2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum AWD

2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum AWD Review: Putting the Luxury SUV to Work

While the vast majority of 2017 Cadillac XT5 owners will never attempt to tow or haul anything, this midsized luxury SUV makes good on the “utility” aspect of the name – comfortably pulling a lightly loaded horse trailer and hauling 800lbs of grain surprisingly well.

A few weeks back, I took delivery of the 2017 Cadillac XT5 shown above and while taking some pictures of the angular luxury SUV, my friend Jim stopped by to check out the newest test vehicle. He looked over the interior and we were talking about the exterior styling when we noticed that it had a class IV trailer hitch receiver. Jim commented that the trailer hitch must be a joke, because there was no way that this “small luxury crossover could pull any real trailer”.

Well, upon checking online, I found that the XT5 can tow 3,500lbs and haul 1,691lbs, so I would be able to do some of the same tests with the new midsized Cadillac that I do with the larger trucks and SUVs. Jim said that it was ridiculous, but I was going to put the new XT5 to work around the farm which my wife and I manage.

Expected Premium Luxury
Before getting into how well the 2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum AWD handles the work around the stable, let’s take a quick look at what truly attracts all luxury car buyers – the cabin.

Like the rest of the modern Cadillac lineup, the XT5 has a gorgeous interior layout with plush light-colored leather covering the front and rear seats – with the front seats being heated, cooled and electronically adjusted while the rear outboard seats are also heated. That light leather treatment continues across the dash and through the door panels, with real wood trim accents running along with the light colored leather – all of which is joined by black trim along the lower portions of the dash, the doors and the carpeting. The plush leather, the premium wood trim and the contrast of the light leather and light upper areas with the dark lower areas all combine to give the XT5 a very premium look.

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Next, the 2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum features the CUE infotainment system, which incorporates an 8 inch touchscreen, a small touch-sensitive panel below the touchscreen and an array of buttons on the steering wheel to adjust pretty much every aspect of the vehicle’s interior. Although the XT5 does have a dedicated climate control panel which allows easy access to the HVAC system and the temperature settings for the heated and cooled front seats, you can adjust all of the temperature settings, the sound system, the navigation system, the hands-free phone system and many of the vehicle settings from the CUE touchscreen and while driving, you don’t need to remove your hands from the steering wheel, since almost everything in the infotainment system can also be adjusted from the steering wheel buttons or the voice control system – which is also activated via a button on the steering wheel.

17 xt5 dash

The CUE infotainment system has been beaten up by owners and reviewers who struggle with the relatively basic technology, but having used this system in a handful of vehicles, I like it. It is not quite as straightforward as some other systems and it takes a bit of learning, but in spending just 10 minutes, sitting in your driveway, playing with the CUE features, most drivers will be able to use the system for all of their daily needs (radio, navigation, climate control) without any problem. Frankly, shy of the swipe-style volume control located below the touchscreen, I honestly cant figure out why so many people have a hard time with CUE. I like it and I really like the 14-speaker Bose system, which provides crisp, clear sound with all sorts of music, even at very high volume levels.

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The piece of the interior puzzle of the 2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum AWD is seating space, and there is plenty of it. For a “smaller SUV”, the XT5 offers a ton of space for the driver and front passenger, comfortably accommodating even a very tall driver. Things are a bit tighter in the back seat, with leg space being a bit short for very tall adults, but the XT5 rear seat will easily fit 3 kids or 2 smaller adults – all while offering tons of cargo space out back.

Putting the 2017 Cadillac XT5 Platinum to Work
There are plenty of reviews of the 2017 Cadillac XT5 for the people who will use the midsized luxury SUV to get to and from the office each day, stopping along the way to pick up the kids at school or to grab something for dinner. Those reviews will all tell you how smooth the XT5 is on even rough roads and how the standard 3.6L V6 makes this loaded SUV surprisingly quick, but that is often as far as their driving impressions go, because that is as much as most buyers need to know.

xt5 side 2017

But what about those prospective Cadillac XT5 buyers who want to pull a small trailer or haul supplies to a horse show? I have seen plenty of Cadillac SUVs at horse shows, so it is not uncommon to see one packed full of supplies for a weekend long event, but while I have seen quite a few Escalades pulling horse trailers, I have never seen an XT5 (or the previous SRX) pulling a horse trailer. However, with a towing capacity of 3,500lbs, I wanted to see if the new XT5 could do some of the work of the larger SUVs.


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