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Spotted: a Cadillac XT5

January 5, 2024

In early 2016, the Cadillac SRX was relieved by the Cadillac XT5. This is really just a new model generation of the same car, but Cadillac was also just introducing a new type name strategy around that time. ‘XT5’ stands for ‘Crossover Touring 5,’ with the number indicating its positioning in the market. Name aside, then, the XT5 is an evolution of the SRX: a relatively compact SUV that offers plenty of luxury. With emphasis on relative, because it remains a model in the segment of, say, the Audi Q5.

In good Cadillac tradition, the Cadillac XT5 has rich equipment, including innovative gadgets. It was also one of the brand’s first models with digital rear-view mirrors. For the 2020 model year, the XT5 underwent a subtle facelift, which mostly involved technical changes. The XT5 is still in production.

Engines Cadillac XT5

The Cadillac XT5 comes with two engines. The standard engine (and initially the only engine) was a 3.6-liter V6 with 231 kW (314 hp). A start-stop system a cylinder deactivation keep consumption in check. On the contrary, in China, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 192 kW (261 hp) was the only engine available.

With the facelift, the four-cylinder was replaced by a newer type 2.0-liter four-cylinder, producing 177 kW (241 hp). That remained the only available engine in China, but in the U.S. (and some markets beyond) the four-cylinder was introduced as the new standard engine. With that, the V6 became optional.

Regardless of engine, front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional. All-wheel drive also has a mode where only the front wheels are driven, to save fuel at times when all-wheel drive is not necessary. Shifting is always done with an automatic. Before the facelift it was an eight-speed automatic; after the facelift it was a nine-speed.

The Cadillac XT5 in the Netherlands

Overall, the Cadillac XT5 has been a success. Both in America and worldwide, the XT5 is the best-selling Cadillac model. So that’s not even the iconic Escalade. With (among other things) the XT5, Cadillac also tried to regain a foothold in Europe. For various reasons, it succeeded moderately. First, buyers in this segment are rather status-sensitive, preferring to spend their money on an obvious Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz.

Specifically in the Netherlands, something else came into play: bpm. In Europe – as in America – the Cadillac XT5 came only with the 3.6-liter V6. Despite the fuel savings, official consumption was still exactly 1 in 10 (NEDC). With accompanying bpm, that brought the starting price to over 90,000 euros. All on-board luxuries notwithstanding, buyers went mostly to other brands. After being introduced in 2017, the XT5 already disappeared from the Dutch market in 2019.

The spotted specimen

So far, nineteen Dutch people did fall for the Cadillac XT5. Remarkably, according to the RDW, all of these specimens were imported. We get that, because with that absurdly high bpm, importing as a young used car is a lot more interesting. Four of them imported a post-facelift XT5. One of the nineteen we encountered in the parking lot of a roadside restaurant along the A1. To be precise, it is a 2017 XT5, which has been in the Netherlands since late 2022.