The whole design signature of Cadillac started with the CT6, which we previously drove in Abu Dhabi, and now continues with the XT5. The all-new 2017 Cadillac XT5 is the crossover that replaces the SRX in a growing lineup of refined and redefined XT-named utility vehicles.
Our first drive took place in Berlin, Germany's capital. It seems like no coincidence that the Caddy execs chose Berlin as the city to launch the car. The whole idea behind Berlin is pretty simple and can be explained in three reasons. When Cadillac moved their headquarters from Detroit to New York, we all knew it was going to be a new chapter for Cadillac - apart from their cousins Chevy and GMC. Berlin was destroyed during WWII and was rebuilt again. Cadillac's new vision is to bring a younger audience into their lineup of CT and XT: Berlin is young and so is Cadillac nowadays. The third reason is that all of the TVC and promos were shot in New York, which is the closest city in terms of trees, parks, buildings; in other words the same 'cachet' to NYC.
The Cadillac XT5 is completely new, residing on a unique chassis and structure. Cadillac's new crossover embodies the brand's expertise for lightweight and agile driving dynamics. The new XT5 is 68 kilograms lighter than its predecessor. Cadillac offers most of the improved interior space to the passengers. Rear seat legroom is increased by 8.1 cm in the XT5, compared to its predecessor. The rear seat both reclines and slides fore and aft as well.
This was achieved using many of the techniques applied on the Cadillac CTS and ATS sport sedans - which are among the lightest cars in their respective segments. This includes the use of laser welding, ultra-high-strength steel and advanced analytics that ensure a stronger structure and excellent crash performance, yet less overall bulk.
The new architecture delivers a wheelbase that is 5.08 cm longer than its predecessor is, and a track that is 2.54 cm wider. However, the XT5's overall length, width and height are fractionally smaller than the SRX. This gives the car a firmly planted stance, and a lean and sleek look. More importantly, the expanded wheelbase and track enables more usable interior space.
The first-ever XT5 brings a new level of sophistication that showcases Cadillac's evolving design language, which recently made its debut on the CT6 Sedan. The XT5 has a strong visual presence with proportions that convey the driving experience and the lightweight construction underneath the surface. There is a lean, taut, liquid quality to the surfaces with flowing, uninterrupted lines separated by crisp edges.
The new XT5's interior showcases a new design direction based on a philosophy of clean, modern elegance and craftsmanship. Interior surfaces inside the XT5 are wider and more horizontal in orientation, emphasizing space-efficiency. Like all Cadillac models, the interior is assembled with cut-and-sewn wrapped panels, rather than a reliance on the molded surfaces that dominate mainstream vehicles.
Cadillac will offer a Platinum edition for the first time in this segment. Made popular initially on Cadillac's Escalade, the XT5 Platinum includes unique interior and exterior trim and materials, and combines them with the highest technology features. In total, the XT5 includes five interior color and trim choices, with decorative trim options ranging from carbon fiber to two types of aluminum and four types of genuine wood.
The 2017 Cadillac XT5 is powered by the new 3.6 liter V6 engine, which also features on the CT6. This engine has been completely redesigned and features Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation technology), which allows the engine to seamlessly and automatically switch to a fuel-saving four-cylinder mode under low or moderate loads.
With an estimated peak output of 310 horsepower and 366 Nm of torque, the new V6 utilizes variable valve timing for strong response and smooth power delivery. Cadillac's new Stop/Start technology automatically stops and starts the engine when the vehicle is at rest in traffic stops, saving fuel and reducing emissions.
A new eight-speed automatic transmission is standard for the XT5. The XT5 also debuts Electronic Precision Shift - the first electronically-controlled transmission shifter for a Cadillac. Electronic Precision Shift reduces noise and vibration, and it allows the cabin space to be further utilized with an innovative storage space beneath the center console.
A new advanced 'twin clutch' all-wheel drive system continuously and automatically delivers excellent traction across a variety of conditions. While engineered specifically for strong performance in wet, snowy or icy conditions, it also provides enhanced stability in dry weather.
