What to Look for When Buying a Used Cadillac XT5


The Cadillac XT5 is a luxury midsize crossover SUV that unsurprisingly sits in the Caddy lineup above the smaller XT4 and below the larger, three-row XT6. Right out the blocks, the first model year (2017) of the XT5 was immediately Cadillac’s best-selling vehicle in America. However, it has to be said that the 2017 XT5 was only really an update on the old SRX so this wasn’t Caddy hitting a home run with the first year of an entirely new model.

Now the XT5 has been around a while it’s a popular model in the pre-owned market, and if you want the chance to get one for a bargain price then check out how you can buy well-maintained ex-government and confiscated vehicles from government auctions around the country here. If you really are interested in a used Cadillac XT5, here’s what you need to know and look out for.

How long has the Cadillac XT5 been in production?

Cadillac put the XT5 into production at the Spring Hill, Tennessee facility in January and it replaced the Cadillac SRX crossover in the spring of 2016 as a 2017 model year. The SRX had been in production from 2003 until 2016 and was a proven model in the Cadillac lineup, but the XT5 introduced a more modern and refreshed new look and updated technology. The XT5 was essentially the same length, width and height as the supposedly compact SRX, but the wheelbase of the XT5 was a couple of inches longer and the track was about an inch wider.

How popular is the Cadillac XT5?

Although the XT5 doesn’t sell in anywhere near the numbers of non-luxury midsize crossovers, sales figures have been pretty healthy since the launch, to say the least. In 2016 there were 39,485 XT5s sold in the United States, but we have to keep in mind that the SRX was still on sale at the start of that year.

In 2017 Cadillac had its best year with the XT5 so far with an impressive 68,312 units sold, but that dropped to 60,565 and then to just 49,879 in 2018 and 2019 respectively. The relatively poor performance in 2019 is likely to have been a result of increased competition as more and more rivals entered the market, but an even worse performance (35,223 units) in 2020 is likely to have had the coronavirus pandemic as a major contributor to the worst year so far for the XT5.

How many generations of the Cadillac XT5 are there?

There has only been one generation of the Cadillac XT5 so far so there are no older versions on the market yet for used buyers to think about. However, the XT5 did benefit from a mid-cycle refresh for the 2020 model year where the trim levels were re-aligned while the exterior received only modest changes.

Up until the 2019 model year, the XT5 was available in base XT5, Luxury, Premium Luxury and top-of-the-range Platinum trims. From 2020 that changed to Luxury as the new base model and then the range went to Premium Luxury and XT5 Sport became the range-topping trim level.

A mid-cycle update can often make the pre-facelift models less desirable and cheaper, but I’d say the changes to the 2020 model year XT5 weren’t substantial enough to put you off buying a used model older than 2020. An all-new second-generation of the Cadillac XT5 isn’t expected until the 2023 model year.

Does the Cadillac XT5 hold its value?

It’s probably fair to say that buying a new Cadillac XT5 isn’t exactly an investment as they depreciate by around 40% in the first three years. If you were to buy an entry-level XT5 for $43,995 and did average miles (12k) each year, after the first year its value would drop to around $34,500, after two years to $29,700, and after three years it would be valued at around $26,000.

This means the XT5 isn’t the worst of its kind when it comes to depreciation, but it also illustrates what a wise decision it might be to buy a one or two-year-old model that’s been well cared for rather than buying brand new.

Is the Cadillac XT5 reliable?

It’s fairly early in the lifecycle of the XT5 to make any grand claims about reliability, but it certainly is a case of so-far-so-good. Like any vehicle, you can go online and find individual owners who’ve had a problem with their XT5 but there are no major faults that are repeated consistently to indicate any inherent issues.

All I’d say you need to look out for with a used example is that it has a full service history; prefereably all from Cadillac dealers. These are luxury vehicles after all, and luxury vehicles of all makes can be expensive to repair. If an XT5 has been serviced regularly by a Cadillac dealer it will have had any niggling recalls done that you’ll never even know about but which can help prevent problems occurring down the line.

Is the Cadillac XT5 expensive to maintain?

According to yourmechanic.com, the cost of repairs to the XT5 range between $80 and $1,554, although the average cost of a repair is a pretty impressive and affordable $192.

Which is the best Cadillac XT5 model year to buy?

A 2019 model year Cadillac XT5 is probably the best value version you can buy as there was a mid-cycle refresh the following year and the worst years of deprecation won’t be your problem to worry about. Then again, if you can find a 2017 or 2018 model with below average miles you might be able to get yourself a bit of a luxury bargain if you’re prepared to shop around and there’s nothing to be scared of with those earlier model years.

Is the Cadillac XT5 good on gas?

Considering the XT5 is a pretty powerful midsize V-6 crossover even in its basic form, the Caddy was actually considered pretty good on gas when it was launched. Front-drive versions are unsurprisingly the most fuel-efficient with EPA ratings of 19 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg combined, but those numbers drop to 18/25/21 mpg respectively with the extra capability of AWD.

In 2020 a new 2.0-liter turbo-four engine was added to the XT5 lineup, but the 21 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg combined it offer is fairly uninspiring at a time when most competitors are putting out hybrid and plug-in-hybrid models with vastly better fuel economy ratings.

How many seats are there in a Cadillac XT5?

