by Tony West
Cadillac surprises fans with an impressive intro into the crossover segment. The 2017 Cadillac XT5 is an all-new midsize luxury crossover SUV with an advanced powertrain. The whip debuted at this year’s North American International Auto Show.
“The arrival of this sophisticated new crossover positions Cadillac well, as XT5 enters the most popular segment in the global luxury market,” said Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen. “It’s pivotal to our ongoing growth, which is why we’ve developed XT5 from the inside out to provide customers more space, more technology, more luxury and more efficiency.”
The XT5 is the first in a series of upcoming luxury crossovers carrying the “XT” designation. The XT5 is bold, distinctive and sophisticated with enhanced driving dynamics.
At first glance, the Cadillac XT5 looks like a cooler version of the Buick Encore and the Chevy Trax. It’s distinction from the two is its chromed-out sporty front fascia that more resembles the former Cadillac SRT. The short raked hood, long wheelbase, and wide rear deck makes the crossover look like a big-body SUV. The XT5 also has large air intakes, LED headlights and daytime running lights, and chrome accents along the sides.
The 2017 Cadillac XT5 crossover will be available in four trim levels, including a range-topping Platinum model. The XT5 Platinum models include unique interior trim and exterior flair combined with the cutting edge performance technology.
The 2017 Cadillac XT5 offers seven exterior colors and seven interior environments. The Platinum model adds Cadillac’s innovative Rear Camera Mirror system .
In the U.S. market, the 2017 Cadillac XT5 will be powered by the same 3.6-liter V6 engine that’s in the new CT6, ATS, and CTS sports sedans. The 3.6 liter engine boasts 302 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. The new V6 features variable valve timing for strong response and smooth power delivery, maintaining optimum efficiency.
Active Fuel Management is also featured as an efficiency boosting technology. This cylinder deactivation technology seamlessly and automatically switches the engine to 4-cylinder mode at low speeds and low load cruising.
The XT5 also features Stop/Start technology, which automatically stops and starts the engine when the vehicle is at rest in traffic stops, saving fuel and reducing emissions.
A new 8-speed automatic transmission is standard for the XT5, which features Electronic Precision Shift – the first electronically controlled transmission shifter in a Cadillac.
An optional new advanced “twin clutch” all-wheel drive system continuously delivers optimizes traction across varying conditions. Due to the twin clutch design, the AWD system is capable of transferring up to 100 percent of available torque to the front or rear axle. Also, across the rear axle, the electronically controlled rear differential can direct up to 100 percent of available torque to either wheel laterally. This capability is designed for “split-coefficient” surfaces, such as when there is more water, ice or snow on one side of the road surface than the other.
The AWD system is driver-controlled, and includes a new “disconnect” feature that disables the rear drive unit for improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.
The 2017 Cadillac XT5 arrives in dealerships this month, with an MSRP of $38,995 for the base model, and $62,500 for the Platinum model. All-wheel drive is optional on Luxury and Premium Luxury models, and is standard on Platinum. $62k is very pricy for a crossover, even a Cadillac. Competition is stiff in the crossover segment, and the XT5 will need to gain footing by offering more innovative standard features.