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Cadillac XT5 vs BMW X5: Which Luxury SUV is the Best Choice?

1. Introduction

Cadillac and BMW are two well-known luxury car brands. The former originated from the United States while the latter originates from Germany. For quite some time, the latter has been dominant in the luxury car market. Nonetheless, this has not stopped Cadillac making forays in the luxury car market, and the proof for this is their production of the Cadillac XT5. Luxury cars certainly are priced highly and, according to experts, luxury cars are also grouped into several classes. One of these classes is the luxury SUV. Cadillac's endeavor into the luxury SUV market comprises of the Cadillac SRX and the recently released Cadillac XT5. Price indeed demonstrates the very essence of luxury cars. In this comparison, the new Cadillac XT5 will be compared against the BMW X5, a well-known luxury SUV with global recognition. In Malaysia, the XT5 has been released earlier this year so it is very recent. As for the X5, its production is still ongoing and the models can be dated back to 2014. With these facts, the comparison between these two cars would be absolutely beneficial for anyone looking for a luxury SUV, in both the new and second-hand car markets. From hereon, the main aim is to direct potential luxury SUV buyers to a suitable choice, whether a second-hand BMW X5 or a new Cadillac XT5. Another American crossover is sure to weaken getting back Cadillac's old title as 'The Standard of the World'. The Cadillac SRX is an SUV from Cadillac, a brand that has been around for a very long time, but it is indeed less recognized on a global scale than BMW, Mercedes, and Audi. With its history of making large sedans and limousines, the brand has somewhat set the standard for luxury American cars. Mentioned in the first paragraph, the essence of luxury cars in today's terms is grouped into several classes and it is even more relevant to the term 'crossover', which is a category between an SUV and a sedan. The SRX has somewhat set the standard of what a Cadillac crossover would be and should the cliche of big sedans and limos be changed? The term 'change' is a huge step here because thereafter in 2017 the SRX was replaced with the XT5. A more modern term of crossover, which can be comparable to now, it is said to be the definition of a crossover vehicle, a term basically erasing what the SRX really is, with a difference far too much. In relation, this change was really inevitable as what was done to catch up with the current trend of vehicles but it does not change the fact that the XT5 is supposed to be a modern version of a crossover and the global image must be changed with this and the term of a luxury SUV is really the target. This is, however, not the subject to debate what the XT5 really is, but it created a very interesting debate on which crossover would be the best Cadillac's SUV.

1.1 Overview of the Cadillac XT5

The SRX was a consistent seller for Cadillac, though it relied heavily on steep discounts and fleet sales. It was a pretty big hit with rental car companies. This is partially why the SRX had high sales volume. It didn't have much resale value and Cadillac offered large discounts straight from the dealer. Consequently, the SRX depreciated heavily and Cadillac made money off them through other means. The XT5 on the other hand, has held its value quite well. Resale and depreciation have been well below average for the class and XT5 offers consumers much better value in the long run. This is because Cadillac has reduced the number of fleet sales and it's being more stingy on discounts with the XT5. This was a risky move for Cadillac but it has paid off so far. High pricing on a vehicle with a reputation for poor reliability doesn't usually bode well, but the XT5 has performed just fine in this metric. Ultimately the fleet sales and discounts on the SRX hurt the brand image and Cadillac recognized this with the XT5. It used to just be a running joke that Cadillac's target demographic was old people and I think that the XT5 has done a lot to shake that perception. This model has resonated far more with middle-aged consumers and is a fixture in the highly competitive mid-size luxury SUV segment. (Zhao et al.2021)

Cadillac first introduced the XT5 in 2016 as the successor to their popular mid-size luxury SUV, the SRX. The XT5 represents a departure from the SRX in several key areas. It shifted focus away from traditional luxury and performance, taking an overall more well-rounded approach with a focus on value. The XT5 is still designed to be a luxurious vehicle, but performance wasn't the end-all, be-all as it was with the SRX. This was reflected in the XT5's sales figures. It has consistently outsold the SRX each year that it has been on the market.

