Famous for making high-quality and luxurious cars, Cadillac has started to get a grip in the battle for the best high-end SUVs. With Mercedes-Benz and BMW enhancing their infotainment and safety features for the GLC Class and X3, improvements on this year’s Cadillac XT5 model have been specifically focused in that area as well.
With prices starting from $44,990, the 2021 XT5 is Cadillac’s shot at entering the luxury mid-size SUV category. Although the design hasn’t changed much from the model’s introduction in 2017, it is still as charming.
However, with the addition of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, NFC, USB-C charging, and the option for an 8-inch digital driver’s display, the SUV is getting more high-tech than ever. It’s getting safer as well, thanks to the new advanced driver assistance systems.
2021 XT5’s power units are the same as the previous year. The first engine is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo producing 235 hp at 5000 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque at 1500-4000 rpm. With this engine, the SUV can accelerate from 0-60 mph in decent 7.6 seconds. Moreover, it is the most fuel-efficient engine in the lineup, performing at 21/28 MPG city/highway on FWD models and 21/26 MPG city/highway on AWD models.
With a fuel tank capacity of 19.4-gallon for the FWD model, the range is about 465 miles. Meanwhile, the AWD features a slightly larger fuel tank at 21.7-gallon, good enough for a range of 499 miles.
The second power unit available in the 2021 XT5 is GM’s famous 3.6-liter V6 naturally-aspirated engine producing 310 hp at 6600 rpm and 271 lb-ft of torque at 5000 rpm. With this engine, the engine 0-60 mph time drops to 6.6 seconds.
However, the trade-off is increased fuel consumption. Cadillac claims 18/26 MPG city/highway for the FWD and 18/25 MPG city/highway for the AWD model. The V6 versions also have shorter ranges overall. Notably, the FWD version and its 19.4-gallon tank are good for 407-miles, while the AWD with a 21.7-gallon tank can go 434-miles.
Both engines are mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission. However, only the V6 model gets a twin-clutch AWD system.
In an effort to compete with European rivals, Cadillac is making the 2021 XT5 carry a strong and luxurious presence. The styling is edgy, featuring the signature bold grille with a highly visible Cadillac ‘shield’ in the center. Moreover, the LED DRLs run from the headlamp down towards the bumper, forming a line towards the foglights for an elegant and futuristic look.
The slightly sloping roof from the A-pillar also gives it a coupe-ish vibe, without sacrificing headroom. The tall ride height also makes it look dashing on the road, especially with the bigger 20-inch alloys.
The back of the car looks sharp and sporty with a dual trapezoid-shaped exhaust, rear spoiler, shark-fin antenna, and the taillamps design mimicking the front. The word ‘handsome’ seems to describe the overall look of the 2021 Cadillac XT5 quite well.
Since the 2021 XT5 continues to ride on the GM C1 platform, it is similar in size to its GM cousin, the second-gen GMC Acadia. Hence, it measures 189.6-inches long, 75.0-inches wide, and 66.1-inches high. The wheelbase is identical at 112.5 inches, while the slightly taller 7.8-inch ground clearance is perfect for some light off-road activities. The base curb weight varies from 3915 lbs. for the FWD model and 4338 lbs. for the AWD variant, regular for the category.
Inside, the 2021 XT5 can seat five passengers. The passenger volume is decent at 104 cubic feet, but the cargo volume is class-leading at 30 cubic feet. Meanwhile, the back seat slides and reclines, creating a relaxed seating position. Besides, you can fold it flat (60/40) to create even more cargo space at 63 cubic feet.
It seems that Cadillac has nailed the comfort and practicality aspect of the XT5. The SUV is spacious for passengers and can swallow a lot of cargo.
The 2021 Cadillac XT5 is available in three trims: Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport. Each has its perks and features, as well as engine options availability.
2021 Cadillac XT5 Luxury
Starting price: FWD – $44,990, AWD – $46,990
The Luxury is the base trim of the 2021 XT5. It is only available with the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. However, both FWD and AWD configurations are available.
There is certainly nothing embarrassing to report from the outside. As standard, you will get 18-inch aluminum wheels with silver finish, active aero shutters for better aerodynamics, LED daytime running lights and headlights with automatic on/off, roof rails, deep-tinted glass, front cornering lamps, a power liftgate, and a rear spoiler. There is also a remote engine start and keyless entry fitted as standard.
The word ‘Luxury’ on a base trim seems promising, and fortunately, it looks like it on the inside. As standard, you will get leatherette seats in Jet black color, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power-adjusted and heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, cabin air filter, and cabin humidity sensor.
This trim also comes with the Cadillac User Experience package. As part of it, you’ll get an 8-inch diagonal infotainment system with voice recognition and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration, 8-speaker Bose® premium sound system, Teen Driver, NFC pairing, and OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability.
2021 Cadillac XT5 Premium Luxury
Starting price: FWD 2.0L – $49,790 / FWD 3.6L – $50,790 / AWD – plus $2,000
The Premium Luxury unlocks much more features. Most importantly, you can now choose between the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged or 3.6-liter V6 engine. Besides, both engines are available in either FWD or AWD configuration.
