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?
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.
See trim levels and configurations:
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.
The most popular competitors of 2021 Cadillac XT5: