2017 Cadillac XT5
Cadillac is as guilty as anybody for kicking off the large luxury SUV craze. Remember the first 1999 Escalade? Yet, Cadillac was slow to follow the market shift to luxury crossovers. So, even though their mid-size SRX is top seller for the brand, it lacks the wide spread critical praise of their cars. So, let’s see if that changes as Caddy’s reboots their crossover strategy with the all-new XT5.
Although on an all-new chassis, don’t think of the 2017 Cadillac XT5 as an all-new concept. Rather, it’s a continuation of what the SRX started; luxurious, tech-savvy transportation for 5, but this time with driving dynamics that more closely match their key German and Asian rivals.
Whether you’re a fan of the Crossover Touring re-naming strategy or not, hopefully Cadillac will stay consistent with it; as they expand from this midsize XT5 to, perhaps, a 3-row XT7, and compact XT3.
As for the XT5, it wears a face that’s a taller version of Caddy’s new flagship CT6 sedan. Both head and tail lighting have vertical orientation.
There’s less departure along the rest of the exterior, where some shades of SRX and even Chevrolet Equinox remain in profile and in the rear. Our Red Passion Tintcoated Luxury model had excellent paint quality.
Compared to the SRX, there are 2-inches of added wheelbase; yet overall length is almost an inch shorter. It is also slightly taller and narrower. Standard wheels are 18s; 20s are optional.
But, driving is where you notice the biggest XT to SRX changes. Street and highway ride and handling are clearly not old-school Caddy. It’s decidedly European, even borderline stiff; yet compliant enough to eagerly soak up bumps softly. Following a recent and welcomed GM trend, close to 300-lbs. has been shaved and you feel the added responsiveness at every turn of the nicely weighted electric steering.
There’s no Euro-style turbo-4 power under the hood however, at least here in the U.S.; as Caddy’s LGX version of GM’s 3.6-liter V6 is the only choice.
And it’s a very decent one, delivering 310-horsepower and 271 lb-ft. of torque seamlessly; working well with the standard 8-speed automatic transmission. They make a good combo as long you’re not looking for an all-out performance ute.
Front-drive is standard, with a new twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system optional. It can send full power front or rear, as well as left or right at the rear axle. Slippery roads are its forte, but we found this flexible setup to be a welcomed aid in dry handling as well. Or, switch it off for best fuel economy.
Inside, is a clean, simple, attractive design very similar to flagship CT6; with no shortage of tech and luxury touches. Trim, whether traditional wood or sportier bright-work, is exceptional.
You can chose from quite a few light or dark themes, our favorite being the classy Jet Black. And there’s much small item storage space around.
But we have to subtract a few points after dealing with the latest CUE infotainment system. It is fully compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and we love that. But after a long day of getting frustrated with the gesture controls, we could think of only one final gesture to give it. Caddy please give us a knob or two!
The gauge panel is not quite as tech-heavy as CT6, but still a nice info-heavy array, with the now-expected reconfigurable setup.
The front seats look great but need work. We found them hard, yet still lacking in all-day support.
Thanks to the extra wheelbase, the rear seat provides great leg room; not always a high point of this class. It slides and reclines too. Still head room can be tight thanks to an intrusive panoramic glass roof.
E-shifters are “en vogue” these days, and Caddy’s has logical and precise movement. A backup camera is standard, the CT6’s Rear Camera Mirror, and a full suite of active safety features are optional.
Rear seat up cargo capacity is good at 30.0 cu.-ft. Fold the 40/20/40 seatbacks to expand it to 63.0 cu.-ft. A cargo management system is available. Maximum trailer tow is the expected 3,500-lbs.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for front-wheel-drive are 19-City, 27-Highway, and 22-Combined. For an average Energy Impact Score of 15.0-barrels of annual oil consumption and 6.5-tons of CO2 emissions.
XT5 base pricing is $39,990 for front-wheel drive. All-wheel-drive can be added to mid-level trims for $2,495 more, but it comes standard with the $63,495 top-level Platinum.
The 2017 Cadillac XT5 will have a hard time standing out in the crowded luxury crossover segment. But truth be told, the retiring SRX actually did quite well with what it had, and we think the XT5 will do even better. It provides more luxury, more tech, and yes, a much more satisfying driving experience. It should appeal equally to both long-time and first-time luxury buyers, and bodes well for a future full lineup of crossover Cadillacs.
- Engine: 3.6 liter
- Horsepower: 310
- Torque: 271 lb-ft.
- EPA: 19 mpg city/ 27 mpg highway
- Energy Impact: 15.0 barrels of oil/yr
- CO2 Emissions: 6.5 tons/yr
2023 Genesis Electrified GV70
Genesis Waves Their Magic EV Wand Yet Again
The Genesis Electrified GV70 is not only the 3rd all-electric vehicle offering from Hyundai’s luxury division, but it’s also the first Genesis model to be built here in the US. You know, the GV70 was already a big hit with both critics and buyers, so let’s find out if a big pack of batteries and American workers can take it to the next level.
For the 2023 model year, the Genesis GV70 utility has gone electric. And like the Electrified G80 sedan before it, Genesis has integrated an all-electric drivetrain into its existing platform seamlessly and effectively.
Now, it may look almost exactly like the sleek and sophisticated internal combustion powered GV70 SUV that arrived just last year. But packed underneath it all, is the GV60’s next-gen propulsion system that uses a pair of electric motors delivering standard all-wheel drive and 429-horsepower. Both the front and rear-mounted electric motors are 160-kW and produce a combined 516 lb-ft. of torque, relying on energy from a 77.4-kWh battery. Full 350-kW charging capability will get the battery to 80% in just 18-minutes. The Electrified GV70 is rated to travel 236-miles between those charging sessions.
But based on our driving loop, we’d say more is easily possible as we were on pace for over 250-miles; making it an overachiever, much like the G80.
The approach to the interior is not so much a heavy-handed blast of over-the-top luxury, rather just a soothing blend of high-quality metal and leather materials with soft tones, subtle ambient light, and an airy feel that ultimately delivers a very comforting experience.
There’s an available 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, along with a 14.5-inch touchscreen that houses standard navigation, and it also has a rotary style control on the console if you prefer that, just don’t confuse it with the rotary gear selector like we did. Lexicon audio, quilted leather, and a suede headliner come with the Prestige package that also includes active noise control and white brake calipers.
Regen braking paddles mounted on the back of the steering wheel allow for adjusting amounts of regen up to full 1-pedal driving; or you can let Smart Regen take control, gathering data from past driving history, navigation, and road conditions to determine the appropriate amount of braking. Drive modes include Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport +, and Custom, and Genesis has added some additional sound deadening for this EV.
Based on the incredibly quiet, smooth, and steady highway ride we experienced, we weren’t sure what to expect when we pulled this GV70 up to the line at our Mason Dixon Dragway test track.
Well, not much calmness or serenity here, as this thing absolutely blasted off the line like a rocket, hitting 60 in just 3.9-seconds. That’s almost a full 2-seconds quicker than last year’s 2.5-liter turbo-equipped GV70. It’s hard to beat performance-tuned EVs when it comes to torque delivery, and like the GV60, there’s a boost button on the steering wheel that delivers an additional 54-horsepower for a thrilling 10-seconds, helping us clear the ¼ in 12.4-seconds at 112 miles-per-hour.
The low center of gravity, an electronically controlled suspension, and a Disconnector Actuator System that allows for 2-wheel or 4-wheel-drive operation depending on circumstances, helped keep the Electrified GV70 well-planted through our handling course, and provided a livelier feel than the ICE version.
Substantial side bolstering of the front seats kept us settled in place very nicely. Great steering feel, very little body roll, and only minor amounts of understeer at its limits. Brakes were equally as sporting, with good feedback and stability, despite the noticeable nosedive that typically accompanies stopping 5,000-lbs. of utility vehicle in just 111-feet, 6-feet shorter than the standard GV70.
There are some subtle changes outside for this Electrified version of the GV70; it gets unique 20-inch wheels, and as in the G80, the signature crest grille gets an aerodynamic makeover, nicely integrating the charging port. Same 2-line lighting theme up front, and in back, where the rear bumper is reshaped now that there are no tailpipes. Cargo area is well finished with thoughtful use of space; at 28.7 cubic-ft. with a max of 56.5, capacity is down a tiny bit, but a small storage bin up front under the hood more than makes up for it.
At 37-kWh/100 miles, the Electrified GV70 rates a good efficiency score. Pricing starts at $66,975, about 20-grand over a base ICE GV70, and 3-years of free charging at Electrify America charging stations is included.
Genesis is slowly but surely electrifying their lineup, and the 2023 Electrified GV70 is not just another step in the process, but further proof that carmakers can progress to EVs without upsetting the entire apple cart of their brand. Forward thinking but staying classy, just what we’ve come to expect from Genesis.
- Motor Setup: Dual 160-kW Motors
- Horsepower: 429
- 0-60 mph: 3.9 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 111 feet (avg)
- MW Range: ~254 miles
- Battery Size: 77.4-kWh
- Torque: 516 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 12.4-seconds at 112 mph
- EPA Range: 234 miles
- Efficiency: 37 kWh/ 100 miles