Crossover & Midsize

You Could Do A Lot Better Than a Cadillac for a Midsize Luxury SUV

Cadillac, long known as an icon of American-made luxury vehicles, offers two midsize SUV options for 2020 – the returning Cadillac XT5 and the new XT6 – for the sport utility vehicle market.

The Cadillac XT5

Earning a four-star review from Kelley Blue Book’s expert review panel, the Cadillac XT5 has a starting price of $49,790. Lacking a third row, the XT5 seats up to five comfortably but has limited cargo space. KBB notes that the Cadillac XT5 has a stylish design, but the most sought-after options are only available in the higher-priced trim packages.

The Cadillac XT6

The Cadillac XT6 has a slightly higher starting price at $53,690 and received 3.9 stars in KBB’s review. The XT6 offers more horsepower and a third row to allow seating for seven people. The XT6 is more powerful than its smaller XT5 stablemate, but at 310 hp, it’s underpowered compared to other midsize SUVs in its class. The fact that there is no hybrid option may be another case of Cadillac missing an opportunity.

How does the brand compare?

In a recent review, U.S. News ranked 12 different luxury midsize SUVs. The Cadillac XT5 and XT6 tied for 9th and 11th place, respectively, with scores of 7.7 and 7.6. To put that into perspective, the bottom half of the field scored between 7.6 and 7.8 with the top spot earning a decisive score of 8.7.

The XT5 tied for ninth place with the Lincoln Nautilus. The Cadillac has a smaller MSRP range at $44,095 to $55,095 compared to the Lincoln’s $41,040 to $63,800. Positive notes from the XT5 review include good fuel economy, luxurious ride characteristics, and excellent reliability ratings. Downsides include substandard materials used inside the vehicle, an underpowered turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, excessive driver blind spots, and a lack of rear-seat headroom.

The XT6 tied for 11th place with the Volvo XC90, and again Cadillac had a tighter range of MSRP with the XT6 ranging from $52,695 to $57,095 and the Volvo starting at $48,350 and climbing to $73,800. The Cadillac XT6 received good marks for its quiet interior and excellent cargo capacity but much like the XT5, fell short in the luxury category.

There are better options than Cadillac for a luxury midsize SUV.

RELATED: The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE Offers the Best Tech on the Market

At the top of the rankings with a score of 8.7 is the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class with MSRPs ranging from $54,259 to $77,600. The GLE received praise for technologically advanced infotainment and safety systems, a spacious cabin featuring upscale materials, powertrains that are responsive and energetic with 483 hp, and handling that is predictable and balanced. In fact, the only negative listed is that the infotainment system might be too advanced, making it a distraction.

Scoring an 8.3 and tied for second place are the BMW X5 and the Lexus RX 350. The BMW X5 has the highest base MSRP of any vehicle reviewed for this ranking, ranging from $58,900 to $114,100. The Lexus RX 350 MSRP range starts out at $54,700, which is $4,200 less than the base BMW X5 and only $441 more than the base Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class.

For the high price tag, the BMW X5 delivers good performance in the base trim with 335 hp, but an available 567 hp option is available. Other plusses for the X5 include precise handling, exceptional ride quality, an intuitive infotainment system, and a large cargo area.

By comparison, the much less expensive Lexus RX 350 offers less performance, only delivering about 290 hp, but it still maintains good ride quality and a luxurious cabin. Lack of power is an obvious downside for the RX 350, and it does not offer a lot of cargo space. But if eluding criminals in a life-or-death situation while transporting a small sports team is not a likely scenario, then look to either the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class or the Lexus RX 350 if saving up to $10,000 is worth the decrease in horsepower.