, and the optional adaptive suspension supremely controlled body roll and instilled a sense of competent and confident handling even on twisty mountain roads.

The overall style and feel of the cabin with a good layout looks nice but feels a bit cheap and short of premium materials and a contemporary look. Noticeably absent are operational buttons in favor of haptic touch sensitive icons that surround the touchscreen. There is an operational knob on the center console, and redundant steering wheel mounted buttons for the infotainment system. Toggles below the center screen operate the climate control system. We liked the new digital gauge cluster, including an 8.0-inch touchscreen that was new for the 2020 model and used since and runs on the brand’s CUE infotainment software.

It isn’t the most up to date system in its class but It’s sharp, clear and easy to read and use. The system can also be controlled using a knob on the center console and some steering wheel controls. There are four USB ports located throughout the cabin for charging mobile devices, and a wireless phone-charging pad between the two front seats.

Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth, four USB ports, HD Radio, satellite radio, an eight-speaker stereo and a Wi-Fi hot spot are all standard. There’s also standard proximity keyless entry, push-button start, remote start and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Cargo space is above average with ample room for luggage and gear, cubby holes for stashing smaller items, and easy-to-fold rear seats that both recline and slide fore and aft for rear passenger comfort.

Other niceties included in our Premium Luxury XT5 included a panoramic sunroof, heated steering wheel, hands-free power liftgate, blind spot monitoring, lane change alert, and rear cross traffic alert.

Standard advanced safety features are plentiful with rearview camera, Teen Driver (lets you set limits on things like audio volume and speed limits), safety alert seat, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, lane keep assist. Available advanced safety features include head-up display, night vision assist, reverse automatic emergency braking, surround-view camera system and parallel and perpendicular park assist.

We liked many things about the XT5, particularly its attractive exterior styling and bang-for-the-buck standard features and driver assist technology. What fell short for us was its unsettled, jiggly ride, anemic and coarse engine and transmission performance far from befitting a near $70,000 luxury SUV. Some of this is seemingly some of this can be blamed on its 20” tires and a firm suspension. It is easy to maneuver and easy to park, however.

Acceleration with our V6 powered XT5 felt slow on initial response but improved with highway passing speeds. Overall impressive performance and a refined engine and transmission isn’t part of the package.

There were areas where we felt the XT5 fell short of excellent competitors. In most areas the XT5 is okay or above average, but several competitors are more powerful, feel posher and more luxurious inside and deliver a better value for the buck in the top trim. A suggested MSRP of almost $68,000 puts our test XT5 is in the same price arena as a Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Sport, Lincoln Nautilus, Mercedes GLE and Audi Q8.

While yes, the Cadillac XT5 is a good midsize luxury SUV, the top two trim prices are hard to justify with the XT5 and is mostly outclassed by these class competitors. There’s just nothing that makes this vehicle stand out from others in its class.

Vital Stats

Base Price: $50,795
Price as Tested: $67,765
Engine/Transmission: 3.6-Liter, 310 horsepower V6 linked to a nine-speed automatic transmission
Fuel Economy: 18/26/21 MPG – City/Highway/Combined
Seats: 5

Where Built: Spring Hill, Tennessee

Crash Test Results: Overall “Good” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and highest possible five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Competes With:
Audi Q5
Genesis GV70
Lexus NX
Lincoln Nautilus
Mercedes GLC
Porsche Macan
Range Rover Evoque
Range Rover Velar,
Volvo XC60

Night Vision Package
Attractive exterior styling
Loaded with standard features

Unsettled, uneven ride quality
Anemic engine performance
Not as luxurious as class competitors