Cadillac is endeavoring to keep its most popular model, the XT5 SUV, fresh with a midcycle update for the 2020 model year. The facelift comes three years after the midsize two-row crossover made its debut and brings the XT5 more in line with its new bigger sibling, the three-row XT6. Here’s a roundup of the XT5’s changes and updates:
There’s a Y trim-level strategy. Like the XT6 and other newer Cadillacs, the 2020 XT5 now is split into two distinct submodels: Premium Luxury, which is heavy on the chrome; and Sport, which features darker trim. The “Y” in the strategy comes from the fact that you can add the high-zoot, Platinum top trim level to either the Premium Luxury or the Sport. The entry XT5 is simply called Luxury.
The XT5 Sport costs more than the Premium Luxury. The base engine on the XT5 Sport is a 3.6-liter V-6 with standard all-wheel-drive, while the Premium Luxury can be had with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four and front-wheel-drive, with AWD and the V-6 being optional. The 2.0 turbo is rated for 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft, and the V-6 for 310 horsepower and 271 lb-ft.
A new transmission arrives for all models. No matter the powertrain, it connects to a nine-speed automatic transmission that replaces the 2017–19 XT5’s eight-speed automatic.
There’s a new twin-clutch rear differential for the Sport. In the Cadillac XT5 Sport, the twin-clutch rear differential brakes the inside rear wheel while cornering for better handling. This allows torque to be applied to a rear wheel independently, though it does not overdrive a wheel, so Cadillac is adamant that this is not torque-vectoring. This is engaged only when the driver chooses the AWD “Sport” setting via a dynamic control button. When the XT5 Sport is in the standard Comfort setting, it is always operating in front-drive.
In the Cadillac XT5 Sport, the twin-clutch rear differential brakes inside rear wheels around corners for better handling without sacrificing ride. This can apply torque to a rear wheel independently, though it does not overspin a wheel, so Cadillac is adamant that this is not torque-vectoring. This is engaged only when the driver chooses the AWD “Sport” setting via a dynamic control button. When the XT5 Sport is in the standard comfort setting, it is always operating in FWD.
Fresh headlamps lead the way. LED headlamps with a “light blade” on top and IntelliBeam automatic high beams replace bi-halogens as the standard headlights across the board.
There are new wheels, too. The front and rear lower fascias have been redesigned, and there are new 18- and 20-inch wheels standard and available on Luxury and Premium Luxury, with a new standard 20-inch wheel for the XT5 Sport.
A hands-free liftgate is standard. A Cadillac logo is projected under the rear bumper to direct your foot.
CUE has been updated: The Cadillac User Interface has been upgraded with a new chrome rotary controller complementing the touchscreen and physical buttons.
Additional automated driving assistance tech is aboard. Enhanced automatic parking assist with braking, rear pedestrian alert, and night vision are available.
The cabin gets upgraded, too. Heated front seats are included across the board, there’s a revised 60/40-split rear seat for convenience and utility, the acoustics have been tweaked for a quieter experience, and last—but not least—a new center console has redesigned cupholders and a wrapped bin.
Higher-end hi-fi for audiophiles. There’s a new Bose Performance Series audio system with metal speaker grilles.
New interior design themes offer greater trim differentiation. The updated Caddy XT5 offers a new Jet Black/Kona Brown interior with premium leather upholstery on the seats, door trim, and armrests. There’s a Sedona Brown interior with open-pore wood that carries over from last year, and the tasty Sedona Gray Metallic exterior paint of the 2020 Cadillac XT5 Premium Luxury Platinum show here pairs with a saddle leather and satin rosewood interior trim.