For quite a long time now Cadillac has been among the top rated luxury brands in the automotive industry. The Cadillac brand name is on many people’s shortlist. After moving Cadillac’s headquarters from Detroit to New York, the brand has decided to have a new nomenclature. This nomenclature brought the CT6 and the XT5. The XT5 replaces the outgoing SRX.
Here we are again picking up the XT5 from the official distributor, IMPEX, in Lebanon. On a sunny weekend in Beirut we decided to take out the XT5 to Kfardebian’s snowy mountains.
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.
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.
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.
CUE infotainment system
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.
Driving the XT5 was a very enjoyable experience, away from the luxurious cabin and technology gimmicks. In the Middle East markets we only have a naturally aspirated engine, which is the 3.6-liter V6 with variable valve timing and direct gasoline injection. Front-wheel drive is standard; all-wheel drive is available. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard too. Four-wheel independent suspension with selectable drive modes delivers a precise ride. Sport mode is stiffer than you’d expect from an SUV from Cadillac; touring mode flattens out our bumpy Lebanese roads full of potholes that feels just enough for a highway journey.
After long journeys in Kfardebian’s snowy mountains to test drive the 2017 Cadillac XT5 through the hills surrounding the nearby town of Faraya, I've become convinced that Cadillac has built (as far as I am aware) a family-oriented crossover that could contend at the utmost heights of the mid-size luxury game. Cadillac has some serious competition in the premium mid-size crossover segment. The Lexus RX had a full revamp and is a top seller (at least around the GCC). The case is different in Lebanon. Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Volvo XC60 are all worth thinking about.
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: modernization
3.6L V6 VVT DI (LGX), 310 hp @ 6,700 rpm, 367 Nm @ 5,000 rpm
FWD/AWD, AWF8F45 paddle-shift 8-speed auto
0-100 km/h: 6.8-7 sec, top speed: 206 km/h, fuel consumption: 11 L/100 km
Weight: 1,931 kg