A Very Rewarding Effort
Let me say this straight away, especially for those of you that might skip through the details, the 2017 Cadillac XT5 is massively better than the old SRX, by a country mile. The XT5 sits on an all-new chassis, which provides 2-inches of extra wheelbase but keeps the overall length about an inch shorter. It’s also been on a diet, GM has managed to reduce the weight by almost 300 lb, which adds a liveliness and a fun factor that was absent in the SRX. Our tester was shod with 20s, which seems to be de riguer these days and was packed with every option available.
There is only one engine choice Stateside, the turbo-4 power is only available for other markets, which is a shame as it has more torque than GMs 3.6-liter V6. It’s a decent engine though that delivers 310 hp @ 6,000 rpm and 270 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
There are 3 driving modes, Tour, AWD or Sport. Sport mode is a tad stiff, Touring mode provides smoother progress, while maintaining good composure on the twisty bits. Our car had the new twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system which sends full power front or rear, as well as left or right at the rear axle depending on conditions.
Let’s Get Driving
The first thing I do when a new car shows up is set the seat to the correct position, of course, everyone does this. The second thing on my list is more a reference to our tech filled world, I connect my phone via Bluetooth or in this case using a cable and connecting with Apple CarPlay. In the XT5 both ways were extremely simple, as they should be. It was fitting therefore, that as I drove away, with my playlist on shuffle, the first song that played was ‘Brand New Cadillac’ by The Clash. How very appropriate.
Once on the move you notice how comfortable the XT5 is to drive, and quiet too, in spite of the potholed roads here in Southern California. Steering is standout good, it never felt over- or under-assisted, and you get a sense of what the front wheels are doing. Audi could learn a thing or too here.
We gave it the same treatment as all our testers and took it to the mountains East of San Diego. One technical bit of road aptly name Wildcat Canyon has some pretty sharp turns and adverse cambers, but we found the XT5 coped admirably well. Turn is good and we never felt like the chassis couldn’t cope. The only issue is the transmission which is often reluctant to drop a gear when you need it. We found stomping your foot deep into the carpet works but we’re sure a turbo would help out here. Hint Hint.
Hooked up to our VBox the XT5 launched to sixty from standstill in 7.0 seconds and from 50-70 in 3.9 seconds, making passing fairly easy.
Cadillac has done a great job inside, it is a very nice place to be. The front seats are firm, yet supportive and comfortable. The interior layout makes sense and looks stylish with it’s supple leather, real wood, and brushed metal surfaces.
The XT5 is full of tech goodies, including a heads-up display, stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot detection, pedestrian collision braking, surround vision cameras, parking sonar, wireless phone charging, and real-time suspension damping. Trying to test everything in a week is a challenge these days, with all the options and so it wasn’t until the last day when we had finished acceleration testing I noticed the lever on the rear view mirror reveals a rear view camera, wow, I hadn’t realized this feature was available on this car , which gives you a view out back from a camera mounted by the license plate. The field of view is amazing, you can see much more behind you, the only downside is at night when it is raining, the camera gets obscured somewhat. I simply moved back to the mirror view. Easy. Great technology.
Cadillac has managed to create a very good crossover here, it’s a huge improvement over the outgoing SRX and is now a very good choice for those that typically buy the German competition. If you are considering the an Audi Q5, Jaguar F-Pace, Mercedes-Benz GLE or a Lexus RX 350 you should take this one for a drive.
2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum AWD Numbers
|AS TESTED PRICE:||$69,985|
|ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN:||3.6-liter V6 DOHC, four-valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing (VVT); cylinder deactivation, AWD|
|TRANSMISSION:||Paddle-shift Eight-Speed Automatic|
|POWER:||310 hp @ 6,700 rpm|
|TORQUE:||270 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm|
|O – 60 mph||7 secs|
|CARGO VOLUME:||30 cu ft, 60 cu ft with 2nd row seat flat|
|CURB WEIGHT:||4,257 lb|
|FUEL ECONOMY:||18/26/21 mpg(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)|
|OUR FUEL ECONOMY:||17.8 mpg|
|OPTIONS:||Driver Assistance Package ($2,340), 20 inch wheels ($2,095), Compact Spare, Cargo Mesh, Tow Package|
|PROS:||Interior fit and finish, Rear View Mirror/Camera, Mostly unobtrusive Stop-Start, Extremely Quiet ride|
|CONS:||Could use more power, Transmission a bit reluctant to down-shift|