by Gerhard Horn
The Cadillac XT5 has done wonders for the brand. It took them a while to introduce a vehicle in the luxury crossover segment, but it went flying off the shelves once they did. Since 2017, the XT5 SUV has been the best-selling Cadillac. That being said, the Caddy doesn't compete with its siblings but rather the oversaturated midsize and compact crossover segments. Not quite as big as the former, but also not as small as the latter, Cadillac probably thought the new XT5 would have a little niche all to itself. Unfortunately, being stuck in the middle, wearing a premium badge, it faces twice as many rivals. With competitors like the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, the XT5 is fighting an uphill battle. Both have lower entry-level prices, and if we glance at the sales figures, we can see that the US market is not as patriotic as one might think, with both German brands frequently selling more than Cadillac.
Almost nothing changes for the 2022 model year, except that the Sport trim now comes as standard with Brembo brakes, distinguishable by their red calipers. Additionally, a new 12-spoke 20-inch alloy wheel with a pearl-nickel finish is optionally available. There have also been a few other minor changes to the standard and optional features. There are some new paint colors, while others have been discontinued.
See trim levels and configurations:
The Cadillac is quite agile for what it is. It's happy on a winding road but not especially pleased when you chuck it into a corner. That's pretty par for the course in this segment, with the BMW X3 being the only exception to the rule. The semi-adequate engines also don't deliver the kind of performance that would lead you to push on anyway, so the Caddy is best enjoyed at a moderate pace.
The steering starts off light and gains weight as you speed up, but it doesn't provide any sort of feedback. That's to be expected in this segment, though. The brakes inspire confidence and are easy to modulate in all driving situations.
As for ride comfort, the XT5 is above par. With an independent suspension tuned for ease rather than speed, it takes some severe undulations to upset the ride quality. The Sport model has an adaptive suspension as standard, but not for sporty driving. We reckon Caddy chose to include it as standard to offset the impact of the standard 20-inch wheels. The sound dampening isn't great, with wind and road noise being constant companions on every journey.
Cadillac entered the crossover segment a bit late, but this gave the automaker time to survey the territory properly. Instead of following the same formula as every other car, the XT5 is a little bigger so that it can include everything you need as standard.
The larger dimensions allow for more passenger and luggage space when compared to compact crossovers, while the quality materials give it an upmarket vibe. However, it has to be said that some shoddy materials are noticeable upon closer inspection.
The base model comes with a lot of features. Looking at the standard-spec, we wonder why it's even worth having other models in the range. It's only problem is the somewhat lethargic turbocharged four-pot engine. Still, if you want something to cruise in, the smaller engine should suffice.
It has a similar starting price than its German rivals, but it's easy to see why when making a spec-for-spec comparison. The Caddy comes with several features that some German manufacturers charge extra for. Caddy fans will undoubtedly continue to purchase this car, and it's worth stating that it's nearly as good as the European rivals. It's still not 100% there, but closer than ever before.
Audi's Q5 is a highly accomplished SUV. The only fundamental flaws are the smaller trunk and the generic Audi styling. Still, 25.8 cubes is more than enough for a compact SUV.
Every Q5 comes standard with Audi's quattro AWD system and a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Its engine produces 261 hp, but the entire drivetrain works in perfect harmony and the less powerful Audi is surprisingly faster than the V6 XT5.
The Audi also matches the Cadillac when it comes to standard luxury and driver-assistance levels and comfortably beats it for interior quality. The Audi's engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission combo are also more efficient, which is the final nail in the coffin as far as we're concerned. The Audi is not just a better car, but better value as well.
The XT4's review reads the same as the XT5's. It's just a size smaller and fits perfectly into the compact SUV class. Unlike the XT5, it's not available with the more powerful V6 engine, but the turbocharged four-pot feels more capable thanks to a lower overall weight.
Caddy is also incredibly generous with the XT4's standard specification. It may look like a better deal than the XT5 but it suffers from the same problem as its big brother. The competition is simply too intense, and both Caddies are rather mediocre. Cadillac's XT4 has it even tougher, as there are even more rivals to consider.
The most popular competitors of 2022 Cadillac XT5: