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 BMW X7
Should Keep The BMW Faithful Coming Back For More
While BMW got serious about their SUV game around the same time as most other luxury brands, it took them until just a few years ago to deliver a 3-row example. This year, that X7 is updated with new style and new tech. So, let’s see if that makes it the ultimate premium 3-row family machine.
When it comes to utility vehicles, bigger seems to be better for a lot of people. So, for BMW, there’s none bigger or better than the X7 3-row utility, which for 2023 gets a comprehensive update after just 4-years on the market. That includes a facelift to bring it more in line with the new 7-series carline, which is to say joins the more vertical, aggressive grille party. Also, the actual headlights have been moved lower in the front fascia, with squinty DRLs above for the first time on a BMW. In back, taillights take on a 3D posture, with a new chrome bar connecting them.
There are also multiple new M Sport packages to choose from to spice up the exterior, with larger air intakes up front, high-gloss black trim, upgraded exhaust, cascade grille lighting, and 22-inch wheels, as well as M Sport brakes…
…and the interior too, with aluminum trim and exclusive steering wheel. But, by far the biggest change inside for ‘23 is a new dashtop curved display that eliminates the typical BMW well-hooded gauge pod and blends 12-inch Live Cockpit Pro into the 15-inch infotainment touchscreen, which now features iDrive8. Both a Head-Up Display and a large panoramic sunroof are standard.
Whether set up for 2 or 3 passengers, 2nd row seat room remains plentiful, and though the X7 doesn’t look ungainly large like many of its competitors, access to the 3rd row is quite good. Cargo space is reached through a fairly unique, Range Rover-style, split tailgate, which is quite oddly satisfying to watch unfold. There’s room for 48.6 cubic-ft. of goods behind the 2nd row, with a max of 90.4 cu.-ft.
The base xDrive40i has always been the sensible choice, even more so now with a new inline-6 turbo getting a significant bump in horsepower from 335 to 375, and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that results in a total of 398 lb-ft. of torque.
At our Mason Dixon test track, there was enough to blast this big beast to 60 in just 5.4-seconds. That’s only about half a second slower than the V8 did the deed back in 2019. Making that optional 523-horsepower V8 simply overkill at this point. Our best ¼-mile pass was 13.9-seconds at 100 miles-per-hour. All X7s get a quick shifting sport-tuned 8-speed automatic transmission, which adds a new Sprint Function that finds the lowest usable gear instantly and maxes electric boost with a hold of the left shift paddle. What fun!
New looks and updated tech are cool, but BMW has also addressed dynamics as well, with a retuning of all chassis systems, including the optional Dynamic Handling Package which adds adaptive suspension with roll stabilization and uses GPS and camera data to prepare for what’s coming. We’re not sure if our slalom course was anticipated, but the X7 sure felt well-equipped to handle it. All-wheel drive is standard on all X7s, along with comprehensive drive modes.
In our braking runs, the pads bit down hard quickly, stopping us from 60 in just 115-feet with very little nosedive.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings for the 6-cylinder are 21-City, 25-Highway, and 22-Combined. We averaged just 21.0 miles-per-gallon on Premium.
There’s an average Energy Impact Score; 13.5-barrels of oil yearly, with CO2 emissions of 6.5-tons.
Pricing starts at $78,845, and it’s a significant step up from there to $104,095 if you want the V8. Even more reason to stick with the 6-cylinder as far as we’re concerned.
It took the ultimate driving machine folks quite a bit of time to enter the 3-row family crossover segment, but when they did, they were able to create their largest utility ever and keep it consistent with their values. For 2023, the BMW X7 gets even more dynamic, embraces new tech, and looks better too. All things that should keep the BMW faithful coming back for more.
- Engine: I-6
- Horsepower: 375
- 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
- 60-0 Braking: 115 feet (avg)
- MW Fuel Economy: 21.0 MPG
- Transmission: 8-speed automatic
- Torque: 398 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 13.9-seconds at 100 mph
- EPA: 21 City / 25 Highway / 22 Combined