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Archive for the ‘Cadillac’ Category

PostHeaderIcon 2020 Cadillac CT5 Spied For The First Time

The Cadillac ATS and CTS sedans are not long for this world, and will permanently bite the dust as soon as they reach the end of their production cycle in the next year and a half or so. As such, a fresh four-door replacement dubbed the CT5 is undergoing real-world testing as we speak, as evidenced by this new batch of spy shots.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


2020 Cadillac CT5 Spied For The First Time - image 757696

Back in July, General Motors announced that Cadillac would ditch the ATS and CTS lines in favor of a single model, namely the up-and-coming CT5, ushering in a new era for Caddy’s luxury-stuffed four-doors. Now, we have our hands on the first batch of spy shots to reveal the 2020 Cadillac CT5, showing it in camo’d form out and about on wet, leaf-strewn streets in preparation for a launch sometime next year.

Of course, GM is playing this one rather close to the chest, outfitting the test mule with somebody components intended to throw us off the scent, including a bolstered bodywork in the flanks and a sizable hood scoop to boot. It’s the sort of components that, at first glance, are meant to suggest the this isn’t a Caddy, but rather some kind of upcoming Dodge Charger. However, GM ain’t pulling a fast one this time. We’re on to your game!


2016 Cadillac Escala - image 685454
“The new Cadillac CT5 should take its styling cues from the Cadillac Escala Concept that dropped in 2016, pictured above.”

The new CT5 is reportedly codenamed the A2LL, and will take its styling cues from the Cadillac Escala concept that debuted at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2016.

Features include a coupe-like roofline, which falls into the shortened rear end to create some subtle cab-back proportions along with the extended hoodline. And obviously, it’s impossible to tell exactly what’s going on under all that body wrap and faux padding, but we can still pick out a few details here and there. The nose appears to employ a large, crest-like grille for the central intake, as well as a slimmer lower intake and side intakes as well. The headlights appear quite slim in shape, and look to include LED lighting elements in horizontal lines with outer main projectors. There’s also a pair of side markers just ahead of the front wheels along the inner fender lines.


2020 Cadillac CT5 Spied For The First Time - image 757695
“We expect the CT5 to get the next-generation Alpha platform from General Motors, or more specifically, the long wheelbase iteration”

Under the skin, we expect the CT5 to get the next-generation Alpha platform from General Motors, or more specifically, the long wheelbase iteration. As for the powertrain lineup, the CT5 will use all the familiar engines we’ve seen from Caddy in the past. These will include a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder, a 3.6-liter V-6, and of course, GM’s party piece, a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 for the hot-to-trot V-Series trim line. We’re also expecting a plug-in hybrid version of the 2.0-liter four to drop shortly after the CT5 launches.

As for the rest of the drivetrain, a 10-speed automatic will be used across the board, with performance enthusiasts grabbing the six-speed manual in the V-Series. Both AWD and RWD will be offered (RWD as standard and AWD as an option), while the V-Series will be exclusively RWD.

Production will kick off in Q2 or Q3 of 2019. The CT5 will be built at GM’s plant in Lansing Grand River.

References


2016 Cadillac Escala - image 685455

Read our full review on the 2016 Cadillac Escala Concept.


maker logos - image 749325

Read more Cadillac news.

PostHeaderIcon Cadillac Could Drop the ATS Sedan in 2019 Because Coupes Rule

The Cadillac ATS is a good example of a car that needs a high sales volume in order to remain relevant in a competitive market. The coupe version of the entry-level model has been able to pull its own weight in that regard. Unfortunately, the sedan version hasn’t had as much success. It’s no wonder then that Cadillac appears to be ready to cut ties with this version of the ATS as documents received by The Truth About Cars show that Caddy’s 2019 product lineup will hit the market without the ATS sedan.


2015 Cadillac ATS Sedan - image 559232
“Cadillac sold a combined 21,505 units of the ATS in 2016 – a significant drop from the 38,319 units the American automaker sold in 2013”

This is what happens when a model doesn’t bring anywhere near the sales volume a brand expects. Hard decisions have to be made and based on VIN code documents submitted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; it does look like Caddy’s 2019 lineup will hit the market without the ATS sedan. As surprising as it is to see Caddy drop an important model, the numbers paint a bleak picture for the argument of keeping the ATS sedan.

According to Carsalesbase_data, Cadillac sold a combined 21,505 units of the ATS in 2016. It’s a decent number, but it also represents a significant drop from the 38,319 units the American automaker sold in 2013. Remember, the ATS coupe only arrived in 2015 so all the units of the ATS that Caddy sold four years ago came in sedan body styles. Unfortunately, 2017 has been much worse for the ATS as only around 12,000 units have been sold in the U.S. through November. In November alone, Cadillac sold only 831 ATS models, the lowest number since the model’s first month on the market. That was in September 2012. Unless Santa Claus decides to give 10,000 kids from all over the world with brand-new ATS models, it’s not going to come close to approaching the volume of models that the company sold in what was described as a “disappointing” 2016.


2015 Cadillac ATS Sedan - image 559213
“2017 has been much worse for the ATS as only around 12,000 units have been sold in the U.S. through November.”

The good news is that the coupe version of the ATS will live to see another year, perhaps even a few more. Cadillac didn’t comment on questions about the possible axing of the ATS sedan, but it probably doesn’t need to. The numbers already paint a damning picture of the sedan’s shortcomings. It’s a disappointing turn of events for fans of the ATS, but that’s what happens when you don’t perform. You get sent to the shed.

Fortunately, all’s not lost for Cadillac. The automaker still has plans to be involved in the entry-level sedan market with a new model that will compete against the Mercedes CLA-Class and the Audi A3. In the meantime, it looks like the new CT5 will have to hold down the fort for Caddy.

References

Cadillac ATS


2015 Cadillac ATS Sedan - image 559213

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac ATS.


maker logos - image 749325

Read more Cadillac news.

PostHeaderIcon The Cadillac CTS V-Sport Get’s a Touch of Morello Red

Cadillac has a new special edition for the CTS V-Sport. It’s called the Morello Red Edition, and it’s loaded with a new appearance package that brings new life to Caddy’s lesser-known sports sedan. As it is, the CTS V-Sport often has to take a back seat to the considerably more potent CTS-V. That’s a reality it has to deal with it. The Morello Red Edition aims to change that, and by accounts of what it has going for it, there’s enough exclusivity in the special edition sedan to flip that narrative, at least if you know where to look.

What makes the Morello Red Package spacial


The Cadillac CTS V-Sport Get's a Touch of Morello Red - image 752753
“Morello Red is actually the highlight of the interior trim package, not the actual color of the car”

The first thing we need to talk about is the name. The Cadillac CTS V-Sport gets the Morello Red Edition name by virtue of the infusion of red to the sedan’s interior. Yes, Morello Red is actually the highlight of the interior trim package, not the actual color of the car. Even more confusing, Cadillac is actually offering the red-trim package on a specific CTS V-Sports, specifically those that feature Black Raven, Phantom Gray Metallic, Satin Steel Metallic, and Crystal White Tricoat exterior colors. To be clear, there’s no mention of “red” in any one of those choices. Confused? You’re not alone.

To be fair, Cadillac’s strategy does have some merit to it. There’s something to be said for flipping tradition and using the special edition treatment in the section of the car where owners can really appreciate them when they’re driving. That’s what we have with the CTS V-Sport Morello Red Edition as the interior gets a good amount of exclusive features, including black Recaro seats with red contrast stitching, red armrests on the front and rear doors, and splashes of glossy red carbon fiber trim throughout the cabin.


The Cadillac CTS V-Sport Get's a Touch of Morello Red - image 752752
“The CTS V-Sport Morello Red Edition as the interior gets a good amount of exclusive features, including black Recaro seats with red contrast stitching”

The exterior does get a black chrome-accented grille and a gloss black side window trim. The CTS V-Sport’s base spoiler is also included in the special edition model.

Additionally, CTS V-Sport and CTS V-Sport Premium Luxury versions also get a Performance Exhaust and Engine Cover Package that includes a cutback exhaust system and a red-painted engine cover.

As a whole, the Cadillac CTS V-Sport Morello Red Edition is a different interpretation of what a special edition Caddy should be. Look past the unconventional way Cadillac went about it, and you’ll find enough endearing things about the SE Caddy to justify its status.

References

Cadillac CTS


2017 Cadillac CTS - image 703853

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac CTS.


2016 Cadillac CTS-V - image 599734

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac CTS-V.

PostHeaderIcon The Cadillac CTS V-Sport Gets a Touch of Morello Red

Cadillac has a new special edition for the CTS V-Sport. It’s called the Morello Red Edition, and it’s loaded with a new appearance package that brings new life to Caddy’s lesser-known sports sedan. As it is, the CTS V-Sport often has to take a back seat to the considerably more potent CTS-V. That’s a reality it has to deal with it. The Morello Red Edition aims to change that, and by accounts of what it has going for it, there’s enough exclusivity in the special edition sedan to flip that narrative, at least if you know where to look.

What makes the Morello Red Package spacial


The Cadillac CTS V-Sport Gets a Touch of Morello Red - image 752753
“Morello Red is actually the highlight of the interior trim package, not the actual color of the car”

The first thing we need to talk about is the name. The Cadillac CTS V-Sport gets the Morello Red Edition name by virtue of the infusion of red to the sedan’s interior. Yes, Morello Red is actually the highlight of the interior trim package, not the actual color of the car. Even more confusing, Cadillac is actually offering the red-trim package on a specific CTS V-Sports, specifically those that feature Black Raven, Phantom Gray Metallic, Satin Steel Metallic, and Crystal White Tricoat exterior colors. To be clear, there’s no mention of “red” in any one of those choices. Confused? You’re not alone.

To be fair, Cadillac’s strategy does have some merit to it. There’s something to be said for flipping tradition and using the special edition treatment in the section of the car where owners can really appreciate them when they’re driving. That’s what we have with the CTS V-Sport Morello Red Edition as the interior gets a good amount of exclusive features, including black Recaro seats with red contrast stitching, red armrests on the front and rear doors, and splashes of glossy red carbon fiber trim throughout the cabin.


The Cadillac CTS V-Sport Gets a Touch of Morello Red - image 752752
“The CTS V-Sport Morello Red Edition as the interior gets a good amount of exclusive features, including black Recaro seats with red contrast stitching”

The exterior does get a black chrome-accented grille and a gloss black side window trim. The CTS V-Sport’s base spoiler is also included in the special edition model.

Additionally, CTS V-Sport and CTS V-Sport Premium Luxury versions also get a Performance Exhaust and Engine Cover Package that includes a cutback exhaust system and a red-painted engine cover.

As a whole, the Cadillac CTS V-Sport Morello Red Edition is a different interpretation of what a special edition Caddy should be. Look past the unconventional way Cadillac went about it, and you’ll find enough endearing things about the SE Caddy to justify its status.

References

Cadillac CTS


2017 Cadillac CTS - image 703853

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac CTS.


2016 Cadillac CTS-V - image 599734

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac CTS-V.

PostHeaderIcon Cadillac XT5 – Driven

2017 Cadillac XT5

Cadillac is diligently working on polishing its brand reputation after decades of forgettable cars. Over the last few years, General Motors’ luxury brand has gotten a good start with updates to the ATS and CTS, while launching the all-new and impressive CT6. But, sedans aren’t hot right now – it’s crossovers. Cadillac needed a high-end crossover with classy digs and tons of tech capable of competing with the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and Jaguar F-Pace. That’s where the new XT5 comes in, debuting for the 2017 model year.

The XT5 rides on GM’s new C1XX platform that’s shared with the GMC Acadia. The 2018 Chevrolet Traverse and 2018 Buick Enclave ride on a lengthened version of the C1XX, as well. The new architecture gave Cadillac engineers a clean-sheet start over the outgoing SRX crossover and the ability to bake in better ride characteristics, handling, softened NVH levels, more interior room, and better fuel economy. The icing on the cake is then advanced part-time AWD system with a twin-clutch rear differential capable of active torque vectoring. Not only does it improve all-weather drivability, but it improves handling on dry roads, too. A new V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission complete the important under-hood parts. Tech-savvy customers will love the new CUE system with 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and wireless phone charging. Luxury bits include amazingly comfortable seats, high-end leather, wood and metal accents, and a suede headliner.

I recently spent a week with the 2017 XT5 and can vouch for Caddy’s new crossover. It’s got plenty going for it, but it isn’t perfect. Keep reading to see why.

Continue reading for more on the 2017 Cadillac XT5.

Video

Exterior

  • All-new design but with familiar cues
  • LED headlights
  • 20-inch polished wheels
  • Towing Package
  • Power liftgate
  • Illuminated door handles

2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745026
“The new architecture under the XT5 gave Cadillac designers a clean canvas to work with”

The new architecture under the XT5 gave Cadillac designers a clean canvas to work with. Naturally, brand cues were kept like the V-shaped grille, LED projection-beam headlights with the cascading LED daytime running lights, and the sharp creases on the hood. Those details can be found on the ATS, CTS, and CT6. Even the Escalade shares a few.

The XT5’s overall shape does suggest it’s a front-wheel-drive crossover, which is true. AWD is an option, but more than that, the transversely mounted engine and its surrounding supports dictate a short front clip. Unlike the sexy CT6 and its long, low-slung nose, the XT5 looks more upright and a bit less elegant. This is my biggest aesthetic complaint on the XT5 – its design just isn’t as graceful as it could be.


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745028
“Besides the stubby front end, the rest of the XT5 looks pretty good.”

Besides the stubby front end, the rest of the XT5 looks pretty good. The roof has a very mild slope, which leaves plenty of headroom for rear passengers. That’s a departure from what the competition is doing; there’s a lot to be said for that. Out back, the LED taillights recall the same cascading design seen across the Cadillac lineup, as does the horizontal chrome pieces on the tailgate and bumper. Twin, chrome-tipped exhaust finishers and a removable metal hitch cover finish off the lower bumper in style. The cover also hides a seven-pin trailer wiring connector, too.

My Platinum-trimmed tester rolls on 20-inch, 12-spoke wheels wrapped in all-season tires. Between them, black plastic cladding protects the lower bodywork from rock chips and flying debris. Matched with the Stellar Black Metallic paint, the black plastic is hard to spot at a glance, but other colors contrast more quickly. Illuminated chrome door handles, chrome window trim, and chrome roof rails finish off the XT5’s outward appearance.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 112.5
Length (Inches) 189.5
Height (Inches) 66.0
Width (Inches) 75.0
Track front/rear (Inches) 64.4/64.4

Interior

  • CUE Infotainment system with 8.0-inch touchscreen
  • Customizable 4.2-inch Driver Information screen
  • Full leather seating
  • Suede headliners and trim panels
  • Wood and metal accents
  • 30 cubic feet of cargo behind 2nd row
  • 63 cubic feet of cargo with 40/20/40 2nd row folded
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745050
“Cadillac borrowed heavily from the CT6 sedan when designing the XT5 – and that’s a great thing.”

Cadillac borrowed heavily from the CT6 sedan when designing the XT5. Thankfully, that’s a great thing. The updated CUE, or Cadillac User Experience system, is much-improved with toggle switches controlling the HVAC system and what seems like an improved response from the touch-sensitive slider for the radio volume.

The driver enjoys a rich-feeling, leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood and metal accents and a heated rim. A 4.2-inch driver information display shows tons of information in several configurable layouts while dual analog gauges show speed and engine revs. The 8.0-inch touchscreen in the center stack runs familiar software. Here it’s called the Cadillac CUE, but it’s nearly identical to Chevy’s MyLink and GMC’s IntelliLink software. All three are incredibly intuitive to use. It includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, SiriusXM, and navigation.


