Review and Test Drive: 2021 Cadillac XT5 Premium Luxury AWD

By Jonathan Spira on 8 December 2020
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2021 Cadillac XT5

Cadillac, the “Standard of the World” since 1908, is one of the oldest automakers and automotive brands in the world, second in the United States only to Buick.   For decades it was known for its sleek sedans and coupes such as the Sedan de Ville, the Fleetwood Brougham, and the Eldorado, but today, in addition to the current lineup of sedans, the luxury marque offers multiple SUVs including the Cadillac XT5.

The Cadillac XT5 is, as its initials portend, a crossover intended for touring.  Launched in the spring of 2016 to replace the Cadillac SRX, it is the second model to use Cadillac’s new nomenclature after the CT6 and the first in the automaker’s crossover touring or XT series.

To understand where the XT5 fits in the scheme of all things Cadillac, it falls above the subcompact XT4 in the automaker’s SUV lineup, and below the three-row XT6 and Escalade. Buyers looking at the XT5 might also typically look at the Lincoln Nautilus, Lexus RX, and Volvo XC60.

Until now, we’ve only reviewed Cadillac’s largest SUV, the Escalade, so the arrival of the XT5 caused great anticipation.

Our Dark Moon Blue XT5 came with the Premium Luxury trim level, with the optional 3.6-liter V6 engine.  (All paint colors except for Satin Steel Metallic, which is quite good looking, carry a premium ranging from $615 to $1,225.) This is fine for nomenclature except that it somewhat awkwardly positions the vehicle as being the Cadillac XT Premium Luxury and something seems missing after those two adjectives.

Even at first glance, it is quite clear that the XT5 exemplifies Cadillac’s Art and Science design philosophy, introduced in 1999 with shockingly bold clean, sharp corners and creases.

The XT5 benefits from multiple mid-life updates in 2020 including a change to Cadillac’s Y strategy for trim levels, which branches into two separate hierarchies, one for performance and one for luxury.  In this case, the Luxury trim level is the base, and it branches off into either Premium Luxury or Sport.

The top level of the Y on the luxury side is Platinum and our XT5 had a Platinum package but was still the Premium Luxury.

Click here to continue to Page 2Inside the 2021 Cadillac XT5

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