1.2 Overview of the BMW X5

The X5 can also be purchased in hybrid form, something that is not very common in the luxury SUV market. The 2010 X5 hybrid uses a 4.4L V8 engine and a single electric motor/generator system mated with a 3-phase synchronous high voltage electric motor providing a 480V max voltage. This setup provides 357 combined HP, and 56 more HP coming from just the electric motor which draws power from a Nickel Metal Hydride battery. The hybrid X5 can travel at speeds up to 40 mph using just the electric motor. The hybrid system in the X5 is said to be a "full hybrid system" meaning the vehicle can be propelled by either the electric motor, the engine, or both, as opposed to the mild hybrid systems used in other GM vehicles. Fuels consumption is not yet officially rated but it is estimated to be 17 city mpg and 19 highway mpg. This estimate has aroused some disappointment but it is certainly an improvement over the gas only V8 X5s.

The X5 is also available in an AWD diesel version which is equipped with the 3.0L diesel engine that provides 425 lb/ft of torque at 1750-2250 rpm, around 265 hp at 6200 rpm, and all while obtaining 19 city mpg and 26 highway mpg. This engine, while not as quick as the 3.0L six, is certainly a step up in terms of luxury and fuel efficiency. With light weight and proper tire setup, the AWD diesel X5 could prove to be an off-road force, especially in winter conditions. A more powerful xDrive 35i 3.0L Inline 6 engine will be made optional on the 2011 X5, but whether it will replace the old 3.0 or be an alternative is not yet known.

The BMW X5 was first released in 1999 and has lasted through two generations since that time. The current generation began in 2007 and is expected to span until the 2012 model year. The X5 comes in several different setups. The standard X5 comes equipped with the 3.0L Inline 6 engine that is found in several other BMW models. This engine provides 260 hp at 6600 rpm and 225 lb/ft of torque at 2750 rpm. This setup allows the standard X5 to go from 0-60 in about 8.4 seconds, and around 8.2 in an all-wheel drive version. It isn't surprising that the X5 isn't available with a manual transmission due to BMW's phase out of AWD manual vehicles. The fuel consumption for this model isn't anything to brag about, getting 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. Though you may not be saving money at the pump with this setup, the savings at the time of purchase compared to the X5s with larger engines may seem attractive.

2. Exterior Design

In the comparison of Cadillac XT5 vs BMW X5, using the price and the same luxury SUV segment, then it needs a comparison with the design of both. This is important because a luxury SUV is not only used to go through heavy fields but also to style the owner in a big city. And from the design, that's the most subjective but can attract the buyer to choose the car. This is interesting to analyze the response to the car design, especially for a luxury SUV. (Aldo & Ramaprabha)

BMW makes X5 which is the third generation of BMW X series. X5 is one of the SUV pioneers that use a unibody platform with all-wheel drive, though the first generation still looks like a station wagon. A long journey has happened since the first X5 was released in 1999. And finally, in the third generation, BMW changes X5 to look more bold and aggressive. This is to anticipate the new rival in the SUV segment. There are some changes that BMW did for the X5. But the big changes are in the front and the rear of the car. Now X5 has a big front grille, it's different from the previous X5 where the grille is not too stand out. High class and X line style using the big kidney, that's the answer why the new grille is very stand out. Then the front light also changed with LED corona rings. It's striking and luxurious. High line model using a narrow LED light equipped with light on the surface that makes it look sporty. Then the rear light also uses coordination to make it look more integrated. And for the exhaust, BMW X5 uses a trapezoidal style. It symbolizes that X5 is the sport and aggressive SUV.

Cadillac made some revolution in the XT5 design. It looks much better than the previous generation of Cadillac SRX. XT5 appears with a new concept of Cadillac and it removes the old Cadillac style which looks classic. There is a new grille design that symbolizes the new Cadillac. Then there is an interesting headlight design. It is made in a thin form but long enough and implanted by front daylight. This design makes the front view of XT5 more elegant. Then Cadillac still keeps the vertical rear light that is ultra LED. This is the unique mark of Cadillac. There is no other car manufacturer that makes the rear light like that. And the unique part of XT5 is in the left back door there is a hidden button to open the fuel socket. This is making the new breakthrough.