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745042
“A 4.2-inch driver information display shows tons of information in several configurable layouts”

Both the driver and front passenger ride on very comfortable and thickly padded front seats. Both have three-way heat and ventilation to keep backsides happy. They do lack massaging – something that’s becoming more common in luxury vehicles these days. Rear seat comfort is excellent, too. The 40/20/40-split bench is nicely padded with reclining backrests, a folding center armrest, and properly raked seat bottoms. There’s ample legroom and headroom. Separate HVAC controls, air vents, USB ports, and a 110-volt household plug all reside on the center console for rear passengers to enjoy.

When it comes to hauling cargo, the XT5 offers 30 cubic feet of room behind the second row and an impressive 63 cubic feet of room with the second row folded flat. An aluminum cargo divider slides along the metal tracks in the floor, giving options as to how space is used.


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745038
“I’d have no problem taking the XT5 on a cross-country trip.”

The overall experience inside the XT5’s cabin is memorable. The materials are high quality and feel well screwed together. There is very little road noise and zero wind noise. The suede-covered dash is a nice touch, though I did find the leather dash gives puts a gnarly reflection on the windshield during the midday sun. Everything else is very commendable. I’d have no problem taking the XT5 on a cross-country trip.

Interior Dimensions

Headroom front/rear (Inches) 39.7/38.4
Legroom
front/rear (Inches)
41.2/39.5
Shoulder front/rear (Inches) 58.3/56.2
Hip room front/rear (Inches) 56.0/54.7
EPA passenger volume (cu ft) 104.5
EPA trunk volume (cu ft) Behind 1st Row: 63
Behind 2nd Row: 30

Drivetrain

  • All-new 3.6-liter V-6
  • 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Part-time AWD system with twin-clutch rear differential
  • Active torque vectoring rear differential
  • 3,500-pound towing capacity
  • 18 mpg city/ 26mpg highway/ 21mpg combined

2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745062
“The engine was completely reworked for the 2016 model year for use in the ATS and CTS.”

Under the hood is an all-new 3.6-liter V-6. I know what you’re thinking – “all new? Doesn’t every Cadillac come with a 3.6-liter?” You’d be right; just about every Caddy besides the Escalade offers the familiar displacement V-6. However, this engine was completely reworked for the 2016 model year for use in the ATS and CTS. It shares almost no parts with the previous 3.6-liter. It’s now got direct fuel injection on top of the variable valve timing and cylinder deactivation seen on the previous engine. Power is up, too, at 310 horsepower at 6,700 rpm and 271 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm.

An eight-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox offered, and it sends power to the front wheels most of the time. Now, the XT5 gets a fancy new part-time AWD system (no, that’s not a type-o) that will send power to the rear driveshaft upon the driver’s command. A button on the center console quickly turns the system on and off. When off, the system completely disengages the rear driveshaft from the transmission to save on fuel. When on, the AWD system works on any road condition and at any speed. The system’s computer quickly responds to traction issues and can send 100 percent of power to the rear tires.


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745065
“The Caddy would likely be unstoppable in snow given a proper set of winter tires.”

More than that, the AWD system’s rear differential unit uses a twin-clutch design to engage each axle half-shaft independently. This is what allows for active torque vectoring around corners. This means the outside rear wheel slightly pushes the vehicle around the turn. The system is also able to send 100 percent of power side to side, meaning either of the rear tires can send all of the engine’s power to the ground. In heavy Florida rains, the XT5 was completely sure-footed and never spun a tire, even with heavy throttle. The Caddy would likely be unstoppable in snow given a proper set of winter tires.

Fuel economy is pretty respectable. The EPA estimates the XT5 AWD to get 18 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. Premium fuel is required, though.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 3.6L V6 VVT DI (LGX)
Cylinder head material cast aluminum
Valvetrain DOHC, four-valves per cylinder, continuously variable valve timing (VVT)
Ignition system coil-on-plug
Fuel delivery direct high-pressure fuel injection
Compression ratio 11.5:1
Horsepower 310 HP @ 6,700 RPM
Torque 271 LB-FT @ 5,000 RPM
Transmission AWF8F45 paddle-shift Eight-Speed Automatic (MRC)

Behind The Wheel


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745058
“The XT5 is comfortable in every aspect.”

The XT5 is comfortable in every aspect. It’s easy to get into; it’s easy to see out of, and it’s easy to drive. The steering feels appropriately weighted without being too heavy to requiring too many turns. Its on-center feel is tight without being twitchy. The throttle and brakes are easy to apply, with both having a smooth, predictable pedal travel.

The comfy front seats and power-adjustable steering column make it easy to get comfortable. Memory setting allows the driver to keep his settings. All-day comfort is very high, making the XT5 an excellent highway burner. Add in the large side mirrors and Head-Up display, and this Caddy just begs to rack up the miles.

Pricing


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745023

The 2017 Cadillac XT5 starts at $40,390. Four trim levels are available: the base XT5, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum. The Luxury trim starts at $48,790; the Premium luxury starts at $55,790; and the Platinum starts at $63,890. The base trim only comes with FWD and the range-topping Platinum only comes in AWD. The middle two trims have the option of FWD or AWD.

My tester came with a few optional extras, too. The $2,340 Driver Assist Package adds adaptive cruise control, auto-tightening seat belts, automatic collision braking, front and rear automatic braking, and the Automatic Park Assist feature. There is also the $575 trailering equipment and the $350 compact spare tire that replaces the tire goo and air compressor. Add on the $995 destination fee, and the total comes to $67,155.

The Competition

2018 Audi Q5


2017 Audi Q5 - image 690295

The Audi Q5 is completely new for 2018 and is lighter, more stylish, and more techie than before, while still holding onto its Germanic background and familiar yet modern Audi character. The Q5 has become nearly omnipresent these days, so it’s clear Audi is doing something right. The new model expands on that in all the right ways. The 2018 Q5 features Audi’s optional Virtual Cockpit, a large infotainment screen with Audi’s latest MMI software, and a modern interior.

Under the hood is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. It’s sent through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to the Quattro AWD system. The Q5’s 4,100-pound curb weight is a couple hundred pounds less than the XT5, meaning the 2.0-liter perfectly peppy. The sprint to 60 mph comes in 5.8 seconds, which is quicker than the XT5’s 6.6-second run. Fuel economy is EPA-estimated at 23 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. Those who want more power can opt for the SQ5 with its 354 horsepower turbocharged V-6.

Prices for the 2018 Q5 start at $41,500 and will grow beyond $57,000 with all the options added to the Prestige trim.

Read our full review on the 2018 Audi Q5.

2017 Jaguar F-Pace


2017 Jaguar F-Pace - image 645923

In the same vein of sporty crossovers, Jaguar has its new F-Pace. It offers the same levels of luxury as its popular sedans, but in a higher-riding, more all-weather capable package. Naturally, the F-Pace comes in several flavors and with six trims to choose from. Niceties include Meridian sound systems, Jaguar’s infotainment system, and tons of optional features.

The standard engine is a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 247 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. There’s also a high-output version with 296 horsepower. Diesel fans will love the 2.0-liter turbodiesel with 180 horses and 318 pound-feet of torque. Those wanting performance should go for the familiar 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 found in other Jaguar Land Rover products. Here it makes 380 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque in the F-Pace S trim. All trims and engines come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and AWD.

Prices start at $42,065 for the 2.0-liter gasoline engine. Getting a diesel model requires $46,275 and the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6 takes $59,775.

Read our full review on the 2017 Jaguar F-Pace.

Conclusion


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745030

The XT5 is great at being a plush, luxurious, living room on wheels, but its competition goes about things differently. The Audi, Mercedes, and Jag all have sportier personalities that might appeal to a younger buyer. The XT5 is more passive when it comes to carving corners and blasting up Interstate on-ramps. Its luxury-first approach might make the XT5 appear dull and unathletic by comparison.

But in my view, that’s what makes the XT5 good. It doesn’t try being something it’s not. The XT5 is different, and I’m betting plenty of people want comfort over performance. I’ve got to give credit to Cadillac for that. The XT5 directly appeals to the classic Cadillac spirit of premium luxury without being too geriatric. Any Millennial or Gen-Xer should be more than proud to be seen behind the wheel. So sure, he XT5 takes the old-school Caddy approach of luxury over sport, but executed the idea rather well and without alienating any generation of customer. That’s a big win for Cadillac.

