The XT5 is the successor to the Cadillac SRX, a venerable mid-size crossover that has perhaps grown long in the tooth. The new name represents one half of the new Cadillac naming convention, with sedans wearing the “CT” badge, as in “CT6,” and the crossovers will be designated “XT.” This is part of Cadillac’s big branding shakeup, but how strong can the new branding be if their biggest SUV won’t wear XT and will still be called “Escalade.”
The XT5 has big shoes to fill. The SRX is Cadillac’s best selling vehicle. In 2015, despite being a design that debuted back in 2010, it was actually up in sales 25 percent compared to 2014. They sold 56,732 vehicles this year, which is an incredible one-third of 141,000 Caddy’s sold this year. There have been big incentives on those vehicles, but with a new design, Cadillac looks to attract more than just those looking for a good deal on an upscale crossover.
Sharp New Look
The XT5 might carry a silhouette similar to the outgoing SRX, but has a much cleaner design. The headlights and LED fog lights are very close in aesthetic to the CT6 sedan, while the big waterfall grille evokes the iconic Cadillac Escalade. (Wouldn’t it be nice if all models had real names, and not alphanumerics).
Lighter, Smarter Ride
The curb weight of the Cadillac XT5 is 278 pounds lighter than the outgoing SRX and 100 pounds lighter than the Audi Q5, despite being seven inches longer. It will be powered by the 3.6-liter V6 currently offered, putting out 310 horsepower and 270 pound feet of torque.
It features direct injection, cylinder deactivation and auto stop-start. Power will be sent through an 8-speed automatic transmission to the front wheels or an available twin-clutch all-wheel drive system. It can send 100 percent of the power to either the front or rear wheels, and can send 100 percent of the power laterally between the rear wheels.
Just as impressive as the exterior is the cabin design, which comes fitted with the latest connectivity technology. The cabin can serve as a 4G mobile hotspot, and the infotainment system will come with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone integration.
There will also be a host of standard and optional safety technology, including collision avoidance systems, lane departure warning, and active cruse control.