In general, people are likely to buy a new car whose design/style is appealing to them. This condition is most likely to happen if the car buyers are set to buy a luxury car. In terms of appearance, each car manufacturer has their own characteristic to make their product. They want customers to recognize their product from the appearance. They put some unique marks or symbols. It's just like what Cadillac and BMW did for their new SUV.

2.1 Cadillac XT5: Sleek and Modern Styling

The new XT5-edgy exterior styling is rooted in the natural world, but the Jetsons-esque interior is a grab bag of interesting plastics and leather. This takeaway is based on our test of a mid-level Premium Luxury model. Base, Luxury, and Premium versions offer bright aluminum interior accents, while the Platinum gets genuine wood. The control layout is streamlined and centered around Cadillac's CUE infotainment interface that uses a touchpad to access its variety of functions. This approach eliminates most conventional buttons and knobs and will likely be polarizing among buyers. The front seats are comfortable and all passengers are well isolated from road and wind noise. The split-folding rear seats can be optionally upgraded and tilted and slid fore and aft. Although the rear seat isn't as spacious as the front, the XT5 offers ample cargo space. The rear liftgate has a programmable height to avoid contact with low ceilings. This is a feature that is particularly stunning in its uselessness, but it sure seems cool the first time you see it. Speaking of useful features, towing capacity is a useful feature almost no XT5 buyer will actually use at 3,500 pounds when the $580 trailer package is specified. The aforementioned lack of Super Cruise for 2020 remains noteworthy and points to why a late-model XT5 is likely the way to go.

2.2 BMW X5: Sporty and Aggressive Appearance

The BMW X5 emphasizes the "Sport" in sport utility vehicle. The front end is aggressive compared to the other two vehicles. The front fascia has an aggressive bumper, large air intakes to enhance engine and brake cooling, and optional adaptive Xenon headlamps to illuminate the road and give a compelling look. In the side, the X5 features bold wheel arches that house large wheels (up to 20 inches). Powerfully flared wheel arches are available in the sport package. At the rear, the X5 leaves no question in the mind of onlookers that it is a BMW. The X5 features bolder lines and the taillight housing is set deeper into the body creating a determined look. High round taillights illuminate giving it the unmistakable nighttime BMW look. This is one of the few SUVs that places the tailpipes prominently out the back. The available rearview camera is housed subtly in the BMW roundel and only appears when needed in the navigation iDrive screen. Overall, the X5 encourages one to take the wheel and drive with its aggressive and go-getter look. A sporty exterior is accompanied with great performance with the 3.0 and 4.4 liter V8 available engines; it's an intense look matched by intense performance. (Shahen)

2.3 Comparison of Exterior Features

As you can see, Cadillac has taken a more modern approach with the XT5, while BMW kept the X5 more aggressive and sporty. At the end of the day, the design of the vehicle all comes down to personal preference. But we see the design of the XT5 becoming outdated much quicker than the X5. The modern look will look great for the next 3 or so years, however the X5 will still look current even 6 or 7 years down the track. Both manufacturers have done a great job with the design and for that reason it's hard to determine which design is "better". Moving into what the vehicles actually offer, the X5 has a standard set of bi-xenon headlights, with optional LED headlights or even more optional Adaptive LED headlights. Step it up to the XT5 and as standard, LED headlights have been installed, with no option of further upping the ante. An obvious benefit to the X5, the XT5 has tried to even it up with separating themselves from other Cadillac models that still use and offer xenon-type lights. LED headlights not only look better and are more energy-efficient, but last longer and provide superior visibility in the dark. Both cars also come with standard 18" alloy wheels, and offer an upgrade to 20" wheels. The XT5 comes an aluminium option, and also a pearl nickel option of the 20" wheels, which give the car a more premium look. The X5 also comes with an aluminium option, and also higher offs with a V-spoke style or M Double-spoke style wheels. Step it up to their most expensive options, the wheels on the X5 will give it a more premium look than the XT5. And for those who want a more premium look to their car and can afford to spend that little bit extra, the X5 also offers a range of exterior BMW Individual paint options, to really make the car stand out from the rest. Both models also come with standard panoramic sunroofs. The X5's sunroof is slightly bigger, and a neat add-on called Comfort Access, where drivers can open and close the sunroof from a distance using the key fob. This isn't a huge feature, but definitely a bonus for X5 owners. The XT5 also comes with an optional illuminated cargo sill plate, which is a neat little feature, lighting up the rear trunk area when it's dark. This feature is not to be seen in any X5 models. Again, the two models have done a great job with the design and features of their vehicles and it all comes down to personal preference, but I give the slight edge to the X5 here. There is no doubt that having a good looking car is important, and Cadillac's main target when designing the XT5 was to bridge the gap to its competitors in the SUV market. But from a market where SUVs are popular and now substituting sedans, the X5 with its aggressive yet still modern styling, offers a more appealing package for today's SUV buyers, than the XT5 with its sole modern look.

3. Interior Comfort and Features

Comparatively, the BMW X5 is only available with rear-wheel drive and can also fit up to five people with seating for a sixth or seventh with optional third-row seating. The standard features of the BMW X5 include dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, and a power liftgate. The BMW X5 starts with pure luxury with its fineline oak wood trim and SensaTec upholstery. Its technology is just as advanced with a 10.2-inch display and the iDrive system, a 9-speaker HiFi sound system, and three 12-volt power sockets coming standard. BMW offers a variety of packages and optional features to customize your X5 to fit your style. This includes a luxury seating package with upgraded leather upholstery and ventilated and/or multi-contour seating, as well as a premium package with various interior features and a heads-up display. With features to match the price of the car, the top-tier Audiophile package offers a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and 3D surround view. In leading technology, the Driver Assistance Plus package and the Parking Assistance package include a myriad of safety and convenience features.

The Cadillac XT5 comes with two rows of seats and can fit up to five people. The rear seats can also be adjusted, allowing them to be moved forwards and backwards up to 3.5 inches, which provides more legroom for second-row passengers and extra storage room in the back. The standard features of Cadillac XT5 include dual-zone automatic climate control, rear parking sensors, and the Cadillac User Experience infotainment system with a rotary controller knob, an 8-inch display, an eight-speaker Bose sound system, and a 4G LTE connection with onboard WiFi for mobile devices. Upgrading the Premium Luxury and Platinum trims will get you a panoramic sunroof to brighten the cabin. The Platinum trim goes a step further with its interior and features, adding additional luxury touches including upgraded leather upholstery and a head-up display.

3.1 Cadillac XT5: Luxurious and Spacious Cabin

The Cadillac XT5 presents a spacious and newly luxurious cabin that raises the bar for the luxury crossover/SUV category. A comfortable and luxurious interior has always been a Cadillac president and the XT5 is no exception. The XT5 has impressive head and legroom in both the front and rear seats and is also available with a panoramic sunroof which really opens up the interior space. Cadillac markets the XT5 as a 5 passenger vehicle, but the rear seat has ample space and three adults can fit comfortably. In comparison, the BMW X5 has a similarly roomy interior but 4-zone climate and rear seat entertainment are the only features that put it ahead of the XT5. As for available space, the Cadillac offers 30 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 63 cubic feet if the rear seats are folded down. The BMW has slightly more cargo space at 35 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 76 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. Overall, the space and comfort that the XT5 provides is very competitive with the X5 and the addition of a few small details could give it an edge. The XT5 comes in 4 trim levels: Base, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Platinum. An array of features comes standard such as keyless entry and ignition, power front seats, a power liftgate, dual zone climate control, and rear park assist. The Premium Luxury trim is the best value and adds Cadillac User Experience: an integrated and intuitive infotainment system that includes an 8-inch color touchscreen and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. This trim level also includes a safety alert seat, front and rear park assist, a rear vision camera, and a panoramic sunroof. The top of the line Platinum trim adds driver awareness package and driver assist package safety features, a hands-free liftgate, and an adjustable rear sliding seat. Overall, the XT5 has an abundance of features that are deemed necessary for a luxury vehicle and offers a strong value throughout all its trim levels.