Now I’m left looking forward to what other XT-branded crossovers Caddy has up its sleeve. Perhaps an XT3 or XT4 will take the sporty approach to better compete against the Audi SQ5 and Mercedes-AMG GLC63, while the XT6 or XT7 might give the Land Rover Range Rover and Bentley Bentayga a run for their money

  • Leave it
    • Front end looks overweight
    • Luxury-focused in a sports-focused segment
    • Gets expensive with options

References


2017 Cadillac XT5 – Driven - image 745027

The 2017 XT5 Succeeds At Being A Cadillac


How It Works: The 2017 Cadillac XT5's AWD System - image 743169

How It Works: The 2017 Cadillac XT5’s AWD System


Cadillac Fixed CUE For The XT5 - image 742588

Cadillac Fixed CUE for the XT5

Cadillac XT5


2017 Cadillac XT5 - image 645340

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac XT5.

PostHeaderIcon The 2017 XT5 Succeeds At Being A Cadillac

The 2017 XT5 Succeeds At Being A Cadillac

Forget your grandfather’s 1985 Cadillac DeVille and even your neighbor’s 2011 DTS; the 2017 XT5 is the best iteration of the Cadillac spirit since the big fins and acres of chrome on the 1959 Eldorado. Sitting inside is where that feeling originates. The materials, the fit and finish, the in-dash technology, and the overall appearance impart a sense of luxury not found in prior generations.

The XT5 is completely new for 2017. Its clean-sheet architecture gave engineers the ability to bake in added comforts and features not seen Caddy’s previous crossovers. There’s an honestly new 3.6-liter V-6, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and the techie part-time AWD system. But beyond the mechanics and greasy bits, the XT5’s interior simply feels a cut above. I recently spent time in a 2017 CTS-V – the 640-horsepower monster with the bones of Chevy Camaro ZL1. While it was insanely powerful, it can’t match the XT5 for luxury. Granted, the CTS-V’s aim isn’t to coddle, so I’ll give it a partial pass. Still, the XT5 just feels incredibly plush.

Continue reading for more opinions on the 2017 Cadillac XT5.

  • The XT5 shares interior themes with the CT6 sedan
  • Improved controls with CUE system
  • Classy materials add a rich feel
  • 8.0-inch Infotainment screen
  • 4.2-inch Driver Information Display
  • Color head-up display
  • Reclining rear seats
  • Heated and vented front seats
  • Adjustable aluminum cargo partition
  • The XT5 is based on GM’s C1XX artchitecture
  • All-new 3.6-liter V-6
  • 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Part-time AWD system
  • 18 mpg city / 26 mpg hwy / 21 mpg combined
  • 5-Star NHTSA overall crash rating
  • Pricing from $39,395 to $70,000+

A New Time For Cadillac


The 2017 XT5 Succeeds At Being A Cadillac - image 743978
“Luxury can be defined by the utter usefulness and convenience something offers, not just how high-tech it is.”

The XT5 does share many of its internal materials with other Cadillacs and General Motors products, but a few key differences set it apart. The CUE system has been reworked to make its operation simpler. Toggle switches now control the main HVAC functions and only one “slider,” for the radio volume, remains. Even it feels easier to use than the CTS-V’s. See, luxury can be defined by the utter usefulness and convenience something offers, not just how high-tech it is or what material it’s made from. Simple is better, at least when it comes to a user interface.

Thankfully, the XT5 isn’t alone in this. The CT6 sedan, which debuted for the 2016 model year, also shares much of the XT5’s interior, including the new CUE system. I’m hoping to see Cadillac adopt this system (or something even better) on future vehicles.

As for the materials, things are impressive inside the XT5 Platinum, the range-topping trim offered on this crossover. It features suede on the headliner, on the dash, and on the door panels. The rest of the dash is covered in real leather, wood, and metal. Panel fitment is well done. Gaps are tight and annoying noises are completely absent. The heated and vented front seats provide hours of happy riding and the power-tilt and telescope steering column makes it easy to find the perfect driving position.


The 2017 XT5 Succeeds At Being A Cadillac - image 743999
“The heated and vented front seats provide hours of happy riding.”

I do have a couple complaints, though. The cream-colored leather dash does create a pretty annoying glare on the windshield during the mid-day and the electronic gear shifter doesn’t provide the most intuitive or enjoyable user experience. I also wish the cubby hole below the HVAC controls was about two inches deeper to accommodate larger cell phones. Lastly, I’m not the biggest fan of the XT5’s exterior. Its proportions feel bloated. I think it boils down to the front fascia’s low-hanging chin. The XT5’s front third just looks overweight. That’s a complete departure from the CT6 sedan, which is one of the sexiest sedans on the road today thanks to its low hood and angular lines that borrow from no one. But that’s another topic.


The 2017 XT5 Succeeds At Being A Cadillac - image 743991
“The cream-colored leather dash does create a pretty annoying glare on the windshield during the mid-day.”

When it comes to sitting in the back, Cadillac doesn’t treat you as second-class passengers. There is generous leg and headroom. The seats are well padded and can be reclined. Separate HVAC controls reside between the front seats and separate air vents make controlling airflow a breeze.

The XT5 is good at hauling cargo, too. My tester has the adjustable cargo bar that slides along the integrated floor rails. Moving it is simple and keeps your golf equipment from clubbing your groceries. A power liftgate makes for easy access, too. The rear seats are actually split 40/20/40 style, allowing each of the three seats to fold individually. That’s not a common feature these days, even in crossovers.

All told, the XT5 (along with the CT6) is a vast step forward for Cadillac’s interior quality and mind for luxury. It certainly feels worthy of the $67,155 MSRP attached to my tester.

What do you think? Do you like the Cadillac XT5? Would you buy this over the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, or even the Jaguar F-Pace? Let me know in the comments.

References


How It Works: The 2017 Cadillac XT5's AWD System - image 743169

How It Works: The 2017 Cadillac XT5’s AWD System


Cadillac Fixed CUE For The XT5 - image 742588

Cadillac Fixed CUE for the XT5

Cadillac XT5


2017 Cadillac XT5 - image 645340

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac XT5.

PostHeaderIcon How It Works: The 2017 Cadillac XT5’s AWD System

The 2017 XT5 is Cadillac’s clean-sheet crossover designed to compete against some stiff competition that includes the Audi Q5 and Mercedes GLE. Part of its secret sauce is its fancy all-wheel-drive system. Unlike most AWD systems, the XT5’s is actually a part-time system, meaning the driver can turn the system off manually. A Simple button near the gear shifter toggles through three modes – Tour, AWD, and Sport. In Tour, only the front wheels get power. The biggest advantage is fuel economy, of course, but I’ve found the FWD mode also heightens the liveliness of the 3.6-liter V-6 thanks to less parasitic loss in the driveline.

Being able to turn the AWD system on and off is a big deal, but it’s not the system’s crowning achievement. Rather, it’s the true torque vectoring abilities that help in vehicle control, both on slippery and dry surfaces. This isn’t some brake-activated cheater system, either. It uses a twin-clutch pack to progressively and precisely dial in the amount of power each axle gets. It’s pretty impressive, so let’s dive in.

Continue reading for more on the 2017 Cadillac XT5’s AWD system.

AWD With A PhD


How It Works: The 2017 Cadillac XT5's AWD System - image 743167
“Cadillac gets its AWD system from GKN, a third-party supplier known for its driveline components”

Cadillac gets its AWD system from GKN, a third-party supplier known for its driveline components. Within GKN, the XT5’s AWD system, specifically the rear differential unit, is known as the Twinster due to its twin-clutch design. The Twinster system is also used in some other highbrow applications, too, including the Range Rover Evoque and Ford Focus RS. Yep, the same Focus RS with its crazy drift mode and outlandish grip uses nearly the same rear drive system as the XT5.

But back to the Caddy.

