Ahhhh, Los Angeles. The glitz. The glamour. Sunset Boulevard. “I’m ready for my close-up now” and all that. It’s where dreams are created, realized and sometimes crushed. It’s where Walt Disney hangs out. It’s where palm tree-lined streets give way to sandy beaches and the ocean beyond in one direction, and snow-capped peaks and some of the honest climes in the world in the other. In short, it’s the perfect place to launch a car that needs to walk that same line: luxurious and Hollywood-ready on one side, and prepared for a cross-country-to-the-cabin cruise on the other. A car like the 2017 Cadillac XT5 crossover, for example.
I’ll spare you the effort right away: yes, the XT5 bears a striking resemblance to the SRX it replaces. Indeed, Cadillac would be loath to change things too much, considering the SRX has been their bestselling model in Canada for eons now, culminating with an 18 percent sales increase last year. That’s massive, and it shows just why Cadillac wouldn’t want to mess too much with a good thing.
Not that there aren’t changes, and as you look closer at the XT5 some pleasing details begin to emerge.
For starters you’ve got new headlight lenses which are an example Cadillac’s Arts and Science design language, taken to the nth degree. The grille is also a little larger, a little more robust and overall, the XT5 is both shorter than the SRX but has a wider track and longer wheelbase, giving it a pretty purposeful stance, especially when considered from the rear three-quarter angle. That’s a view also helped by moving the rear wiper up under the roof spoiler, for a cleaner look overall.
Other flares like all-new (optional) 20-inch wheels and a set of subtle creases down the side of the vehicle are elements that add a little more character, as opposed to the relative slabbiness of the old car.
Inside, however, is really where the whole thing comes into focus.
The XT5 will be available in four trims, one of which is available with both AWD and FWD – XT5 (FWD only, $45,100), Luxury ($49, 250 for FWD, $52,120 for AWD), Premium Luxury ($59,830) and Platinum ($68,595) – but no matter the trim, there is a lot to like about the interior.
It starts with the openness of it all; the larger side windows and stretched rear seating area make for an airier ambiance than previous, with more legroom for rear passengers, and better view out for all. Drivers in particular, meanwhile, benefit from the wing mirrors being moved forward, reducing a-pillar/wing mirror blind spots. While it may seem simple, the addition of an electronic transmission has also created more room inside; since the shift “lever” is now pretty much a switch, there’s no need for a shift linkage and so the area below the shifter has become a handy storage bin, big enough for purses.