Miles driven: 258
Fuel used: 14.4 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 17.9 mpg
Driving mix: 60% city, 40% highway
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||B+|
|Power and Performance||B-|
|Fit and Finish||A|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||310-hp 3.6-liter|
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 18/25/20 (city, highway, combined)
Fuel type: Regular gas
Base price: $55,095 (not including $995 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Enhanced Visibility and Technology Package ($2275), Shadow Metallic paint ($625), compact spare tire ($350; replaces tire sealant and inflator kit)
Price as tested: $59,340
The great: Classy interior trim; satisfying acceleration from V6 engine
The good: Good cargo capacity within relatively tidy exterior dimensions; comfortable ride
The not so good: Some slow-to-respond infotainment controls; tedious climate controls; thick roof pillars impede rear visibility; disappointing observed fuel economy
It probably happens more often than not that when Consumer Guide tests something from a luxury brand, the vehicle strays pretty far from its base price with copious options. That’s not so with the 2020 Cadillac XT5 Sport. With a starting price of $56,090 (including delivery), our tester was optioned up to only $59,340 with Shadow Metallic paint, a compact spare tire, and the Enhanced Visibility and Technology Package.
What we saw here, then, was an XT5 in its natural state, more or less. The Sport is the new top of an XT5 line reduced to three trim levels (from four). It could have been gilded with more equipment than it was.
The base price includes 20-inch alloy wheels with pearl nickel paint, LED head- and taillamps, cornering lamps, hands-free liftgate, heated power-folding exterior mirrors, UltraView panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, heated power-adjustable front seats, driver’s-seat memory function, heated steering wheel, auto-dimming interior rearview mirror, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Comfort and convenience technologies list the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone connectivity, Bose 8-speaker audio, satellite radio, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, remote starting, keyless entry and starting, and wireless charging. Electronic safety features are forward-collision alert, front pedestrian braking, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alerts, front and rear parking assists, and teen-driver limit settings.
Sport is the one XT5 that retains a 3.6-liter V6 as standard equipment. (A turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder is the new base engine in Premium and Premium Luxury models; the V6 is a Premium Luxury option.) The 310-horsepower 3.6 has motivated every XT5 that CG has tested since the premium-midsize SUV was introduced for 2017. We have consistently regarded it satisfyingly powerful for its class, and praised it for quiet operation, even under acceleration. For ’20, the engine is joined to a 9-speed automatic transmission, which represents a gain of one gear range from the 2017-19 jobs. Is more always better? While overall transmission performance seemed good, at least one of our editors felt the 9-speed exhibited the same kind of low-speed shift hesitation and roughness we had called out in the prior 8-speed unit. With AWD, there are four selectable modes to serve varied driving conditions and needs.
The all-wheel-drive-only Sport (other models come in front- or all-wheel forms) is rated by the EPA for 18 mpg in city driving, 25 mpg on the highway, and 20 mpg combined. A standard stop/start function exists to draw out some fuel savings at full stops—but drivers who find it bothersome can switch it off. Having inherited a few miles from another tester, this driver finished up a 189-mile turn consisting of 45 percent city-type miles with a subpar average of 17.8 mpg.
Cadillac equips this version of the XT5 with standard twin-clutch Sport Control AWD that is programmed to improve handling in quicker, tighter turns. Our driving didn’t demand a lot of that, but as for all-wheel drive’s other known attribute, this reviewer experienced no traction problems on snowy and slick streets. However, he did sense a few moments of uncertain weight transfer in fast lane changes or turns. Sports come with a suspension that includes real-time adaptive damping. The test truck rode quite well, and wasn’t upset much by road cracks that were heard more than they were felt.
Depending on how you view remote control for infotainment systems, the newest CUE either just got more useful or became the latest in a line of systems trying to drive motorists to distraction. There’s now a dial on the console to activate the various functions found on the display screen. But it’s also a touchscreen, so it can be contacted directly at the touch of a fingertip. That way it is fairly direct to use—but response to screen touches is slow. The same is true of the separate haptic climate controls. It took repeated tries to reduce seat-heat levels, for instance.
Overall, the interior is roomy and plush—with caveats. Front-seat legroom is ample, and headroom is very good. The back seat has pleasing legroom and enough width to consider fitting three adults across, thanks to a nearly flat floor. However, headroom isn’t as generous. This 5-foot-10.5-inch reviewer’s scalp was grazing the headliner when he sat in the center position. Drivers will find over-the-shoulder vision impeded by thick rear roof pillars. Looking past a dash design that might be trying a little too hard to appear “dramatic,” there was an impressive distribution of carbon fiber and bright-metal accents around the cabin, plus lots of soft, padded areas, including the console sides. Upholstery was colorful and rich feeling. The big glove box is positioned low enough that it might contact a front passenger’s knees when open. The console box and pockets in each door are small, but there is some open floor-level space under the rising console. A storage pouch is found on the back of each front seat. There are two covered cup holders in the console, and two more molded into the pull-down rear-center armrest.
Manually adjustable 60/40-split rear seats fold fully flat to make more of what’s an accommodating cargo area to begin with. Standard equipment includes a “cargo fence” that adjusts easily on parallel tracks in the floor; it can be used to keep items from sliding around. There is some space in the foam organizer that surrounds the spare tire stored under the floor.
The remixed XT5 lineup has had the effect of addressing one of CG’s earlier criticisms about price. The starting tab for the 2020 Sport is more than 10 grand less than what the AWD V6 Platinum cost in ’19. As such, a strong contender among premium-midsized SUVs becomes stronger yet.
2020 Cadillac XT5 Sport