This week we are taking a look at the 2020 Cadillac XT5 luxury crossover SUV. The XT5 debuted in 2016 and was the replacement for the Cadillac SRX SUV. This is currently the best-selling Cadillac model in the U.S.
The XT5 has the signature Cadillac look with vertical LED lights in the front, 20” wheels, and a large grill that gives the XT5 an aggressive look. A swooping roofline meets a rear spoiler just above the rear window.
Under the hood and you’ll find the very proven 3.6-liter V6 putting out 310-horses that is mated to an 9-speed automatic transmission that has very shift paddles. XT5 comes standard with front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive is optional, which is what I am reviewing this week. There is a 2-liter 4-cylinder turbo available for a little better fuel economy.
The XT5 comes in 3 trim levels, the Luxury, Premium Luxury, and the top-of-the-line Sport, which is my test model’s trim level.
Cadillac has always done a great job with their interiors and trims, and inside the XT5, you will find rich leather seating that is extremely soft and comfortable.
A bright, colorful dash greets you when you sit behind the power tilt steering wheel with controls. There is a large tachometer and speedometer, and in the middle is the driver information system that is controlled from the steering wheel and gives the driver a ton of information.
The center console has large hidden cup holders, and there is a place to charge your cellphone. You will also find the shifter, and you can change the drive modes from Touring, All-wheel drive, Sport, and Off-road. There are also shortcuts to audio and Bluetooth.
Above the shifter are the climate controls, heated front seat 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 and it is even better now because you have a volume knob. You can use the system as a touch screen, or there is a round knob on the console if you prefer. CUE offers Wi-Fi and phone integration compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
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 if people or cargo are blocking your rear view.
The back seat of the XT5 is spacious and built in a 60/40 configuration, and when folded down creates 63-cubic feet of cargo area.
Standard Features and Options
The XT5 Sport comes standard with everything you would expect from a loaded Cadillac. Most notable is the Bose stereo system with 8-speakers, heated front seats, a power moon roof, power hands-free liftgate, LED headlights and taillights, heated steering wheel, keyless entry, and remote start.
On the safety front, you get blind-spot monitoring, forward collision alert, forward automatic braking, safety alert seat, front and rear parking assist, and adaptive cruise control.
My tester has the Enhanced Visibility and Technology package which for $2275 is a surround vision camera, rear pedestrian alert, the head-up display, and a rear camera washer.
It also has two features I love…the rear seat reminder that will warn you when you get where you are going if you opened a rear door, and Teen Driver. This system lets you set parameters and even issues a report card on your teen driver.
The XT5 handles, rides, and corners extremely well, and is incredibly quiet inside. Fuel economy is 18 in town and 25 on the highway, thanks to cylinder deactivation that cuts you down to 3 cylinders at cruising speeds.
If I have a complaint, it feels like you really have to push this SUV to get it going. I’d love to see the option of a turbocharger for the 3.6 V6.
The MSRP comes in at $59,340 which puts it in line with a lot of the luxury 5-Seat SUVs and under in many cases.
2020 Cadillac XT5 Sport Review
- What I liked most: The ride, drive, and value proposition.
- What I would change: Just a little underpowered for me.
- MSRP: Base price $55,095 as equipped $59,340 with transportation.
- Fuel Economy: MPG rating of 18 city, 25 highway, 20 combined.
- Official Color: Shadow Metallic.
- Odometer reading when tested: 3000 miles.
- Weight: 4061 pounds.
- Spare Tire: Compact spare tire.
- Length-Width-Height: 189.6” long/74.9” wide/66.1” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 21.7gallons with filler on the driver’s side.
- Towing Capacity: 3500 pounds.
- 2020 XT5 in a few words: A very enjoyable, functional, and luxurious luxury car.
- Warranty: 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 6-year/70,000 mile power train warranty with roadside assistance and free courtesy transportation, and first maintenance visit is free.
- Final Assembly Location: Spring Hill, Tennessee.
- Manufacturers website:www.Cadillac.com
- Up Next:2020 Jaguar XE R Dynamic
One Week With the 2020 Cadillac XT5: Improved, But Is It Enough?
The most popular Cadillac gets a refresh for 2020.Cadillac XT5 Full Overview
Despite being on the market for more than four years, the Cadillac XT5 continues to be a popular model for the brand. The XT5 was actually the best-selling Cadillac last year, and the luxury brand gave it a midcycle upgrade to keep it at the top of its list. The 2020 Cadillac XT5 adds a new engine, refreshed exterior, and a revised center console, and Caddy hopes these upgrades will be enough for its SUV to fight in the fiercest segment of the luxury world. Spoiler alert: They won't.
