2017 Cadillac XT5

2017 Cadillac XT5

Episode 3539
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

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
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Front

2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35

Goldilocks Approved: It Does Everything Just Right

Episode 4332
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

These days, you don’t have to spend a ridiculous amount of money to get some real-deal AMG performance from Mercedes-Benz, as they’ve spread their high-performance love throughout their lineup. So, let’s go for some high-speed bargain hunting in the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35.

You may think of big cars and bigger horsepower when you hear AMG, but this updated 2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 4-door Coupe is certainly not a big car, yet there’s no doubt it packs a serious performance punch. The CLA is not the least expensive Mercedes you can currently buy in the U.S., but it is their lowest priced car, and it feels more right-size than small-size behind the wheel.

It’s a fun, enjoyable ride that lets you know what you’re in for right away with a nice raspy exhaust note at start up. Standard engine in the base CLA 250 is of course a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo, but it is ‘Benz’s latest with mild-hybrid assistance and a rating of 221-horsepower.

This CLA 35 is one of two AMG versions which cranks the turbo up to boost output to 302 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque; the CLA 45 S, goes even further with a full rebuild to crank it up to 416 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. The CLA is front-wheel-drive based but is sending power to all four wheels by the time it leaves the AMG shop with performance-tuned AMG 4MATIC.

2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Front
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Grille
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Front
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Profile
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Wheel
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Rear
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Rear
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge 2
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Front2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Grille2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Front2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Profile2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Wheel2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Rear2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Rear2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge 2

AMG has done serious suspension tuning as well, and the great feedback that it provides through the AMG Performance steering wheel is a big part of this car’s fun-factor. But our test car came equipped with winter tires, which did hold us back a little bit through the cones at our Mason Dixon test track. Still, it felt both agile and fun and body roll was minimal. Not until we pushed hard could we really feel the lack of dry pavement grip from those tires. On the other hand, a few days after track day, we actually did have some winter weather to drive through and then we were very appreciative of the grip those winter tires provided.

With some assistance from AMG’s sweet launch control, which not only allowed us to launch at 3500 RPM with no wheel slip at all, but made sure the turbos were feeding full power, as we felt no turbo lag whatsoever on our quick 4.5-second trip to 60. AMG’s Speedshift eight-speed DCT lived up to its name, delivering quick and hard hits throughout the 13.1-second, 104 mph quarter-mile.

It’s a fun, enjoyable ride that lets you know what you’re in for right away with a nice raspy exhaust note at start up.

When it came time to remove speed in a hurry in our panic runs from 60 mph, those winter tires again played a factor, as the brakes felt very strong and there was very little nosedive but stops took a longer than expected 125 feet.

Now this 2nd generation CLA arrived for 2020, and for ’24 gets a subtle restyling at both ends. At the front, the grille has been redesigned, AMGs getting their own unique version with big vertical slats, prominent Mercedes star and subtle AMG badge. LED headlights are new, now labeled as High-Performance headlights, joined by upgraded rear taillights and a very aggressive looking AMG diffuser with big exhaust outlets. The back-up camera is smoothly hidden in a flip-out Mercedes badge. Multiple new wheel designs are available with sizes up to 19-inches.

2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Passenger Side Front
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dashboard
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Center Display 2
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Rear Seat
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Trunk
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Engine
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Passenger Side Front2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dashboard2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Center Display 22024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Rear Seat2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Trunk2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Engine

Inside the CLA’s cabin, additional standard content includes a leather steering wheel and 10-inch media display. Both of which were already part of the AMG transformation, though AMG Line buyers can now add some heat elements to their sport steering wheel.

As we’ve seen with most Mercedes updates, both the virtual gauge cluster and the central touchscreen reside in a single housing mounted on top of the dash, upgraded with the latest MBUX software.

Pricing for the CLA 35 starts at $56,100, with the more powerful 45 S coming in at $66,550.

Bottom line, the folks in Stuttgart have given us a 2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 that’s clearly better without messing it up. That’s certainly good news to us, as these days we seem to be getting less and paying more for just about everything. So, while you might not think the new CLA 35 sounds like a bargain, there is no better gateway into the amazing world of AMG performance.


  • Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo
  • Horsepower: 416
  • 0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 125 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 28.2 MPG (Premium)
  • Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Torque: 369 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.1 seconds at 104 mph
  • EPA: 22 City / 29 Highway / 25 Combined