3.2 BMW X5: Premium Materials and Advanced Technology

Seeking to provide a high-end luxury SUV experience, the BMW X5 comes across as being all about style, sophistication, and advanced technology. It is obvious that featuring a slightly smaller interior than that of the XT5, the X5 is geared more towards individual or small family transport, focusing its strengths on the quality of the furnishings and technology offered. Buyers looking for a utilitarian and comfortable luxury experience may be better off looking towards the XT5. BMW is known for setting trends in the luxury car market, often being the first to implement new technology which will later become an industry standard. With this, we see a higher-end X5 being very well equipped in terms of technology and an extremely well-designed and practical user interface. iDrive, BMW's onboard computer system, has received much praise for being one of the easiest systems to operate and allowing the driver to customize settings for vehicle preferences. The new X5 features the latest version of iDrive, including a large high-resolution screen and a touchpad on the control knob allowing characters to be entered with a fingertip. Voice control and a rearview camera come as standard with optional extras including a head-up display, night vision with pedestrian detection, and a host of driver assistance features.

3.3 Comparison of Interior Features and Comfort

One of the biggest differences is that Cadillac XT5 has no central tunnel under front dashboard, due to electronic shift by wire. This feature is not seen in any of the luxury vehicles. This also means there is no need of space occupied by lever type gear shift and hence it leaves more space for cup holders and storage of any other stuff. XT5 has glove box mounted CD drive and there is also one available in glovebox with option of second drive in centre console; technology X5 has already skipped. Both cars have similar amount of safety features, but X5 notifies about speed limits on roads. This is worth mentioning feature, because this is not available in any car and keeps driver alert all the time. This is necessity of today's world. Though XT5 has similar or more safety features than X5, but speed limit notification is what gives an X5 an edge over XT5. Both have similar safety ratings with 5 and 4 stars for Cadillac and BMW respectively, in various segments. But X5 is still far behind when it comes to safety recognition as compared to Cadillac. Coming to seat comfort, Cadillac XT5 has wider seats, better driving position and comfort as compared to X5. Sparkling headlights are one more feature of XT5. These are adjustable and LEDs wiggle with the movement of steering, somewhat similar to Audi's dynamic headlights. This feature is available with high end cars like Range Rover and is not present in X5. LED headlights have high system ratings for visibility with little glare and Cadillac have earned good scores for it. The high beam assist only switch high beams on and off automatically with respect to any oncoming vehicle and is not capable for bending like the LED headlights. This is also not available for X5. So overall it can be said that although X5 has advanced technology, for seating and comfort features, XT5 is the winner.

Based on the features and comfort level of both these cars, we can clearly state that XT5 is a step ahead of BMW X5. Although X5 is more expensive than Cadillac XT5, but when it comes to features and relaxation, XT5 is the clear winner. Both these cars have heated steering wheels, seats and all kind of latest features, but the main difference is of massage seats. Usually nobody would prefer to sit in car and have a massage, but after the tiresome journey, long drive there are issues of back pain and Cadillac XT5 has this amazing feature of massaging and relieving your pain. This feature is usually not available in most of the luxury vehicles, but it's worth having on a long journey. It also has dual zone climate control which X5 also has, but the button controls are much easier to use on Cadillac as compared to the scroll one. Both cars have same sunroof, but one difference is of pano-sized sunroof in XT5 which is larger than front sized sunroof on X5.