For the 2020 model, the XT5 is moving to Cadillac's global "Y" trim strategy, which means three versions are available—Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport. We had a chance to drive the Premium Luxury with the new 2.0-liter engine mated to a nine-speed transmission, and although its ride is solid, its $64,490 as-tested price tag had us in disbelief.
2020 Cadillac XT5: Updated Interior
Enter the Premium Luxury XT5. You'll notice massive amounts of brown-hued carbon-fiber trim on the door panels, steering wheel, and dashboard. The trim looks premium, but a dizzying array of materials on the upper part of the door panel distract from it. By my count, there were at least eight different materials—from various kinds of leather (soft and hard) to distinctive types of brushed aluminum trims and suede; the design is simply too busy. We're fans of the carbon-fiber trim and would prefer if designers limited their material choices. "The more the merrier" doesn't necessarily work when it comes to interior design.
The 8.0-inch touchscreen is nicely integrated into the dash, and it can also be controlled using a knob behind the shifter. We applaud GM for its easy to use infotainment system. The newest version of the CUE system adds modern graphics and a user-friendly interface. The system loads quickly and responds as fast as your iPhone. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and so is a Bose premium eight-speaker audio system. Our model, however, was equipped with the optional 14-speaker Bose Performance Series, which adds $1,025 to the price and includes navigation. Given how crisp the system sounds, we think that's money well spent.
Also new for 2020 are a couple of USB Type C ports in the Cadillac XT5 (one in the center console and one for back-seat passengers), bringing the total number of ports to four. If that's not enough, a new wireless charger is said to have a faster charging rate than the one found in the 2019 model.
At first glance, the cabin seems premium, but look below the waistline and you'll find hard plastics everywhere. Cadillac's German rivals don't have the same obvious cost-cutting issues. The center console has soft-touch surfaces, but draw your hand toward the hidden compartment under the shifter, and you'll feel a decrease in material quality. The same story applies to the door panels, where Cadillac designers forgot to pay attention to anything below the armrests.
One place Caddy did pay attention to is the back seat. Rear-seat passengers get their own air vents, A/C zone, and heated seats as part of the $1,200 Comfort and Air Quality package. The seating area is expansive, with enough headroom and legroom for my 6-foot frame. The floor is almost flat, so even the person sitting in the middle has decent legroom, but headroom is restricted here thanks to the middle seat being a few inches higher than those on the corners. The difference is such that my head was touching the headliner—even when the back seats were reclined to the furthermost position (which seems like it's just a couple of degrees). The experience in the back seat improves when the panoramic sunroof is open, making the cabin feel airy.
2020 Cadillac XT5: The Power
The new 2.0-liter turbo-four engine produces 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. In our Premium Luxury model, the nine-speed transmission sent all that power to the front wheels; if you need all-wheel drive, you'll have to spend $2,000 extra. The turbo engine is a nice addition to the lineup. Prior to the 2020 refresh, the XT5 was only available with a 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V-6, producing 310 hp and 271 lb-ft. That engine is available in the Premium Luxury trim as a $1,000 option, and it comes standard on the Sport trim.
The 2.0-liter behaves well in the XT5. Although it doesn't feel particularly sporty, it delivers power in a decent manner. The nine-speed shifts swiftly, though it always hunts for the highest gear in order to deliver better fuel economy. Downshifting, however, takes some time—you really have to press the throttle down for the tranny to respond.
The steering feels soft, but it's well balanced, and the suspension tackles road imperfections with minimal vibrations in the cabin. Around the city, the XT5 feels refined, but push it hard on the corners, and its low body roll and sharp handling will surprise you.
Drive the XT5, and its quietness will stand out. Cadillac really focused on making the cabin as serene as possible, and it delivered. Whether you're driving on the highway or simply cruising down the road, little wind or tire noise makes it into the cabin.
2020 Cadillac XT5: Value
Value is the XT5's weakest point. With a starting price just shy of $50,000, our Premium Luxury tester was already pricey. And when you take into account the eye-watering $14,700 of options, nothing was stopping us from weeping. The front-drive 2020 Cadillac XT5 we drove crossed the check-out counter at $64,490. For that sum there are better—way better—options in the segment. The Volvo XC60, Lincoln Corsair, Acura RDX, and Audi Q5 offer enhanced driving dynamics, improved materials, and superior designs. They're cheaper and newer, to boot.
