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10 April 2019
LIFESTYLE

How to make an entrance

The XT5, Cadillac’s top model, is finally debuting in the Gulf, but will it live up to its global success?

SUPPLIED


The XT5, Cadillac’s bestselling model globally, has, since its debut, been a hit in the Middle East. In 2015, the first XT5 was first shown at the Dubai Motor Show to huge cheers. Now, though it took a bit longer to get here this time, the 2018 model has finally arrived in the region. The XT5 rests, first and foremost, on the reputation that Cadillac has built since its foundation in 1902.

When Henry Ford left his company, his key investors decided not to leave cars all together, hiring new collaborators and founding Cadillac, a name that has continued to release some of the best mass-produced luxury vehicles in the United States to this day.

What’s new? The 2018 model features new enhancements on both the exterior and interior, including a rear camera mirror, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibilities, autoheated steering wheel and front- and rearseat USB capabilities—the necessary technological enhancements and every day luxuries that drivers require in 2019.

The design has also put a greater emphasis on fuel economy, driving dynamics and interior space, keeping the model a crossover with a unique lightweight design structure. To achieve its lightweight design, a combination of laser welding, ultrahigh-strength steel and advanced analytics were used to ensure a stronger structure, excellent crash performance, and less overall bulk.

The look of the XT5 is leaner than past Cadillac SUVs, built for a different sort of driving experience than the more tank-like models of yore. Like all Cadillac models, the interior is built with cut-and-sewn wrapped panel instead of a reliance on the molded surfaces that dominate mainstream American vehicles in particular, showing a focus on clean, modern elegance and craftsmanship.

Interior surfaces inside the XT5 are wider and more horizontal in orientation, emphasising
space-efficiency. Under the hood, the XT5 is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine with an SAE-certified peak output of 310 horsepower (231 kW) and 367 Nm of torque.

Cadillac’s stop/start technology automatically stops and starts the engine when the vehicle is stationery, saving fuel and reducing emissions, while enhancing the quietness expected of a luxury vehicle, a welcome innovation. The standard twin clutch allwheel drive system continuously and automatically delivers excellent traction across a variety of conditions.

While engineered specifically for strong performance in wet, snowy or icy conditions, it also provides enhanced stability in dry weather. Due to the twin clutch design, the AWD system is capable of transferring up to 100 per cent of available torque to either the front or rear axle. Also, across the rear axle, the electronically controlled rear differential can direct up to 100 per cent of available torque to either wheel laterally.

This capability is designed for ‘split-coefficient’ surfaces, such as the common occurrence when water, ice or snow is more prevalent on one side of the road surface than the other.The standard transmission is an eight-speed automatic transmission with Electronic Precision Shift, an electronically controlled transmission shifter that reduces noise and vibration.

The standard twin clutch all-wheel drive system continuously and automatically delivers traction across multiple conditions. Safety technology continues to be the brand’s strong suit. Cadillac’s patented new industry-leading Rear Camera Mirror system is standard on 2018 XT5 Platinum models. In addition, the car features the brand’s Driver Awareness and Driver Assist packages to aid vision and collision avoidance.

These include automatic front and rear braking for low-speed conditions, Lane Keeping Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Side Blind Zone Alert, full-speed range Adaptive Cruise Control and Automatic Parking Assist. The car relies on the unique lightweight design of its chassis for increased fuel economy and the ultimate driving experience. The crossover’s design and structure embody the company’s expertise for lightweight and agile driving dynamics.

The XT5 is 126 kg lighter than the SRX. The XT5 is more than 295 kg lighter than the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, achieving this with no compromise to body rigidity and crash performance. The rear-seat legroom in the 2018 XT5 is an impressive 1003 mm— compared to 975 mm in the Mercedes-Benz GLE. The rear seat reclines and slides fore and aft, as well.

Cadillac’s crossover embodies the brand’s expertise for lightweight and agile driving dynamics. It is 45 kg lighter than the Audi Q5—despite the Cadillac being seven inches longer—and more than 295 kg lighter than the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, with no compromise to body rigidity or crash performance.

Will the car perform in the Gulf as well it has performed in other markets? It is tough to say. But though it may not be the best luxury SUV on the market, the dependability, technological innovations and focus on safety make the XT5 a safe bet as an every day family car in the region.

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