With features carried from the Luxury trim, the additional standards are a hands-free power liftgate, power-folding mirrors, illuminating door handles, locking wheel nuts, automatic sensing wipers, and a panoramic sunroof.
The Luxury trim adds a lot of extra standard features. For starters, the Advanced Security Package includes a locking steering column, door lock, and latch shields, as well as a theft-deterrent alarm system with inclination and interior movement sensors.
Inside, there is some leather upholstery with more interior color options available, heated and power-adjustable steering wheel, memory function on the driver’s seat, and front-seat lumbar support for a more pleasant driving experience. Auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient lighting, wireless charging pad, and rear cargo management system are also standard.
2021 Cadillac XT5 Sport
Starting price: $56,090
The Sport is XT5’s top-of-the-range trim, available only with the 3.6-liter V6 engine and AWD system. As standard, you will get the sport-tuned AWD system, adaptive suspension, and a heavy-duty cooling system.
There is not much to report on the exterior, although you’ll get larger 20-inch alloys and gloss black roof rails as standard.
All of the Sport trim’s interior features are the same as the Premium Luxury trim.
Safety and Driver Assistance
As expected from a premium SUV, all advanced safety and driver assistance features are standard. The Sports variant comes with 7 airbags, Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), electronic traction control, Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert, Front Pedestrian Braking, Front and Rear Park Assist, HD rear vision camera, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, Safety Alert Seat, and Tire Pressure Monitoring System.
Available in the Premium Luxury and Sport trim only is the Driver Assist Package that features Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Seatbelt Tightening, Enhanced AEB, and Reverse Automatic Braking. This package costs an extra $1,300.
There are a few notable packages that enhance the premium experience of owning the 2021 Cadillac XT5.
Available only on the Luxury Premium and Sport trim, it features the Driver Assist Package, digital rear camera mirror with washer, tri-zone climate control, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, 14-speaker Bose® premium sound system, a satellite navigation system, microfiber suede headliner, upgraded leather upholstery, leather-wrapped dashboard, and door trim, front and rear premium carpeted floor mats, illuminated front seal plates, and a posh looking 20-inch aluminum wheels.
However, while tempting, the Platinum package does cost a pretty penny. Indeed, it comes at $4,850 for the XT5 Luxury Premium and $3,650 for the Sport trim.
Enhanced Visibility and Technology Package
Also available only for the Luxury Premium and Sport trim, this package features an 8-inch digital driver’s display with head-up display, HD Surround Vision, automatic parking assist with braking function, and a digital rearview mirror. You can have it for $2,275.
Smart Towing Package
The Smart Towing package is only available with the Luxury Premium trim and the 3.6-liter V6 engine. It is perfect for supporting advanced towing activities, featuring hitch guidance with hitch view, 170-amp alternator heavy-duty cooling system, and 7-wire harness. It costs an extra $575.
Single Optional Extras
Only on the Luxury Premium and Sport trims, some of the features are available individually. For instance, the 14-speaker Bose® premium sound system option is available at an extra $1,025, while the night vision system will set you back an extra $2,000. A tri-zone climate control with ventilated front seats and heated rear seats is also available as a single option for an extra $1,200.
The 2021 Cadillac XT5 with the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine has a not-so-impressive towing capacity of 1000 lbs. Towing enthusiasts may want to go with the V6 engine, which can tow 3,500 lbs.
Cadillac provides a limited warranty of up to 4 years/50,000 miles, a powertrain warranty of up to 6 years/70,000 miles, and complimentary scheduled maintenance coverage on the first visit.
If you are on the market for a luxury mid-size SUV, the 2021 Cadillac XT5 is worth a look. The exterior might be outdated, but you cannot say the same thing about the interior. Overall it is a nice family SUV that is luxurious and practical.
I would recommend getting the Premium Luxury trim with the more powerful 3.6-liter V6. The smoother and more effortless engine suits the luxurious character of the SUV. Plus, it is only $1,000 more than the 2.0-liter. Go for the FWD for a better economy, but feel free to opt for the AWD if you need it. The Platinum Package is also considerable for those who crave a more luxurious feel.
However, if you choose to opt for many extra packages and easily reach the $60,000 mark, the XT5 will reach the Mercedes-Benz GLE’s, BMW X5’s, and Porsche Macan’s territory, and I would not recommend wasting the opportunity of having one of those SUVs.
XT5 FWD Luxury/Premium
XT5 AWD Luxury/Premium
XT5 AWD Sport
|Body Style(s)||Sport Utility Vehicle|
|Engine(s)||Turbocharged I4||Gas V6|
|Horsepower @ RPM||235 @ 5000||310 @ 6600|
|Torque @ RPM||258 @ 1500-4000||271 @ 5000|
|Fuel Injection||Direct Injection|
|Fuel Economy – City||22 MPG||18 MPG|
|Fuel Economy – Hwy||29 MPG||26 MPG|
|Fuel Economy – Combined||24 MPG||21 MPG|
|Passenger volume (cu.ft.)||104.5|
|Cargo volume (cu.ft.)||63|
|Curb weight (lbs)||3915 / 3997||4127 / 4206||4338|
Wheels & Tires
|Wheel size||18 x -TBD-||20 x -TBD-|