I spent part of my week in the nation’s capital so I could testify in front of Congress about a report I wrote.
Uh, sorry, that’s what Robert Mueller did. But I was there, mere blocks away in Georgetown, to drive the all-new Cadillac XT6.
When we stopped at a Virginia vineyard for lunch, Cadillac took the time to show us an updated version of the XT5 crossover (formerly known as the SRX).
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.
Maybe that headline’s too harsh, but have you seen a recent Cadillac commercial? If nothing comes to mind, that merely illustrates the brand’s problem. The bulk of its marketing efforts are, in this writer’s opinion, boring, forgettable, and uninspired. Just showing that a crossover can drive sedately down a dry, urban street isn’t enough to get audiences jazzed over a purchase. A Trabant can drive down a street and, yes, people can be merry and youthful inside it. (Odds are against it, but it could happen.)
Scroll down to see one of the brand’s latest, this one for its new XT4 compact. You won’t thank me.
Let’s face it — most of Cadillac’s ads could cure sleep apnea, leaving sufferers refreshed and alert the next morning. It was against this grim marketing backdrop that, while viewing a news spot from last night’s Great Lakes region snowstorm, I watched a random driver create the best ad Cadillac never paid for.
Not everyone was a fan of Cadillac’s decision to dive into an alphanumeric naming plan for its models. Seen as an attempt to copy German brands like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz, General Motors’ luxury arm began aggressively chasing the trend in the new millennium. But a great many traditionalists still feel that alphanumeric names are best left to Japanese sports cars and European sedans sold in various shades of gray.
However, these dissenting voices voices will continue falling upon deaf ears at General Motors. Cadillac is sticking with the letters-and-numbers strategy and recently filed reserves with United States Patent and Trademark Office for just about everything starting with CT or XT.
Hopefully, you weren’t holding out for a revival of the Eldorado this century.
Christmas was in the air, but Cadillac’s last sales month brought anything but good cheer. General Motors’ luxury brand saw sales of every last one of its models fall, year-over-year, ending December as the worst-performing division in the GM fold.
Total U.S. Cadillac sales fell 28.6 percent last month, year-over-year, with 2017 volume down 8 percent compared to all 12 months of 2016 — a loss of 14,566 sales. Hardly a brand reaching its pinnacle. However, as bad as Cadillac’s numbers look, there’s a couple of unavoidable factors working against the brand.
As its lineup of traditional luxury sedans struggles, sales of Cadillac’s 2017 XT5 show why automakers everywhere are scrambling to field as many crossovers as their budgets allow.
The XT5’s popularity and the level sales performance of the redesigned GMC Acadia prompted General Motors to add a third shift at its Spring Hill, Tennessee assembly plant. For Cadillac, it’s a ray of sunlight breaking through the clouds.
In 1999, GM altered the front fascia and slightly upgraded the interior of the GMC Yukon Denali to introduce the Cadillac Escalade. Although Cadillac was late to the Lincoln Navigator’s game, the biggest, baddest, boldest Cadillac quickly became an undeniable hit.
Now in fourth-generation form, U.S. sales of the regular-wheelbase Cadillac Escalade are on track to rise to an eight-year high in 2016.
Joining the Escalade in Cadillac’s SUV/crossover lineup in 2003 was the first-generation Cadillac SRX. With a two-row mainstream approach in generation two, the Cadillac SRX also became a huge success. Propelled forward in part by incentives, the SRX’s ability to claim its best ever U.S. sales total in 2015, its final full year, was nevertheless impressive.
Less than half a year into its run, the SRX-replacing Cadillac XT5 is likewise a formidable hit; yet more proof that Cadillac knows how to shake its moneymakers. Which makes you wonder why Cadillac hasn’t already brought to market more moneymakers for the brand to shake.
When the original Cadillac SRX appeared for the 2004 model year, it rode atop a rear-wheel-drive unibody platform, offered three rows of seats, and asked a question rarely asked today: “V8 with that?”
Six years later, General Motors saw fit to yank the SRX out of that class and plunge it into the murderously competitive front-wheel drive, two-row luxury crossover field, shoving it in direct competition with the segment’s dominant sales king, the Lexus RX. Hand-wringing ensued, yet that iteration of the SRX sold nearly 100,000 copies globally in 2015. Not bad for a five-year-old model on the outs.
For 2017, Cadillac — drunk on the New York City skyline and “image spaces” in SoHo — introduced its CT6 sedan before turning its attention to updating its best seller.
Will Cadillac’s new utility, now christened XT5 and built in Saturn’s old Spring Hill digs in Tennessee, follow the brand’s relentless path to Audi-ization?
It looks like Cadillac doesn’t think the Chevrolet Cruze is a suitable platform for a new luxury model.
A source in a story we ran yesterday claimed an internal program code that popped up at General Motors points to a new Cadillac model based on the Cruze’s front-wheel-drive Delta platform, but the automaker is now refuting the claim.
Cadillac’s first next-generation crossover will sport a longer and lighter chassis than the outgoing SRX, the company announced Monday.
The XT5, which will be shown first in Dubai, will be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week. The car will go on sale next year.
In addition to shaving nearly 300 pounds from the chassis, Cadillac announced that the car would be powered in the U.S. by the same 3.6-liter V-6 found in the ATS and CTS. Only a 2-liter turbocharged model will be available in China for the car’s first year. The XT5 will also sport an 8-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive.
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- Tassos Before you rush to buy this heap of rusty metal, maybe you should wait a day or two.I hear Tim will have an Model T next time.
- Redapple2 I d just buy one already sorted. Too many high level skills (wiring, paint, body panel fitment et. al.) that i dont have. And I dont fancy working 100 s of hours for $3 /hour.
- 28-Cars-Later I'm actually surprised at this and not sure what to make of it. In recent memory Senator Biden has completely ignored an ecological disaster in Ohio, and then ignored a tragic fire in Hawaii until his handlers were goaded in sending him and his visit turned into it's own disaster, but we skipped nap time for this sh!t show? Seriously? We really are through the looking glass now, "votes" no longer matter (Hillary almost won being the worst presidential candidate since 1984 before he claimed the crown) and outside of Corvette nostalgia Joe doesn't care let alone know what day it happens to be. Could they really be afraid of Trump, who AFAIK has planned no appearance or run his mouth on this issue? Just doesn't make sense, granted this is Clown World so maybe its my fault for trying to find sense in a senseless act.
- Tassos If you only changed your series to the CORRECT "Possibly Collectible, NOT Daily Driver, NOT Used car of the day", it would sound much more accurate AND TRUTHFUL.Now who would collect THIS heap of trash for whatever misguided reason, nostalgia for a much worse automotive era or whatever, is another question.
- ToolGuy Price dropped $500 overnight. (Wait 10 more days and you might get it for free?)