In a world of hand-tooled footwear, the Cadillac XT5 is a premium off-the-rack shoe. It’s comfortable and reasonably attractive, but the luxury compact SUV segment is knee-deep in sophisticated and sporty alternatives, including the Mercedes-AMG GLC-class and Porsche Macan. The upstart Genesis GV70 parallels the XT5’s pricing, but brings an entirely modern design and a raft of standard and available performance, tech, and luxury features, while the Volvo XC60 executes the understated luxury approach with more elan. Though the Caddy XT5 was updated in 2020, the interior has aged quickly, and the materials and design are more practical than polished. On the upside, it sports one of the largest cargo capacities in the class, and the cabin is quiet in the Cadillac tradition. Two engines are on tap: a turbo-four or a V-6, both mated with a 9-speed automatic and either front- or all-wheel drive. Sadly, neither inspire spirited driving, their middling performance matched by a simply adequate chassis tune. Were the segment limited to half-a-dozen players, the XT5 would be a satisfactory choice but the competition has continuously improved, leaving the Caddy behind.
What’s New for 2024?
Cadillac says 2024 will be the last year for the XT5 and it carries over with but a few cosmetic updates. New exterior finishes include Emerald Lake Metallic, Midnight Sky Metallic, and a trio of appearance packages (Blue accent, Bronze accent, and Red accent) are available on the Sport. Still, Cadillac is in transition to becoming an all-electric brand and believes its resources are better focused on that effort. The XT5 will, however, live on in China, where it remains a very high-volume seller. That XT5 will receive significant updating.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The mid-level Premium Luxury model is the best value. Leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, a hands-free liftgate, wireless charging, navigation, and ventilated front seats all make the cut. The available V-6 brings more horsepower and feels more in tune with the XT5’s relaxed nature than the turbo-four, but the four-cylinder has slightly more torque. All-wheel drive is available if you want it for an additional $2000.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The XT5’s standard turbocharged four-cylinder makes 235 horsepower, and the optional V-6 produces 310 ponies. With either engine, it’s no match for performance-oriented rivals such as the 340-hp Porsche Macan S. However, the Caddy’s performance stacks up more favorably against less aggressive models like the Lexus RX350 and the Volvo XC60. In light-footed, day-to-day operation, we’ve found the Cadillac’s V-6 to be impressively quiet and well-isolated from the cabin. Under heavy throttle, however, the bigger engine’s voice makes itself known in an unflattering way. Encounter a twisty road, and the XT5 can tackle it with confidence, although it won’t make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up even when equipped with the optional adaptive suspension. Body roll is well controlled and the XT5 feels substantial and planted, which is especially comforting on long highway slogs. Over rough stretches of broken pavement, however, it can feel jittery, and sharp impacts reverberate through the cabin. Steering is accurate but lacks any visceral feedback—another missed opportunity to appeal to enthusiast drivers.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Front-wheel-drive XT5s with the standard turbocharged four-cylinder earn EPA fuel economy estimates of 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined. Moving up to the V-6 drops mpg to 19 city, 26 highway, and 21 combined. On both models, adding the optional all-wheel drive lowers these estimates slightly–a small concession for added confidence in inclement weather. On our 75-mph highway fuel economy test route, an all-wheel-drive XT5 with the V-6 engine delivered 23 mpg, while a front-wheel-drive model with the turbocharged four-cylinder managed 29 mpg. For more information about the XT5’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Passenger space is acceptable, but the accommodations aren’t as deluxe as they should be in a modern Cadillac. The materials used throughout the XT5’s cabin appear upscale when examined individually, but when viewed as a whole, the result is a design that appears unfocused. The interior layout is good, and the driving position is agreeable. One area where the XT5 excels is in practicality. Above-average cargo space, plenty of bins for stashing smaller items, and an easy-to-fold rear seat make this Caddy a cargo king. The XT5’s cargo hold accommodated an impressive 10 carry-on cases with the rear seat in place. Once folded, we fit 24 carry-ons.
Infotainment and Connectivity
All XT5 models come well-connected right out of the gate, with standard niceties such as an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. The CUE infotainment system offers intuitive controls including a rotary controller and voice recognition. Embedded navigation is also standard for Premium Luxury and Sport models as is a 14-speaker Bose Performance Series audio system. There are four USB ports located conveniently throughout the cabin for charging mobile devices, and a wireless inductive phone-charging pad is available between the two front seats.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Unfortunately, those who value driver-assistance features such as blind-spot monitoring will find themselves shelling out beaucoup bucks. For information about the XT5’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking
- Available adaptive cruise control
- Available lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Cadillac’s standard warranty coverage matches or exceed those of most XT5 rivals. The Caddy also offers complimentary scheduled maintenance, but it only covers the first visit, which falls short of the three years or 36,000 miles that Volvo covers.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 6 years or 70,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for the first visit
2020 Cadillac XT5 350T
front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE AS TESTED
$63,115 (base price: $45,090)
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
122 in3, 1998 cm3
237 hp @ 5000 rpm
258 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
Suspension (F/R): struts/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 13.6-in vented disc/12.4-in vented disc
Tires: Michelin Premier LTX, 235/55R-20 102H M+S TPC SPEC 1493MS
Wheelbase: 112.5 in
Length: 189.6 in
Width: 75.0 in
Height: 66.1 in
Passenger volume: 104 ft3
Cargo volume: 30 ft3
Curb weight: 4106 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
Rollout, 1 ft: 0.4 sec
60 mph: 7.6 sec
100 mph: 23.1 sec
120 mph: 46.3 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 8.1 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 4.1 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 6.1 sec
1/4 mile: 16.0 sec @ 87 mph
Top speed (drag limited): 130 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 176 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.82 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 20 mpg
75-mph highway driving: 29 mpg
Highway range: 560 miles
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 24/21/28 mpg