Test Drive Notes Library
- Size. This car hits one of the sweet spots. It’s basically a mid-size-sedan, except that it’s a crossover—which is what everybody wants right now. You can carry four or five people in it, plus a bunch of stuff in the cargo area. There will be a lot of interest in this car.
- Roomy, good quality interior. There’s more room in the XT5 than in the SRX it replaces. It feels larger and airier. Seats are very comfortable. The materials and switches that you see and touch are good quality. The interior remains quiet even on the highway. It has a luxury car interior.
- Smooth power. The six-cylinder engine and eight-speed transmission are more than adequate, and operate without any distractions.
- Handling and ride are both pretty good. Steering feels firm and precise. There’s little body lean. And on our top trim Platinum version, the automatically adjusting suspension keeps the ride comfortable, even with gigandous 20-inch wheels.
- Decent array of safety options. You can get forward collision warning and city-speed automatic emergency braking. For some reason, the XT5 does not offer highway-speed automatic emergency braking.
- Rear-view camera includes a helpful bird’s eye view. And on the top trim model, the Platinum, you see the rear camera view in your rear-view mirror. We did not get a chance to test it in the rain.
- The shifter. While we think the classic PRNDL shifter is still the one to beat, Cadillac is offering a more newfangled shifter that reminds us of BMW’s. Only it made a significant improvement. With some of the finicky new shifters, like BMW’s, it’s not easy to know when you’ve engaged Reverse. Cadillac solved that problem by requiring you to pull the shifter to the left to get into Reverse. At least it’s clear.
Test Drive Notes Library
- Fuel mileage is still mediocre. The XT5 has cylinder deactivation which turns off two cylinders when they’re not needed. It also has an automatic start/stop system that shuts off the engine at traffic lights. Even with those features, and the eight-speed transmission, the XT5’s on-board computer calculated our overall mileage to be 18.8 mpg, in more city than highway driving. It listed our “best” mpg, presumably highway mileage, at only 20.2. EPA estimates 18 city, 26 highway, and 21 overall for the all-wheel-drive model.
- Is it that different from the other new GM mid-size crossovers based on the same platform? We’d have to drive it side-by-side with the new GMC Acadia or Buick Enclave. But will it distinguish itself enough to command a premium price? Or will it just feel like a well-padded (OK, very well padded) GM mid-size crossover?
- Most people will like the sharp design. However (and Cadillac will hate this), one thirty-something woman looked at it and said, “Oh, a bling-y mom car.”
- Reflection from the light-colored dashboard. The dashboard is made of very nice looking leather and suede. But Cadillac opted to use a beige colored material for the top of the dashboard on our test car. It created a very distracting reflection on the windshield (but only when it was light out…if you only drive your XT5 at night, you’ll never notice it). The other oddity is that the projector hole at the front of the dashboard for the useful heads-up display created a black reflection right in front of the driver’s eyes. So you have an overall beige reflection with an odd black hole in the middle of it when you look out the windshield. So opt for the black dashboard.
- CUE system. Still confusing. And, please: a volume knob. Por favor!
- Price as tested: $63,845. That’s a lot, but in line with higher-end versions of its competitors, the Lexus RX, the Lincoln MKX, BMW X5 and others.
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