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  • Writer's pictureMarc Gonzalez

2021 Cadillac XT5 Sport

The Cadillac XT5 attempts to keep up with the three German automakers in the midsize luxury SUV segment. Now, the question is: how is this particular SUV going to stand out? Before we go any further, we had the XT5 Sport with an MSRP of $59,298, and the vehicle was built at the Spring Hill, TN plant.

Cadillac XT5
Photo by Vince P. Sziget

At first, we found the design to be pretty uninspiring, and then, for this article, we took a look at the previous generation, and that's where it hit us. Comparing this 2021 model to the 2011 Cadillac SRX, we were baffled to see how similar they are. We understand avoiding a radical change when talking of a legendary car such as the Porsche 911 or the Ford GT, but in this case, we are very far from that! The exterior is the first thing that a potential buyer will see either in the dealership or online, and there was almost no attempt to truly update the XT5 since it changed its name back in 2016.

Cadillac XT5
Photo by Vince P. Sziget

Inside the XT5, the vehicle feels modern and luxurious. The steering wheel with the iconic crest is pleasant; the buttons are all within reach of the driver and clearly marked. The cluster is separated into four parts, with the two clusters on the side and in the middle two screens. In the higher part, you will find the speed marked digitally and the fuel range; in the lower screen, the basics such as trip information, current media, and navigation indications. It's simple, and it is all they need from their gauge cluster for many drivers. The position of the electronic handbrake is strange; it is entirely mounted on the left side, underneath the driver's air vent.

In the infotainment system, you will find the Cadillac user experience, an 8-inch screen found on other brand models. It has wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay, the climate control screen, the navigation map, and the GM On-Star system, which proposes a Wi-Fi connection on board for all occupants. It's overall a pretty good system; easy to use and comprehend. It's both a touchscreen and a knob on the central console, so you can use the method you prefer. You will find a smaller panel underneath the screen, where the climate controls are located. Earlier, we said you could control them directly in the infotainment system. Still, they had the brilliant idea to make them redundant and, more importantly, quick to use for the driver. There, you will have the basics: the dual-zone climate temperature, the intensity of fan speed, controls for the heated and ventilated seats, and more. The shifter is located on the center console near the driver; you will find the volume and infotainment knob next to it. That whole area is wrapped in nice leather, a delicate touch from Cadillac on this vehicle element.

As for the rest of the interior, there are 4 different colour options: black, white, beige, and burgundy (Kona Brown Sauvage). The seats are just right, neither too cushy nor too hard. Interior space is about what you would expect in this category; you can easily fit 4 adults in the XT5. The cargo room is adequate; it can fit a stroller hassle-free or two pieces of luggage. ISOFIX ports are well within reach in the rear seats; the same can be said about the rear anchors. Overall, practicality is present in this Cadillac.

Moving on to the driving experience, the 2021 Cadillac XT5 is equipped with a 3.6L 6-cylinder engine coupled with a 9-speed automatic transmission. The output of this powerplant is 310hp and 271 lb-ft of torque with a 0-100 estimated time of 6,3 seconds. Our vehicle was mounted on 20-inch wheels. The transmission is geared for comfort; this is somewhat surprising since we're talking about the Sport trim. On the road, the Cadillac XT5 feels like a Cadillac. Quietness and comfort are two words that describe the vehicle pretty well. The Sport trim comes standard with Real-time damping suspension chassis. A feature that adjusts the suspension in real-time to procure the best comfort for all occupants.

Cadillac XT5 wheels
Photo by Vince P. Sziget

There are different drive modes; the most useful might be the Snow when you're in snowy conditions. The others feel similar and barely procure any thrilling sensations. The direction is light, but you can take decent fast curves. You can feel the vehicle's weight in tighter turns or abrupt stops. The engine is very quiet; it barely breaks a sweat on the highway and can tow up to a respectable 3,500lbs with the towing package. You also get a camera view on the tow hitch to ensure everything is connected properly in the back. Fuel economy is reasonable for a V6: 12.9L/100km in the city, 9.2 on the highway, 11.2 combined, nothing out of the extraordinary.

At the end of the day, the 2021 Cadillac XT5 is all about comfort and luxury; the big disappointment is the design. It just doesn't stand out enough to lure buyers from the German brands or even its rival, Lincoln. Cadillac did the minimum to keep the model pertinent, and it's simply disappointing. We can put it this way; it's not good enough to be up there with the best in class.

Cadillac XT5
Photo by Vince P. Sziget

Cadillac has lent us this vehicle one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Cadillac Canada. The above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the car referred above.

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