Three days after the unveiling of the all-new 2017 Cadillac XT5, we have yet to hear a single negative comment about the crossover’s interior. To the contrary, the feedback has been quite positive, and the cabin seems to be just the right amount of attractive design blended with high quality materials. Let’s take a look at the various elements that make the XT5 interior so great.
Cadillac says that the XT5’s cabin “brings a new level of sophistication to showcase Cadillac’s evolving design language”, which was most recently presented on the upcoming CT6 Sedan. The design is “based on a philosophy of clean, modern elegance and craftsmanship”, according to Cadillac.
“Our focus for the interior was sophistication and simplicity, ensuring an economy of lines to reduce visual noise and clutter,” says Cadillac executive director of global design, Andrew Smith. “A feeling of space is the ultimate luxury, so we sought to emphasize that. We also use a greater variety of authentic materials and palette of colors to deliver expressive interiors in all trim levels.”
There is “a lean, taut, liquid quality to the surfaces with flowing, uninterrupted lines separated by crisp edges”. A strong visual aesthetic is achieved “with proportions that convey the driving experience and the lightweight construction underneath the surface.”
The importance Cadillac placed on the interior is vital for the vehicle’s success in the marketplace: “We believe that luxury crossover customers particularly focus on interior design and materials,” says Smith. “This design direction is predicated on modern craftsmanship and the artistic integration of technology.”
Horizontal Surface Orientation
Interior surfaces inside the XT5 are wider and more horizontal in orientation compared to the SRX that it replaces. Cadillac says that the new horizontal surface orientation emphasizes efficient use of space.
Like all Cadillac models, the cabin is assembled with cut-and-sewn wrapped panels compared to molded surfaces typically used on mainstream vehicles.
The XT5 offers five interior color and trim choices. Decorative trim options range from carbon fiber to two types of aluminum and three types of genuine wood.
Notably, the pillars and headliner appear to be the same color as the color of the dashboard, rather than a common gray color of the SRX.
The cabin of the new Cadillac XT5 is full of small yet important details, including:
Electronic Precision Shift
The 2017 XT5 introduces Electronic Precision Shift – the first electronically-controlled transmission shifter in a Cadillac. The technology reduces noise and vibration and increases the flexibility of shifter positioning. It also enables the new floating center console.
Floating Center Console
The center console “floats” above a storage space below it, which will surely be appreciated by female drivers looking to store their handbag or other items.
There is also an open storage space just ahead of the new gear selector (below the HVAC control). The space doubles as a wireless smartphone charger (See “CUE” section below).
An oversized moonroof is available on the XT5, creating a sense of spaciousness in the cabin while also offering both front- and rear-seat passengers the opportunity to enjoy the sky above (whenever it’s safe to do so, of course).
Power-Sliding Cupholder Cover
As seen in the third-generation CTS, the 2017 XT5 features a power-sliding cupholder cover. Though not a groundbreaking feature, it does represents a unique detail that aids in creating a high-tech ambience.
From everything we have seen thus far, the A-pillars of the new XT5 appear to be much thinner compared to those of the SRX it replaces. Likely made possible by the use of high-strength and ultra high-strength steel, the thinner A-pillars is very much welcome since the second-generation SRX had some of the thickest A-pillars imaginable.
The 2017 XT5 steering wheel is the same as the all-new wheel design introduced by the 2016 CT6 sedan. With the Cadillac Crest prominently in the center, it features healthy grip support and an amalgamation of on-wheel buttons, which are re-arranged compared to the steering wheels of current Cadillac. Specifically, the lower vertical areas receive a new set of buttons that previously resided on the left and right horizontal sections.
The XT5 is packed full of technology, leading some to describe it as a computer on wheels.
New CUE Infotainment System
The CUE infotainment system is upgraded for the XT5 with a faster and more powerful processor that provides “best-ever response and accuracy”. The screen appears to be an eight-inch unit as seen on other 2016 (and prior) model year Cadillac models, but unlike those models, it does not appear to be capable of opening to reveal a storage space.
