Reviews

2018 Cadillac XT5 Introduction

The 2018 Cadillac XT5 carries over virtually unchanged from 2017. XT5 is Cadillac’s entry-level crossover, replacing the SRX model designation after the 2016 model year. Seating five while straddling the line between compact and midsize, the Cadillac XT5 is part of a highly competitive vehicle category.

Four trim levels are available: base XT5, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum. Each is appropriately well-equipped for a luxury vehicle. Every XT5 has the same powertrain. A hands-free power liftgate and a rearview display in the mirror are among the options.

A 3.6-liter V6 engine produces 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque, working with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Front-wheel drive is standard on lower trim levels. All-wheel drive is optional, and standard with top Platinum trim. Like most crossovers in its segment, the XT5 isn’t meant for off-road treks.

Ride and handling of the Cadillac XT5 are reasonably good. While the cabin looks and feels luxurious, it doesn’t stand out in its category. Likely rivals include the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Lexus RX, and Volvo XC60, as well as Lincoln’s MKC.

Somewhat surprisingly for a luxury automaker, Cadillac restricts advanced safety technology to upper trim levels. Low-speed automatic emergency braking, for example, is standard on Premium Luxury and Platinum trim levels, and optional for Premium. It’s not available at all on the base XT5. Automatic braking is part of a group that includes active lane control, blind-spot monitors, and automatic high-beam headlights.

For full-speed automatic emergency braking, the Driver Assist Package must be purchased, only for Premium Luxury and Platinum models. That option group also includes adaptive cruise control and reverse automatic braking. Some luxury competitors include such features on every trim level nowadays.

Crash-test scores have varied. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the all-wheel-drive XT5 a five-star overall rating, but only four stars for the frontal crash. With front-drive, the XT5 got only a four-star overall score. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the XT5 its Top Safety Pick rating, but only when equipped with automatic emergency braking. Headlights were rated Marginal on upper trim levels, and Poor otherwise.

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