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Car Reviews

Test Drive: 2017 Cadillac XT5

After being in the market for twelve years, Cadillac’s top-selling vehicle in Canada, the SRX, is being replaced by the all-new XT5. It's a little curious for a brand to transform its top-seller, but it's a fresh start for the mid-size luxury crossover.

From our test drive, the XT5 does a pretty good job at filling its predecessor’s shoes. But the question remains whether it will be strong enough to compete against its highly-acclaimed luxury competitors?

One things for sure, the XT5's looks are a step above its previous version. The crossover balances its sharp lines and edges with smooth curves regardless of your angle. The headlights now blend seamlessly into the curvaceous front while the vertically-stacked LEDs stretch from the mid-section of the hood all the way to the bumper. The high placement of the vertical headlights emphasize the height of the vehicle while the linear LED daytime running lamps distinguish the vehicle as a Cadillac.

In the rear, the signature taillights feature multiple vertical LED elements that run along its side. It looks rather simplistic upon first glance, but it’s at night that the jewel-like taillights really show off the details concealed within.

The interiors can vary considerably depending on trim. The Platinum Luxury Plus trim that we tested showcased an interior laden with soft material – including leather stitching and a micro-suede finish. The leather was of a decent quality, but a few fellow passengers commented the micro-suede looked a bit unpolished and wondered if it might attract dust or lint in the long run. In addition, the XT5 also features Cadillac’s upgraded CUE system now featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – allowing enhanced communication with your phone using Google Maps, Google Now, and Spotify.

A unique feature worth mentioning is the Rear Camera mirror which, with the flick of a switch, transforms your rear view mirror into a full colour 1280x240 wide screen that uses a camera mounted at the back of the vehicle to give you a near-180-degree view of everything behind you. Although it's only available on higher trim levels, it's certainly worth the upgrade. In many cases, I didn’t need to use my side view mirrors for most lane changes as it captured almost everything behind the rear quarters of my vehicle.

Cadillac offers the all-new XT5 luxury crossover in five trim levels including the base XT5 and Luxury on the front-wheel drivetrain, and a choice between Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum on the all-wheel drivetrain. All trims draw power from a 3.6-litre V6 mated to an eight-speed automatic that puts out a class-leading 310 hp at 6,600rpm and 271 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,000rpm.

The standard V6 also features cylinder deactivation, which turns off two of the six cylinders under low engine demand. My test had all six cylinders activated around 65 per cent of the time. The cylinder deactivation kicks in while coasting in the city or lightly engaging the accelerator at a fixed speed.

Cadillac claims the XT5 is 300 pounds lighter than the outgoing SRX. All this combined yielded me a fuel economy of 12.6 L/100m – comparably similar to the fuel economy of the 235 hp Lexus NX 2.0 Turbo I tested last year.

The compact luxury SUV segment is very lucrative for many automakers, attracting entry-level luxury buyers with more space – all for just a few thousand more than a compact luxury sedan. It's also one of the most competitive, with new products constantly being launched, while existing vehicles are being rigorously redesigned.

In the past two years alone, we’ve seen the launch of the Mercedes GLC, the Lincoln MKC, and the Lexus NX – all worthy competitors to the XT5. With its advanced technology and cutting-edge design, the XT5 is a strong contender that is poised to catch attention from buyers and admirers alike.

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