Cadillac for 2017 rolled out the all-new XT5 midsize crossover, replacing the SRX.
It’s a move to get Cadillac more in line with the current trends in the crossover market, with a stylish, carlike premium sport utility meant for a range of consumers, from young families to aging baby boomers.
Outside, the XT5 looks a lot like the vehicle it replaced, but with some new touches that give it a more-upscale appearance. There is a new grille, along with redesigned front-end light treatments.
Interior changes are apparent, as well, upgraded materials, new and better technology and even some additional rear-seat legroom.
The XT5 is spacious enough to accommodate up to five passengers, just like the SRX model it replaced. Early on, though, the SRX was offered with a third-row seat and room for up to seven.
It comes on the same chassis as the newest generation of the GMC Acadia, although the Acadia is slightly longer and does offer a third-row seat and room for up to seven.
XT5 prices for 2017 begin at $39,395 (plus $995 freight) for the base front-drive model, and range as high as $62,895 for the top-of-the-line Platinum model with all-wheel drive.
It’s offered in four trim levels. The other two trims between the entry model and the Platinum are the Luxury ($45,295, front drive; $47,795, all-wheel drive) and Premium Luxury ($52,295, front drive; $54,795, all-wheel drive).
For this report, we drove the Premium Luxury all-wheel drive version. With freight and options, the sticker on our vehicle topped out at $58,130.
XT5 is the first in a series of new luxury crossovers on the way from Cadillac. Next will be the smaller, compact XT4. Cadillac also still offers luxurious the full-size Escalade sport utility, which has a third-row-seat option.
Under the hood of the XT5 is the same new 3.6-liter V-6 engine that comes in the Cadillac ATS and CTS sport sedans, as well in the new CT6 sedan. It’s rated at 310 horsepower and 271 foot-pounds of torque.
The engine has variable valve timing and active fuel management – a cylinder-deactivation technology that automatically switches to four cylinders from six during cruising to save gasoline.
Also included is a new eight-speed automatic transmission, which comes with Electronic Precision Shift — the first electronically controlled transmission in a Cadillac.
The EPA fuel economy estimates for the XT5 are 19 mpg city/27 highway/22 combined for front-wheel drive, and 18/26/21 for all-wheel drive.
This powertrain combination produces plenty of power for typical highway and city driving. We did an extended weekend jaunt with three people on board during our test week, including some not-too-steep mountain roads, and we had no problems passing or accelerating to highway speeds from uphill freeway on-ramps.
The XT5 can tow trailers weighing up to 3,500 pounds with the optional towing package, but we didn’t try any towing during our test.
Standard on the XT5 is the engine stop/start feature, which automatically stops the engine when the vehicle comes to a halt in traffic, and restarts it instantly when the driver releases the brake. This is designed to save gasoline that otherwise would be wasted while idling in traffic.
With the optional all-wheel-drive system, there is a twin-clutch feature that helps to deliver power to the appropriate wheels automatically to avoid slippage. The system is capable of transferring all of the available torque to either the front or rear axle.
On the rear axle, the electronically controlled rear differential can direct up to 100 percent of available torque to either wheel. A driver-selectable disconnect feature for the all-wheel drive sends all the power to the front wheels to improve fuel economy.
While it’s not designed for serious off-road exploring, the XT5’s all-wheel drive does fine on mild off-road routes, such as well-maintained gravel and dirt roads. The system does not have low-range gearing for serious hill-climbing and descending.
Both front bucket seats and the outboard rear seating positions are quite comfortable, even for long road trips. But as in most vehicles these days, the middle position in the rear is best left to smaller adults or kids.
There are seven exterior colors available, along with seven different interior configurations.
Our tester had the attractive Crystal White Tricoat exterior, which was $995 extra.
Leather upholstery was standard on our vehicle. We had the Carbon Plum seats with Jet Black accents, along with Black Olive Ash Burl Wood trim, which also added $995.
Available only on the Platinum model is Cadillac’s new Rear Camera Mirror system, which uses a camera to project an unobstructed rear view in the mirror at the top of the windshield, replacing the standard rearview mirror. It eliminates blind spots caused by headrests and body panels.
With this system, the driver sees everything behind the car in the rearview mirror at all times, rather than having that unobstructed view that a rearview camera system gives only when the vehicle is backing up.
Among other standard features are a MacPherson strut front suspension and five-link rear suspension; electric power steering; four-wheel disc brakes with GM’s Duralife rotors; and an electronic parking brake.
Our Premium Luxury AWD test vehicle had such other features as heated and ventilated front seats with eight-way power adjustment on both sides, with power lumbar adjust as well; Cadillac’s CUE audio/navigation system with eight-inch color display and 14-speaker Bose Surround Sound; Apple CarPlay; an ultra-wide sunroof with power shade; Intellibeam LED headlights; cornering lights; wireless phone charging system; keyless entry and pushbutton start; and power tilt/telescopic steering wheel,
The cargo area has 30 cubic feet of space with the rear seatback in place, or 63 cubic feet with the rear seat folded. The tailgate is power-operated.
Among standard safety features on our Premium Luxury model were a rearview camera system that shows the image in the dash screen; blind-zone alert for both sides, with lane-change alert (beeps if you start to change lanes with traffic in the adjacent lane); rear cross-traffic alert; forward collision alert, with front pedestrian detection; lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning; front low-speed automatic braking and following-distance indicator; and front and rear parking assist.
Also included on the tester were striking 20-inch wheels with sterling silver painted finish; 4G LTE connectivity with built-in Wi-Fi; and both OnStar and satellite radio (subscription required for each). There were also a driver memory system, a self-dimming rearview mirror, and a heated steering wheel.
The automotive columns of G. Chambers Williams III have appeared regularly in the Star-Telegram since 1994. Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter @gchambers3.
2017 Cadillac XT5
The package: Midsize, five-passenger, five-door, front- or all-wheel-drive, V-6 powered, crossover utility vehicle.
Highlights: Cadillac’s newest compact crossover has arrived for 2017, replacing the SRX. It has bold new styling, lots of standard and optional amenities, and available all-wheel drive.
Negatives: No third-row seat offered.
Engine: 3.6-liter V-6.
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic.
Power/torque: 310 HP./271 foot-pounds.
Brakes, front/rear: Disc/disc, antilock.
Length: 189.5 inches.
Base curb weight: 3,985 pounds (2WD); 4,257 pounds (AWD).
Cargo volume: 30 cubic feet (behind rear seat); 63 cubic feet (rear seat folded).
Towing capacity: 3,500 pounds.
EPA fuel economy: 19 mpg city/27 highway/22 combined (2WD); 18/26/21 (AWD).
Fuel capacity/type: 19 gallons (2WD)/22 gallons (AWD), regular unleaded.
Base price range: $39,395-$62,895, plus $995 freight.
Price as tested: $58,130, including freight and options (Premium Luxury AWD).
Major competitors: Lincoln MKX, Lexus RX350, BMW X3, Infiniti QX70, Volvo XC60, Acura MDX.
On the Road rating: 8.7 (of a possible 10).
Prices shown are manufacturer’s suggested retail; actual selling price may vary.