Due to the twin-clutch design, the all-wheel drive system is capable of transferring up to 100 percent of available torque to either the front or rear axle. Also, across the rear axle, the electronically-controlled rear differential can direct up to 100 percent of available torque to either wheel laterally. This capability is designed for split-coefficient surfaces, such as the common occurrence when water, ice or snow is more prevalent on one side of the road surface than the other.
The all-wheel drive system is driver-controlled, and includes a new 'disconnect' feature that allows the driver the option to disable the rear drive unit for improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.
The driving experience of the all-new Cadillac XT5 benefits from the aforementioned lighter weight, longer wheelbase and wider track; improving the vehicle's stance, balance and agility. Added to that is a new chassis system featuring lightweight components designed to deliver smooth ride quality with improved dynamic handling.
The lightweight structure of the XT5 is stiffer and stronger than the SRX due to the use of improved materials and advanced design methods. A diagonal 'A-frame' front chassis brace in the underbody was strategically added to provide more solid driver feel and stiffness for the vehicle in turns.
The new suspension features lightweight components, with a MacPherson Strut design in the front and a five-link independent design at the rear.
On XT5 entry and luxury trims, 18-inch wheels are standard and Premium Luxury and Platinum trim come with 20-inch wheels.
Premium Luxury and Platinum also have a Continuous Damping Control system included, managing ride control in real-time. Additional ride bushings on the rear cradle are exclusive to the XT5 Platinum model, tuned to provide added ride comfort for rear seat passengers, specifically.
The first-ever XT5 includes Cadillac's latest production systems in the areas of connectivity and safety.
Cadillac's patented new industry-leading Rear Camera Mirror system debuts on the CT6 and the XT5. The system enhances the driver's rear vision by 300 percent, using a video display applied over the conventional inside rearview mirror. A high dynamic range camera records much wider images behind the car, streams the image to video processing software that 'removes' obstacles such as the roof, rear pillars and rear seat passengers, and projects an unobstructed view to an LCD display.
The Cadillac CUE system for connectivity and control has been upgraded for the XT5, with a faster and more powerful processor providing best-ever response and accuracy. The XT5 features an integrated wireless charger for mobile devices, with a slot designed into the front-center portion of the center console. Also standard are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (when available in the region) - the predominant new systems for simpler in-car phone integration.
The rear liftgate of the XT5 includes hands-free operation, allowing it to open or close via gesture control underneath the rear bumper.
Cadillac's signature LED light pipes are standard inside and out, while full LED headlamps are optional. A Surround Vision feature enables a bird's-eye view of the perimeter around the car in parking situations.
In addition, XT5 features Cadillac's Driver Awareness and Driver Assist packages to aid vision and collision avoidance. These include automatic front and rear braking for low-speed conditions, Lane Keeping Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, full-speed range Adaptive Cruise Control and Automatic Parking Assist. Platinum models also receive a color reconfigurable heads-up display as standard.
I think now is the right time more than any other to have a look at the XT5. Caddy's designers did an amazing job on remodeling the whole vehicle to make it a serious contender versus the German and British rivalry. So, if this scope of premium mid-size crossover doesn't fit your needs, I'm giving you a note that the new XT5 nomenclature leaves many numbers above and below to be filled. Cadillac will surely be filling those numbers in the near future!
Pros: Great handling, attractive look, plenty of interior space, good visibility
Cons: AWD not available on base model, only one engine option
Rivals: Jaguar F-Pace S, Porsche Macan, Lincoln MKX, Infiniti QX50, Mercedes GLC, Audi Q5, BMW X3, Lexus RX 350
one word: innovation
3.6 L V6 VVT DI (LGX), 310 hp @ 6,700 rpm, 367 Nm @ 5,000 rpm
FWD/AWD, AWF8F45 paddle-shift 8-speed automatic
0-100 km/h: 6.8-7 sec, top speed: 206 km/h, fuel consumption: 11 L/100 km
Weight: 1,931 kg