Automotive

Cadillac unveils heavy-hitting lightweight XT5 crossover

Cadillac unveils heavy-hitting...
Cadillac will be selling the XT5 with a big V6 in the USA, while Chinese buyers will get a four-cylinder version
Cadillac will be selling the XT5 with a big V6 in the USA, while Chinese buyers will get a four-cylinder version
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The car's big grille and chrome details might make it look heavy and solid, but the XT5's chassis is impressively light
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The car's big grille and chrome details might make it look heavy and solid, but the XT5's chassis is impressively light
The XT5 replaces the SRX in Cadillac's range, and is incredibly important for the brand
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The XT5 replaces the SRX in Cadillac's range, and is incredibly important for the brand
Cadillac will be selling the XT5 with a big V6 in the USA, while Chinese buyers will get a four-cylinder version
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Cadillac will be selling the XT5 with a big V6 in the USA, while Chinese buyers will get a four-cylinder version
The XT5's V6 can shut down two cylinders under light loads for better fuel economy
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The XT5's V6 can shut down two cylinders under light loads for better fuel economy
Cadillac won't be putting the XT5 into production until late 2016, but it will debut at this year's Los Angeles Motor Show
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Cadillac won't be putting the XT5 into production until late 2016, but it will debut at this year's Los Angeles Motor Show
Rear seat passengers are treated to 8 cm of extra legroom thanks to a longer wheelbase
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Rear seat passengers are treated to 8 cm of extra legroom thanks to a longer wheelbase
We're not sure what purpose the models serve in these shots, but sitting on big wheels the XT5 looks good
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We're not sure what purpose the models serve in these shots, but sitting on big wheels the XT5 looks good
An automatic tailgate means owners won't be bothering to lift this
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An automatic tailgate means owners won't be bothering to lift this
Blind spot warning is one of a raft of driver aids available on the XT5
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Blind spot warning is one of a raft of driver aids available on the XT5
There's no doubting the angular XT5 is a Cadillac
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There's no doubting the angular XT5 is a Cadillac
Cadillac has focused on creating a wide, luxurious feeling interior
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Cadillac has focused on creating a wide, luxurious feeling interior
It might be a luxury SUV, but that doesn't mean it can't be practical too
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It might be a luxury SUV, but that doesn't mean it can't be practical too
The XT5 has a new 8-speed automatic gearbox
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The XT5 has a new 8-speed automatic gearbox
The Cadillac's rear mirror uses a camera to eliminate any potential blind spots
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The Cadillac's rear mirror uses a camera to eliminate any potential blind spots
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Cadillac has undergone something of a renaissance in recent years. It's gone from building heavy, soggy barges for Florida retirees to creating exciting sedans and coupes that can compete with the best Germany has to offer. But super-sedans don't make big money – SUVs do, which is why Cadillac's new lightweight XT5 is so important for the American brand.

Central to the XT5's appeal is its brand new chassis and body structure. Thanks to the use of ultra-high strength steel and laser welding, Cadillac's new crossover is 126 kg (278 lb) lighter than the SRX it replaces, as well as being 45 kg (100 lb) lighter than the much smaller Audi Q5. According to Cadillac it's also over 295 kg (650 lb) lighter than the Mercedes GLE, but performs just as well in body rigidity and crash tests.

It might have lost weight, but the XT5's designers haven't scrimped on interior space. Thanks to a wheelbase that's 5 cm (2 in) longer than the SRX, rear-seat passengers are treated to an extra 8 cm (3 in) of legroom on their reclining seats.

Cadillac won't be putting the XT5 into production until late 2016, but it will debut at this year's Los Angeles Motor Show
Cadillac won't be putting the XT5 into production until late 2016, but it will debut at this year's Los Angeles Motor Show

Also helping to make the XT5's interior feel special is a clever new rear-view mirror. Alright, so a new rear mirror doesn't sound all that thrilling but Cadillac's device uses a camera to eliminate any potential blind spots like the rear pillars, giving drivers a clear view of what's behind them. It sounds like a small thing, but the small things make all the difference when it comes to luxury cars.

The Cadillac's rear mirror uses a camera to eliminate any potential blind spots
The Cadillac's rear mirror uses a camera to eliminate any potential blind spots

As for the exterior, you can judge for yourselves, but we think Cadillac has created a handsome car. There's a clear family resemblance in the edgy styling and vertical taillights, but that's no bad thing because it's a world away from the samey German crossovers it'll be taking on.

What's hiding under the hood depends on where you are in the world, because Cadillac has global ambitions with the XT5. American buyers will be getting theirs with a 3.6-liter V6 producing about 230 kW (310 hp) and 366 Nm (270 lb-ft), unless it's under low or moderate load. When you're not using all of the V6's performance potential the engine deactivates two cylinders to run as a miserly four-cylinder fuel-saver. Chinese buyers aren't quite as lucky, because their XT5 comes with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder turbo engine as standard.

Regardless of where you are in the world, the XT5 comes with a new 8-speed twin-clutch automatic that is the first Cadillac gearbox to feature an electronically-controlled shifter to free up more space in the center console. Buyers also have the option of a "twin clutch" all-wheel drive system.

The XT5 will be publicly unveiled at the Los Angeles Motor Show, with production to commence in late 2016.

Source: Cadillac

View gallery - 14 images
3 comments
Derek Howe
Nice looking ride! Too rich for my blood though.
Fairly Reasoner
Well, not exactly a bold styling update.
StWils
I have no complaint with using the German designs as benchmarks for style but would'nt it be smarter to use Toyota & Honda as benchmarks for technology, reliability and performance? Why reference the Germans and therefore aim for the low end of middle? Toyota & Honda both come out at the top for quality, reliability, and durability. And, that was true before we knew about VolksWagen having fun with deceptive software.