3.4 Cargo Space and Practicality

Moreover, the XT5 is equipped with a kick sensor tailgate which is a new technology that senses the driver's foot motion under the rear bumper and opens and closes the tailgate. This feature will be especially useful when handling those times when your arms are full of groceries, children, or anything else. This is a unique feature to Cadillac and is a further example of the XT5's thought out practicality. A simple yet important feature that leaves little to no inconvenience at all. These simple reliable practicalities are perfect for any-sized families or even just an individual daily commute. This compared to the X5's boot handling mechanism is a simple manual lever – a feature that is less convenient and more often than not leaves little or no room to maneuver with the lever and open the boot with hands full. This is a clear example of how the XT5 improves where the X5 lacks in practical use.

Although both SUVs are similar in size, when it comes to cargo space and practicality, the Cadillac XT5 has a clear advantage over the BMW X5. Both vehicles are a 5-seater option, where with the rear seats up, the XT5 offers 1007 litres of space, while the X5 only has 645 litres. With the rear seats folded down, the XT5 continues to impress with 1853 litres compared to the X5 with 1860 litres. Given the dimensions of the XT5 are larger in length, width, height, and overall room required for legroom, this is a clear indication of making the most parcel room and practicality, and the XT5 will far better accommodate large families, prams, and/or dogs.

4. Performance and Driving Experience

Cadillac XT5 Smooth and refined ride XT5 is built on a solid foundation that enables a quiet cabin and a comfortable ride, characteristics that convey Cadillac's reputation for a plush driving experience. A lightweight body structure and a design emphasizing low mass combine to create a sleek, solid driving experience. The structure is bolstered by a tuned chassis system to ensure it is nimble. A new 3.6-liter V6 powers the XT5. It has been completely redesigned and features Active Fuel Management cylinder deactivation technology, which allows the engine to seamlessly switch to a fuel-saving 4-cylinder mode under low or moderate loads. With an impressive output of 310 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, the V6 utilizes variable valve timing for improved efficiency. These performance parameters combine to create a vehicle capable of 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph. The new V6 has a powerful feel in nearly all driving conditions and will be available in the UAE, with a higher output version offered on the upcoming XT5 V-Sport model. The engine is backed by a paddle-shift eight-speed automatic transmission with Electronic Precision Shift. This advanced transmission provides efficient power transfer, with gear changes that are quick and smooth. A new advanced twin-clutch all-wheel drive system, which features a fully disconnecting rear axle, will be added for the 2020 model year. The AWD system is designed to improve fuel economy by only activating when required for traction assist. Towing capacity checks in at 3,500 pounds, which is suitable for a compact crossover and the towing populace it attracts. A new advanced twin-clutch all-wheel drive system, which features a fully disconnecting rear axle, will be added for the 2020 model year. The AWD system is designed to improve fuel economy by only activating when required for traction assist. Overall, the Cadillac XT5 will surely meet the needs of drivers who seek comfort and easy handling in their luxury crossover.

4.1 Cadillac XT5: Smooth and Refined Ride

All of these design philosophies and features were intended to provide the XT5 with a driving experience that is smooth, confident, and more consistent with the overall brand image. This direction was taken due to the high variability of modern luxury SUVs and it is our belief that Cadillac has succeeded in making the XT5 a standout vehicle in its segment.

Finally, the suspension system is rounded out by a standard twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system with active torque control. The AWD system is designed to provide enhanced handling and stability in wet or snowy conditions and it does so by detecting wheel-slip and delivering power to the wheels with traction. While the overall AWD system is not intended for off-road use, the added traction control greatly improves the on-road driving experience in everyday conditions.

The XT5 is constructed of a single unit body which provides a more solid and rigid feel compared to the typical body-on-frame vehicle. The benefit is reduced noise and vibration and improved overall ride and handling. A blend of high-strength steel and sound-insulating materials are integrated to provide a stiff body structure with lightweight characteristics. This design philosophy carries over to the chassis of the XT5. Front and rear suspensions are isolated from the body and consist of a five-link independent design that provides optimal control over wheel and body motion. The result is a significant reduction in road irregularities, vibrations, and harshness and an improvement in overall vehicle handling.

