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.


Cadillac XLR validating frontal area calculation

2009 Cadillac XLR

2009 Cadillac XLR

I did a bit more work on frontal area, which appears to support the short-cut we took earlier.

From a thread on Virtual Dyno on HpTuners, The quick way to calculate frontal area is (((w*h)(0.85))/12)/12 = Frontal Area.

For the 2007 base XLR, W=72.3in,  H=50.4in so for a first approximation (((72.3*50.4)*.85)/12/12)= 21.5 ft2.

The question then is the 0.85 factor.  To test that, I downloaded a diagram of the 2007 Cadillac XLR from and pulled just the frontal area into a photo editor.

cadillac-xlr-2007 frontal

Next, I selected the parts of the diagram that were NOT XLR

xlr outline of not xlr

Then I used the photo editor (GIMP) to tell me how many pixels were shaded (20,668) of the total pixels size (149,464) which resolves to 20668/149464 = 13.8%, or 86.2% for the XLR.

That makes the frontal area for the 2007 base XLR, (((72.3*50.4)*.862)/12/12)= 21.8 ft2.  In this case the approximation was good, but I will update my Virtual Dyno XLR profile to 21.8 ft2.

Power and Ice — a delicate mix #Motorama

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, my large, performance-focused rear-wheel drive Cadillac STS-V handled just fine in the ice we got here in the Dallas area.


With my Roadster taking up all the warm garage space, the STS-V was left to brave the cold on the driveway, which disappeared under about an inch of ice.

The only issue when we did manage to get out on the roads was ground clearance — when only ruts were available as traffic dug through the ice and shifted it to the center of the road then the STS-V aero underbelly would plow the center ice a bit.

The Stabilitrak and traction control help with keeping things in hand when they might otherwise get out of hand.  I also used the performance manual-automatic shifting option to start in 2nd gear in some cases, making it easier to ease forward off the ice.

As always, let caution be your guide of course, and assume anyone else you see out on the ice needs plenty of room to maneuver.

All in all the STS-V did very well and I would not hesitate to take it out again in foul weather.