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2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum AWD Review by John Heilig +VIDEO

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By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

REVIEWED MODEL: 2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum AWD
ENGINE: 3.6-liter V6
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 310 hp @ 6,700 rpm/271 lb.-ft. @ 5,000 rpm
WHEELBASE: 112.5 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 189.5 x 75.0 x 66.0 in.
TIRES: P235/55R20
CARGO: 30/63 cu. ft. (2nd row seats up/down)
ECONOMY: 18 mpg city/26 mpg highway/26.0 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 22.0 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 4,257 lbs.
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Audi Q5, Acura MDX, Jeep Grand Cherokee
STICKER: $63,845 (includes $995 delivery, $350 options (cargo net))
BOTTOM LINE: The Cadillac XT5 is an elegant mid-size SUV with everything you would expect from a Cadillac, styling, performance and luxury.

Classified as a small SUV/Crossover, the Cadillac XT5, which replaces the SRX, is closer to what I would consider a mid-size. It is comfortable (and a comfortable size), with plenty of room for passengers and cargo. But the XT5 is in all ways a Cadillac.

Cadillac’s XT designation will be on all the brand’s crossovers, and the XT5 is the first of four Cadillac crossovers to appear in the future. 

Power is very good from the venerable GM 3.6-liter V6. It offers good acceleration, even though the XT5 weighs more than two tons. There is the important ability to accelerate and maintain speed and keep up with the ambient traffic. Despite its weight, handling of the XT5 is good, with a tendency to lean slightly in hard corners.

The transmission shift pattern is different. Push the button on the side of the shifter and push up and to the left for reverse. Down for drive. Push the “P” button on the top of the shifter to park. It is a very short learning curve. Three drive modes are available - Tour, AWD, and Sport -  and you can switch among them with a pushbutton on the center console. Most of the time we kept it in Tour.

The interior’s combination of leather and a suede-like fabric adds to the elegance. The combination of black and tan, with wood accents, is stunning. Care was put into the placement of all the elements, so there is none of the slapdash look you find in some other vehicles.

Instrumentation is clear and complete. White-on-black round gauges face the driver. There are two major dials plus four accessory gauges arrayed at the top of the i.p. There is an information panel between the tachometer and speedometer that we set for a digital speedometer. Since we also had a heads up display plus the analog speedometer, this was redundant, but you can never have too many speed indicators.

In the center is a standard GM infotainment screen. The navigation system was easy to program a destination into, even between states. We took the XT5 on a NY Thruway-center trip and had to program our destination in order to assure that we hit the right exit. 

We had excellent performance from the HVAC and audio systems.

Since on our long trip we visited my 93-year-old sister, I was somewhat concerned about her ability to get into the XT5. She had no problems, and commented that getting into the XT5 was easier than getting into some other vehicles she rides in. Front seats are comfortable on long rides. There is excellent rear seat legroom, with the standard pair of cupholders in a pull-down armrest. Rear seats, as well as fronts, are heated. The rear seats recline slightly and slide fore and aft. For privacy, the rear side windows are darkened. The rear seat backs also fold easily to increase cargo capacity, but this wasn’t necessary as I was able to fit my golf bag in the back without folding the seats. 

Owners who choose to travel with pets can fit a medium-sized dog crate in the cargo area without folding the rear seat backs. 

There is a large sun roof that extends all the way back to the rear seats. Only the front half opens, however. Unique to the XT5 is the inside rear view mirror. While it can be set for normal reflection, it can also be set to give a video view of what’s following you. Since the field of vision is wider with this setting, and the view is from a lower angle, it can be disconcerting at times. For example, you look at the grille of the vehicle behind you rather that at the driver. It is, however, much clearer than the standard mirror. It is also quite practical if you have a car full of people and/or cargo and can’t see in the standard mirror. 

All in all the Cadillac XT5 is a very nice package. It combines styling and performance with decent economy. 

(c) 2016 The Auto Page

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