2021 Cadillac XT5

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2021 Cadillac XT5 Review: A Big Vanilla Cupcake

by Aiden Eksteen

Cadillac has put a lot into the XT5 SUV, being that it is the brand's top-selling nameplate in the USA. So to keep it competitive, Cadillac has continuously applied upgrades and alterations to its midsize luxury crossover, eventually leading to a genuinely appealing Cadillac XT5 for the 2021 model year. The semi-premium cruiser can be equipped with either a 235-horsepower turbo 4-cylinder engine or a 310-hp naturally-aspirated inline-6. Both units come coupled with a 9-speed automatic transmission and either a front- or an all-wheel drive system. While both powertrains are rather dull and deficient, the XT5 is still pleasant enough to drive and is reasonably fuel-efficient. It's a pragmatic runabout that offers a lot of value for the money, too. But in a classification that is so popular and inundated with options, the XT5 is rather mediocre. With competitors like the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, can mediocrity be admissible if presented at the right price?

Read in this review:

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2021 Cadillac XT5 Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 Cadillac XT5?

Cadillac deserves some praise for continually updating its vehicles to keep them competitive. Last year, it introduced a new engine and an all-new nine-speed gearbox. This year, it includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, built-in Alexa function, 20-inch alloys for the top-spec Sport, and three new exterior colors. Other upgrades include a better digital display in the instrument cluster and a higher definition camera for the rearview camera system. Later on in the year, Cadillac will also add more advanced driver-assistance features, like night vision.

Pros and Cons

  • Composed handling dynamics
  • Appreciably spacious interior
  • Extensive standard features list
  • High-tech infotainment system
  • Oodles of trunk cargo space
  • Underpowered engine options
  • Impaired rearward visibility
  • Relatively pricey base model
  • Middling reliability expectations

Best Deals on 2021 Cadillac XT5

2021 Cadillac XT5 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
Premium Luxury
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.6L V6 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2021 Cadillac XT5 Trims and Specs

2021 XT5 Exterior

2021 Cadillac XT5 Front Angle View Cadillac
2021 Cadillac XT5 Rear Angle View Cadillac
2021 Cadillac XT5 Front Angle View 1 Cadillac
See All 2021 Cadillac XT5 Exterior Photos


  • Length 189.6 in
  • Wheelbase 112.5 in
  • Height 66.1 in
  • Max Width 74.9 in
  • Front Width 64.8 in
  • Rear Width 64.8 in
  • Curb Weight 3,915.0 lbs

2021 XT5 Performance

2021 Cadillac XT5 Front Angle View 2 Cadillac
2021 Cadillac XT5 Rear Angle View 1 Cadillac
2021 Cadillac XT5 Wheel Cadillac

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 3.6L V6, 3.6L V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

2021 XT5 Interior

2021 Cadillac XT5 Steering Wheel Cadillac
2021 Cadillac XT5 Infotainment System Cadillac
2021 Cadillac XT5 Gear Shifter Cadillac
See All 2021 Cadillac XT5 Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 41.2 in
  • Front Head Room 39.7 in
  • Rear Leg Room 39.0 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.4 in

2021 XT5 Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Cadillac XT5 Dashboard Cadillac
2021 Cadillac XT5 Maximum Cargo Space Cadillac
2021 Cadillac XT5 Trunk Space Cadillac

2021 XT5 Safety and Reliability


  • Warranty Note:
    Preliminary 2021 Warranty \ 
  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    6 Years \ 70,000 Miles
  • Rust-Through:
    6 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Corrosion:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    6 Years \ 70,000 Miles
  • Maintenance Note:
    1 Year \ 1 Visit

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Overall Rating
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
  • Side Crash Rating
  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2021 Cadillac XT5 a good SUV?

The 2021 Cadillac XT5 is a pragmatic and value-rich SUV, with its impressively expansive cabin, spacious trunk, and extensive list of standard features. It bears a contemporary aesthetic and a premium-feeling interior strewn with good-quality materials, though the lower-grade elements are noticeable upon closer inspection. In terms of performance, the XT5 often feels a little underpowered, even with the V6. It's the transmission that fails to make the most out of either engine's power, focusing mostly on efficiency. These points make the XT5 SUV an ideal family vehicle, though, but only in suburban settings, as it can feel rather haggard at highway speeds. And though it is rated for a 3,500-pound max towing capacity, it's already lackluster-feeling engine performance makes it difficult to count that as a pro. Both the NHTSA's and the IIHS's review of the 2021 Cadillac XT5 returned a favorable safety rating, but there have been some reliability concerns. The 2021 Cadillac XT5's starting price of $43,995 is higher than those of its popular European competitors, but it boasts a good selection of top-spec features over those cars at the standard level.

2021 Cadillac XT5 Popular Comparisons

The most popular competitors of 2021 Cadillac XT5:

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