Part of the problem is how expensive the packages are. The Platinum package, for example, adds $4,850 to the price and includes a suede headliner, premium floor mats (whatever that means), real-time damping performance suspension (which is good), illuminated door sills, and a sea of leather on the most visible parts of the cabin. The suspension is a good upgrade, but it's not worth almost $5,000. Cadillac also charges $1,300 for a Driver Assist package that includes adaptive cruise control, enhanced automatic emergency braking, reverse automatic braking, and automatic seat belt tightening. Charging for adaptive cruise control in a luxury vehicle these days seems like a bit too much, especially when it's standard in a Honda Civic.
2020 Cadillac XT5: Should I Buy It?
In the ultra-competitive segment of compact luxury SUVs, the XT5 needs to do more in order to get the eyeballs. It has handsome looks and great technology, but there's plenty of room for improvement. As far as midcycle updates go, this is a pretty heavy one, but the 2020 XT5 needs more than that to stand out.
|2020 Cadillac XT5 (Premium Luxury)|
|LAYOUT||Front-engine, FWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV|
|ENGINE||2.0L/237-hp/258-lb-ft turbo DOHC 16-valve I-4|
|CURB WEIGHT||3,950 lb (mfr)|
|L x W x H||189.6 x 75.0 x 66.1 in|
|0-60 MPH||7.5 sec (MT est)|
|EPA FUEL ECON||21/28/24 mpg|
|ENERGY CONSUMPTION, CITY/HWY||160/120 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.82 lb/mile|
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2020 Cadillac XT5 Review: Keeping up with the Teutons
While Cadillac has in recent years done a good job buttressing its compact SUV entry with some company, in the form of first the smaller XT4 and then the larger XT6, the XT5 remains the firm’s top-selling utility model. It is still the model on which the success of the premium brand largely depends, at least until the promised EVs start to come down the pike.
Though it’s been relieved of the burden of drawing entry-level luxury buyers into the fold – that job now falls to the XT4 – the 5 competes in a ferociously fought-over segment, populated by not just Japanese and German luxury models but also premium range-topping variants of mass-market models, like the RAV4 and, especially, the Signature edition of the CX-5. For consumers ready to compromise on status, that model fully-loaded comes pretty close to offering a comparable experience to that of a basic XT5.
(The MSRP of the XT5 Luxury is $43,998. The price of the CX-5 Signature? From $43,965).
There’s some apples-and-oranges comparisons going on there, of course, beyond just the extra cache you get from the Cadillac badge. But the overall point is that the XT5 faces pressure not just from left and right, in the form of German and Japanese stalwarts, but also from below.
Auto123 launches Shopicar! All new makes and models and all current promotions.
So what has Cadillac done for its compact SUV for 2020? Given it a mid-cycle refresh, is what. And it starts with a simplification of the product offering, in part to bring the model into line with the rest of the brand lineup. There are now just three trims on offer: Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport. Both the comfort-focused Luxury and the livelier Sport can be had with a Platinum package for those who want to have their cake and eat it too.
Cadillac has also given the XT5 more standard goodies like heated front seats, safety-alert driver’s seat (which vibrates, to initially jarring effect), lane-keep assist, forward collision and pedestrian alerts, auto high-beam and LED headlights.
Eagled-eyed shoppers will also notice new grille designs for each variant of the 2020 XT5, as well as slightly modified front and rear fascia, and 20-inch wheels for it to ride on. Luxury models get added chrome elements, while the Sport version (the model I drove) gets a retuned chassis and quicker steering ratio to ensure a nimbler feel on the road.
Also new is a 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo engine included in the base model, imported from the XT4; it delivers 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The Sport, not surprisingly, retains last year’s 2.6L V6 (naturally aspirated), which makes 310 hp. Buyers can add that unit to the Premium Luxury if they wish. Both engines work with a 9-speed automatic transmission.
Beyond that, the majority of the changes for the 2020 refresh involve tech upgrades, many of them inherited from the XT4 and XT6. Front and centre is the console in the cabin, now with a revised interface for the infotainment system. Its screen (now of higher resolution) can be accessed via voice command (still a hazardous endeavour, mind you), touch or a rotary knob. The last is a pleasure to have and was my default choice for navigating the various commands and menus.
With improved ergonomics comes a mildly upgraded cabin, though it doesn’t depart radically from what was on offer before. Navigation remains an optional add-on, but it does bring with it a premium 14-speaker Bose audio system. The rearview mirror can be switched to camera mode for a high-res, wide-angle view of what’s behind the vehicle, though that remains a love-it-or-hate-it proposition for many motorists.