Let’s start from the top. Powering the 2017 XT5 is Cadillac’s new 3.6-liter V-6 also found in the ATS and CTS sedans. The all-new V-6 uses cylinder deactivation, variable valve timing on it dual overhead cams, direct fuel injection, and automatic start/stop. The engine makes 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque. Backing the V-6 is GM’s eight-speed automatic transmission. The XT5 uses a transverse powertrain layout, meaning the front wheels are the default recipients of power.


How It Works: The 2017 Cadillac XT5's AWD System - image 743166
“The all-new V-6 uses cylinder deactivation, variable valve timing on it dual overhead cams, direct fuel injection, and automatic start/stop”

The XT5 AWD is optional on the Luxury and Premium Luxury trims, standard on the range-topping Platinum, and not available on the base XT5. When optional, the AWD system adds $2,500 to the MSRP.

The AWD system originates at the transmission’s PTO, or power take-off. This coupling is where the magic happens with turning the AWD system on and off. When the driver toggles through the drive modes, the coupler will either connect or disconnect the rear driveshaft from the transmission. That means when in FWD mode, none of the rear drivetrain components are spinning. This improves fuel economy by reducing the parasitic losses within the drivetrain. FWD mode is also exclusively FWD, meaning even if the front tires lose grip, the rear tires won’t kick in.

By activating the AWD system, the rear driveshaft sends power to the GKN Twinster differential unit. The differential is electronically controlled and uses a high-pressure hydraulic pump to actuate the twin clutches. The system receives input from the XT5’s stability management and traction control systems in order to dial out the right amount of torque to each axle.


How It Works: The 2017 Cadillac XT5's AWD System - image 743169
“The rear drive system is capable of getting 100 percent of the engine’s power and delivering up to 100 percent of torque to one wheel.”

The rear drive system is capable of getting 100 percent of the engine’s power and delivering up to 100 percent of torque to one wheel. What that means in slippery conditions like rain, snow, mud, or even ice is the tire with the most grip will be the most power. Even laterally between tires – say if the XT5 is parked on a soft shoulder with its right tires on slippery grass and the left tires are on the road. The system will detect the wheel slip, adjust the clutches, and send power to the tire with the most grip, all nearly instantly and without the driver having to do anything more than just having the system turned on.


How It Works: The 2017 Cadillac XT5's AWD System - image 743168
“The rear drive unit will send more power to the outside wheel, which creates a yaw effect on the XT5, essentially giving the vehicle a push around the turn.”

The AWD system also has benefits in the dry. That torque vectoring aspect comes into play when turning. The rear drive unit will send more power to the outside wheel, which creates a yaw effect on the XT5, essentially giving the vehicle a push around the turn. This makes for spectacular handling, even despite the XT5’s tall stance and 4,350-pound curb weight.

As for the noticeable driving characteristics, I can definitely feel when the AWD is engaged. The V-6 feels just slightly more taxed, and it doesn’t rev quite as quickly. The normal person who isn’t paying attention won’t feel a thing while appreciating the added stability and traction. Throw on a set of good winter tires, and I’d bet the XT5 would scamper through the worst conditions imaginable.

Check back with TopSpeed for more info and the full review of the 2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum.

References


Cadillac Fixed CUE For The XT5 - image 742588

Cadillac Fixed CUE for the XT5

Cadillac XT5


2017 Cadillac XT5 - image 645340

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac XT5.

PostHeaderIcon Cadillac Fixed CUE For The XT5

The Cadillac User Experience, or CUE system, has been dragged through the dirt for not being easy to use. Specifically, it’s the touch-sensitive radio and HVAC controls that leave critics in a bad mood. Cadillac models like the ATS, CTS, and even the Escalade all have nearly identical CUE systems that require sliding a finger across gloss-black plastic to adjust the radio volume and pressing on invisible buttons marked only with labels. Well, apparently Cadillac heard the complaints and decided to address the issue.

The 2017 Cadillac XT5 crossover I’m driving this week has an updated version of the CUE system – with actual buttons! In fact, the center stack is far simpler in design and feels less cluttered. The XT5’s HVAC system has chrome toggle switches that control fan speed and temperatures for the dual zones. Yes, other features like the heated and vented seats, defrost, and recirculation functions still rely on the invisible buttons, but their operation seems improved. The same is true with the radio slider. Yeah, it’s still there, but it somehow isn’t as frustrating to use as the one in the 2017 Cadillac CTS-V I tested a few weeks back.

Continue reading for more information.

Impressive Infotainment


Cadillac Fixed CUE For The XT5 - image 742589
“The 8.0-inch touchscreen runs similar software to the Chevrolet MyLink and GMC IntelliLink system”

Despite gripes about the CUE system’s touch-sensitive buttons on other models, the infotainment portion of the Cadillac User Experience is absolutely fantastic. The 8.0-inch touchscreen runs similar software to the Chevrolet MyLink and GMC IntelliLink system. All three are incredibly easy to use and have intuitive menus and features. The home screen icons can be moved around, and things like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, the weather, live traffic, SMS texting, and 4G LTE Wi-Fi all make the experience a memorable one.

And besides the XT5 crossover, Cadillac’s updated CUE system can be found in the CT6 sedan. You can read my review on that car here.

References

Cadillac XT5


2017 Cadillac XT5 - image 645340

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac XT5.

PostHeaderIcon Cadillac CTS-V – Driven

This isn’t your grandfather’s Cadillac. Nope, this is the third-generation CTS-V – a 640-horsepower, rear-wheel drive sports sedan with cutting-edge technology under the skin and looks to kill. Oh, and it also hits 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds and goes 200 mph. It rivals the best Germany has to offer, such as the Audi RS7, Mercedes-AMG E63 S, and Porsche Panamera Turbo. This Caddy might not match the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat for horsepower, but it definitely has more class.

I recently spent a week living with the 2017 Cadillac CTS-V, doing everything from grocery store runs and idling in the parent pickup line at the kiddo’s school to launching the blacked-out sedan down open blacktop as the 1.7-liter roots-type supercharger screamed atop its 6.2-liter small block V-8. There’s no doubt the CTS-V is a riot when it comes to performance, but just how good is it at being a Cadillac?

Continue reading for the full review of the Cadillac CTS-V.

Exterior


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737437
“Dark, menacing with only a few touches of chrome define this CTS-V’s theme”

Dark, menacing with only a few touches of chrome define this CTS-V’s theme. Yeah, Cadillac offers several other color options, but the black-on-black look suits it well. Much of the blackness is credited to the Carbon Black Package, a $6,950 option that brings 19-inch “Midnight Dark” alloy wheels, the black chrome-accented grille, and a slew of carbon fiber both inside and out. Outside, this includes the carbon fiber hood vent, carbon fiber front splitter, and the carbon fiber rear diffuser, and the tall, carbon fiber rear spoiler.

About the only bright trim on this CTS-V is the Cadillac badge, the headlights, the V-Series badge on the front fender, the door handles, the trim around the windows, and the bar atop the license plate.


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737435
“The CTS-V has some serious aerodynamics improvement over the standard CTS”

Aside from its color, the CTS-V has some serious aerodynamics improvement over the standard CTS. The front splitter, the larger grille, the heat extractors, the underbody panels, and the rear diffuser all help manager airflow to achieve that 200-mph V-max. And yes, everything is functional. That’s especially true up front where seven heat exchangers hid behind the bumper and grille. Each has something it cools, from the main radiator for the V-8 and the intercooler for the supercharger to the rear differential and transmission. Functionality is a big part of the CTS-V’s design.

Exterior Dimensions

Wheelbase (Inches) 114.6
Length (Inches) 197.6
Height (Inches) 57.2
Width (Inches) 72.2
Track front/rear (Inches) 62.1/61.2

Interior


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737415
“The outside might be functional, but the interior is slightly less so”

The outside might be functional, but the interior is slightly less so. I found the CUE infotainment system frustrating to use. The 8.0-inch display is slower to respond to fingertip touches than other GM 8.0-inch systems, and the HVAC and radio controls are just overly complex and solve a problem that didn’t exist. A set of classy yet traditionally functional controls would go a long way to making the CVT-V (and even the standard CTS) a more livable luxury sedan.

