As Cadillac seeks to reinvent its luxury brand, the company has already given us the ATS, CTS, and forthcoming CT6 sedans. The company’s next step is fleshing out its SUV portfolio, a step that begins with the 2017 Cadillac XT5. Debuting this week in Dubai and appearing later this month at the Los Angeles auto show, the 2017 Cadillac XT5 replaces the SRX as Caddy’s midsize luxury crossover.
The 2017 Cadillac XT5 rides on a completely new platform that uses high-strength steels and other weight-saving tricks that allow front-wheel-drive models to shed up to 278 lb compared to today’s SRX. All-wheel-drive XT5s will weigh the same as the front-wheel-drive SRX, a drop of 165 lb versus the SRX AWD.
That weight loss is also helped by the fact that the new XT5 is smaller than the SRX, with length down 0.8 inch, width down by 0.2 inch, and height reduced by 0.3 inch. The XT5’s wheelbase, however, is two inches longer than the SRX’s, helping improve interior room. Notably, rear-seat legroom increases by 3.2 inches; the second row of seats also slides fore and aft so drivers can optimize cargo space versus passenger room.
The crossover’s design brings the XT5 up to date with the rest of the Cadillac lineup. The company’s wide grille dominates the car’s nose, with LED light pipes running from the headlights down to the base of the bumpers. A rising spear line breaks up the bodysides, along with a chrome trim strip at the lower edge of the doors. In the rear, vertical taillights mimic the look of other Cadillac models’, while a chrome skid plate emerges from between the two parallelogram-shaped exhaust tips.
Fresh design and technology
Inside the cabin, the 2017 Cadillac XT5 continues the design trend of other Cadillac models. Its dashboard and console have been redesigned for more usable storage space. A total of five color and trim choices are available, comprising carbon fiber, two types of aluminum, and three genuine-wood options. The XT5 will also offer a Platinum trim level for the first time, following on the success of the Escalade Platinum.
As on the CT6 luxury sedan, the 2017 Cadillac XT5 will offer the brand’s new Rear Camera Mirror, which can overlay an image from the backup camera over the regular rearview mirror. The camera’s image is said to provide a 300 percent greater field of vision than a standard mirror, and allows drivers to “see through” the car’s pillars and bodywork. Cadillac’s CUE infotainment system (with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), wireless phone charging, and LED running lights are standard, while the options list includes a color head-up display, full-LED headlights, and a driver-assist suite that includes self-parking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keep assist. The XT5’s power liftgate can be opened and closed by waving a foot under the rear bumper.
More efficient engine
Like the SRX, the XT5 will continue to offer a V-6 as its sole engine option. The 3.6-liter unit is the same engine used in the 2016 ATS and CTS, and can shut off two of its cylinders to save fuel by running as a four-cylinder. The engine makes 310 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque, directed through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The XT5 has Cadillac’s first-ever electronic shifter, which the company says both reduces noise and vibration in the cabin and takes up less space within the center console. An engine stop-start feature further reduces fuel.
Although front-wheel drive will be standard, the 2017 Cadillac XT5 also offers a “twin clutch” all-wheel-drive system that can route 100 percent of its torque to the front or rear axles. The rear differential can also apportion up to 100 percent of the engine’s torque to either wheel. A disconnect function physically uncouples the rear differential to reduce fuel consumption when AWD isn’t needed.
A MacPherson strut front suspension pairs with a multilink rear arrangement. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard, but moving up to the optional 20-inch wheels also brings Continuous Damping Control adaptive suspension. The XT5 Platinum has extra bushings in the rear suspension to further improve ride comfort for passengers.
The 2017 Cadillac XT5 starts production in spring 2016 and goes on sale soon thereafter. A welcome update from the SRX, the XT5 joins the Escalade in Cadillac’s modest range of SUVs. Expect pricing to rise slightly compared to the current SRX, which starts at $38,600 with destination charges.