Top Gift Ideas 2018

It’s that time of year again.  Here are some automotive (and a few other) gift ideas for five popular products you many not have considered:

Slime 50107 Smart Spare Emergency Tire Repair Kit


Antigravity XP-10 Micro start Jump Starter Power 300 Amps / 600A Peak

Antigravity XP-10 Micro start Jump Starter Power 300 Amps / 600A Peak

Porcelain Heart Necklace


1930s-’40s Martin D-18 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar | Reverb
(okay so I’m into guitars this season)

VTIN Portable Bluetooth Speaker with IPX6 Waterproof, Support Deep Bass & Rich

Cadillac XT5 Revisited and Ready

The Cadillac XT5 Crossover replaced the SRX in 2017.  The newly designed XT5 is the first of several crossovers for Cadillac — there will be a smaller XT4 and a longer XT6 coming soon.

In terms of size, the XT5 is a mid-size 4 seater with plenty of room behind the back seats.  The XT4 will be a smaller 4 seater with less storage room.  The XT6 will be a full 6/7 seater with storage room.

The one I enjoyed for a few days was an XT5 Luxury FWD.  The XT5 comes in several successive trims — Standard, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum XT5.  The Luxury like I drove features:

  • Leather seating surfaces, 8-way adjustable front passenger side, driver and front passenger power lumbar control, driver and front passenger heated seats
  • Memory Package: Includes two presents for power driver’s seat, outside mirrors, tilt-and-telescoping steering column, and driver personalization features
  • Automatic-dimming rearview mirror
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Cargo Management System with adjustable cargo fence and retractable cargo shade
  • UltraView® Power Sunroof
  • 18-inch bright machined face alloy wheels with Light Argent accents
  • Heated and power-adjustable outside mirrors with driver-side auto dimming
  • Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Rainsense front wipers

The engine in the XT5 has 310 hp / 271 lb-ft of torque, which not too long ago was muscle car territory.  The 8-speed automatic transmission was flawless and responsive.

One feature that bears some getting used to — the shifter.

There are two buttons on the shifter — one to the left side, and one on top.  First, the one on top, marked “P”, puts the transmission into PARK.  Remember that and you’ll be good.  The one on the left side of the shifter has to be depressed in order to shift either to reverse or drive.  Reverse is forward and left, drive is back.

Overall, the XT5 is terrific.  It drives great, visibility is complete, and power is plentiful.  Safety features are omnipresent.

I am very interested to see the XT4 and XT6 on the road.  Based on the XT5, Cadillac knows how to do these.

Thanks to Crest Cadillac for the XT5 test drive.


Twin-Turbo V8 to be Cadillac Exclusive?


NEW YORK — Cadillac president Johan de Nysschen bluntly shot down rumors his brand’s powerful twin-turbo V8 is also headed for the Chevy Corvette. Speaking Wednesday at the New York Auto Show, he said: “Just quit the speculation it’s headed for Corvette. It’s not.”

The 4.2-liter V8 cranks out 550 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque in the Cadillac CT6 V-Sport, which debuted at the show. With that kind of performance and the fact the engine will be hand-built at the General Motors Performance Build Center in Bowling Green, Ky. — at the Corvette factory — led enthusiasts to presume the engine would eventually be under the Vette’s hood.

The surprises me.  We do think the mid-engine Corvette and Cadillac have a TT DOHC V8 as well.   I am unclear how it makes sense to have two new TT DOHC V8 engines.