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2020 Cadillac XT5 Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader December 2019

Cadillac made a few major changes in its 2020 Cadillac XT5. We voiced a complaint about last year's version only offering one V6 powertrain with an 8-speed automatic transmission that wasn't much fun to drive nor did it achieve particularly good fuel economy. Cadillac fixed that for 2020 by adding a 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder and replacing the 8-speed with a 9-speed automatic transmission. We have yet to drive an XT5 with the new four banger, but we have to think it will be more compelling to drive and certainly deliver better mileage than the V6.

The XT5's design inside and out is a big part of its appeal. Because it's a bit bigger than a compact CUV and a bit smaller than a midsize, it makes difficult comparing it to other CUVs. It's more expensive than most compacts and has less interior room than most midsize CUVs. For those two reasons, we suggest doing some cross-shopping based on your budget and hauling needs.

What's New for 2020?

The big news is Cadillac slips its 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine into the mix as standard in the Luxury and Premium Luxury grades. It also streamlined the trim levels, eliminating the entry-level base trim and the top-of-the-heap Platinum trim. A Sport grade joins the trim levels and a Platinum option package becomes available on the Premium Luxury and Sport grades. Heated front seats are standard across the board. A new center console houses the next-generation rotary controller for the systems interface. Higher resolution display for the HD rearview camera and HD Surround vision. There's also a new rear pedestrian alert and available Night Vision as well as new available Bose Performance Series surround-sound audio system. See the 2020 Cadillac XT5 models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Abundant standard infotainment tech
  • One of the biggest cargo areas in the segment
  • Serenely quiet cabin
  • Distinctive Cadillac style
  • New turbocharged 4-cylinder engine

What We Don't

  • Panoramic sunroof significantly reduces headroom
  • Limited rear visibility

How Much?

$45,090–$65,090

Fuel Economy

The new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine powers the Luxury and Premium Luxury trims. It delivers 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Government fuel-economy estimates haven't been released at this writing. The XT5 Sport comes with a 3.6-liter V6, producing 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. Both engines use a 9-speed automatic transmission with driver-select mode switch.

Front-wheel drive is standard on Luxury and Premium Luxury trims, with all-wheel drive optional on the Premium Luxury and standard Sport trims. Fuel-economy estimates for the 3.6L by the Environmental Protection Agency stand at 18 miles per gallon in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg in combined driving.

Standard Features & Options

The XT5 is offered in three trim levels: Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport. The Luxury trim won't be available until early 2020. Prices include the $995 factory destination charge.

The Luxury ($45,090) includes engine auto stop/start with on-off control, electric parking brake, 18-in alloy wheels, LED headlamps/daylight running lamps, hands-free power lift gate, capless fuel door, forward-collision warning, low-speed automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, lane-departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, Safety Alert Seat, HD rear-vision camera, IntelliBeam high-beam assist, 8-way power driver's seat, 6-way power front-passenger seat, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, 60/40 split second-row seat, dual-zone climate control, Cadillac user experience with 8-in touchscreen, system interface with rotary controller, 8-speaker Bose audio system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite-radio capability, Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth connectivity, four USB ports, OnStar capability, keyless open and rear-seat reminder alert.

Blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is optional.

The Premium Luxury ($49,790) includes the above features plus power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, power panoramic sunroof, 2-way power lumbar front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and leather seating.

The Sport ($56,090) includes the V6, AWD, Chassis Damping Control, performance suspension and 20-in alloy wheels.

A number of options are available for all three trims. The Platinum Package ($4,850 Premium Luxury; $3,650 Sport) is an option on the upper trims. It includes premium carpeted floor mats, tri-zone automatic climate control, rear camera mirror with washer, semi-Aniline leather seating, microfiber sueded headliner, Chassis Damping Control (standard on Sport), performance suspension (standard on Sport) and two unique interior trims.

The Driver Assistance Package ($1,300) includes adaptive cruise control, automatic seat-belt tightening, enhanced automatic emergency braking and reverse automatic braking.

Safety

Each XT5 comes with airbags (driver and front-passenger, front and rear side-curtain and driver-knee), rear parking sensors, a backup camera and OnStar emergency communications (automatic accident notification, an SOS button and stolen vehicle locator). All trims come standard for 2020 with forward-collision warning, low-speed forward automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, automatic high beams and the Safety Alert Seat that vibrates the driver seat in response to the above warning systems. Blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is standard on Premium Luxury and Sport and optional on Luxury trim. The optional Driver Assist Package adds higher-speed forward automatic braking, adaptive cruise control and reverse automatic braking.

Government crash test scores differ by drivetrain, with the AWD XT5 getting a 5-star overall rating and the FWD model getting a 4-star one. The 4-star frontal and 5-star overall are the same with both drivetrains. The nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the XT5 the best possible ratings for crashworthiness and crash avoidance technologies. It missed out on a Top Safety Pick+ award because of a Marginal headlight score.

Behind the Wheel

Cadillac has been quietly remaking its lineup with a new focus on the driver. Forget the soft and floaty, traditional, American luxury-car ride and meet the sharper, crisper handling of the new Cadillac. The XT5's chassis, suspension and steering mate with the smooth V6 engine and smart 8-speed automatic transmission to deliver a driving experience that is much better than the old SRX. We have yet to pilot a 2020 Cadillac XT5 with the new turbo four. We found the 20-in wheel/tire package on the Sport a bit harsh over uneven pavement.

In the cabin, Cadillac's designers and engineers have improved the look and build quality of the dash, doors, center console and seats compared to past Cadillacs. Is it as high-lux or meticulous as a Mercedes GLC, Audi Q5 or Volvo XC60? Probably not, but you may still prefer its style. The latest generation of Cadillac's touchscreen interface works quite well, and although the screen is prone to fingerprints and glare, many should find it easier to use than rival interfaces.

Second-row passengers will be greeted with a generous amount of legroom and a seat that both slides and reclines. However, those of above-average height will find the panoramic sunroof standard on the two top trim levels robs them of precious headroom. It can be a bit confining back there, especially since visibility all around isn't great (including for the driver).

Cargo capacity is among the best in the segment, especially with its seats-up number of 30 cu ft., since most competitors are in the 20s. With the seats lowered, space increases to 63 cu ft.

Other Cars to Consider

2020 Lexus RX -- Given the XT5's exterior size, V6 engine and heftier price, the midsize Lexus RX should be considered as well. Its finely crafted cabin is particularly impressive. You can also get an RX hybrid.

2020 Lincoln Nautilus -- The SUV formerly known as MKX received a new name and a makeover for 2019. It's similarly sized, equipped and priced as the XT5 and, obviously, also hails from an American automaker.

2020 Acura RDX -- The RDX's size compares quite favorably to the XT5 and its complete redesign for 2019 yielded a more stylish, dynamic and overall appealing SUV competitor. You also get more features for your money than in the XT5.

Used BMW X5 -- BMW wrote the book on midsize SUVs that are involving to drive. Because it costs considerably more than the XT5, we recommend considering a used or certified pre-owned one.

Autotrader's Advice

The XT5 Luxury offers a tremendous amount of value for the money, especially given all its standard tech features you often have to pay extra for with competitors. As you move up the trim lineup, however, the XT5 gets awfully pricey, and that value proposition begins evaporating. Toss in a few options or the Platinum Package and things really escalate. Find a Cadillac XT5 for sale

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New 2020 Cadillac XT5 AWD Sport
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2020 Cadillac XT5 Review - Autotrader
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