2018 Cadillac XT5 – Almost The Perfect Crossover

This isn’t my first run in with Cadillac’s crossover SUVs. I’ve reviewed two SRXs in the past; The SRX was what the XT5 used to be called. I always liked the cars, but they never blew mw away. The XT5 is the same story. While in terms of drivability the XT5 is a huge leap from the SRX, certain quirks hold the XT5 back from being the perfect crossover.

The first issue I found was with the auto braking system. Cadillac states that the car will brake for you if it detects something in front of you at speeds under 35 mph. To test this, I placed a large cardboard box in front of the car and drove at it at low speed. As the video shows, the XT5 failed to not only brake as it should, but even alert me that there was an object obstructing my path. Now obviously, this issue could be solved by actually paying attention when you drive (an out of fashion idea, I know) but the fact that it didn’t work is just a little disappointing. Equally off-putting is the shifter. It seems as though most auto manufacturers are opting for “Click stick” gear shifters in cars. Click stick meaning you move it to drive, or reverse, and it moves back to the center. This normally annoys me since I can’t fully tell which gear I’m in by feel, but Cadillac took my annoyance even further. They placed the button required for shifting in such an awkward spot, that shifting now feels unnatural. My last complaint is the number of buttons in the car. Sneeze, and you change the song, turn off your heated seats, apply the parking brake, and honk the horn all at once. This isn’t a huge issue, but it’s quite the task to map out in your head what every button does in the first day of driving it.

 

The feel of the XT5 is a huge improvement over the SRX. The 8 speed transmission makes a world of difference in around-town driving. The old 6 speed was clunky, so it won’t be missed. The 3.6L V6 hasn’t changed much since the SRX, other than the fact that it can deactivate two cylinders on the highway for increased fuel economy.

The XT5 keeps the feel that al Cadillacs are meant to possess: The feeling of luxury. The feeling that you’re driving something nicer than the common man. That’s the XT5’s redeeming quality: the feeling of luxury.

Written by Zack Pradel