Space-wise, the XT5 continues to offer one of the better environments in the segment, with ample legroom and headroom in both rows, and 852 litres of cargo space in back (which grows to an impressive 1,784 litres with the rear seats down – that’s a lot of golf bags you can fit in there, yessiree).
But those qualities are kind of to be expected from a Cadillac-badged vehicle. If a Caddy can’t excel in terms of comfort, amenities, overall premium-ness and golf-bag-lugging capabilities, what would be the point of its existence?
A more relevant exercise to determine where the SUV stands in relation to others in what is one of the most hotly contested segments in the business, is to get in the thing and see how it performs and provides, on both short and longer trips.
First, there’s no question the XT5 offers a comfortable, gentle ride, starting with a suspension system that’s calibrated just this side of the comfort-sport divide (and that was in the Sport mode). Steering is light but not lost-in-space light; you do feel some connection with the road, you’re just not on a first-name basis with it.
Power is plentiful, particularly from the Sport version’s V6, but it’s not delivered in such a swoop that your pulse will flutter upwards. This is no drag-racer. But merging onto highways and passing is a cinch thanks to those 310 horses, and cruising at speed is a supremely pleasant experience, where the model is as its best.
Again, that is not stunning news, and I paid more attention to how well it handles in city traffic. And it does just fine there too, with a fairly short turning radius and a nice compact feel. Where the XT6 never lets you forget you’re driving a tank, this SUV is much more reasonable in delivering, if not a dynamic driving experience, certainly a pleasant one – and in no way a soul-sapping one like you sometimes get in the utility categories.
All of that’s fine and good, but the question that needs to be asked is whether the XT5 is enough improved as a product to peel away motorists who have been getting their vehicular sustenance from German suppliers. Going down an itemized list that includes criteria like comfort, refinement, tech, user experience, ergonomics, quality of construction and roominess, you might give the nod as often to the Caddy as to its rivals from BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
But then you factor in performance, driving dynamics and the fierce loyalty of those who prefer “European” to “American”, and it’s unclear if the XT5 has enough going for it to pry those buyers away.
More realistically, you could say it has everything needed to win the argument versus what’s on tap from Infiniti, Lincoln, Volvo, et al. Best of the rest?
I’ve learned to be wary of paying too much heed to my consumption totals racked up in a week of driving, mainly because the sample size is so small that one or two particular factors can totally skew the totals. So though my week in the XT5 resulted in a miserable 15.0L/100 km, the reality is that was in wintertime, almost exclusively in an urban environment.
Comfort and roominess
Cargo space galore for a compact SUV
Improved infotainment system interface, graphics
Plenty of raw power
AWD can be turned off when not needed
We like less
Even the Sport is not particularly sporty
Middling fuel economy
The XT5 may be Cadillac’s most important car. No, it’s not a market darling like the Escalade, and it’s not carrying quite as much water for the brand now that Cadillac has fleshed out its SUV lineup with the smaller XT4 and the larger three-row XT6. But it’s still the crossover that a significant plurality of Cadillac customers will end up buying.
For 2020, the XT5 is on the receiving end of a refresh, including a new 237-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder base engine (which I tested) and tweaks to the interior and tech.
The main problem for the XT5 is that the Porsche Macan, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class and other competitors exist. Those other vehicles offer better driving dynamics and more luxurious accommodations for a similar price point. Cadillac was not going to make that gap up with a mere model refresh.
But the XT5 is still stylish — I received multiple comments about it — comfortable, and utterly pleasant. (And, unlike the brand’s upcoming EVs, it has a sensible name.) If your heart is set on a Cadillac crossover, it won’t disappoint.
Learn More: Here
The XT5 has a four-cylinder engine — and it’s worth reiterating that.
GM does not think customers want a four-cylinder engine in a truck or SUV. The company still uses them, mind you, but the carmaker tries to evade that point by not calling the engine what it is. Cadillac references the XT5’s base engine by calling it a 2.0-liter turbo engine, instead of just saying it’s a four-cylinder.
The confusion’s compounded by the new metric torque nomenclature. The four-pot puts out 258 lb-ft of torque, or 349 newton-meters. Round that up, and you wind up the 350T model. That designation will probably read to most as equivalent to either a 3.5-liter engine or 350 horsepower…which, to be fair, is probably the idea.
The XT5 is quite comfortable, as you’d expect from a Cadillac.
