PINEHURST, NC — November 4, 2020 — Every time I drive a Cadillac, I fall in love with the vehicles all over again. This week we had the 2021 Cadillac XT5 Premium Luxury SUV with Front Wheel Drive (FWD). In this case, too, we actually got to test drive the vehicle as we had a short trip to Virginia to look at a farm, and the XT5 was the perfect carriage for our journey. We got to put it through some of its paces as well, first on roads where the speed limit was 70 mph, and we were able to track the mile gas consumption on the car. Also, coming back we ran into really heavy rains that slowed traffic, and GPS took us through a lot of back country coming home, so steering, curves, rain, narrow roads, all played a part in our journey. Both going and coming, the Cadillac performed flawlessly … well, almost flawlessly. When the car was delivered to us, they told us that sometimes the back up camera just wouldn’t work (most likely an electrical problem I surmise), and while it did display nothing on occasion, it worked ‘almost’ all the time, so no real complaints. If I owned it though, it would be something I would definitely have fixed in a hurry. Other than that, the XT5, with rain sensing windshield wipers, heads up display, all the safety options I will address later, and road hugging characteristics that always let you know you were in control of the situation was an incredible vehicle in which to travel. Loved it.
Our wonderful carriage came in the unusual Garnet Metallic color, a really dark red that looked black except in the true sun. Cool color. Our interior was black leather, with heated and cooled seats. We actually got to try both heating and cooling, as the weather was warm when we got the car, but turned cold during the week, so we got to use the front seat heaters, dual heating and cooling controls, and heated steering wheel – all the clever features you would expect on a “Premium Luxury” vehicle.
While the base price on the 2021 Cadillac XT5 “Luxury” model is $43,995, the base price for the “Premium Luxury” models we drove is $48,795. Not bad for a very smooth riding, cab quiet, wonderful chariot. The third model in the series, the “Sport” starts at $55K and boasts of the 3.6L engine as standard, as well as All Wheel Drive, Performance Suspension, and 20” 12-spoke alloy wheels, and more.
While the Premium Luxury model comes standard with a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine (oh, travesty of justice), ours came with the optional 3.6L, V6, 310HP, with 271-foot pounds of torque. (The engine the entire group of XT5’s should have in my opinion.) That adds $1000 to the base price, but, again, in my opinion, well worth the money. Mate that engine up with the 9-speed transmission, and you have smoothness, power, and response. All good. While the monroney for the car says the mileage is 19 and 26 with a 21-mpg average, we actually got 30 mpg on the open road and 26 on the windy back roads at 45 mph. It was only in the stop and go of local traffic that we got the 21 mpg, so I think the good news is that even with the big 6-cylinder, you can get good mileage on the open road.
Oh, and while there is room for five adults, there is also 63 cubic feet of cargo space with the back seats down. That’s a lot of room for travel gear. Our overnight gear and hanging clothes didn’t put a dent in the room with the rear seats still up.
Of course, you could adjust the driver’s seat, including lumbar, in 64 different ways, and then set it for your unique driving needs – at least I did. The dash and infotainment center were laid out to be easy to use without distracting the driver. Voice activation allowed for us to verbally set up a destination, and when we typed it in, the navigation system brought up the location we were after with a minimum of key strokes.
The very handy wireless phone charger was located at the end of the center arm rest, and you simply dropped your phone into the vertical charger, where it was never in the way. Having paired my phone to the vehicle, which I do in all the cars we drive, it was hands free the entire time – really handy for those incoming phone calls you just cannot ignore.
Back to ‘base’ and ‘options’, our “Premium Luxury” model had a number of options that really raised the ‘bar’ and price. Our XT5 came with a ‘Platinum’ package, so I suppose we had the “Premium Luxury Platinum” model. The Platinum Package itself added $4850 to the cost and included ‘semi Aniline leather seating in all rows, leather wrapped instrument panel, console, and door trim; microfiber sueded headliner; premium carpet floor mats, front and rear; Real Time Damping Performance Suspension with Mode Select; and illuminated front door sill plates.
Next, we had the optional Enhanced Visibility and Technology Package, which added High Definition Surround Vision, Rear Pedestrian Alert, Rear Camera Mirror with Washer, 8” Color Gauge Cluster with Driver Personalization (you can choose what is displayed), Heads Up Color Display, and Automatic Parking Assist with Braking.