From the perspective of driving dynamics, the Cadillac XT5 is not your typical luxury SUV. Traditional body-on-frame luxury SUVs and most modern crossover utility vehicles share a commonality in overall vehicle handling dynamics. The body-on-frame or truck-based SUV has very comfortable characteristics, good performance, and responsive handling, but often at the expense of fuel economy and ride quality. The modern crossover utility offers a car-like driving experience with impressive fuel economy but can often be lackluster in overall performance. The 2017 Cadillac XT5 bridges the gap of these two segments. This is achieved on the Cadillac XT5 through advanced structural and chassis design.

4.2 BMW X5: Powerful Engine Options and Dynamic Handling

Overall, what's most impressive about the X5 isn't just the raw capability or prowess as demonstrated on a track or a very tight, twisty mountain road; what sets the X5 apart is that it manages to achieve that while providing a very comfortable, enjoyable driving experience that doesn't wear out the driver. Step out of an X5 after a long day of driving, and you'll feel much more refreshed than in most other vehicles with similarly impressive performance.

Dynamic Performance Control is a system that enhances agility in the X5 by using smart electronics to transfer power to the wheels that can use it best, and it also includes a system that can apportion power side-to-side at the rear axle for sportier, more confident handling. An available AdaptiveDrive system takes this a step further, adding active anti-roll bars that essentially firm up in tight corners yet soften over rough terrain, together with electronically controlled dampers that provide a broad range of settings.

Without a doubt, the BMW X5 not only provides a sporty driving feel in this category, but it out-handles most large luxury trucks and SUVs. Engine options are robust. Starting with the X5 35i, you'll find a peppy turbocharged six-cylinder that provides plenty of power and respectable fuel economy. We've clocked the six-cylinder X5 at 7.4 seconds in the 0-60-mph dash. For those seeking more muscle, the X5 50i boasts a twin-turbo V8 good for an eye-opening 4.7-second 0-60-mph time (that's as quick as some contemporary BMW M cars). At the top of the range is the diesel-powered xDrive35d. Though it's not as quick as the six-cylinder model, the diesel X5 can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in an estimated 7.5 seconds while returning impressive fuel economy. All X5 models come standard with all-wheel drive.

4.3 Comparison of Performance and Driving Dynamics

The new X5 is lighter than its predecessor and feels it. It's more athletic when tossed around, leaning much less and feeling considerably more like a tall sport wagon than an SUV. There's no loss of ride quality with this increase in agility, and the cabin remains a serene place with little wind or road noise. Adaptive M suspension and rear air springs are available and include an Adaptive Dynamic damper system that can adjust each corner independently using electronic controls. These right-height, four-corner systems also include an automatic load-leveling feature and can help improve ride or handling depending on the driver's style or road conditions. Buyers can also choose the Drive and the X5 can be equipped with a Dynamic Handling package that adds an enhanced version of the rear air suspension, as well as active roll stabilization and a Dynamic Damper Control system with adjustable rear damping. An optional Off-road package includes underbody protection, specific driving programs, and an air suspension that allows more than an inch of height adjustment to increase wheel travel. This means that the X5 can still handle more challenging trail conditions than most luxury SUVs, although it's not likely that many X5s will be taken off-road.

The Cadillac XT5 is a capable luxury SUV. It has a significant amount of road isolation and ride smoothness, contributing to a comfortable and controlled ride. The XT5's unibody structure is very stiff, and it has a four-wheel independent suspension that includes lightweight components for more precise body motion control. Cadillac's standard drive mode system includes modes for driving on snow and ice, and it affects the transmission shift points as well as the throttle progression. All-wheel-drive XT5 models have a new twin-clutch system that's capable of sending up to 100 percent of rearward torque to either of the rear wheels, and it can actually disconnect the rear wheels to improve fuel economy when all-wheel drive isn't needed. Finally, a trailering package is available, and the XT5 is rated to tow up to 3500 pounds.


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