I drove the XT5 up to northern Michigan for a weekend family ski strip, and the drive was easily the most relaxing part of a family ski trip with a two-year-old. The four-pot can be somewhat noisy at low speeds, but it quieted down on the highway. The adaptive cruise control worked like a dream. Even without all-wheel-drive, my front-wheel-drive XT5 ate up the snowy/slushy/icy conditions eagerly…and that was before I realized the car had a special driving mode for that.
The XT5 interior doesn’t overwhelm you with opulence; like many of General Motors’s luxury cars, it feels like the same sort of interior as a mainstream product, just with slightly better material quality. That said, everything is laid out naturally and ergonomically. It’s easy to get in and out; the audio and cabin controls are intuitive, and my wife even had a heated rear seat when she sat back there with my son. It doesn’t bombard you with dozens buttons and complicated tech — like, say, a Yukon.
The XT5 is not that large.
Compact crossovers are the best-selling passenger vehicles on the market today because they’re practical. But the XT5 is tiny compared to mass-market best-sellers like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester with cavernous cargo holds.
There were no troubles in everyday use, but when we started throwing luggage, a child seat and winter gear into the mix on a trip, space filled up quickly. When we added a fourth person, it didn’t work, period. I had to turn down relatives who wanted rides, as we couldn’t fit people and gear into the car simultaneously. Even if you stick to the statistical average of 1.9 children, I could see the appeal of leveling up to an XT6 for space reasons.
Price as Tested: $49,790
Drivetrain: Turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, nine-speed automatic, front-wheel-drive
Power: 237 hp, 258 lb-ft
Fuel Economy: 21 city, 28 highway
Buy Now: $44,095+
Cadillac provided this product for review.
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Review 2020 xt5
Review: 2020 Cadillac XT5 Sport
- What’s Good: Refined ride, improved interior, generous cargo room.
- What’s Bad: Thirsty, outgunned by its competition.
If you’ve ever visited the website Trip Advisor you’ll be familiar with the challenge of sorting through all the reviews trying to narrow down your choice of restaurant, hotel, or vacation destination. Doing this within one lifetime is about as difficult as leaving the house with a toddler during a snowstorm.
There are some amazing products and services out there but with so much to pick from, decisions have never been harder. The world of the compact premium crossover is largely the same. For growing families with a bit of extra cash to spend on their transportation, the sheer volume of entries in this segment can make choosing one a lesson in frustration.
Cadillac has seen its fair share of ups and downs, but in the last couple of years the addition of two new crossovers—XT4 and XT6—has strengthened their position in a market infatuated with trucklets. And with the redesigned Escalade scheduled for a reveal next month, their portfolio is only going to get stronger.
But has this left their best-selling XT5 sitting on the bleachers as the new blood gets all the attention?
Turns out the XT5 also received a bit of love for 2020 in the form of a sorely needed update.
The last time I drove one was in 2018, and while I liked its unique style, I felt it lacked standout features and interior quality and infotainment weren’t up to snuff. Then there were the expensive option packages and higher-level trims that pushed my tester’s price to the upper echelons of the segment where, quite frankly, it made little sense to recommend it over its rivals.
However, it was possible to spec one for a lot less money while still retaining most of the stuff that makes a premium vehicle premium.
For 2020, the XT5 improves in nearly all the areas that I drew issue with before. As far as mid-cycle refresh jobs go, this one has been given a thorough rethink.
Fewer trims, more standard equipment
The trim lines have been condensed and aligned with the rest of Cadillac’s offerings and the top-level Platinum model has been dropped, leaving just three lines: Luxury, Premium Luxury, and the range-topping Sport. That means you can choose to have an XT5 with a focus on comfort or you can have one that strikes more of a sportier chord. The availability of a Platinum option pack on either means that if you want sport and luxurious interior trappings together, you can do that too.
They’ve also added a new base engine, plucked from the smaller XT4. This 2-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder makes 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and is standard on Luxury, and Premium Luxury trims. Sport trims get the carryover 3.6-litre naturally aspirated V6, and it still makes a healthy 310 hp. The V6 can also be equipped as an option on a Premium Luxury XT5 if you feel the extra oomph is necessary.
Apart from the new engine is the inclusion of more standard equipment across the line. Things like heated front seats, which should have never been an option on a luxury vehicle in the first place, LED headlamps, lane-keeping assist, forward collision alert, pedestrian alert, and seat alert. That last item vibrates the seat bottom rather than sounding a series of beeps to warn you of an impending collision with an object, pedestrian, or another vehicle. A sensation I never quite got used to.
