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2021 Cadillac XT5 Review

The 2021 Cadillac XT5 finishes toward the back of our luxury midsize SUV rankings. While it has a terrific predicted reliability rating, the XT5 largely fails to impress, as many class rivals are more athletic and upscale.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent predicted reliability rating
  • Good gas mileage
  • Plenty of legroom
  • Cabin materials a step below many rivals'
  • Less athletic than competitors
  • So-so ride quality

7.7

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.8
Performance: 6.8
Interior: 6.7
Safety: 9.7
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

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Is the Cadillac XT5 a Good SUV?

Yes, the Cadillac XT5 is a good luxury midsize SUV. It has capable powertrains, good fuel economy ratings, and decent handling. The cabin looks good, and there's ample passenger and cargo space. The real feather in the XT5's cap, however, is its outstanding predicted reliability rating.

Not everything is rosy for the XT5. Its interior quality is underwhelming for a luxury SUV, as is its ride quality. It's also worth noting that even in the XT5's strong areas, it still isn't a class leader.

Why You Can Trust Us: 35 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This 2021 XT5 review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2017.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

Should I Buy the Cadillac XT5?

You may be tempted by this Caddy’s low price tag, but you’re better off spending a little more money for one of several higher-ranked rivals, including the Mercedes-Benz GLE, the Lincoln Aviator, or the BMW X5.

Compare the XT5, GLE, and Aviator »

2020 vs. 2021 Cadillac XT5: What's the Difference?

There aren't any major updates to the 2021 Cadillac XT5, which means it's basically the same as the 2020 XT5.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 XT5 »

Here are the key changes for the Cadillac XT5 over the past few years:

  • 2017: all-new model
  • 2018: no notable changes
  • 2019: no notable changes
  • 2020: gained all-new infotainment system, Sport trim joined lineup, added new 2.0-liter turbo-four base engine, and heated front seats became standard
  • 2021: no notable changes

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 XT5, 2019 XT5, and 2020 XT5 reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Cadillac XT5 Cost?

The base XT5 Luxury has a starting MSRP of $43,995. That's one of the lowest starting prices in the class. The XT5 Sport is the most expensive trim, and it starts at $55,095. That's lower than almost every class rivals' top-trim price.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Cadillac dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Cadillac deals page.

Cadillac XT5 Versus the Competition

Cadillac XT5 vs. Acura MDX

The Acura MDX costs about the same as the XT5, but it finishes higher in our luxury midsize SUV rankings. The MDX's predicted reliability is average, compared to the XT5's great rating, but the Acura has plenty of advantages elsewhere. It has a more powerful base V6 engine than the Cadillac, as well as light steering and confident handling. The MDX seats up to seven, and it has more cargo space than the XT5. Its interior is nicer too.

Compare the XT5 and MDX »

Cadillac XT5 vs. Lincoln Nautilus

The Lincoln Nautilus is the rare class rival that has a lower MSRP than the XT5. These SUVs have some things in common, good and bad. Both models offer lots of features, good fuel economy, and comfortable rides, but both also have lackluster handling. The Cadillac has a better predicted reliability rating, but the Lincoln has a more upscale cabin and an easier-to-use infotainment system.

Compare the XT5 and Nautilus »

Compare the XT5, MDX, and Nautilus »

XT5 Interior: Solid but not Spectacular

XT5 Cargo Space

Cargo capacity in this Cadillac is typical for the class. You get 30.2 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. Fold those seats down, and capacity expands to 63 cubic feet.

How Many People Does the XT5 Seat?

While some luxury midsize SUVs are three-row affairs, the XT5 seats five people across two rows. The seats are comfortable, and legroom is good throughout the cabin. However, taller passengers may want to avoid the rear seats because headroom is tight, especially when the SUV is equipped with a sunroof.

XT5 and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the XT5’s rear outboard seats, and the rear middle seat has an upper tether anchor. The tether anchors could be confused for other hardware, and the lower anchors may be set too deeply in the seats.

XT5 Interior Quality

The XT5 doesn’t quite meet class standards when it comes to the cabin’s design and materials quality. Some critics says the overall styling seems a bit scattershot, as if there's no clear plan. What's more, many rivals have superior fit and finish.

XT5 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The CUE infotainment system and its controls, which include a rotary knob and secondary buttons, are user-friendly. However, the system can be slow to respond to inputs, and sun glare can make it hard to see the display. Additionally, most rivals have larger touch screens than the XT5’s.

  • Standard infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, an eight-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, USB ports, and a Wi-Fi hot spot
  • Available infotainment features: wireless device charging, navigation, a 14-speaker Bose audio system, and a rear-seat entertainment system
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control and remote start
  • Other available features: a sunroof and tri-zone automatic climate control

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

XT5 Performance: Less Refined and Agile than Rivals

XT5 Engine

The XT5 comes with a 235-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. A 310-horsepower V6 is available. The four-cylinder is reasonably capable. The V6 has plenty of power for your everyday driving duties, though it doesn’t stand up to some of the more powerful engines in the segment. The nine-speed automatic transmission delivers smooth, on-time shifts.

XT5 Gas Mileage

Not many vehicles in the luxury midsize SUV class can match the XT5's fuel economy ratings. With the base engine and front-wheel drive, this Caddy gets 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Opt for the V6, and gas mileage checks in at 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.

