Inbound: 2020 XT5 Sport

So, after some car shopping, my better half and I decided to get a new Cadillac XT5 Sport to replace her current 2017 XT5. Her current car has given us 40k miles of trouble-free service, but is lacking some features and functions that she and I would like. Cadillac fixed most of the things we didn’t like in the 17 model as part of the 2020 refresh. There is now a volume knob on the console, a button to disable the auto-stop function, and LED headlights standard. The new Sport trim looks better too.

She wanted something AWD and a little more ‘sporty’ in her words, although her definition of sporty has more to do with looks/feel and less to do with actual performance. Still, we were both impressed with how much better the new XT5 Sport with twin clutch AWD and sport tuned adaptive dampers handles versus her current FWD XT5 Luxury trim with standard suspension. It is certainly not trying to be a sports car but it seems to excel at its core mission of stylish suburban CUV. The engine is the LGX 3.6L V6 with 310hp. Same as her current car and we’ve had zero issues. The same engine is in my son’s Camaro, tuned to 335hp and tied to a manual, where it is really quite fun. In the XT5 the NA V6 needs to rev to make power, so the XT5 gets criticized as feeling a little underpowered compared to turbocharged competitors. We haven’t found it to be a problem though. Maybe we’ve learned to put your foot into it and let it rev, and it will make power and has a nice subtle growl doing it. Bonus that it does not require premium gas - 87 octane is recommended. The transmission is a new 9-speed for 2020 replacing the previous Aisin 8-speed auto.


The whole car feels very different than her current car- like a new model really. Everything from the seats, tech, steering, suspension, leather & trim, feels very different and improved. It feels like it has more power although it doesn’t - must be the new transmission. The new car has the Platinum package which gets a nice leather covered dash with real wood trim accents and suede headliner, among other things.

I suggested she look at a Macan, since that is where my mind went when she said she wanted something a little more sporty. But the Macan wasn’t her thing - too expensive, pretentious, a little small, and too far to the nearest dealer for convenient service. She suggested a Macan might be something I might like instead of her - which I think is right.


The new Aviator is too big for us and more money, although it is a nicer car. We looked at a 4Runner but wow it is ancient and far behind in tech and features, and it was a huge let down on a test drive. A Highlander was just too blah and still pricey for what you get. RX350 looks interesting and seems high quality but didn’t really impress. BMW, Audi, and MB were not seriously considered because there are no nearby dealers (service headache), high prices, limited inventory and nothing really stuck out as attractive to her as we browsed the midsize CUVs.

She really likes her XT5. It has the right combination of size, looks, features, performance and price. It is relatively inexpensive to own and operate. It helps that we have a good local Cadillac dealer that has gone out of their way for sales and service in the past - dealer relationships matter. We should take delivery of the new car sometime this week. This is a pic of the same car, although not the specific car.

Illustration for article titled Inbound: 2020 XT5 Sport

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