You’re not really going to notice much of a change on the outside; there are new grille designs depending on what model you pick, and the lower fascias, front and rear have been tweaked slightly. Sport models get darkened trim, smoked taillight lenses, 20-inch wheels, and a moodier look versus more chrome and brightwork on the Luxury models.
The Sport trim I was driving also gets some chassis tweaks and a quicker steering ratio for added dynamism but it didn’t feel worlds apart from what I remember.
The XT5 is a good-looking crossover and I particularly like the foglights strips and slim headlamps that stretch back into the fenders, a design that’s also mirrored with the tail lamps.
Big improvements inside
While the exterior changes are subtle, the cabin is where most of the money was spent.
The last XT5 I was in had crooked stitching on the door panels and chintzy feeling door pockets that had mould lines present, something I hadn’t seen in any car, regardless of price, in a very long time. At best the quality of the materials and execution was inconsistent. Some areas felt nice and premium while others were a letdown. The CUE infotainment system, for example, and the infuriating touch slider to control stereo volume were ergonomic nightmares. Ditto the joystick-like electronic shifter that had to be pushed up and to the left to engage reverse.
Imagine my surprise when hopping into the 2020 XT5 to find each and every one of those complaints addressed.
Using the latest version of GM’s infotainment system was an excellent move. The touch screen is of higher resolution and finally capacitive (like your phone) meaning it’s a hundred times more sensitive to touch, and the graphics are brighter and crisper. They’ve also added a rotary controller and a real volume knob, dumping that touch slider into the garbage bin of history where it belongs.
While the 8-inch screen might not be as large or feature-heavy as what you can get in a BMW X3 or Mercedes GLC, it’s ten times better than the systems found in the Lexus RX and Infiniti QX50, although navigation is still an optional extra across the board. But equipping it does get you the excellent 14-speaker Bose performance series audio system.
Materials and trim all felt worlds apart than I remember and that annoying shifter has been replaced. It’s very similar in feel and operation to what BMW has been using in their cars for years now and it works. There’s also the excellent rearview camera mirror, which at the flick of a switch turns the plain-old rearview mirror into a super-HD, wide-angle view of where you’ve just been. It might throw you off at first, but you get used to it quickly and it works well. The video feed is unobstructed, so passengers and cargo never get in the way. And to ensure the camera lens doesn’t get caked in road grime, there’s a built-in washer that you can use to clean it off.
Just about the only place where I found this cabin lacking was the rather flat front seats, which were ok around town but not the most supportive of thrones on a longer drive.
Where the XT5 holds an advantage over its competition is in passenger space and cargo room where it feels more like a mid-sizer than a compact. Second-row seats recline and can slide fore and aft to maximize either legroom or cargo room. Behind those seats, you’ll find a generous 852 litres of space. Fold them down and that jumps up to a cavernous 1784 litres, numbers bested only by the Infiniti QX50, and even then not by an appreciable amount.
The XT5 isn’t going to win any awards for handling nor is it going to blow anyone away with power like some others it competes with. The Sport trim I was driving didn’t feel any more agile or grippy than before. Which meant that it drove just fine with an emphasis on comfort and refinement. Avoiding sippy cup spills and not causing them is probably a more important metric that shoppers in this class are looking for and in that respect, the XT5 excels. The adaptive dampers were able to soak up the worst of Toronto’s roads with impressive composure.
The 3.6-litre V6 makes nice noises and delivers adequate power and torque when called upon. It’s hooked up to a 9-speed automatic that shifts through its ratios quickly and seamlessly, although an 11.5L per 100 km reading after a long drive wasn’t exactly anything to write home about. And that’s with the auto stop-start system active, which now gets a kill switch if you don’t want it on.
But apart from sub-par economy powertrain complaints are few. Until you compare it to some of its German competition, who are miles ahead in this department. The XT5 simply can’t keep up with their turbocharged six-cylinder motors that develop gobs of torque and a blitzkrieg worth of noise fired out the rear pipes as an added bonus. And they do this for not a lot more money and little to no detriment at the pumps. So if outright speed and a bit of tom-foolery tickle your fancy after the school run, you might find the Cadillac lacking.
AWD you can turn off
What this XT5 can do that no one else in this class can is run as a pure front-driver, by disconnecting the rear wheels from the equation. And it’s driver-selectable. The default drive mode, Tour, is front-wheel drive only, or you can pick between AWD, Sport, and Off-road. All those will bring the rear wheels back into play, while Sport mode shuffles more power to the rear for a sportier feel. Cadillac calls this their twin-clutch AWD system and it is capable of sending 100 percent of the drive torque to either the front or rear axle or either of the rear wheels when necessary.
