2017 Cadillac XT5 Driving Impressions

Boasting a strong and responsive V6, the XT5 promises fine body control and confident handling, with less body leans than the SRX. Flat spots, which occurred midway through the rev range of the previous engine, are gone completely with the new V6.

The 8-speed automatic has even-spaced ratios and yields precise shifts. Even when traveling up a long grade, the powertrain settles swiftly into an appropriate gear for the occasion. Platinum models include ZF’s continuous damping control, which minimizes harshness and undulations that might enter the cabin.

Rather than a shift lever, the XT5 gets Cadillac’s first shift-by-wire setup, which involves more button-pushing than might be expected. Pauses between each shift could be an issue when parking, especially when in a hurry, or trying to rock the vehicle if it gets mired in snow.

Cadillac’s all-wheel-drive system is intended for rain, snow, or icy roads, but it increases stability even in dry weather. The twin-clutch configuration lets up to 100 percent of power be sent to either front or rear wheels.

Electric power steering feels settled in highway driving, precise and nicely weighted for urban maneuvers. Sport mode affects not only steering feel, but throttle sensitivity and transmission response, but the difference isn’t substantial. Although the ride is quiet and well-controlled, engine sound can be a little too noticeable.

Fuel-efficient for its class, the 2017 Cadillac XT5 is EPA-rated at 19/27 mpg City/Highway, or 22 mpg Combined. With all-wheel drive, the EPA estimate drops to 18/26 mpg City/Highway. Real-world driving should yield similar figures. Active Fuel Management lets the engine run on four cylinders during steady cruising, while a Stop/Start system can shut it off at stoplights.

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