2017 Cadillac XT5

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The Cadillac brand has made major strides as it transitions to meet growing demand from a younger demographic. Perhaps spurred by the launch of the V-line models a few years ago, Cadillac is quickly becoming synonymous with bold, cutting edge style. With the new ATS, CTS and CT6, Cadillac has made its presence known with its sedans, and now turns its attention to the SRX replacement, the 2017 Cadillac XT5.

On the outside at least, there’s good news. The new XT5 is a much more refined SUV than the on it replaces, the SRX. It’s more elegant and sophisticated, while maintaining a bold and even aggressive look. Cadillac’s new design language is on full display here.

The front end benefits the most from the new design. The headlights are mostly vertical and use the latest in LED technology. The edge of the lights drops down almost to the air intakes, something you won’t find on any other similar vehicle. Turn all the lights on, and the XT5 gets a brand new fascia. A meaner, tougher looking one.

The front grille is bigger than the one found on the old SRX. Even so, it’s not too distracting or overwhelming. It fits in nicely with the rest of the car’s theme. If anything, it adds to the design created by the bumper lines, the LEDs and the wheel wells and fenders. 

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While the new Cadillac XT5 does look great, the new design brings practical purposes with it too, not just aesthetic. The XT5 is 100 pounds lighter than the Q5 competitors, and some 650 pounds less than Merc’s GLE. Now that’s a staggering amount. Chassis rigidity and stiffness have obviously not been affected, as the weight shedding has been done thanks to laser welding and ultra strong and light steel.

Inside, you’ll find that the XT5 is everything a Cadillac should be and more. The most noticeable thing which strikes you immediately is the cut-and-sewn wrapped panels which aren’t anything like the molded surfaces you’d find in other models. The fit and finish is great but the materials are even better. There are no cheap plastics here. We tried finding some, believe us, nothing! Everything feels high-end and expensive. Naturally, you do expect some exclusivity from such a vehicle, but by no means to this extent. Consider us staggered as to how premium the XT5’s interior feels.

The center console features an upgraded CUE system which houses a faster processor and a bigger screen. There’s a slot inside the center console which enables wireless charging for smartphones. Door trim panels have woodgrain inserts, and so does the steering wheel. Although the DIC in the middle of the instrument cluster is digital, the tacho, speedo and all other gauges are analog with the classic needle design. In a vehicle such as the XT5, it’s rather suiting however. You do get the feeling that this is a modern take on a luxury SUV. It is technological and innovative, but some things have been kept traditional for the sake of luxury and exclusiveness. We really like that.

The hood hides the same engine found in the ATS, CTS and CT6. It’s a 3.6 liter V6 with variable-valve timing, producing 310 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. Active Fuel Management and Cylinder Deactivation technologies make it very efficient, as they effectively force the engine to run on four cylinders under moderate load. The Stop/Start system only further boosts fuel economy.

The engine is mated to an eight-speed transmission (it’s the standard transmission for the XT5). It includes Electronic Precision Shift, and it’s the first ever Cadillac to get this. Essentially, the XT5 is a front-wheel drive vehicle as standard, but you can spec an AWD system. It’s a sophisticated twin-clutch all-wheel drive system, transferring all available torque to the front or rear axle, as the conditions require. The rear has an electronic diff which can send the entire 100 percent of torque to a single wheel. 

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The front of the XT5 has MacPherson struts while the rear gets a five-link system. It’s a sophisticated and lightweight suspension. As standard, it rolls on 18-inch wheels but you can opt for 20-inch rims if that’s more your style. If you do get the bigger wheels, you’ll also be getting the Continuous Damping Control System which manages the suspension system right on the fly. The flagship Platinum XT5 gets additional ride bushings on the rear cradle for a better ride.

The 2017 Cadillac XT5 sets the standard for mid-sized SUV’s.  It’s one of the best in its class, and one of the best new Cadillacs period. Once you step foot inside, you will never look at any other vehicle the same again. 

Cadillac XT5

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