In the crowded luxury compact SUV class, the Cadillac XT5 calls attention to itself with bold exterior styling, a quiet cabin with roomy seating for five passengers, and an oversized cargo area.
The XT5 comes in Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport trim levels. Front-wheel drive and a 235-horsepower turbo four-cylinder engine are standard on Luxury and Premium Luxury trims, while the Sport has a 310-horsepower V6 and standard all-wheel drive. Both engines are paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission.
The bigger engine and AWD are available as extra-cost options for the Premium Luxury model.
Pricing starts at a competitive $45,590 for the Luxury trim and tops out at $58,490 for the Sport. These figures include a $1,395 destination charge. The total cost of my XT5 Sport test car is a less competitive $70,140 but it can be pared down easily by eliminating the $3,650 leather package and $2,275 technology package.
The luxury compact SUV class includes some high-performance models whose prowess the XT5 can’t quite match, but that doesn’t make the XT5 a slacker. Its charisma just isn’t fixated on super-high peeling out and corner-carving.
The V6 inside the XT5 Sport provides lively acceleration and the vehicle’s suspension delivers a smooth ride. Its AWD system is driver-selectable via a push button in the center console, so the best of both worlds is available. On a trip up Stevens Pass Highway into the Cascades during last week’s big snowstorm, two-wheel drive ensured a cushy ride while the road was clear. When the road turned white I hit the button and great stability kicked in, along with peace of mind.
Fuel economy ratings for the XT5 Sport aren’t as reassuring: 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined.
In keeping with expectations for the top-tier model of a luxury SUV, the XT5 Sport interior is festooned with comfort, convenience, connectivity and driver-assistance features. The 14-speaker Bose Performance Series sound system and user-friendly infotainment system were two of my favorites.
There are no major revisions to the Cadillac XT5 for 2023, but embedded navigation and the premium Bose audio are now standard on Premium Luxury and Sport models, and there are three new paint colors: Radiant Red Tintcoat, Argent Silver Metallic, and the gorgeous Opulent Blue Metallic worn by my test car.
2023 CADILLAC XT5 SPORT
Base price, including destination charge: $58,490
Price as driven: $70,140
Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.