Besides the finicky controls, the CTS-V lives up to its hype. It has room for five people and a sizable trunk. The back seats are large enough for adults to get comfy and the secondary HVAC controls and air vents let rear passengers set their own temperature and fan speed. The system can also be controlled from up front so parents can manage the kid’s cooling.


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737420
“The seats are impressively adjustable, offering control over the thigh and back bolsters, lumbar, height, and rake”

My tester came with the optional $2,300 Recaro front bucket seats with suede microfiber inserts. The seats are impressively adjustable, offering control over the thigh and back bolsters, lumbar, height, and rake. They would be perfect for the track thanks to their grippy surface. On the daily, though, I found the suede inserts and thick bolster do a better job at trapping heat. Sadly, the Recaros don’t offer ventilation, only heating. The wife says that function works wonderfully.

The CTS-V also boasts a swanky digital gauge cluster that is configurable with three main themes and more than a two dozen combinations of ancillary gauges and vehicle parameters. Being a proper GM track monster, it has a G meter, a lap timing, and the Performance Data Recorder with the HD camera mounted just ahead of the rearview mirror. Slide in a memory card and the PRD will record your driving and overlay information like speed, rpm, g-forces, and lap times.

Interior Dimensions

Legroom front/rear (Inches) 45.7/35.4
Headroom front/rear (Inches) 40.4/37.5
Shoulder room front/rear (Inches) 56.9/54.8
Hip room
front/rear (Inches)
53.8/53.3

Drivetrain


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737423
“The all-aluminum small-block boasts 640 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 630 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm”

The heart of the Cadillac CTS-V is its engine. This is GM’s LT4 V-8 and is the same supercharged, 6.2-liter engine found in the Corvette Z06 and Camaro ZL1. Unfortunately, Cadillac falls below Corvette and Camaro in GM’s pecking order, so its LT4 is 10 horsepower and 20 pound-feet short of the Chevys. Regardless, that still leaves the Cadillac with world-class power.

The all-aluminum small-block boasts 640 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 630 pound-feet of torque at 3,600 rpm. And just like every small-block Chevy since 1955, it uses a single camshaft located inside the block and uses pushrods to operate the two valves over each cylinder. Of course, the LT4 is a member of GM’s fifth-generation small-block, meaning it has direct fuel injection, variable valve timing, and cylinder deactivation. These features certainly contribute to the Cadillac CTS-V having an EPA-estimated highway mileage of 21 mpg. That is very respectable for a V-8 with more than 600 horsepower.


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737424
“This 4,129-pound car will hit 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, rip through the quarter-mile in only 11.8 seconds at 124 mph, and continue pulling until it hits 200 mph”

GM’s 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission also helps in fuel conservation, while also keeping the V-8 spinning in its power band during spirited driving. The transmission can also be controlled manually via paddle shifters. Power is sent rearward to an electronically controlled limited-slip differential. The smart diff manages the twist well, alternating power between the tires to maintain traction down to the millisecond. The eLSD works in conjunction with the traction control and drive modes to provide the best power-to-the ground possible. Disable the traction control, though, and you’ll instantly morph the massive Michelins into puffy clouds of expensive smoke.

The drivetrain isn’t the only tech keeping the CTS-V running right. The sedan has GM’s Magnetic Ride Control – those fluid-filled dampers that constantly adapt to changing road conditions and offer a range of ride stiffness that correlates to the drive modes. Just as in the Corvette and Camaro, the MRC works incredibly well, though I do wish Cadillac would make Comfort Mode a bit less firm. The same goes for the transmission’s shifts; the car remains too high-strung and acts like a Greyhound yanking at its leash even around town.

Small critiques aside, the nitty-gritty numbers don’t lie when it comes to the CTS-V’s performance. Provided it’s launched well and the 295-series Michelin Pilot Super Sport rear tires hook up, this 4,129-pound car will hit 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds, rip through the quarter-mile in only 11.8 seconds at 124 mph, and continue pulling until it hits 200 mph. Road-holding is equally good, with a 1.0-g held on the skidpad and braking from 60 mph in an eye-popping 99 feet. These are supercar numbers from a four-door Cadillac!

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 6.2L supercharged V-8
Displacement (cu in / cc) 376 / 6,162
Bore & stroke (in / mm) 4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92
Horsepower 640 HP @ 6,400 RPM
Torque 630 LB-FT @ 3,600 RPM
Transmission 8L90 eight-speed automatic
0 to 60 mph 3.7 seconds
Top Speed 200 mph

Behind the Wheel


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737419
“The CTS-V is an absolute blast to drive fast”

The CTS-V is an absolute blast to drive fast. Its supercharged V-8 never runs out of steam on any road short of a drag strip. Its steering is quick and precise. It’s Brembo brakes (six-piston up front, four out back) do an amazing job stopping the car, regardless of speed. Even outward visibility is good, lending to a good sense of control from behind the suede-wrapped wheel.

But not everything is perfect with the CTS-V. Like I mentioned the car doesn’t feel satisfied tooling around town. It wants to move. It wants to dance. The rumble of the exhaust and whine of the supercharger are constant reminders of the 640 horses living under that carbon fiber hood. Worse still, (and I can’t believe I’m saying this…) the CTS-V is just too powerful to enjoy on public roads. That sweet V-8 wants to rev, but anything past half throttle either has the tires spinning or speed limits getting completely blown away. It’s like having bulldozer and only using it to build sandcastles. I guess that’s why they say, “it’s more fun to drive a slow car quickly than a quick car slowly.” But don’t let my personal temptations bar you from wanting this car. I just need to scratch the itch on a proper racetrack.


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737421
“The suspension is a bit too firm, and the transmission’s shifts are far too harsh”

The only (slightly more) objective criticism is the CTS-V’s Comfort Mode. I alluded to it before, but the car still feels hyped up even when this drive mode is selected. The suspension is a bit too firm, and the transmission’s shifts are far too harsh. In Sport Mode, it’s great, but sometimes I like to enjoy a peaceful drive with the wife without getting kicked in the pants by a tranny.

Nevertheless, the CTS-V is definitely on my short-list of most fun car I’ve driven and I’d buy one in a heartbeat if I had money to blow. Speaking of that…

Pricing


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Without all the fancy stuff, the 2017 Cadillac CTS has a base price of $46,990. That’s not bad considering it’s rivals. Caddy will happily sell you a soft, luxury-lined model with all the bells and whistles without any of the sporty stuff starting at $60,190 for the Premium Luxury trim. There’s also the V-Sport model with a 420-horsepower twin-turbo V-6 for $61,690 or $71,790 with the Premium Luxury package added. But none of these compare to the CTS-V for raw power and sinister looks.

The 2017 CTS-V starts at $86,990. For that, you get the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8, eight-speed auto, magnetic ride control, limited-slip rear differential, Brembo brakes, all the functional aero bits, the digital gauge cluster, CUE, and full leather seats with heating and venting up front. My tester was filled to the brim with options, though, including the $6,950 Carbon Black Package. That brings the exterior carbon fiber pieces, the interior carbon fiber trim, suede steering wheel and shifter, and black wheels.


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737432

The $2,075 Luxury Package adds the Rear Camera Mirror, tri-zone climate controls, split rear seat with armrest and heated outboard seats, the power rear sunshade and manual side window shades, and a 110-volt power outlet. Then there’s the $2,300 Recaro front buckets, $1,600 Performance Data Recorder, and $1,450 panoramic moonroof. Last but not least is the Dark Gold paint on the Brembo calipers for $595.

Tack on the $1,000 gas-guzzler tax and $995 destination charges, and my tester totals out to $103,260

Competition

2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S


2017 Mercedes-AMG E63 - image 693198

The AMG E63 S is just as beastly as the Cadillac, though it goes about life a bit differently. As a whole, the car is more luxury-minded thanks to an absolutely gorgeous interior that easily outdoes the CTS-V’s and an exterior that’s a bit more reserved.

