Enjoying the ride in the 2023 Cadillac XT5
Ever since its debut in 2017 as the replacement for the SRX, the Cadillac XT5 has been a top-selling model for the luxury GM division. In fact, since the XT5 has been out, it had been the brand’s top seller up until the all-new Escalade came out, in which the XT5 moved to second place. The XT5, which gets its name from XT referring to “Crossover Touring” and the number designating where the vehicle is in the brands lineup, is pure Cadillac, sharing the similar edgy design theme found in the brands sedans. And while the Escalade dominates the full-size luxury SUV market, the XT5 is trying to accomplish the same task in the luxury crossover market.
Now in its seventh year, changes to the 2023 XT5 are simply three new exterior paint colors.
Enter the cabin of the XT5 and you’re greeted to an impressive setting. While very comfortable, the interior doesn’t seem overwhelmingly huge. Think of it as a nicely fit custom suit as the seats have excellent bolstering and plenty of adjustment. Real wood and hand stitching makes the cabin look as luxurious as one would expect from a Cadillac.
Every XT5 comes with Cadillac’s User Interface System (CUE) which is very user-friendly, supporting a touchsreen as well as a rotary controller. With its 8-inch color display, the system controls everything from the climate control system to the 14-speaker audio system. For those that don’t care for touch screens, there are also physical buttons for the climate control system. The shifter can be quirky to use and doesn’t give good feedback – when you put the XT5 in gear the shifter always returns to the same position, much like the ones used in its German rivals. Not a deal breaker – but just something that takes some getting used to.
When it comes to utility, there is 30 cubic feet of storage behind the second-row seat – that more than doubles to 63 cubic feet when you fold the second row flat. The XT5 does not have a third-row seat, so if that is a must-have, you may want to look at the larger XT6. Meant more for luxury rather than towing, the XT5 has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds.
Two engines are available for the XT5. The base Luxury trim and mid-level Premium Luxury use a turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder that develops 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The higher-end Sport model gets a more powerful 3.6-liter V6 that sings to the tune of 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. The V6 is optional on the Premium Luxury. Both engines are mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional on the Luxury and Premium Luxury models and is standard on the Sport model.
Pricing for the 2022 Cadillac XT5, which is built in Tennessee, starts at $45,190. The tester arrived in the Premium Luxury trim level wearing a Steller Black Metallic exterior and a striking two-tone interior done in maple sugar with black accents. Mechanically, it is equipped with all-wheel drive and the optional V6 engine. Along with that, it has a Platinum Package ($4,800) which adds in nicer leather materials and a real-time damping performance suspension as well as a Technology Package ($2,275) that provides surround vision, a rear-view camera mirror and a heads-up display. Other options on the tester include 20-inch 6-split spoke alloy wheels ($1,700) and Night Vision ($2,000) – a system that notices variations in temperature and can discern between an animal, person, or object ahead of the vehicle. The MSRP is $68,340.
On the road, the XT5 delivers a very fine ride. The body feels very tight, and the steering is quite responsive and well-weighted, making this crossover fun to drive. But at the same time, no one will complain about the ride, as it’s suspension nicely absorbs bumps and road imperfections. The V6 delivers excellent power that is both quiet and smooth upon delivery.
To save fuel, the V6 employs a stop-start system that turns off the engine at stops and restarts when the vehicle is ready to move as well as cylinder deactivation – allowing the engine to run on four cylinders rather than six. Both work automatically and are really hard to detect by the driver – another sign of just how smooth the drivetrain is. V6 all-wheel drive XT5s are rated at 18-mpg in town and 25-mpg on the highway, with a 21-mpg combined rating. Front-wheel drive models as well as four-cylinder models will fare slightly better.
The XT5 has a lot going for it, including its looks, performance, and level of luxury. And its size is nearly perfect – not too big and not too small. But an update, which is due next year, couldn’t come soon enough. Case in point is the interior’s 8-inch touchscreen – small by today’s standards, especially in a luxury vehicle. Nonetheless, with vehicles like this XT5, the smaller XT4 Crossover SUV, the CT6 and of course the Escalade, there is no question that Cadillac is making its way back to the top of the luxury car market. And as it does, we are enjoying the ride.
— Christopher A. Randazzo
By The Numbers:
2023 Cadillac XT5 Platinum Luxury AWD
Base Price: $51,995.00
Price as Tested: $68,340.00
Layout: front-engine / all-wheel drive
Engine: 3.6 liter Direct Injection V6
Transmission: 8 – speed automatic
Horsepower: 310 hp
Torque: 271 ft-lbs
EPA Fuel Economy: 18 city / 25 highway mpg
[Visit me at www.carsbycar.blogspot.com or email me at email@example.com]