Who doesn’t love a high-end luxury SUV? From the leather seats and the high-quality interior trim to the classic lines and cool custom color paint job, these luxury SUVs seem to have it all. But while lesser models can imitate these trappings of luxury, a true luxury SUV like the 2021 Cadillac XT5 also provides unmatched performance and driving feel. Yes, these features were once the exclusive realm of sports cars, but mechanical performance has become a key feature on top luxury SUVs. While practically every SUV on the market has a trim that offers flashy tech and leather seats, most of those “luxury” models come with the same underpowered engines and numb driving experience as their economy versions. But should you accept this?
Absolutely not! You are buying a vehicle, not a living room set. If your luxury SUV doesn’t have excellent acceleration and crisp handling, then you are just buying some fancy furniture with a weak set of wheels. This is where the 2021 Cadillac XT5 comes in. Cadillac has made sure that performance does not take a back seat to the luxury features on its 5-passenger midsize SUV. With this premium model, you will not just get to relax in leather seats listening to music through a high-quality sound system – you will also be able to enjoy the driving experience itself.
A Great Choice of Powertrains
The performance part of any luxury SUV starts with the choice of engines. The 2021 Cadillac XT5 comes with two different options that will provide you with exceptional performance and strength in different ways. The standard engine on the Luxury and Premium Luxury trims of the 2021 Cadillac XT5 is a 2.0-liter turbocharged unit producing 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The turbocharger provides exceptional torque for a smaller engine, giving you a quick throttle response even at low speeds. It is also relatively fuel-efficient, allowing you to drive for longer periods of time without stopping to refuel.
The second engine available on the XT5 is a 3.6-liter V-6 that provides some serious acceleration with 310 hp and 271 lb-ft of torque. This engine is standard on the Sport trim and optional on the Premium Luxury trim, giving the XT5 a full-fledged performance experience. If you are looking for the best performance you can get out of this luxury SUV, then the 3.6-liter V-6 is the engine of choice and it can accelerate this vehicle from a stop to 60 mph in just over 6 seconds.
But no matter which engine you choose, it will come paired with a modern 9-speed automatic transmission for optimum engine performance and greater driver control. The special feature on the Cadillac XT5’s transmission is Electronic Precision Shift. This replaces the usual mechanical gear shifter with a shift by wire system for simplicity and ease of use. The transmission also offers a manual mode, allowing you to select the exact gear you desire for complete control over your driving experience.
Other Performance Features
All three trims of the 2021 Cadillac XT5 offer the option of all-wheel drive for superior traction in all weather conditions. If you plan on taking your XT5 off-road or through ice and snow, then all-wheel drive is a must for reliable performance. However, for the ultimate four-wheel performance, the Sport trim comes standard with an advanced twin-clutch all-wheel drive system. This setup can not only shift power between the front and rear axles like a traditional all-wheel drive setup, but it can also shift power laterally between the individual rear wheels. This provides an incredibly sure-footed drive through even the most extreme conditions.
The XT5 also offers customizable performance suspension with real time active damping. This feature is standard on the Sport trim and available on the Premium Luxury trim, providing you with enhanced suspension response. Unlike normal dampers, which only have a single setting, active dampers read the road conditions and adjust compression and rebound rates for optimal performance. This provides a more comfortable ride in normal conditions and a more responsive ride during spirited driving.
But Cadillac has paid just as much attention to the small details as the big ones. For instance, the XT5 includes active Aero Shutters behind the grille that will automatically open and close based on speed in order to reduce drag, improving acceleration and fuel efficiency. The XT5 also comes with standard 18-inch wheels on all models except the Sport trim, which has standard 20-inch wheels. The larger 20-inch wheels are available as an option on the Luxury and Premium Luxury trims. Not only do these large wheels look amazing, but they provide more responsive handling.
Driver Mode Selector Will Put You in the Driver’s Seat
One key feature that really sets the 2021 Cadillac XT5 apart is the Driver Mode Selector. Whether you choose two-wheel drive or all-wheel drive on your XT5, you will get a Driver Mode Selector. There are four modes on the all-wheel drive model, while the two-wheel drive XT5 offers three modes. The four modes on the all-wheel drive XT5 are AWD, Sport, Touring, and Off-Road. Touring is the ideal setting for city driving as it provides the greatest possible fuel economy. Choosing Sport mode will boost the engine’s acceleration and provide more responsive steering. However, if there is inclement weather, you should consider AWD mode, especially if there is snow or ice. AWD is actually the best mode in inclement weather as it locks in all-wheel drive for superior traction. Off-Road mode is exactly what it sounds like – if you plan to take your XT5 out on the trail for an adventure, then this is the best mode to choose.
The three modes on the two-wheel drive XT5 will also provide improved performance. The Touring and Sport modes will function in a similar manner as the modes on the all-wheel drive XT5. However, AWD mode is replaced by a Snow/Ice mode that is tuned to reduce the likelihood of your front wheels slipping in harsh winter conditions. Finally, the Off-Road mode is removed as you really shouldn’t be taking a two-wheel drive vehicle off-road. As with any feature, the important thing is to make sure you set the Driver Mode Selector to the right mode to match the driving conditions. Leaving it set in one position will reduce the performance of your 2021 Cadillac XT5. If you want to make sure you get optimal performance out of your XT5, then it is critical that you use this excellent feature.
From a choice of engines to a variety of advanced performance features, the 2021 Cadillac XT5 truly has it all for someone looking for a luxury midsize SUV that also provides an exceptional driving experience. Whether you choose a version with two-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, you will be getting a vehicle with excellent handling and a great all-around ride courtesy of four-wheel independent suspension. There are some luxury SUVs that just look the part, but the 2021 Cadillac XT5 is not one of them. It actually pulls off the performance that its sleek looks promise, giving you a combination of luxury and performance that few of its competitors can match.