Power comes from a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 with 603 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 627 pound-feet of torque at only 2,500 rpm. It might be slightly down on power compared to the CTS-V, but thanks to 4Matic AWD, the E63 S puts the power down more predictably. A nine-speed automatic mediates relations between the all-aluminum, direct-injected V-8 and the stick rubber. Performance numbers are impressive, with 60 mph coming in only 3.2 seconds and the quarter-mile happening in 11.5 seconds. Interestingly, the Merc’s top speed, when not governed at 155 mph, is “only” 186 mph. Perhaps the CTS-V’s extra bodywork really does pay off.

The Mercedes-AMG E63 S makes the Cadillac CTS-V seem like a bargain when it comes to pricing, though. The Merc starts at $104,400 and will quickly soar when extra options.

Read our full review on the 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S.

2018 BMW M5


2018 BMW M5 - image 727588

The M5 is a staple in the performance luxury segment and has been for decades. Now for 2018, the M5 has a fresh face, an updated interior, a more powerful engine, the addition of AWD, and the subtraction of a manual transmission. While those last two items might make purists sad, the Bavaria’s latest is no slouch or ho-hum sedan.

The familiar 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 returns but makes 600 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. Though lower than the others, the torque peaks at only 1,800 rpm and stays strong till 5.700 rpm where horsepower immediately takes over and lasts till 6,600 rpm. An eight-speed automatic transmission does the shifting and a part-time (no, not a type-o) AWD system. Yes, you can turn the AWD system off should you decided to drift the M5 with its Drift Mode setting on. Normal operation has the AWD system constantly engaged. BMW says the 2018 M5 will hit 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and onto a top speed of 189 mph. Looks like the Caddy is still the fastest of the bunch.

As of this writing, BMW hasn’t released the price for the 2018 M5, but we expect it to start around $100,000.

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M5.

Conclusion


2017 Cadillac CTS-V – Driven - image 737398

The 2017 Cadillac CTS-V is a helluva car. With a good ole fashioned Chevy small-block V-8 under the hood making a class-leading 640 horsepower thanks to a supercharger, this American monster is able to truly fight off its global rivals. Its armor is made of carbon fiber and is lined with microfiber suede. It’s surname has history and it’s battling to clear the Cadillac crest of past sins. There’s no doubt Cadillac has come a long way in recent years, but there is still more work to be done. Nevertheless, Caddy is on the right track. Now, if people would just start buying them.

  • Leave it
    • Transmision isn’t the smoothest
    • Recaro seats make me hot
    • Expensive options

References

Cadillac CTS


2017 Cadillac CTS - image 703853

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac CTS.


2016 Cadillac CTS-V - image 599734

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac CTS-V.

PostHeaderIcon Even Cadillac’s Key Feels High-Class

This past week has seen a rather swanky 2017 Cadillac CTS-V in my driveway. While there is much to talk about with this 640-horsepower, four-door bullet and the way it muscles itself to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and onto a top speed of 200 mph, it’s still a Cadillac at the day’s end. As such, the small things matter. Little touches of luxury and flare are important, with even the smallest detail adding to the overall impression of the car. That’s why I’m so impressed with the Cadillac’s key fob. It just feels right in my hand.

Sure, its guts are plastic, but the outer rim is chromed metal that provides a nice weight to the key. Soft rubber covers the front and back side, making it easy to grip. The key’s overall shape is slightly curved to fit the palm of your hand. The buttons are both easy to see at a glance and easy to remember where they are. V-shaped ridges and a crease down the center help you easily locate the buttons without looking. This makes in-pocket operations very easy. Then again, since the Caddy has a keyless enter and go system, you never have to take the key out of your pocket.

There is one exception, though. The Cadillac has remote starting. By pressing the lock button twice and the ignition button once, the 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 V-8 will roar to life. Being near the trunk is the best place to enjoy its startup bark, anyway.

Now, I’ve seen plenty of automakers use high-end keys to impart the feeling of luxury to the driver before ever opening the door. Still others fail miserably and provide a dull, cheap-feeling key fob that only detracts from an otherwise fine vehicle. Cadillac just got it right with both the shape and materials it uses. In other words, the key is befitting to a $100,000 luxury car.

What’s your favorite key fobs? How about your least favorite? Let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to include some photos!

References

Cadillac CTS


2017 Cadillac CTS - image 703853

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac CTS.


2016 Cadillac CTS-V - image 599734

Read our full review on the 2017 Cadillac CTS-V.


The Cadillac CTS-V Is The Camaro ZL1 For Gentlemen - image 737400

Read more personal thoughts on the 2017 Cadillac CTS-V.

PostHeaderIcon Quick Comparison – BMW M5 Vs. Cadillac CTS-V

The new BMW M5 has arrived, boasting a boatload of power, oodles of luxury, the traditional German refinement, and even a performance AWD system that’ll go full Gymkhana-RWD-smoke-machine at the touch of a button. Sweet. So then, it seems like all the stuff you’d expect, plus a ‘lil extra on top, right? Should be about right for anyone looking for superlative performance in a high-status package – a.k.a., the standard M5 owner. But here’s the thing – the Bavarians aren’t alone anymore. The luxury performance four-door segment has more than a few tempting options on hand at the moment – take, for example, the Cadillac CTS-V, a tire-shredding monster with every intention of toppling the Teutonic status quo. Both rock sports car specs, plus acres of hide and top-shelf opulence. So how do they line up?

To find out, we dug into the info sheets and laid it all on the table. In this quick comparison, we take a look at the exterior, interior, drivetrain, and prices for both, drawing a few conclusions on the way. Is the Caddy the new king, or can Bimmer reassert its dominance?

Continue reading for a quick comparison between the BMW M5 and Cadillac CTS-V.

PostHeaderIcon Quick Comparison – BMW M5 Vs. Cadillac CTS-V

The new BMW M5 has arrived, boasting a boatload of power, oodles of luxury, the traditional German refinement, and even a performance AWD system that’ll go full Gymkhana-RWD-smoke-machine at the touch of a button. Sweet. So then, it seems like all the stuff you’d expect, plus a ‘lil extra on top, right? Should be about right for anyone looking for superlative performance in a high-status package – a.k.a., the standard M5 owner. But here’s the thing – the Bavarians aren’t alone anymore. The luxury performance four-door segment has more than a few tempting options on hand at the moment – take, for example, the Cadillac CTS-V, a tire-shredding monster with every intention of toppling the Teutonic status quo. Both rock sports car specs, plus acres of hide and top-shelf opulence. So how do they line up?

To find out, we dug into the info sheets and laid it all on the table. In this quick comparison, we take a look at the exterior, interior, drivetrain, and prices for both, drawing a few conclusions on the way. Is the Caddy the new king, or can Bimmer reassert its dominance?

Continue reading for a quick comparison between the BMW M5 and Cadillac CTS-V.

PostHeaderIcon Cadillac CTS-V Glacier Metallic Edition

First introduced in 2002 as a successor to the Opel Omega-based Catera, the Cadillac CTS is already offered in its third-generation version. Updated in 2016 after three years on the market, the CTS spawned a new V version, powered by the supercharged, 6.2-liter V-8 found in the Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Quicker and more powerful than ever, the current CTS-V finally has everything it needs to give its German competition a run for the money, and with the latest BMW M5 having received an AWD system, it remains the only performance offering with rear-wheel-drive. With Cadillac celebrating its 115th anniversary in August 2017, the CTS-V gained a limited-edition version with special features.

Dubbed Glacier Metallic Edition, it’s limited to only 115 units and comes standard with both the Carbon Fiber and the Luxury packages. It also sports a bespoke exterior color and added equipment inside the cabin. It’s essentially a loaded CTS-V without any special features (outside the paint of course), but it’s exactly what limited-edition Caddys have been about in recent years. The Glacier Metallic Edition is already available at dealers, so if you want one, make sure you grab it before it’s too late.

Continue reading to learn more about the Cadillac CTS-V Glacier Metallic Edition.

