Lyons on Wheels

2022 Cadillac XT5 

MSRP: $43,995 (Luxury FWD)                As Tested: $67,965 (Premium Luxury AWD)

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XT5 is Cadillac’s entry in the highly competitive, compact luxury crossover segment. It’s offered in three trim levels – Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport.  All Wheel Drive is standard on top-ranging Sport models. Front Wheel Drive is standard issue on the other two levels, with AWD optional ($2,000). 


A turbocharged, 2.0L four cylinder engine (235 horsepower, 258 lb.-ft. of torque) is the base engine, with a 3.6L V-6 (310 horsepower, 271 lb.-ft.) optional ($1,000) on Luxury and Premium Luxury, and standard on Sport.  My test driver was a Premium Luxury trim with the optional V-6. I’ve driven the 2.0L, though not in an XT5.  My feeling is that the turbo four would be sufficient here, though perhaps lacking in the comfortable excess of power that the six provides (and that buyers expect, when shopping the luxury segment).  Linked to a 9-speed automatic transmission, the V-6 power flow is smooth and there’s plenty on tap for passing/merging.  If towing is part of your plans, the six is the clear choice.  Maximum capacity is 1,000 lb. with the 2.0 four, and 3,500 lb. with the 3.6 V-6.  Fuel economy is, as expected, better with the smaller motor (EPA says 22/29/24 (FWD) and 21/27/23 (AWD) for the 2.0L.  The six is predicted to return 19/26/21 (FWD). I logged 15 mpg’s even during my week behind the wheel, in mostly ’round town driving.  There’s virtually no mileage penalty for going AWD with the V-6 (18/26/21), and doing so adds another perk – the luxury of not worrying about white knuckle drives in wintertime. XT5 handles confidently and ride quality is generally smooth, though with some impact harshness noted over broken pavement.    

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2021 Cadillac XT5


Cabins in premium vehicles are often overdesigned. Function is sometimes sacrificed in the pursuit of modernity.  Touchpads are a prime example of this.  They work well as an interface on laptops.  But, less so in a car, where the finesse moves required to make adjustments take longer than a simpler design would, and are potentially distracting for the driver.    


That said, the front cabin in XT5 is handsome and happily straight forward in operation.  Most controls are accessed via 8″ touchscreen, a bank of buttons below, and a rotary controller on the forward end of the center console.  Forward and lateral visibility is good.  The XT5 has ¾-rear blind spots typical of crossovers.  A blind spot monitoring system is therefore important, and is included on Premium Luxury and Sport trims, but surprisingly, not available on Luxury.

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2020 Cadillac XT5 Sport

XT5 has six footer room in both rows.  Rear seats adjust fore and aft, and the seatbacks fold flat to a level load floor.  There’s a good sized cargo hold – capacity ranges from 30–63 cu.-ft., depending on how you configure the seats – with a reasonable liftover height in back.  The infotainment systems are compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the connection is wireless.  A 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot is also included.  A Bose 8-speaker sound system is standard. A 14-speaker premium Bose system is available on the top two trims ($1,025, includes embedded navigation), and recommended.  


The Premium Luxury trim is my preferred pick amongst XT5 trim levels.  Some necessary features (like blind spot protection) and desirable extras (like the $2,275 Technology Package – Surround Vision, Rear Pedestrian Alert, Rear Camera Mirror, 8″ color gauge cluster, head-up display, automatic parking assist with braking) are only available on this trim and up.                          

A 40 year resident of the Capital District, Dan Lyons has been reviewing new cars for publications for over 30 years.  He is the author of six automotive books, and photographer of more than 200 calendars.