We also had the $2000 Night Vision package which uses infrared sensors behind the front grille and your rearview mirror to sense people, animals, or objects in front of you. Our vehicle had the 20” 6-split spoke alloy wheels for an additional $1700.
We had the optional Driver Assist Package for $1300 that added Adaptive Cruise Control, Enhanced Automatic Emergency Braking, Reverse Automatic Braking, and Automatic Seat Belt Tightening.
For an additional $1200, we had the Comfort and Air Quality Package which added Tri-Zone Climate Control, Ventilated Driver and Front Passenger Seats, Heated Rear Seats, and Air Ionizer.
For an additional $1025, we had the Cadillac User Experience with Embedded Navigation and the 14 speaker Bose Performance Series Audio System.
I already mentioned the $1000 for the V6 engine, and there was an additional $625 for the Garnet Metallic paint.
Add all those to our $48,795 base price and the beauty we were driving costs $65,765. As in all car purchases, people tend to get what they want and when buying a Cadillac, one knows that the best tends to cost more.
Would I park one in my garage? In a heartbeat – because everything I, as a retiree of sorts with outdoor hobbies and business, would want in a vehicle is in the XT5, and, after all, it is a Cadillac. That pretty much says it all.
# # #
Now, from the distaff side: Johnny and I had a greater opportunity than usual to take a real “road trip” – and what better vehicle than the amazing Cadillac XT5. This was truly a pleasure, as a driver and a passenger. As usual, however, whenever Johnny and I ride together, he’s the one behind the wheel. I have a penchant to “backseat drive”—which, you can imagine, Johnny does not appreciate. But that never happened (well, maybe once or twice…) in the Cadillac. It’s such a smooth, quiet, relaxing ride and that’s because Cadillac is synonymous with “dependability.” Whether you are riding or driving, this Cadillac XT5 instills a real sense of confidence and comfort.
And that didn’t change when I got behind the wheel (leaving Johnny home.) I always say that when you drive a car and don’t have to think—meaning, think about where the controls are, or road noise, or handling—that frees you up to concentrate on the one and only thing that matters: the road. Case in point is the danger of driving while texting or talking on your cellphone—I myself believe, even with “hands-free” dialing—because you are multitasking and your attention is not only divided, but favors the thing you are concentrating on most, which invariably is not the road. This is a case of priorities and if you are the driver, you only have one—and that’s safety, for you, for your passengers, and for those other drivers and pedestrians sharing your space. Period.
The same can be said for driving a car where the dashboard, controls, and even shift are unfamiliar to you. Sure, you’ll get used to it but I have often wondered whether those of us of a “certain age” don’t revert to what we’ve been used to over the course of 40 years or driving when, Heaven forbid, we find ourselves on dangerous roads or in a dangerous situation. That one moment of pause will determine how things go, one way or the other—which is why the safety features in the Cadillac XT5, and any car, for that matter, which puts safety first, are so important.
It is difficult to validate an MSRP for any car that’s in the neighborhood of $66K fully loaded—heck, there are homes out there for that kind of money. The base model XT5 is $49k and that’s still a pretty penny. But think about it. What is your driving lifestyle? Are you no longer commuting to work but working out of your home office? That cuts down the miles. Do you have school age children? Are their school hours and sports cut back? In these terrible days of COVID, our lifestyles have changed so radically. If, then, one thing you can add to your life is a safe vehicle, one that will last for years with regular care and garaging, then if you can afford a car such as the XT5 then at least think about it. There’s an awful lot to be said for peace of mind. And on that score, Cadillac delivers.
# # #
Cadillac Dealerships Serving Pinehurst, NC
Clark Chevrolet Cadillac Inc.
35 Dundee Road, Pinehurst, NC 28374
Sales: 1-866-770-3927; Service: 1-877-244-0540
# # #
Cadillac Dealerships Serving Westchester County
Mount Kisco Cadillac
175 North Bedford Road, Mount Kisco, NY 10549
Sales: 1-866-233-3089; Service: 1-866-233-3089
# # #
15 Water Street, White Plains, NY 10601
Sales: 1-877-504-5165; Service: 1-877-504-9994
# # #
Cadillac of Greenwich
144 Railroad Avenue, Greenwich CT 06830
Sales: 1-203-987-6147; Service: 1-203-987-6383
# # #