PostHeaderIcon Cadillac CTS-V Wagon

The Cadillac CTS was introduced back in 2002 as a replacement for the Opel Omega-based Catera, and since 2013 it’s being sold in its third-generation version. Much like its predecessors, the current CTS is also available in a performance-oriented CTS-V version. On the flipside, both the coupe and wagon were cancelled for the third-gen model, and there’s no sign that they will return anytime soon. But what if Cadillac would change its mind and produce a high-performance grocery getter?

I’m obviously talking about the CTS-V Wagon, the shortest lived version of the nameplate. First introduced in 2011, the CTS-V Wagon survived only until 2014, when Cadillac decided to axe it due to demand. The death of the CTS Wagon also marked the end of the last mid-size luxury wagon built in the United States, leaving only the Mercedes-Benz E-Class to compete in this niche. More recently, the Merc was joined by the new Volvo V90, but needless to say, wagon enthusiasts still don’t have too many options to choose from. So maybe it’s time Cadillac revives the CTS Wagon in both standard and V performance guises, especially with an updated third-gen sedan already in dealerships?

Continue reading to learn more about the Cadillac CTS-V Wagon.

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Six Hours of the Glen – Race Report

This year’s Watkins Glen Six Hours was a race to remember with many plot twists and a story of attrition at the top that somewhat echoes that of this year’s Le Mans. Cadillac still won, however, not with the usual culprits and there were more stories down the order – including many awesome one-off liveries since July 4th is around the corner. The margin for pole in qualifying was only 0.162 seconds. The men battling out at the sharp end for the pole, Pipo Derani and Olivier Pla, were not Cadillac drivers as the Dallara-based machines had been hit by another BoP change in form of downforce limitations. It was Derani who got around the Glen quicker, namely in 1:34.405. Cadillac filled the second row of the grid while the Riley/Multimatic Mazdas were at the back of the Prototype group.

The pole for the No. 22 came as very good news to the ESM crew after the sad news that Ed Brown, who was poised to drive in his final Prototype-class race at WGI, would miss the event due to an unplanned back surgery he had to undergo. That’s the precise reason why Derani made his way into that car’s lineup. James French put down another good performance in Prototype Challenge that was remunerated with the team’s fourth pole in 2017. The No. 38’s quickest time was 1:40.049 and it was also the avenue to Performance Tech’s eighth pole in the series thus far.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Cadillac XTS

Cadillac is an interesting brand. In a world where SUVs reign superior, Cadillac only has two – the XT5 and the Escalade. Meanwhile, it takes the “same sausage, different lengths” mentality to extremes with its entire lineup of cars that all look damn near the same. And, that gets even worse as we begin the painstaking transcendence into the 2018 model year, as the XTS has now been updated with Cadillac’s latest design cues, making it nearly identical to the CT6 that sits above it and the midsized CTS that sits below it. As such, this facelift brings about a new grille design, new front fascia, and new headlight and taillight units on the outside to go with an updated chassis under the skin, and some updated technology and new color/trim choices on the inside.

All told, the facelift is more refining than anything, but whether or not that’s a good thing remains to be seen. One this is for sure, though. The XTS has its work cut out for it if it’s going to be a strong competitor for models the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. So will the updates for 2018 give the XTS the fighting chance it deserves, or will it scrape and claw its way through the muck that is the full-size luxury segment until Cadillac can manage to muster up a second-gen model? Let’s take a good look at what Cadillac brings to the table for 2018 and find out for ourselves.


PostHeaderIcon Cadillac XT4

A few years ago, Cadillac finally admitted that it’s way behind its competitors in the premium market and hired Johan de Nysschen, who devised a new strategy for America’s iconic luxury brand. The new plans includes a host of new models, of which the range-topping CT6 sedan and the XT5 crossover have already been launched. Come 2017 and Cadillac is readying the XT4, an even smaller crossover that will compete against the BMW X1, Audi Q3, and the Mercedes-Benz GLA. Spotted testing on public roads in February 2017, the XT4 is set to make its global debut in the first half of 2018.

When that happens, it will slot beneath the XT5. It will also become Cadillac’s third SUV and complete the largest crossover lineup ever alongside the XT5 and the massive Escalade.
While the larger XT5 is a replacement for the dated SRX and aims at the midsize luxury crossover market, the XT4 is actually a brand-new entry. And it’s not surprising that Cadillac wants a piece of the compact market, as this is where a lot of car makers are making huge profits. Having missed out on sales for so many years, Caddy is finally trying to catch up. The question is, will the XT4 be good enough to give the BMW X1 and Audi Q3 a run for their money?

Updated 06/14/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Cadillac XT4 out for a new testing session during hot weather conditions in Southern Europe.

Continue reading to learn more about the Cadillac XT4.


PostHeaderIcon The 10 Most-American cars Built in 2017

Each year, the American University’s Kogod School of Business conducts a survey of the automotive industry. The D.C.-based school maps out the most American-made vehicles, regardless of their brand. Seven key criteria are used in determining the rankings, but it comes down to the percentage of American and Canadian parts used and location of the vehicles’ assembly, research and development, and corporate headquarters.

Though Kogod’s inclusive survey ranks every vehicle sold in the U.S., we’re focusing on the top 10. Much of the list hasn’t changed over 2016, but there are a few additions and missing models. An update in scoring for 2017 allows half-points for automakers (FCA, in particular) that have headquarters in multiple countries. As such, the Jeep Wrangler joins the list, despite the vehicle itself not changing. For a full explanation of the points system, check out Kogod’s website. To skip to the Top 10 most American vehicles, keep reading here on TopSpeed.com

Continue reading for the Top 10 Most American Built Vehicles.

PostHeaderIcon What’s The Best Upscale Performance Sedan You Can Get For Less Than $50K?

The sport sedan – talk about a hotly contested segment. Almost every major automaker out there has one, but as you might expect, not all are created equal. And that’s where we come in, armed with a boatload of facts and figures to help rank the various entries from best to worst. Of course, more attentive TopSpeed readers out there are sure to point out that this is a topic we’ve covered before, most recently in a comparison piece looking at the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, Chrysler 300, Infiniti Q50, Jaguar XE, and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. But unlike that last article, which focused on luxury cars with a sporty flavor, this piece will instead focus on cars that place a greater emphasis on performance, with luxury as a secondary priority. As such, we’re picking apart the Acura TLX, Alfa Romeo Giulia, Cadillac ATS, Subaru WRX STI, and Volvo S60. Sure, there’s overlap, but in this crowd, the effort is made more for grins behind the wheel than backside coddling.

That isn’t to say these cars aren’t comfortable – indeed, each offers a fair amount of upscale treatment, some more so than others. That said, we weighed performance much more heavily this time around, giving otherwise more spartan models a shot at the top of the list. So how do we place these five four-doors? Read on to find out.

Continue reading for the full comparison.


PostHeaderIcon 2018 Cadillac CT6 Gets Super Cruise Hands-Free Driving System

cadillac super cruise

Every car maker has a different approach to the concept of autonomous driving. Some have chosen to focus on long-term, more ambitious goals such as full autonomy, while others like Cadillac decided to work on more immediate solutions to enhance the practicality of their current models. That’s why they came up with the Super Cruise system, now available for the 2018 Cadillac CT6.

Pitched as the industry’s first true hands-free driving technology for the highway, Cadillac Super Cruise is a semi-autonomous system that uses two currently available and widely-used technologies, driver attention system and precision LiDAR map data, to keep the 2018 Cadillac CT6 between the white lines on the freeway. You can think of it as an advanced cruise control.

The Super Cruise system on the 2018 Cadillac CT6 makes long-distance driving a lot more comfortable. In addition, its hands-free capability and driver attention system help the driver safely complete common tasks in the car, such as using the navigation system, adjusting the audio system or taking a phone call.

What sets the Super Cruise apart from similar systems though is that unlike those systems which only rely upon steering wheel input and warning messages to request driver attention, this one uses driver attention system with inputs from uses a small camera located on the top of the steering column which monitors the driver’s face. The SC also benefits from precision LiDAR map data in addition to real-time cameras, sensors and GPS. This system seems like a good base on which Cadillac can develop their future, fully autonomous platform.

The post 2018 Cadillac CT6 Gets Super Cruise Hands-Free Driving System appeared first on Motorward.

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