Cadillac SRX replacement XT5 loses weight, gains tech

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co.’s Cadillac brand Monday revealed its new 2017 XT5 (Crossover Touring 5), a vehicle that is 278 pounds lighter than the Cadillac SRX it replaces, has more interior space, more technology and for the first time will be available in a platinum trim.

The vehicle, which is the first of Cadillac’s crossovers under a new naming system that uses the letters XT and a number for size of the vehicle, debuted at the Dubai auto show Monday. It will have its North American debut next week at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The midsize, five-passenger XT5 has a new, stronger and stiffer chassis and body structure and a wheelbase that increases by two inches over the SRX. It’s also one-inch wider, though the crossover’s overall length, width and height are fractionally smaller than the SRX.

“Reducing mass and bulk not only improves driving dynamics, it enables us to improve interior space and fuel efficiency,” said David Leone, Cadillac executive chief engineer, in a statement.

Cadillac says it will begin to build the XT5 in spring 2016 in the U.S. at its Spring Hill Assembly Plant in Tennessee and also in China for the Chinese market. North American production is moving to the U.S. from a plant in Mexico.

“The all-new XT5 not only enters the most popular segment in the worldwide luxury auto market, it is the first of four new crossovers from Cadillac,” Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen said in a statement. “It’s pivotal to our ongoing growth, which is why we’ve developed XT5 from the inside out to provide customers more space, more technology, more luxury and more efficiency.”

The new XT5 comes at a time when sales of the SRX are hot for the brand and have helped it eek out a 4.5 percent year-to-date global sales increase through October this year. Sales of the SRX have soared 25.1 percent through October this year in the U.S., topping 56,700 sales. Globally, sales of the SRX are up 10.5 percent year-to-date through October to nearly 81,800 sales.

Inside the XT5, the crossover has added 3.2 inches of back seat legroom over the SRX and the rear seat reclines and slides, Cadillac says. The luxury brand describes the XT5’s interior as modern and clean, with wider surfaces.

“Our focus for the interior was sophistication and simplicity, ensuring an economy of lines to reduce visual noise and clutter,” Andrew Smith, Cadillac executive director of global design, said in a statement. “A feeling of space is the ultimate luxury, so we sought to emphasize that. We also use a greater variety of authentic materials and palette of colors to deliver expressive interiors in all trim levels.”

Under the hood, Cadillac will power the XT5 with a new 3.6-liter V-6 engine estimated at 310 horsepower and 270 foot-pounds of torque. It will be paired to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The crossover will get a new stop/start technology for Cadillac that automatically will stop the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop in traffic to save fuel. Then, when the driver takes his or her foot off the brake, the crossover will seamlessly restart.

Cadillac does not yet have fuel economy estimates for the XT5, a spokesman said.

Cadillac says the XT5 also will debut for Cadillac an electronic precision shift, which is an electronically controlled transmission shifter. The feature will reduce noise and vibration and gives more storage space below the center console. The XT5 also will have a new “twin clutch” all-wheel drive system available.

A new rear camera mirror system will boost driver’s rear vision by 300 percent. It uses a video display that is shown in the inside rearview mirror. The XT5 also has a new hands-free rear liftgate and a color heads-up display is available as an option.

The XT5 also has other technology available such as Surround Vision that shows the perimeter around the car while parking. The crossover also will receive an upgraded CUE infotainment system, including a faster and more powerful processor. The XT5 also will have a wireless charger, OnStar 4G LTE with in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

The 2016 SRX starts at about $37,600 and ranges up to about $53,000. Cadillac will release pricing on the 2017 XT5 closer to launch, a spokesman said.

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