The XT5 is Cadillac’s player in the luxury compact crossover segment, where it goes up against brands like BMW, Audi, Acura and Lincoln, among many others. It replaced the SRX as an all-new design in 2017 and returns for 2018 with no changes.
Unlike most vehicles in this class -- and indeed most vehicles in the marketplace, period -- the XT5 says “no thanks” to a turbocharged four-cylinder engine to go straight to a V6 displacing 3.6L and making 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. In this segment, only Acura takes a similar approach.
It’s an odd move to us, considering Cadillac makes a point of mentioning in its XT5 press materials that it offers a 2.0L turbo four in China, an engine that would line up quite nicely with those found in many competitors. And it’s not like that engine is a total stranger to Cadillac’s North American operations: Caddy uses it in the ATS and CTS sedans.
While turbo fours are meant to reduce fuel consumption while providing performance to match that of a V6, the XT5 is reasonably efficient all the same, with estimates of 12.1/8.9 with front-wheel drive and 12.8/9.3 when equipped with four-wheel traction.
The XT5 presents a comfortable and attractive interior with a few high-tech touches, like a partially digital gauge cluster and the imperfect CUE infotainment system. But other models in the group go even further with items like Audi’s virtual cockpit, which turns the cluster into a fully customizable digital screen that can display a wealth of information.
But one thing Cadillac does well in the tech arena is its safety alert seat, which vibrates to warn the driver of dangers like straying from one’s lane or an impending collision. The XT5 is also offered with a rear camera mirror that provides a view rearward unencumbered by rear pillars or rear-seat passengers.
The XT5 wears Cadillac’s styling language well, those design cues helping it to stand out in a field we’d argue is dominated by German and Japanese brands that are preferred by the younger buyers to whom Cadillac wants to appeal.