For this weekend drive, we took on a mid-size luxury crossover SUV made by Cadillac: the Cadillac XT5 (short for Crossover Touring 5).
The XT5 was introduced back in 2015 at the LA Auto Show and Dubai International Motor show and made a huge impact on their audience. General Motors the American Car manufacturer replaced one of his best-selling vehicles the SRX crossover with a totally new vehicle the Cadillac XT5, so was it worth it?
Our journey initiated from IMPEX, Cadillac’s dealership in Lebanon, showroom to pick up this crossover SUV and witness its impact on the streets of Lebanon.
Our first stop was the busy streets of Beirut on a Saturday morning, the XT5 cuts a dashing silhouette wherever it goes. The exterior of this crossover SUV was a true magnet. The bystanders were admiring the ravishing beauty of this XT5. The front was at the same time aggressive and elegant, the large chrome grille centered by Cadillac’s emblem and sieged from both sides by the swept to the sides headlights with LED dripping downwards to form a continuity in design with the vertical fog lights were more than the eye can handle. From the back, the XT5 reminded us that this a true Cadillac as it resembles a lot the magnificent ATS and CTS and the all-mighty Escalade with its Cadillac’s signature vertical taillights and a slight hug to the rear fenders coupled with the twin exhausts tips to give the XT5 a family yet sporty design.
From the inside, the XT5 screams Cadillac all over. The design is simple yet elegant and has Cadillac written all over it, the synthetic leather upholstery used on the seats and dashboard adding to it the brushed aluminum trims and the layout of the screen and dashboard are made to perfectly fit the drivers’ needs. I personally liked one of the coolest phone slots in the business, tucked under the console-compartment lid. Your phone is kept largely out of sight with just the top edge sticking out and yet is still handy. That not only makes it less obvious to thieves should you leave your phone behind, it may help keep weak-willed phone junkies from playing Words with Friends on the road. Plus, the compartment doubles as a wireless charging station for those with compatible phones. For everybody else, dual USB ports keep devices charged without cords draped everywhere, while standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay add to the convenience.
What is also noticeable about the XT5, is the layout of the rear seats. Those riding in the rear will enjoy seats that slide and recline, as well as two back-seat USB ports. And what makes it more of a family luxury SUV is the fact that you can fold the back seats creating a flat floor needed when there’s a large amount of huge cargo to fit in the back for that long trip you are planning with the wife.
Seated comfortably in our leather seats, we enjoyed the 14 speakers surround-sound system for that acoustic refined experience (the XT5 comes standard with eight-speaker Bose stereo system) as we cruise to our weekend getaway countryside house. The XT5’s CUE infotainment system uses a vibrant 8.0-inch high-resolution touchscreen which made our ride a lot easier and accessible to be connected at all times.
Cruising down the countryside roads heading to our destination, the 3.6L V6 engine coped with an eight-speed automatic gearbox shooting a 310 horsepower was exactly what we need to push this crossover SUV now 126 Kg lighter than the previous SRX. On top of that, Cadillac featured on the XT5 the first application of GM’s Electronic Precision shift which replaces the standard hydraulic shifter with the electronic controller. The driving sensation on straight lines as well as curvy turns was exhilarating and provided a super comfortable driving experience.
Driving through the beautiful scenery of the Lebanese countryside roads and just before reaching our destination, I noticed the perfect shooting spot with amazing nature-made rock statues and had to stop for a memory photo that will last engraved in our minds. The road to that spot was a combination of gravel and dirt, despite the fact that if you own an XT5 off-roading is not on your mind, however, we had to try since the XT5 driven was an All-Wheel drive (front-wheel drive is the standard option). With enough ground clearance and the AWD system in action, we crossed the narrow out of tarmac pathway and pulled over for that perfect shot.
With no room to make a U-turn, the reverse was our only option. Set the gear in reverse and the video rear-view mirror with a 360° view backup camera made the backward experience as easy as it could be. Afterwards, we were on our way to finish our journey, and we actually kept the streaming video rear-view mirror on for a safer driving experience and a better view of what’s behind us.
Moreover, The XT5 comes loaded with safety and technology features to name a few: A rearview camera and rear parking sensors, front parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, a safety alert seat, forward collision alert, a following distance indicator, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, forward and reverse automatic braking, front pedestrian braking, Intellibeam (Cadillac’s name for automatic high beams), a rear-camera mirror, a surround-vision camera, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, active park assist and so much more.
In order to compete with the growing segment of mid-size luxury crossover SUV, Cadillac has put an affordable price tag on its standard XT5. Those Cadillac lovers can now own their XT5 without thinking twice about the price. And for those seeking to take it up a notch with a more luxurious vehicle, General Motors has released the XT5 in four trims standard, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum.
Thus, if you’re searching for a luxury SUV that’s affordable, elegant, and comfortable, the Cadillac XT5 could be a good fit.