2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum
The new 2017 Cadillac XT5 has a doubly difficult mission. For starters, it replaces the outgoing Cadillac SRX that for years was the brand's best-selling car model. It also has to do battle as a new entrant in the highly competitive compact luxury crossover segment. To accomplish this tall order, Cadillac brings a bold exterior design, ample passenger space, and some cool new tech. But it also carries some baggage from previous models in the form of the clunky (though notably improved) CUE infotainment system. It also continues with the SRX's 3.6-liter V6 as the sole engine option. Still, there's enough to like here that the XT5 may very well find its niche.
Pricing and Design The 2017 Cadillac XT5$63,845.00 at TrueCar comes in four trim levels, all with a 310-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The base XT5 trim starts at $39,990 (including the $995 destination charge) and is available in front-wheel drive only. Standard features include 18-inch aluminum wheels, brushed aluminum roof rails, capless fueling, engine stop/start, automatic halogen headlamps, LED daytime running lights, heated and powered body color side mirrors with integrated turn signals, cruise control, remote start, keyless entry and ignition, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and tinted glass. You also get a customizable 5.7-inch color instrument panel, a power tilt and telescoping steering column, a rear power liftgate with height memory, wood trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel, eight-way driver and six-way passenger power seats, second-row 40/20/40 slide and recline seats, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth for phone and audio, wireless phone charging, OnStar with 4G LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity, the CUE infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a Bose eight-speaker premium audio system with AM/FM HD Radio and satellite radio, four USB ports, and an aux-in jack. The Luxury trim starts at $45,890 including destination for the FWD model and $48,385 for all-wheel drive and adds rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming rearview and driver's side mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, leather seating surfaces, heated driver and front passenger seats, driver memory settings, a heated steering wheel, console lighting accents, a cargo management system and retractable cargo shade, front parking sensors, blind spot detection, and rear cross traffic alert. The Premium trim starts at $52,890 for the FWD model and $55,385 for AWD (destination charge included), and adds 20-inch aluminum wheels, a performance suspension, LED headlamps with auto high beams, LED parking and cornering lights, and heated and cooled front seats. It also includes a Bose 14-speaker Studio Surround sound system, navigation, lighting accents along the doors, and a Driver Awareness Package with Cadillac's Safety Alert Seat, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, front pedestrian detection, and forward collision warning with distance indication and automatic emergency braking. The top-of-the-line Platinum trim we tested comes in AWD only and has a base price of $62,500. After a $350 compact spare tire and cargo net option, and a destination charge of $995, it came to a total sticker price of $63,845. The Platinum trim adds 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, a twin-clutch system with variable drive modes, front and rear stainless steel skid plates, a unique grille and exhaust, a reconfigurable 8-inch LCD instrument panel, full leather seats, heated rear seats, and suede headliner and dash trim. You also get a heads-up display, a hands-free liftgate, tri-zone automatic climate control, a surround-vision camera, and an Advanced Security Package with a locking steering column, door lock and latch shields, a self-powered alarm system, vehicle inclination sensor and interior movement sensors, and locking wheel lugs. The exterior design of the 2017 XT5 is unmistakably Cadillac in its brawny proportions and the trace of fin molded into the tail lamps. The gaping front grille mimics the new Cadillac shield logo, and it's framed by distinctive vertical LED lighting.
Though the XT5 is roughly the same size as the SRX, its wheelbase is about 2 inches longer, allowing for extra interior space. Cabin materials are also improved, and the leather upholstery in the Platinum trim we tested has a definite luxury feel. But the suede trim on the dash looks a bit tacky, and it picked up lint when we brushed fingerprints off the in-dash screen with the supplied microfiber cloth. Connectivity, Interface, and Technology The 2017 Cadillac XT5 CUE system has only one built-in app, Pandora, but several forms of connectivity. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay leverage your connected smartphone to supply several cloud-based music apps as well as phone, message, and navigation functions. The OnStar 4G LTE connection can furnish in-car Wi-Fi in addition to traditional telematics services. And Cadillac's own CUE system offers cloud-based weather and traffic info via satellite radio. The CUE system has had issues with lag in the past, but the latest iteration has been improved with a faster processor so it responds more quickly to input. Unfortunately, adjusting the volume still requires sliding a finger along a horizontal bar below the infotainment screen, which is far more difficult than simply twisting a knob. Fortunately, adjusting the volume is easier using the steering-wheel controls. CUE has kept two nice features: a proximity sensor that displays certain information when your hand is near the screen, and the ability to rearrange the touch-screen icons and reconfigure the menu items at the top. Handwriting recognition is a helpful new way to input navigation destinations directly on the screen. We found that it works better than similar features from Audi and BMW that use a center console touchpad. The 2017 XT5 also has an impressive suite of driver assist systems. A Safety Seat feature vibrates to indicate which side a potential threat is on, while the heads-up display puts visual alerts in the driver's line of sight and is easy to see even in bright sunlight. The car also has unique luxury features such as heated and cooled seats that automatically switch on when the vehicle is started if the exterior temperature is above or below a certain threshold, and a rear camera mirror that displays the view from the backup camera image across the entire rearview mirror. Performance and Conclusions The XT5's 310-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine has good acceleration and is refined and quiet. But it's the only engine available, while most competitors offer a range of gas and diesel 4-cylinders and more powerful 6-cylinders. That said, because the XT5 weighs much less than the SRX thanks to lightweight construction, it accelerates more quickly using the same engine, consumes less fuel, and rides better. Our test car came with a real-time damping suspension that reduces vibrations, and a Driver Select Mode feature with Touring, Snow/AWD, and Sport settings that allow you to dial in different handling qualities. One downside is the XT5's new Electronic Precision shifter, which Cadillac says is "a joystick-like evolution of the traditional center console" gearshift. But we found it frustrating to use, and will happily go back to the traditional alternative. The 2017 Cadillac XT5 enters a competitive field, with established and formidable rivals like the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLA, and appealing new entrants like the Audi Q3$42,750.00 at TrueCar, Lexus NX$45,145.00 at TrueCar, and Jaguar F-Pace. It also has to compete with its forbearer the SRX, and maintain that vehicle's segment sales advantage. With its sizable and comfortable interior, revised CUE system, and improved performance and fuel economy, the 2017 XT5 is up to the challenge, and, like the SRX, could prove to be the sales sleeper in the luxury compact crossover segment. See Original Article