Cadillac’s SRX was a fine luxury sport-utility vehicle, but was it really the Cadillac of SUVs? With Lexus, Lincoln, Infiniti, Acura, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Porsche and even Jaguar in the mix, General Motors’ premium brand needed to turn out something special. The outcome of this enterprise was the end of the SRX and the arrival of the XT5, new for 2017.
The base model, with front-wheel drive, is priced at just under $40,000 – about what you’d pay for a lavishly equipped, all-wheel drive mainstream Korean or Japanese crossover. Our 2017 XT5 Platinum with all-wheel drive was a different animal altogether, however, and priced to match: $63,845.
We drove our test car from western Connecticut to southern Maine with four adults in the car. All enjoyed the luxurious seating, ride and refinement. Like the SRX we drove through a memorable snowstorm in 2004, the XT5 inspired confidence when we encountered heavy rain. The XT5 proved itself a worthy successor to the SRX.
Cadillac’s design objectives for its midsize crossover included reducing its weight, increasing passenger and cargo room, and maximizing handling and ride qualities while sustaining the SRX’s reputation for luxury. And indeed, the XT5 has more ground clearance; more passenger room front and rear; more maximum cargo capacity; and significantly better fuel economy. The SRX was rated at 16 mpg city, 23 highway, when equipped with all-wheel drive; our test car was rated at 18/26. (All XT5s have the same 310-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine.) Considering the form, function and personality of the XT5 and SRX are similar, that’s a big jump in overall efficiency.
Despite the upgrade in interior dimensions, tall passengers found knee room and head room in the back seat to be tight.
While young drivers may find the XT5’s price daunting, they’ll be drawn to the car’s advanced technology. Cadillac’s CUE (Cadillac User Experience) system “blends first-of-its-kind technology with highly intelligent design, bringing the intuitive control of smartphones and tablets safely to the road,” Cadillac’s website states. Our drivers and passengers, each with a unique level of interest and understanding of today’s data and infotainment systems, were comfortable with the system – even the one who was content to tune the satellite radio.
The XT5 also comes with a wi-fi hotspot and a clever, though at times disconcerting, rear-view camera that can be viewed through the rear-view mirror. (With the press of a button under the mirror, it can be returned to conventional functionality.)
The car was loaded with safety features, including blind-zone alert, lane-change alert, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision alert, pedestrian detection in front, and lane-departure warning. Safety-alert seats vibrate vigorously when the sensors detect a hazard. Our test car did not have the optional adaptive cruise control, however.
The XT5 has been rated a Top Safety Pick Plus by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Government crash-test results have not been released yet.
Steven Macoy ([email protected]) is a longtime car enthusiast and full-time editor who lives in Bethel, Conn.
2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum AWD
Engine: 3.6-liter V-6, 310 horsepower, 270 lb.-ft. torque
Transmission: 8-speed shiftable automatic
Ground clearance: 7.8 in.
Weight: 3,985 lb.
Suspension: MacPherson strut front, multi-link rear
Wheels: 20×8-in. polished alloy
Tires: P235/55R H all-season
Seating capacity: 5
Luggage capacity: 30 cu. ft.
Maximum cargo capacity: 63 cu. ft.
Towing capacity: 3,500 lb.
Fuel capacity: 22 gal.
Fuel economy: 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway
Fuel type: premium unleaded gasoline