Cadillac has a lot riding on its new XT5 Crossover. The brand is replacing one of its most successful vehicles, the SRX, which makes up nearly 40 percent of the company’s US sales and saw an 18 percent jump in Canadian sales just last year. Sales of the vehicle were so strong that Cadillac had to order an extra production run at the end of 2015.
So why mess with a good thing? For starters, the technology needs an update. This is the first redesign for the brand since 2009. Another consideration is the ever-growing crossover market. Since Cadillac desperately needs to be more competitive in the crossover market and their three new crossover vehicles won’t be shown until 2018, the XT5 is their only immediate play.
Although the SRX has held down the number 2 spot behind the Lexus RX in the midsize luxury crossover market, the company believes it should do better, since other carmakers are aiming for a piece of luxury’s biggest vehicle segment.
The XT5 is the firs vehicle to be built on GM’s global crossover platform, which makes it more fuel efficient and much lighter than the SRX. The wheelbase adds three inches of legroom to the back seat.
The new 3.6-liter V-6 engine produces 310 horsepower. The engine uses cylinder deactivation and an eight-speed transmission with a stop-start system to give drivers 19 mpg in the city, 27 mpg highway, which is an upgrade from the SRX’s 17 and 24. Although the power upgrade is modest, the XT5 outpaces the power of similar vehicles like the Acura RDX or LincolnMKX.
The weight differential is impressive, since Cadillac shaved 131 kilos from the overall weight of the XT5 in comparison to the SRX, and 45 kg over the slightly smaller Q5, and a nice 295 kg over the new Mercedes-Benz GLC 350. The lighter frame is due to Cadillac’s choice of high-tensile steel for both the chassis and body, which also means the car will get a five-star safety rating in all NHTSA crash testing.
Also giving the XT5 a facelift include all new all-wheel-drive system that comes from GKN Driveline. The system will disconnect itself to save fuel when extra grip isn’t needed. There is a new rearview mirror from Gentex that streams high-def video giving drivers a much more expansive view of their blind spots. The CUE infotainment system is supposed to alleviate the problems customers had with the comprehensive infotainment systems in the past.
On the exterior, the XT5 probably resembles the CTS sedan more than that Escalade SUV. It arrives with four trims. The grille is bigger like an Escalade, but the headlights and foglights are crimped from the CTS. This gives the XT5 a more to-the-ground stance from the front. The best exterior change is the rear three-quarter view, which is shorter than the SRX but with that longer wheelbase, which really makes the vehicle seem more athletic. The XT5 also sports 20-inch rims and a twin outlet exhaust system.
The XT5’s pricing has so far been a boon for dealers, who are pleased that the starting price of $39,900 is only $1,4000 higher than the starting price of the SRX. This makes the vehicle about $3,000 cheaper than its rivals in the segment. Cadillac has been proactively increasing the lease terms for SRX customers who want to upgrade to the XT5 this spring or summer.