The volume control remains a capacitive touch slider in the 2017 XT5, while tuning is accomplished on the touch screen; neither the volume nor tuning features have redundant physical controls. The updated CUE system also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration as standard features. The XT5 also features an integrated wireless charger for mobile devices via a slot designed into the center console.
However, one notable change is the addition of physical controls for the vehicle’s HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system via three switches, one to adjust the driver’s-side temperature, another to adjust the passenger-side temperature, and the third to adjust the fan speed.
New Instrument Cluster
Given Cadillac’s past ineptitude to design an attractive instrument cluster, we’re happy to say that the 2017 XT5 features an instrument cluster that represents a huge improvement over any other modern Cadillac we’ve seen so far. The cluster features two rather attractive analog gauges on the far left (the tachometer) and right (the speedometer). A large digital display resides in the middle to display everything else.
Rear Camera Mirror System
Cadillac’s patented Rear Camera Mirror system, introduced on the Cadillac CT6, makes its way to the XT5.
The system works via a high dynamic range camera, which records wide images behind the car. It then streams the image to video processing software and projects the unobstructed view to a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) applied over the conventional inside rearview mirror.
The result is the removal of such obstacles as the roof, rear pillars and rear seat passengers, thereby enhancing the driver’s rear vision by 300 percent, and delivering a better view of what’s behind the vehicle.
Another new notable technology of the 2017 XT5 is the reconfigurable Head-Up Display (HUD), a feature that is unavailable on the second-gen SRX.
The HUD enables the driver to view vital vehicle information such as vehicle speed, engine RPM, speed limit and certain infotainment functions, all without breaking eye contact with the road ahead. The technology increases safety and convenience while also decreasing driver fatigue.
OnStar 4G LTE With Wi-Fi- Hotspot
Like all Cadillac models in 2016, XT5 features 4G wireless connectivity, with a standard integrated Wi-Fi hotspot.
A Surround Vision feature enables a “bird’s eye” view of the perimeter around the car to assist in parking.
Driver Assistance Systems
Cadillac’s Driver Awareness and Driver Assist packages are available 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
- Automatic Parking Assist
More Spacious, Sliding And Reclining Rear Seats
The 2016 XT5’s new C1XX platform enables 3.2 inches (8.1 cm) more rear-seat legroom over the outgoing SRX. Added comfort for rear-seat passengers is furnished by the crossover’s rear seats, which recline and slide fore and aft. By comparison, the rear seats of the SRX were capable of reclining but not sliding back and forth.
What’s more, the rear end of the driver and passenger center console features two A/C vents for the rear passengers. Above the A/C vents is a new panel with HVAC and audio controls.
The details of the 2017 Cadillac XT5 cabin also extend to the very back thanks to a useful and attractive (yes, attractive) cargo area.
Though preliminary XT5 specs do not provide a cargo area volume measurement, the space appears to be quite roomy. The rear seats fold on a 60/40 (left/right) split, increasing the crossover’s hauling capacity.
The rear liftgate can be opened via hands-free operation, with gesture control beneath the rear bumper. The driver could simply walk up to the vehicle with the key fob on his or her person, wave a foot slightly under the bumper, and the liftgate will open. We’re not privy as to whether the feature is standard or an option on the XT5.
Upon opening the liftgate, customers will be greeted with two brushed aluminum horizontal accents and two metal tracks that run longitudinally along the cargo area. The tracks are part of a new rail-based cargo management system. The outgoing SRX had a similar system called U-Rail.
To us, it’s these metal accents that are responsible for the “attractive” part of the cargo space.
A 12-volt outlet can be found on the driver’s side wall.
The Next Generation Of Cadillac Interiors
Overall, the 2017 XT5 cabin is a vast improvement compared to that of its predecessor, ushering the brand into a new era of interior quality and design.