I mainly kept it in Tour to net the best efficiency possible.
Much more competitive
The XT5 is Cadillac’s bread and butter vehicle and there’s good reason for it. It’s quiet, comfortable, spacious, and has you covered on the tech front. The addition of a turbocharged 4-cylinder on the base trim was an excellent add, and between it and the V6 there’s not a whole lot of difference in real-world power. Thank the smaller engines turbo and immediate torque production for that.
But the real story here is all the little nip and tuck improvements to the interior and the addition of more standard equipment (albeit for more money) in an attempt to better align this Caddy with its competition. The last time I drove the XT5 I found it hard to recommend over its rivals and while some of them are still ahead in departments like powertrains and infotainment, the case for Cadillac’s best-selling vehicle has never been stronger.
The 2020 Cadillac XT5 is the brand's midsize crossover, positioned squarely between the compact XT4 and large XT6. Despite a somewhat indistinct personality, this five-passenger luxury vehicle has been Cadillac's top-selling crossover since its 2017 introduction, in part thanks to its smooth and quiet ride.
Updating for the 2020 model year gives the XT5 a pair of engine choices, as well as a bolder appearance and a more refined cabin. Standard in Luxury and Premium Luxury trim levels, a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine joins the original V-6. A new Sport trim level joins the lineup and comes with V-6 power, while the previous Platinum trim level has been downgraded to a costly option package.
A rotary controller within the console has been installed, to complement the 8.0-inch touchscreen and redundant steering wheel controls. Cadillac also has expanded the list of standard active safety technology, adding automatic emergency braking.
The new 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine produces 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, working with a 9-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive adds $2,000 to the price.
Sport models come standard with all-wheel drive and get a 3.6-liter V-6, which develops 410 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. In addition to an adaptive suspension, Sport versions feature a quicker steering ratio for a sportier feel. The V-6 is also available on Premium Luxury trim as a $1,000 option. Models with the V-6 use the same 9-speed automatic as the turbo-4 editions.
Adding the turbo-4 engine gives the XT5 better fuel-efficiency figures. With front-wheel drive, the XT5 is EPA-rated at 21 mpg city, 28 highway, and 24 combined. All-wheel drive reduces fuel economy to 21/26/23 mpg. The V-6 achieves 18/26/21 mpg with FWD, or 18/25/20 mpg with AWD. Both engines use cylinder deactivation at cruising speeds and run on regular gasoline.
Crash-test results have been admirable, from both the federal government and independent testing agencies. The NHTSA has given the XT5 a five-star overall safety rating, while it received the top rating of 'Good'? on all five of the IIHS' crash tests. However, it failed to earn a Top Safety Pick designation due to its 'Marginal'? headlights.
Standard active safety features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, forward-collision warnings, active lane control, lane-departure warnings, front and rear parking sensors, and automatic high-beam headlights. A Teen Driver and rear-seat reminder feature also are standard.
The top two trims add blind-spot monitors, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-change assist. They can also be enhanced by two active safety packages, which add features such as a head-up display, a surround-view camera system, adaptive cruise control, and enhanced automatic emergency braking, which can bring the XT5 to a halt at speeds below 50 mph.
Three trim levels are offered on the XT5: Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport.
The Luxury model costs $45,090 to start, and it includes heated and power front seats, synthetic leather upholstery, keyless entry, remote start, a Bose eight-speaker audio system, a power liftgate, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a collection of advanced safety features. The infotainment system includes an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
The $49,790 Premium Luxury trim adds a panoramic moonroof, leather seating surfaces, a heated steering wheel, wireless charging, a hands-free power liftgate, a rear cargo management system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, blind-spot monitors, lane-change assist, and rear cross-traffic alert.
The Sport starts at $56,090 and adds the V-6, all-wheel drive, 20-inch wheels, black roof rails, and an adaptive suspension, a heavy-duty cooling system, and quicker steering.
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The Cadillac XT5 is the company's most popular model, but it can't match the driving engagement and luxury experience of similar compact crossovers. While the 2020 XT5 has the style and features to be mentioned in that conversation, its unremarkable performance and mediocre interior quality hold the Cadillac back. Still, the XT5 has redeemable qualities in terms of ride refinement, passenger comfort, and cargo space. A standard four-cylinder engine and optional V-6 pair with front- or all-wheel drive. However, even the sportiest XT5 misses the driving verve of alternatives such as the Porsche Macan and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. Unfortunately, the 2020 Cadillac XT5 tries to serve too many masters and doesn't truly satisfy anyone.
