Caraganza First Drive Review 2020 Cadillac XT5: The middle child

2020 Cadillac XT5 Premium Luxury

Look, I get it. SUVs and crossovers are all the rage now. No longer do we have traditional sedans and coupes prowling the roads as much, instead it’s all about higher views from bigger vehicles taking up more of the lane.

One of the more famous of the carmakers, Cadillac has embraced this change quite nicely.  Once known for Fleetwood’s, De Ville’s, Seville’s and the Calais, the GM brand has made the move away from cars in the lineup to SUVs and crossovers.  These new vehicles don’t have fancy names, instead opting for the “XT” moniker, which stands for “Crossover Touring.”

The XT5 was the first in the lineup.  It came on the scene in 2004 as the first of Cadillac’s crossovers.  It was renamed in 2017 as the XT5. The XT4 came out in 2018 and while it does have more room for passengers, it has less for cargo. The XT6 is, of course, bigger, and is new for 2020. The XT6 shares its architecture with the XT5 but is bigger and has three rows of seats; the XT5 can seat five passengers, the XT6 seven.

The XT5 then is the middle child, but it’s the oldest.

A few months ago, Cadillac sent me the XT6 for a week, recently it was the XT5’s turn for a week.

The XT5 has four variants: XT5 (base), Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport which replaces the old Platinum name (The XT6 has just two:  Premium Luxury and Sport). The Sport variant has a few performance and cosmetic differences and Platinum is now an optional package.

For 2020, Cadillac gives the XT5 a slight refresh with new bumpers, grille design, and wheel options. There is also a newly standard turbocharged four-cylinder that joins the V-6 as the only engine choices.

2020 Cadillac XT5 Sport

The base model has keyless entry and ignition, LED lights, power adjustable seats, power liftgate, simulated leather upholstery, and rear parking sensors.  The tech offerings include an 8-inch touchscreen, and an eight-speaker Bose sound system with satellite radio and OnStar services with a 4G LTE data connection and Wi-Fi hotspot are standard across the lineup.

Moving up adds more tech, and more luxury items. While all-wheel drive is an option on the rest of the lineup, it’s standard on the Sport along with 20-inch wheels (up from 18), and upgraded leather upholstery, adaptive suspension, ventilated and heated front seats, heated rear seats and a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound system.

Under the hood, a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine is now standard with the 3.6-liter V6, remaining standard on Sport and available on Premium Luxury.

My tester for the week was the Premium Luxury with front wheel drive. The Platinum package ($4800) was also included which added such things as leather seating and a leather wrapped steering wheel, along with a microfiber suede headliner, and real-time damping.  The tester had the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. It also had the optional automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning and lane keeping assist, and parking sensors and Cadillac’s Rear Vision Camera, which fills the rearview mirror with a real-time image from a rear-mounted camera. It also had an upgraded Bose sound system, a navigation system, upgraded leather upholstery and interior trim, and adaptive cruise control.

On the road the 2.0 kept up just fine and of course the cabin was a very nice place to be. While the XT6 seemed to be a big SUV, the XT5 felt a bit nimbler and would probably be able to navigate parking spaces with a bit more ease.

The XT5 is a bit smaller, and less expensive (the XT6 Premium Luxury AWD topped out at $70,890, the XT5 Premium Luxury FWD $63,715).

So, if size matters there are choices when it comes to the XT lineup from Cadillac.  After a week with both the XT5 and XT6 the XT5 to me is just right. Either way any Cadillac is a good place to be, and as they work on keeping relevant to the market, it will be for a very long time to come.

The 2020 Cadillac XT5 Premium Luxury FWD
MSRP: $48,795
MSRP (as tested): $63,715
Engine:  2.0L Turbocharged I4 DOHC VVT with Direct Injection 237 hp @5000 rpm, 258 ft-lb torque @1500-4000 rpm
Transmission: 9-speed shiftable automatic
Fuel Mileage (EPA): 21 city, 28 highway, 24 combined
Fuel Mileage (as tested, mixed conditions): 26 mpg
Base Curb Weight: 4338 lbs.

Exterior Dimensions (inches)
Wheelbase: 112.5
Length: 189.6
Width, without mirrors: 74.9
Height: 66.1
Front Track Width: 64.8
Rear Track Width: 64.8
Minimum Ground Clearance: 7.8

Interior Dimensions (inches)
Passenger / Seating Capacity: 5
Total Passenger Volume (cubic feet): 104.5
Front Head Room: 37.9
Front Leg Room: 41.2
Front Shoulder Room: 58.3
Front Hip Room: 56.1
Second Row Head Room: 36.6
Second Row Leg Room: 39
Second Row Shoulder Room: 56.3
Second Row Hip Room: 54.8
Cargo Space/Area Behind Front Row (cubic feet): 63
Cargo Space/Area Behind Second Row (cubic feet): 30.2

Limited warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles
Powertrain warranty: 6 years or 70,000 miles
Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for the first visit

Greg Engle