XT5 Ride and Handling

This Cadillac rides comfortably over smooth roads, but ride quality drops off noticeably when you drive over streets that have fallen into disrepair. There are better choices in the class if you're looking for an athletic SUV, but the XT5 feels composed around turns, and the available Sport trim has a few performance enhancements, such as steering assist and an adaptive suspension.

XT5 Towing Capacity

A properly equipped XT5 can tow up to 3,500 pounds. In all but the base model, Cadillac offers towing assistance features like hitch guidance, hitch guidance with hitch view, and engine cooling.

Read more about performance »

XT5 Reliability

Is the Cadillac XT5 Reliable?

The 2021 Cadillac XT5 has a stellar predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five.

Cadillac XT5 Warranty

Cadillac backs the XT5 with a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

XT5 Safety

XT5 Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety gave the 2021 XT5 an overall safety rating of five out of five stars, with five stars in the frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2021 XT5 the highest rating of Good in all five crash tests performed and the second-lowest rating of Marginal for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead.

The IIHS uses a different scale for grading collision avoidance features. The XT5 received the midtier rating of Advanced for its standard front crash prevention system, while the optional system earned the highest rating of Superior.

XT5 Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera
  • Teen Driver (lets you do things like set audio volume and speed limits for secondary drivers)
  • Safety alert seat
  • Forward collision warning
  • Forward automatic emergency braking
  • Front pedestrian braking
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Lane keep assist
  • Lane departure warning

Available advanced safety features:

  • Head-up display
  • Night vision assist
  • Rear camera mirror
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Lane change alert
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Rear pedestrian alert
  • Reverse automatic emergency braking
  • Surround-view parking camera system
  • Parallel and perpendicular park assist

Read more about safety »

XT5 Dimensions and Weight

The XT5 is about 15.8 feet long. Its curb weight is 3,915 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Cadillac XT5 Built?

Cadillac builds the 2021 XT5 in Tennessee.

Which Cadillac XT5 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Cadillac XT5 comes in three trims: Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport. The base model comes well-equipped, and many buyers will want to stick with it. However, the Premium Luxury trim is worth consideration. It comes with more standard features and has options you can't get in the base trim. Unlike the Luxury trim, it’s also available with the V6 engine.

Cadillac XT5 Luxury

The XT5 Luxury carries a base price of $43,995. It has a 235-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive.

Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, heated and power-adjustable front seats, and the CUE infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, an eight-speaker Bose audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, USB ports, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, a safety alert seat, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, front pedestrian braking, front and rear parking sensors, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning.

You can add all-wheel drive for $2,000.

Cadillac XT5 Premium Luxury

The XT5 Premium Luxury starts at $48,795. In addition to the base trim's features, the Premium Luxury model comes with a sunroof, a heated steering wheel, a hands-free power liftgate, wireless device charging, blind spot monitoring, lane change alert, and rear cross traffic alert.

You can upgrade to a 310-horsepower V6 engine for $1,000, and you can add AWD for $2,000. The Platinum package ($4,850) adds tri-zone automatic climate control, upgraded genuine leather upholstery, a performance suspension, and a rear camera mirror. The Enhanced Visibility and Technology package ($2,275) adds a rear camera mirror, a head-up display, a surround-view parking camera system, rear pedestrian alert, and parallel and perpendicular park assist.

The Driver Assist package ($1,300) gets you automatic seat belt tightening, adaptive cruise control, enhanced forward automatic emergency braking, and reverse automatic emergency braking. You can also add several features individually, such as tri-zone automatic climate control and an upgraded infotainment system with navigation.

Cadillac XT5 Sport

The XT5 Sport starts at $55,095. The Sport comes standard with the V6 engine, a performance suspension, a steering assist system, and all-wheel drive. From a features standpoint, the Sport is basically the same as the Premium Luxury.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Cadillac dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Cadillac deals page.

See 2021 Cadillac XT5 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Cadillac XT5 fails to stand out in the luxury midsize SUV class. It's OK in most areas, but many rivals are more powerful, have better handling, or feel more opulent inside, and some competitors are better in all three aspects. There's really not much reason to consider the XT5 beyond its below-average price tag and terrific predicted reliability rating.

Don't just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The Cadillac XT5 offers a roomy cargo area, effortless smartphone integration and relatively good value in the midsize luxury SUV segment. But it isn't a standout in any particular area and fails to match the level of luxury found in most of its contemporaries." -- Edmunds
  • "A solid effort, but far from the luxury segment's best." -- Car and Driver (2020)
  • "The XT5 Luxury offers a tremendous amount of value for the money, especially given all its standard tech features you often have to pay extra for with competitors. As you move up the trim lineup, however, the XT5 gets awfully pricey, and that value proposition begins evaporating." -- Autotrader (2020)

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: January 15, 2021

Weak Demand: Over the course of 2020, Cadillac dealerships sold 29.4 percent fewer XT5 SUVs than they did during 2019. That said, the XT5 still managed to finish 2020 among the top five sellers in the luxury midsize SUV segment, behind competitors like the BMW X5 and Acura MDX. The dominant Lexus RX is currently outsold the XT5 by nearly 3 to 1.

Research more buying advice »
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