What's New for 2020?
For 2020, Cadillac gives the XT5 a mild makeover that's immediately apparent from its new bumpers, grille design, and wheel options. The other changes include a newly standard turbocharged four-cylinder that joins the V-6 as the only engine choices. The lineup is now headlined by the Sport model that replaces the old Platinum moniker. However, the latter becomes an option package that adds more technology and top-of-the-line interior appointments. The Sport model has a specially tuned suspension and steering system that attempt to increase driver engagement. It also wears a more aggressive appearance. Inside, the Caddy has a redesigned center console—now with a useful rotary controller for the infotainment system. The digital gauge cluster is redesigned, too, and Cadillac says the interior materials are better. Likewise, there are more standard features (heated front seats) and better optional equipment (night vision).
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The Cadillac XT5's base price is $45,090, but we think the mid-level Premium Luxury model is the best value. In our experiences behind the wheel, the XT5 Sport failed to get our blood pumping so we don't think it's worth the investment. The Premium Luxury version adequately fulfills the brand's luxury promises, with desirable standard features such as leather seats, a heated steering wheel, a hands-free liftgate, wireless charging, and more. While not everyone needs the all-weather capability of all-wheel drive, it's available for another $2000 if you want it. The 237-hp turbo four-cylinder is standard, while the optional 310-hp V-6 costs $1000 more. While we haven't tested the four-cylinder engine, it won't move the XT5 with the same gusto as the V-6.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The XT5's standard turbocharged four-cylinder makes 237 horsepower and the optional V-6 makes 310 ponies. With either engine, it's no match for performance-oriented rivals such as the 340-hp Porsche Macan S. However, the Caddy stacks up favorably against the Lexus RX350 and the Volvo XC60. In light-footed, day-to-day operation, we've found the Cadillac's V-6 to be impressively quiet and well isolated from the cabin. Under heavy throttle, however, the bigger engine's harshness makes itself known in a most unflattering way. Encounter a twisty road and the XT5 can tackle it with confidence, although it won't make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up even when equipped with the optional adaptive suspension. Body roll is well controlled and the XT5 feels substantial and planted, which is especially comforting on long highway slogs. Over rough stretches of broken pavement, however, our test vehicle felt jittery and allowed sharp impacts to reverberate through the cabin. Steering is accurate but lacks any visceral feedback—another missed opportunity to appeal to enthusiast drivers.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Front-wheel drive XT5s with the standard turbocharged four-cylinder earn EPA fuel economy estimates for 21 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined. Moving up to the V-6 drops those to 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 21 combined. On both models, adding the optional all-wheel drive lowers these estimates slightly, a small concession for added confidence in inclement weather. On our 200-mile highway fuel economy test route, an all-wheel drive XT5 with the V-6 engine delivered 23 mpg while a front-wheel drive model with the turbocharged four-cylinder managed 29 mpg.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Passenger space is acceptable, and accommodations are as deluxe as expected from a modern Cadillac. The materials used throughout the XT5's cabin appear upscale when examined individually, but when viewed as a whole, the result is a design that appears unfocused. The interior's layout is good, and the driving position is agreeable. The 2020 XT5 receives better materials, improved ergonomics, and upgraded features such as a new digital gauge cluster. Even luxury crossovers should be practical, and the XT5 excels in this category. Above-average cargo space, plenty of bins for stashing smaller items, and an easy-to-fold rear seat allow this Caddy to easily transform from luxury liner to cargo king. The XT5's cargo hold accommodated an impressive 10 carry-on cases with the rear seat in place. Once folded, we fit 24 carry-ons.
Infotainment and Connectivity
All XT5 models come well-connected right out of the gate, with standard niceties such as an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. The 2020 XT5 has more intuitive infotainment controls thanks to the newly added rotary controller. An updated Bose sound system is also now available. There are four USB ports located conveniently throughout the cabin for charging mobile devices, and a wireless inductive phone-charging pad is available between the two front seats.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The XT5 has earned a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) but missed out on a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) due to poor-performing headlamps. Unfortunately, those who value driver-assistance features such as blind-spot monitoring will find themselves shelling out beaucoup bucks. Key safety features include:
- Available automated emergency braking
- Available adaptive cruise control
- Available lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Cadillac's standard warranty coverages match or exceed those of most of the XT5's rivals. The Caddy also offers complimentary scheduled maintenance, but it only covers the first visit, which falls short of the three years or 36,000 miles that Volvo covers.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 6 years or 70,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for the first visit