2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum AWD review notes: Efficient, utilitarian, but not cool…


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Miles ahead of the old SRX

The XT5 outclasses the old SRX in every way, from sheetmetal to power and smoothness, interior feel and handling.

The body and styling look like a stylized drawing of what a futuristic SUV would look like. It’s a lot of lights, a lot of grille and a lot of chrome. I don’t like the black cladding around the bottom, and from the pictures I’m looking at online, it might be standard. The shape is cool, and I might be crazy but I’d like to see a smaller, XT3, near-hot hatch. Throw in GM’s turbo four and call it a day.

Inside, it smells of leather-bound books and American luxury. This one is mostly swathed in mid beige, with both leather and suede. I feel like it might look better in one or the other, but I’m thinking Cadillac probably tried that and it may have looked like too much. The CUE system still isn’t my favorite, but this one seemed to have more real buttons than the last, with switches for the climate control.

The door armrests are hard, which bothered my bony elbows, but the central one is nice and soft, with leather covering. There’s a good amount of room in the backseat and behind it, as well. And the seats fold down for more utility.

The V6 didn’t feel as strong as I expected. I thought it was relatively smooth, as was the eight-speed trans, and when you put it to the floor, the XT5 does get up and go, but I would have guessed it was a turbo four. The brakes have a short stroke and a good amount of feel.

The cabin is quiet. I’m not sure if the carpet-like suede helps, but it seemed insulated from the road. I didn’t crash through any huge potholes, but most normal jostles didn’t really penetrate the cabin. I left my iPhone cord at the office and just played my podcasts through the phone speaker and could hear it fine, which is one of my tests for cabin quietness.

So, it’s a proper luxury vehicle all around. But it doesn’t feel that cool. I can’t really say why. The ATS, the CTS, even the Escalade feel like cool cars. I wouldn’t go around telling everyone the XT5 in the parking lot was mine. But I suppose I wouldn’t do that with the Mercedes GLE, either.

Maybe it’s just the segment that’s not cool.

Jake Lingeman, road test editor

Photo: 2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum AWD Photo 2

2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum AWD

OTHER VOICES:

Visually the car is definitely an upgrade from the SRX. It’s a bolder-looking front face, and the edges that travel up the sides give the SUV a feeling of movement even when stationary. The interior doesn’t disappoint, either; the SRX had several fit and finish issues, but I could find very few in the XT5. There were no mismatched seams, very few sharp, uncomfortable edges and the heads-up display is much improved. The cargo area comes with an adjustable divider that works well and looks Cadillac cool.

As for the drive, it was quiet and smooth on the highway where I spent most of my time. I did find myself wanting more power during merging and passing moves but I never really felt like I was in danger. The stop/start system got a little annoying in low-speed, stop-and-go situations. 

Ken Ross, excutive creative director

Photo: 2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum AWD Photo 9

2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum AWD

Options: compact spare tire and lateral mesh cargo net ($350)



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