There’s no third-row-seat option for the Cadillac XT5 was all versions are five-seat models. That’s obviously not good news if you need more than five seats for your family, but it does mean there’s a generous amount of space for passengers and cargo if five seats are enough for your needs.

Is the Cadillac XT5 AWD?

Front-wheel-drive is the standard format for the Cadillac XT5, but all-wheel drive available with most models. From the 2020 model year, the base Luxury model with the 2.0-liter engine was front-drive only, but Premium Luxury models with that engine could be upgraded to AWD and the range-topping Sport model is standard AWD.  

When the XT5 was launched its AWD system was a new unit that employed twin clutches to send up to 100 percent of available torque to either the front or rear wheels. The system was designed for coping with adverse weather conditions on the road, rather than performance or off-road driving, but the driver can choose to go front-wheel-drive only with a Touring mode to improve fuel efficiency.

How safe is the Cadillac XT5?

Safety ratings for the Cadillac XT5 have been good since it was launched. The 2017 model year got a full five-star rating from the NHTSA and the IIHS named it a Top Safety Pick. There are plenty of advanced safety features that come standard, but if the most advanced safety features are important to you it’s probably best to avoid base models.

2018 and 2019 model years didn’t do quite as well with the safety rating agencies but that was partly down to rivals introducing some new features sooner than the XT5 and changes to the crash testing regimes.

For the 2020 model year, Cadillac upgraded the levels of standard safety features to where you’d probably expect them to be for the price they ask for the XT5. Standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, and automatic high-beam headlights helped regain the XT5 that five-star rating from the NHTSA and Top Safety Pick status from the IIHS.

How much can a Cadillac XT5 tow?

When the Cadillac XT5 is equipped with a V-6 engine it has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds, but versions from 2020 onwards equipped with the smaller 2.0-liter turbo-four engine are only rated to tow a maximum of 1,000 pounds.

Is the Cadillac XT5 fast?

Cadillac XT5 models from 2017 to 2019 are all equipped with the V-6 engine which gets the Caddy from 0 to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds with AWD and 7.1 seconds with FWD and the top speed is 130 mph. XT5 models from 2020 with the 2.0-liter engine take 7.6 seconds to get from 0 to 60 mph.

Is the Cadillac XT5 comfortable?

The XT5 lives up to its luxury car billing at every trim level and in every model year to such an extent it can sometimes be hard to justify going for the very highest trim level. The seats are large and all-day comfortable and the quality of everything inside is just what you’d expect from a Cadillac.

Interior dimensions are about par for the midsize course with 39.5 inches of legroom in the second-row seats and 41.2 inches in the front. Overall passenger volume comes in at 104.5 cu.-ft. and there’s 30.2 cu.-ft. of cargo space behind the rear seats, which is double what you get in the trunk of a midsize sedan.

How much should you pay for a used Cadillac XT5?

You’re not going to get a used Cadillac XT4 on the cheap as these are expensive luxury vehicles that haven’t been around for very long, but the Caddy’s relatively heavy depreciation can make used examples a lot more affordable to a lot more people than new ones.

Here are the minimum and maximum average prices you should expect to pay for a used Cadillac XT5.

Model YearMinimum Used PriceMaximum Used Price
2017$18,788$37,950
2018$21,888$39,995
2019$24,413$47,000
2020$30,741$55,995

What are the XT5 standard features?

Every Cadillac XT5 comes with an impressive list of standard features and equipment commensurate with a luxury vehicle of this quality. So you can find out which used XT5 trim level is right for you here are free copies of the pdf brochures for you to download:

Is a used Cadillac XT5 worth the money?

A used Cadillac XT5 in good condition that hasn’t done too many miles is definitely worth the money if you are happy to pay a premium for the Cadillac badge and that extra level of opulence over something like a Volkswagen, GMC or Chevy rival. It looks as though the running costs won’t break you either as the XT5 has so far proved impressively reliable.

What difference is there between a 2019 and a 2020 Cadillac XT5?

When the updated 2020 XT5 arrived it came with a new 2.0-liter turbo-four engine option and a redesigned front grille with different mesh textures reflecting different trim levels. The front and rear bumpers got mildly redesigned, LED headlights became part of standard equipment, the LED taillights featured different graphics, and some new 18 to 20-inch wheel designs were introduced.

What are the Cadillac XT5’s main rivals?

There are quite a few rivals to the XT5 in this segment you’d probably want to check out before pulling the trigger on a used version of the Cadillac. The most obvious direct competition comes from Germany in the shape of the BMW X5, Audi Q5 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC, but other notable rivals include the Volvo XC60, Lexus RX and the Lincoln Nautilus.

My opinion of the XT5

I’ve been pretty shocked to find a lot of online reviews of the Cadillac XT5 from reputable resources talking about the exterior styling as “bland,” “staid,” “conservative” and “nothing special.” To me, those sound like descriptions of the main German rivals of the Cadillac.

For my money, the XT5 is the standout model in the segment as far as styling is concerned and only the Lexus RX even comes close to the distinctive modern look of the Cadillac. Admittedly, the interior fit and finish are better in a Mercedes or a BMW but you’ll also end up paying almost $20k more for the smaller Mercedes-Benz GLC than you’ll have to find for the Caddy.

Sean Cooper

Former retail auto industry professional for almost a decade and an automotive writer and journalist for the last 8 years

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