With No New Vehicle to Show in Chicago, Cadillac Tweaks the XT5

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

The Cadillac XT5, which happens to be a perfect all-weather urban vehicle, is a major breadwinner for the upscale brand. By far the best-selling vehicle in the Caddy stable, the XT5 midsize crossover out-volumes the bigger and pricier Escalade by a factor of two to one.

Unfortunately, it’s no longer the freshest face at the party. Cadillac’s smaller XT4 bowed last year and the larger XT6 dropped its towel in Detroit. Hoping to return some interest back to its midsize crossover (and have something to reveal in Chicago), Caddy gave the XT5 an emo makeover, launching the 2019 XT5 Sport package. It’s a “limited edition” package, Caddy claims, without offering a specific number. Could it be that it’s limited to the number of Sport packages GM can sell in 2019? Could be.

An appearance package (and a dark, brooding one at that), the Sport package is an upgrade offered to buyers of the XT5 in Luxury or Premium Luxury trim. With this package, which’ll run you an extra $2,995 on a Luxury and $1,995 on a Premium Luxury, the XT5 dons black grille mesh surrounded by fancier Galvano chrome. Flanking its dark maw are LED headlamps, with cornering lights appearing further below.

Bolstering the wiccan look, Caddy added side steps and 20-inch aluminum wheels finished in dark grey. This crossover has poetry it wants you to read. Meanwhile, the clear tail lamps lenses are as transparent as the pages in its diary.

Inside, sport pedals will surely allow the driver to squeeze more thrust out of the XT5’s completely stock powertrain. It’s a 3.6-liter V6 with 310 horses and 271 lb-ft, if you weren’t aware, paired with an eight-speed automatic.

Other niceties found in this Madonna, circa 1998 utility vehicle are only there because you’re looking at a higher-trimmed model. It’s a nice list, and you don’t pay separately for it. Adding the Sport package offers buyers a choice between two two-tone interior combinations, as well.

All joking aside, the appearance upgrades are not unappealing, assuming you’re enamored with the XT5. After last week’s snow-punch video, this author certainly sees it in a different light. So there. Then again, your author also isn’t one to poo-poo the comfortable confines of midsize GM crossovers.

As the new XT4 finds its legs and the XT6 gets ready for showrooms, the XT5 languishes in terms of sales. After its release in 2016, the XT5’s best sales year came in 2017, with volume dropping 11.34 percent in 2018. Fourth-quarter 2018 sales also fell, to the tune of 26.4 percent.

Meanwhile, Cadillac’s Escalade, a high-margin vehicle if there ever was one, has seen its volume grow — rising over 60 percent in 2018 and closing some of the gap between it and the XT5.

If what you see turns you on, be it known that orders open for the 2019 Cadillac XT5 Sport package this spring.

[Image: General Motors]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Conundrum Conundrum on Feb 08, 2019

    Blasting through unfrozen, emphasis unfrozen, snowbanks we did back in the '60s with RWD cars. Had to to get anywhere - snow plowing services weren't what they were even by the early '80s. Main road plows were just graders! They'd do the gravel roads in summer. Now they call a snowday at schools for a couple inches of snow. So excuse me - I've made it through bigger drifts or end of road plow mountains in a Volvo 544. You need speed - although a fifty foot long 4 foot deep drift stopped me in January 1968. The Volvo backed up well though, thank goodness - missed some college classes for two days. Nobody believed my excuse for absence which gives some idea of what was expected by people at large. You got on with it. And it's amazing how much snow a school bus could get through when it tried. Momentum and ground clearance. These days, they'd throw the driver in jail for endangering the lives of over-pampered kids for trekking through four inches of the evil white stuff and not waiting for the plow. We're wimps. As for this XT5, anyone researching these GM two-box blobs would buy the cheaper Chevy equivalent unless they were narcissistically attached to the lowest grade of Napa leather and believe in the myth that Cadillacs are somehow better assembled - this last myth dies hard with common folk who cannot otherwise rationalize why you'd pay more for the same thing. Otherwise rational people believe BMWs are assembled by hand in clean rooms at an unhurried pace by German rocket technicians. Goodness knows they also think Caddies are special too, not sullied by mere assembly-line workers but put together by artisans. Kachink go the cash registers on the back of the myths. XT5. What a crossover. Burp. Excuse me.

    • See 4 previous
    • Bunkie Bunkie on Feb 12, 2019

      @The Ghost of Buckshot Jones Studies show that kids who listen to their grandpas cool stories are 57.396% more likely to have cool stories of their own to tell their grandkids.

  • Jack4x Jack4x on Feb 10, 2019

    The best thing Cadillac showed at the Chicago show was a beautiful red on red '59 Eldorado convertible. I don't know what made them decide to bring it out, but it was not flattering to their current lineup to have that classic roped off right in the middle of their display.

    • BigOldChryslers BigOldChryslers on Feb 11, 2019

      +1 A couple people I know have posted about the show on FB. The only pictures I remember are of the '59 Caddy. I wonder how many show attendees joked with the Cadillac reps, "How much for the red convertible?"

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