Skip to content


As we know, it is a cruel, cruel competitive automotive industry out there and when we start pinning premium brands against each other, the fists come out. In the case of the Cadillac XT5, it has been with us since the era of 2017, when luxury-ish crossovers already took over the place of sedans, the XT5 was late to the game then and now six years later, it is even further behind its peers – Genesis GV70, Porsche Macan, Volvo XC60, Lincoln Nautilus, Mercedes-Benz GLC/GLE, Audi Q5, Lexus RX, Infiniti QX50, Acura RDX, and BMW X3/X5. I think you see our point. The competition is stacked.

Back in 2020, the XT5 introduced a new engine option, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder to help pair against some of the more cost-efficient premium badges. It carried performance numbers to boot with 237-horsepower and 258lb-ft of torque with a 9-speed automatic transmission available in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive versions of the Luxury and Premium Luxury models. Our test subject on the other carried the healthier 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V-6 in all-wheel drive form with a 9-speed automatic, nearly the same set up we had, when we tested it back in 2017.

The 3.6-V6 is a hearty powerplant as we do not see many naturally aspirated engines all that often these days; however, even paired with an all-wheel drive system, it does not like to behave like a premium crossover should. With 310-horsepower and 271lbs-ft of torque on tap, the XT5 leaves it up to the front wheels to wrangle up all that power – to keep the front wheels from constantly spinning at every slight heavy footed maneuver, we had to engage the all-wheel drive system by pushing a button on the center console to help delegate the power more evenly – compared to some of the more advance torque vectoring all-wheel drive systems out there like in the Acura RDX and Genesis GV70, the XT5 loses site of what a premium crossover is supposed to be, ease and comfort.

Things only get worse from here – XT5 feels like an overweight middle-aged child – it comes across as lazy. Even with a healthy V-6, acceleration feels lack lustering, the handling comes across as dull and uneventful – it feels like there is no life, no passion, no personality. The $1700 20-inch rims on our example made for loud thuds over uneven pavements and even though ours was equipped with the $4850 Platinum package that featured adaptive dampers that worked well for providing a comfortable, balanced ride, in the corners it did not provide much improvement on body roll.

At least with the Platinum package it did make for an extremely attractive interior bringing in upgraded leather upholstery, additional leather trim on the dash and a gorgeous premium feeling microfiber suede headliner. The interior is welcoming with a minimalistic approach that makes you feel cocooned in a quiet oasis. Again however, in a crossover that cost nearly $70,000, we start to notice some of the lower quality materials like hard plastics on the door panels and center console.

There is quite a bit of nice technology packed into the XT5 like the $2275 Technology package that adds in 360-degree cameras, rear camera mirror washer, and a heads-up display. It also featured a $2000 optional Night Vision package. While all this technology feels like it is up to modern times, it is hidden behind archaic displays like the small 8” touch screen that feels smaller in person. Now, I am all for analog gauges over digital, but the night vision is packed behind an even smaller TFT display in the gauge cluster making it hard to make out and almost distracting to use while driving.

All of that aside, the XT5 does at least do the crossover thing well; its largely spacious, its supremely comfortable and the seats are decently supportive. Both front and rear seats are heated, and front driver and passenger’s seats are power with ventilation. and rear occupants have plenty of space to cross their legs. With the $1200 three—zone climate control system, rear occupants can even maintain their own level of comfort. There is also generous amount of cargo space and the rear seats fold flat for additional capacity.

As a crossover, the XT5 works well in being the people hauler; the ride is subtle in a straight line, the seats are comfortable, and 5-passengers can fit without starting a tantrum. Competing against the previously mention competitors however and the XT5 is more like it is standing still and struggles to make a case for its $68,340 price tag lacking that luxury prestige of premium finesse and performance capabilities that would be on par to its rivals.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: