Sunday, July 14, 2024
Should-you-buyShould You Buy a 2023 Cadillac XT5?

Should You Buy a 2023 Cadillac XT5?

An aging crossover that’s still relatively affordable.

  • The 2023 Cadillac starts at $48,298 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included

  • Reasonably priced, easy-to-use infotainment system, satisfying V6 engine.

  • Unspectacular fuel economy, harsh ride, low on rear-seat headroom.

The Cadillac brand has announced that it will exclusively sell electric vehicles by 2030 in North America, and we’ll see a slew of such new models that will overlap the current combustion-engined lineup. It’s currently the case of the 2023 Cadillac XT5 and the recently launched Cadillac Lyriq.

Not only do they share the same showroom floor, but they’re actually built at the same assembly plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee alongside the Cadillac XT6. Theoretically, as more Lyriq units will be produced, the number of XT5 and XT6 units built will diminish.

While this gradual transition takes place, the 2023 Cadillac XT5 soldiers on largely unchanged this year. It receives a few paint color swaps, some accessories have been deleted from the catalogue, while the Premium Luxury and Sport trim levels now get a navigation system, a 14-speaker Bose Performance Series stereo and interior ambient lighting as standard instead of optional.

From the get-go, the XT5 was conceived as a midsize two-row crossover when it launched for the 2017 model year, but over time, luxury compact utility vehicles have grown in size and their prices have increased, so this Cadillac arguably now competes in this segment.

Under the hood of the base XT5 Luxury, we find a turbocharged 2.0L inline-four that develops 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, managed by a nine-speed automatic transmission. A front-wheel drivetrain is standard while AWD is optional. It’s an honest powertrain that’s sufficiently powerful for the daily grind, but doesn’t have the same zip as similar engines in rivals such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Infiniti QX50, Range Rover Evoque, Acura RDX and Genesis GV70.

The 2023 Cadillac XT5’s city/highway/combined fuel consumption figures with AWD are set at 21/27/23 mpg or 11.2/8.7/10.1 L/100 km. The vast majority of its competitors are slightly more efficient overall, so the XT5 is below the segment average in the efficiency department, and its 2.0L engine requires premium fuel.

The Premium Luxury trim level also gets the turbo 2.0L engine, but can be upgraded to the naturally aspirated 3.6L V6, which comes standard in the range-topping Sport. Developing 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque, the six-cylinder mill offers much better performance, refinement and sound, while the industry is downsizing to four-pot engines. Its city/highway/combined ratings with AWD are set at 18/25/21 mpg or 12.9/9.3/11.3 L/100 km, which aren’t impressive numbers for sure, but at least we can use regular fuel, so choosing the bigger engine should cost about the same at the pump. During our test of the XT5 Sport, including a six-hour highway jaunt, we observed a reasonable average of 25 mpg or 9.5 L/100 km. The XT5 AWD also gets a 22-gallon or 83-litre fuel tank, allowing for long distances traveled between fill-ups.

Alas, GM isn’t investing any time or energy in hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrains for North America—the 2024 Chevrolet Corvette E-Ray being the sole exception—as it turns to a fully electric future. The 2023 Cadillac XT5 thus has no fuel-saving powertrain to compete with the hybrid and plug-in hybrid systems available in the Q5, the X3, Lexus NX, the Lincoln Corsair and the Volvo XC60.

2023 Cadillac XT5

Pricing starts at $48,298 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included. Our Sport AWD tester equipped with Crystal White Tricoat paint, the Technology Package, upgraded 20-inch wheels and a Kona Brown Sauvage leather interior jacks up the price to about $64K in the U.S. and $70K in Canada.

Why You Should Buy a 2023 Cadillac XT5

  • The XT5 is reasonably priced, and even though a loaded Sport AWD can end up costing between $60K and $70K, it’s very easy to surpass that sum in some compact-sized luxury crossover rivals.
  • The XT5’s V6 engine is a better choice than the 2.0L engine, and one of a few remaining six-cylinder mills remaining in the segment. It also runs on regular fuel, so that’s a plus.
  • With a cargo area of 30.0 cubic feet or 850 litres when the rear seatbacks are in place, 63.0 cubic feet or 1,784 litres with the seatbacks down, the XT5 is fairly roomy for hauling everyone’s luggage on road trips.
  • The XT5’s infotainment system is very easy to use with its big button zones and reactive touchscreen. Alternately, owners can switch to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, wirelessly or not.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2023 Cadillac XT5

  • The Sport trim’s firm shocks send a ripple effect through the cabin over just about every road imperfection, and older passengers expecting traditional levels of Cadillac ride comfort might be disappointed.  It’s especially noticeable sitting in the back seat. The cabin could also be quieter as well.
  • As mentioned above, fuel economy is not one of the XT5’s fortes, no matter which engine is chosen. It’s also ironic that the V6 engine can run on regular while the smaller, less-powerful turbo mill needs premium juice, further reducing its relevancy in the crossover.
  • While interior fit and finish is more than acceptable, the XT5 can’t hide its age compared to more modern models within the brand, and compared to some of its rivals. We do like that Cadillac offers a few interior color choices, though.
  • Taller rear-seat occupants will run their heads against the headliner, particularly the one sitting on the middle seat. Reclining seatbacks help out a little.

2023 Cadillac XT5

Final Word

The 2023 Cadillac XT5 is spacious, but not overly so. It’s luxurious without being sumptuous. It can cover long distances effortlessly, but ride comfort and sound insulation could be better. It offers good performance with the V6 engine, but at the cost of fuel economy. In short, in the luxury compact crossover segment, the XT5 is a good, but not great choice overall, but at least it’s still reasonably priced. The upcoming 2024 model year might be the last for the nameplate in North America, while the Chinese market will receive an eventual second generation of the crossover.


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