Cadillac has distilled Escalade-level luxury down to a smaller size with the 2022 XT5, but in the process its lost a good amount of the flagship’s prestige. The XT5’s exterior styling is handsome and upscale; its well-equipped cabin is quiet when cruising, and there’s plenty of space for four adults and their luggage. But the red-hot compact luxury SUV marketplace has little room for mediocre entrants, and the XT5’s flaws only serve to highlight more impressive rivals such as the BMW X3 and the Genesis GV70. A turbocharged four-cylinder is standard and a V-6 engine is optional; neither delivers impressive performance, nor are they particularly refined. The XT5’s ride can be harsh over pockmarked roads, and that stiff-leggedness doesn’t translate to thrilling handling like you’ll find with the Mercedes-AMG GLC-class or the Porsche Macan. Unfortunately, the XT5 represents a swing and a miss from General Motors’s most prestigious brand.
What’s New for 2022?
The XT5’s sport trim now comes with Brembo brakes with red-painted calipers for 2022, and a new 20-inch wheel design is also available. Otherwise, the XT5 rolls into the new model year with no other notable changes.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The mid-level Premium Luxury model is the best value, and it adequately fulfills the brand’s luxury promises, with desirable standard features such as leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, a hands-free liftgate, wireless charging, and more. We’d opt for the more powerful optional V-6 engine, but we’d stick with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available if you want it.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The XT5’s standard turbocharged four-cylinder makes 237 horsepower and the optional V-6 produces 310 ponies. With either engine, it’s no match for performance-oriented rivals such as the 340-hp Porsche Macan S. However, the Caddy stacks up favorably against the Lexus RX350 and the Volvo XC60. In light-footed, day-to-day operation, we’ve found the Cadillac’s V-6 to be impressively quiet and well isolated from the cabin. Under heavy throttle, however, the bigger engine’s harshness makes itself known in a most unflattering way. Encounter a twisty road and the XT5 can tackle it with confidence, although it won’t make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up even when equipped with the optional adaptive suspension. Body roll is well controlled and the XT5 feels substantial and planted, which is especially comforting on long highway slogs. Over rough stretches of broken pavement, however, our test vehicle felt jittery and allowed sharp impacts to reverberate through the cabin. Steering is accurate but lacks any visceral feedback—another missed opportunity to appeal to enthusiast drivers.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Front-wheel-drive XT5s with the standard turbocharged four-cylinder earn EPA fuel economy estimates of 22 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined. Moving up to the V-6 drops mpg to 19 city, 26 highway, and 21 combined. On both models, adding the optional all-wheel drive lowers these estimates slightly, a small concession for added confidence in inclement weather. On our 75-mph highway fuel economy test route, an all-wheel-drive XT5 with the V-6 engine delivered 23 mpg, while a front-wheel-drive model with the turbocharged four-cylinder managed 29 mpg. For more information about the XT5’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Passenger space is acceptable, and accommodations are as deluxe as expected from a modern Cadillac. The materials used throughout the XT5’s cabin appear upscale when examined individually, but when viewed as a whole, the result is a design that appears unfocused. The interior’s layout is good, and the driving position is agreeable. And for the 2020 model year, the XT5 received better interior materials, improved ergonomics, and upgraded features such as a new digital gauge cluster. Even luxury crossovers should be practical, and the XT5 excels in this category. Above-average cargo space, plenty of bins for stashing smaller items, and an easy-to-fold rear seat allow this Caddy to easily transform from luxury liner to cargo king. The XT5’s cargo hold accommodated an impressive 10 carry-on cases with the rear seat in place. Once folded, we fit 24 carry-ons.
Infotainment and Connectivity
All XT5 models come well-connected right out of the gate, with standard niceties such as an 8.0-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. The infotainment system offers intuitive controls including a rotary controller. An updated Bose sound system is also now available. There are four USB ports located conveniently throughout the cabin for charging mobile devices, and a wireless inductive phone-charging pad is available between the two front seats.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Unfortunately, those who value driver-assistance features such as blind-spot monitoring will find themselves shelling out beaucoup bucks. For more information about the XT5’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking
- Available adaptive cruise control
- Available lane-keeping assist
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Cadillac’s standard warranty coverages match or exceed those of most of the XT5’s rivals. The Caddy also offers complimentary scheduled maintenance, but it only covers the first visit, which falls short of the three years or 36,000 miles that Volvo covers.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 6 years or 70,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for the first visit