NEWS

2017 Cadillac XT5: First Look

2017-Cadillac-XT5-001.jpg 2017 Cadillac XT5; | Manufacturer image

Competes with: Audi Q5, BMW X5, Lexus RX 350, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, Lincoln MKX

Looks like: A Cadillac ELR, stretched to SUV proportions

Drivetrain: 310-hp, 3.6-liter V-6; eight-speed automatic transmission; optional all-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: Spring 2016

Related: More 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

One of the hottest segments in the automotive industry is the luxury crossover category, with every major automaker having a player in this lucrative field. Cadillac’s current offering, the long-in-the-tooth SRX, is due for an update, and here it is – the all-new 2017 Cadillac XT5.

Along with a new platform, powertrain, body style and interior comes a new name. The XT5 stands for Crossover Touring 5, the first two letters referring to the category and the number representing the vehicle’s spot in the pantheon of models Cadillac plans to offer.

Exterior

The XT5 sits on an all-new platform for the company’s midsize SUVs, and it features styling that brings it in line with Cadillac’s lineup. There won’t be any mistaking this crossover for anything other than a Cadillac: The grille and headlights treatment recalls the CTS and ATS, while keeping the vertical taillights that are a Cadillac hallmark. Down the side, a long, swooping arc brings to mind the Cadillac ELR plug-in hybrid coupe. The overall look is much more distinctive than the SRX, but it doesn’t get into gaping-maw weirdness like the Lexus RX 350’s exterior.

The XT5 is slightly smaller than the old SRX in its overall dimensions, but features a wheelbase that’s 2 inches longer and a track that’s 1 inch wider. It delivers an additional 3.2 inches of much-needed backseat legroom than the outgoing model.

But the big news for the XT5 is how much lighter it is than the SRX – and most of its competitors as well. Cadillac managed to make the new model 278 pounds lighter than the SRX, despite being nearly the same size. It’s 7 inches longer than an Audi Q5, but 100 pounds lighter, and it’s a whopping 650 pounds lighter than the new Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, even though it’s nearly the same size as that luxury SUV.

Interior

Inside, the XT5 features a wider, horizontally oriented look to the dash, much like the Cadillac Escalade. Just like the CTS and CT6 sedans, cut-and-sewn leather-wrapped panels are the norm instead of molded-in-place trim.

Cadillac will include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality in addition to the automaker’s Cadillac User Experience multimedia system, and while we haven’t had a close look at the interior yet, we expect that touch-sensitive control panels will also be the norm.

A new Platinum trim level will top the range, with unique interior materials and most options as standard equipment. Five interior color and trim choices will be offered, with trim options that include carbon fiber, two types of aluminum and three types of real wood.

Under the Hood

In the U.S., the XT5 will be powered by the same 3.6-liter V-6 seen in the ATS, CTS, and CT6 models, making 310 horsepower and mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Power is routed to the front wheels unless all-wheel drive is specified, in which case a novel twin-clutch system is employed that can transfer 100 percent of available torque to the front or rear axles. The system can be switched off by the driver for improved fuel efficiency. Eighteen- and 20-inch wheels are offered, with Cadillac including a Continuous Damping Control suspension for 20-inch models to help manage ride control.

Safety

The XT5 receives all of Cadillac’s latest safety features, such as forward collision warning, lane keep assist, automatic front and rear braking for low-speed conditions, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic parking and adaptive cruise control.

The XT5 will also feature the new Rear Camera Mirror system, which uses cameras mounted on the SUV’s rear to display a wide-angle image of its rear and sides to the car’s digital LCD rearview mirror. This image is unobstructed by the vehicle’s pillars or rear occupants.

Production of the new XT5 begins in the U.S. in spring 2016, with sales to follow shortly thereafter.

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