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Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy/ The 2020 Cadillac XT5 is assembled in Spring Hill, Tenn.

FAST FACTS

* Model: 2020 XT5 Sport AWD

* Exterior color: Radiant Silver Metallic

* Interior color: Cirrus and Jet Black

* Engine: 3.6-liter, V-6

* Horsepower: 310

* Transmission: 9-speed automatic

* Fuel economy: 25 mpg highway, 18 mpg city

* Local Dealer: Integrity Cadillac, 6025 International Drive

* Price (as tested): $59,740

The Tennessee-made Cadillac XT5 compact SUV has quietly become the brand's best-selling vehicle.

Cadillac, which vaulted to prominence making iconic luxury sedans in the 20th century, is quickly becoming an SUV- and crossover-focused company.

Our Spring Hill, Tennessee-made tester is in top-of-the-line Sport trim with all-wheel-drive, a $2,000 upgrade. It features a silky 3.6-liter V-6 engine that makes 305 horsepower. A turbocharged four-cylinder engine (237 horsepower) is the base offering.

The XT5 is a study in contrasts. It's luxurious but not extravagant, stout but not particularly sporty, and stylish but not flashy. This sort of restrained excellence is what makes the XT5 a good compromise car for those who want comfort and performance without over-the-top pricing.

Still, our tester, provided for a one-week test drive on Chattanooga streets, has an MSRP of $59,740 before discounts. In a class where the Lexus RX350 is the gold standard, the XT5 at least has the chops to compete. Cross-shopping these two models is recommended. Your choice may come down to personal taste, or a bias toward Tennessee-made product in the case of the XT5.

Cadillacs are available locally at Integrity Buick GMC Cadillac. Late this week the dealership had 27 XT5s in digital inventory starting at $36,040 with discounts. At this point, inventories are still heavy with 2019 models.

 

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Staff Photo by Mark Kennedy/ A two-tone interior in the 2020 Cadillac XT5 creates a classy vibe.

WHAT IS IT?

The Cadillac XT5 is a compact luxury SUV with two-row seating for five. With a V-6, the XT5 gets 25 mpg highway and 18 mpg city. GM offers a four-year or 50,000-mile warranty with six-year or 70,0000-mile coverage of the power-train.

HOW MUCH?

For 2020, pricing on the XT5 line is Luxury ($45,000), Premium Luxury ($49,790) and Sport $56,090.

 

WHAT WE LIKED

Our list of "likes" includes the cream-colored leather interior, comfy seats, handsome wheels and padded dash.

 

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT

Driver foot-room is pinched, rear mirror visibility is sub-optimal and the center-stack dial for controlling the sound system and climate controls takes time to master.

 

STYLING

The XT5's angular profile is stately, especially in Radiant Silver Metallic. For 2020, the model gets new wheel choices, new bumpers and a new grille. The 20-inch, 12-spoke wheels might be the most attractive feature of the vehicle.

 

INTERIOR

Our tester features an attractive two-tone interior, Cirrus and Jet Black. The dash is clean and devoid of dials and switches. A virtual gauge cluster is a modern touch.

 

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

The 3.6-liter V-6 is smooth and strong. Mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission the engine makes 305 horsepower. The result is an SUV that's light on it's feet and responds energetically if you give it the spurs.

 

BOTTOM LINE

The XT5 is the pride of the Caddy fleet from a sales perspective, and appeals to a broad swath of possible customers.

Contact Mark Kennedy at mkennedy@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6645. Follow him on Twitter @TFPCOLUMNIST. Subscribe to his Facebook updates at www.facebook.com/mkennedycolumnist.


View other Test Drive stories by Mark Kennedy



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