2018 Cadillac XT5 Driving Impressions

Solid V6 power and luxurious ride quality blend with mildly athletic handling in the XT5, which also coddles its occupants pleasantly. While feeling lighter and more agile than its SRX predecessor, the XT5 is only a tad sportier. Electric power steering also feels light, but centers effectively. Sport mode improves its heft, but the difference is slight.

Available all-wheel drive enhances road grip even on dry pavement, boosting a sense of confidence. Despite sitting low, an XT5 is not intended for off-road journeys.

The fully independent suspension yields a firm, yet compliant, ride. Suspensions on top models continuously adjust damping, which is noticeable but helpful.

Developing robust energy, with barely a hint of torque steer (on front-drive models), the V6 works well with the 8-speed automatic transmission. On the darker side, Cadillac’s drive-by-wire gearshift is touchy and annoying.

Considering its available power, the XT5 is fairly fuel-efficient. Front-wheel-drive models are EPA-rated at 19/26 mpg City/Highway, or 22 mpg Combined. All-wheel drive extracts only a mild penalty: to 18/25 mpg City/Highway, or 21 mpg Combined. The standard stop/start system, which shuts the engine off at stoplights, is mostly unobtrusive.

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