Cadillac XT5 – first drive video

We get our first driving impressions on Cadillac’s replacement for the SRX at its international drive launch in Berlin

By Shahzad Sheikh

Towards the end of its life-cycle I really got to like the Cadillac SRX – they’d smoothed out all the rough edges, installed an excellent drivetrain and added a host of clever family-friendly touches that made it a definite one for the shortlist if you were looking for a compact luxury SUV.

So what do I think of its all-new replacement, the Cadillac XT5? Click below to watch my first drive video review from the international press drive launch in Berlin, Germany.

I’d seen it at the Dubai Motor Show at the end of last year of course where it got its global reveal, the first time a new Cadillac was debuted outside of the States. But away from the shiny lights and fancy stands of a car show, you get a true impression of a car when you see it in its natural environment – outdoors. In this case a rainy day in Berlin.

Cadillac XT5 – first drive video

Not ideal you might think, but straight away the new XT5 is far more interesting than I had realised at the show. For a start it looks like a bigger and more substantial car than the outgoing SRX – there’s a real presence, heft and solidity about its stance now.

And inside there’s increased room, with a rear seat bench that slides back to free up even more legroom than you see in the video above when I get in the car.

Cadillac XT5 – first drive video

So how much bigger is it exactly?

Actually it’s not. They tell me that it is pretty much the same overall external dimensions as the outgoing contender in the compact SUV segment where cars such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes GLC and even the Porsche Macan live.

Cadillac XT5 – first drive video

What they have done is increase the wheel base by 15mm to increase the interior cabin room and particularly the rear legroom. On the outside they’ve employed visual styling tricks like moving the wing mirrors from the base of the A-Pillars to the door shoulders to make the glass area look bigger and longer. There are shorter overhangs, and the bonnet is more upright and squared-off.

Cadillac XT5 – first drive video

And top models like the Platinum we tested, sits on 20-inch rims – as well as getting rear spoilers and twin exhausts for a sportier look.

This vehicle actually represents not only the first use of the XT naming system (Crossover Touring – which will be seen on all new Cadillac SUVs apart from the Escalade going forward) and the first time there is a full fly-by-wire electric shifter for the 8-speed transmission, but also a new global SUV architecture.

Cadillac XT5 – first drive video

The 3.6-litre V6 putting out 310bhp and 267lb ft might sound familiar, but it’s actually heavily redesigned and features cylinder deactivation. The XT5 is an automatic or selectable AWD (FWD in its natural state) and the extra traction is good for getting it to 100kph from standstill in a hot-hatchback-worrying 7.5 seconds.

Cadillac XT5 – first drive video

Inside V-shaped waterfall-effect of the centre console in recent Caddies has been replaced with a more horizontal dashboard to give it a sense of spaciousness – although signature V motif is still visible. Cadillac describes all interior materials as authentic, the full-length sunroof is standard, the CUE infotainment system gets the same upgrades as the new CT6 flagship and the digital camera rear-view mirror is also available.

Cadillac XT5 – first drive video

Recommended manufacturer retail prices for our region starts at AED166,600 ($45,400) for the base model; AED191,800 ($52,300) for the Luxury spec; AED203,200 ($55,400) for the Premium and AED241,300 ($65,700) for the Platinum.

Cadillac XT5 – first drive video

Verdict

Good spec, excellent kit, generous space, fine finish, decent handling, impressive ride and great performance, as well as reasonable pricing make this a sure thing for the short list. Families that want to get around in style in something with a bit of performance and presence, need to take one of these for a test drive.

Cadillac XT5 – The Specs

Price:
AED166,600 ($45,400)
Luxury: AED191,800 ($52,300)
Premium: AED203,200 ($55,400)
Platinum: AED241,300 ($65,700)
Engine: 3.6-litre V6, 310bhp @ 6600rpm, 267lb ft @ 5000
Transmission: 8-speed, All-wheel drive
Performance: 0-100kph 7.5 seconds, Top Speed 210kph, 11.2L/100km
Weight: 1976kg

Let us know what you think of the Cadillac XT5 below in the comments!

Whilst we were in Berlin, we also took in a tour by Trabant and checked out some street art. Click here for more!

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