Home » Escalade Styling Cues Would Look Great On The Cadillac XT5

Escalade Styling Cues Would Look Great On The Cadillac XT5

Escalade Styling Cues Would Look Great On The Cadillac XT5

There’s no denying that the current Cadillac XT5 is quite a competent and attractive vehicle. In fact, the midsize luxury crossover SUV is Cadillac’s global best-seller for the past several years. But that’s not to say the it’s perfect. In our experience, the three most prevalent criticisms of the XT5 have been:

  1. The lack of a more powerful engine option outside of naturally-aspirated 3.6L V6 engine (production code LGX), which makes a maximum of 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque).
  2. The fact that the XT5 is based on a nose-heavy front-drive platform instead of a rear-drive one that’s more properly balanced.
  3. The notion that the styling does not follow Cadillac’s latest design language, while also lacking a sporty and masculine vibe.

Though the first two items are mechanical in nature, the last one is visual, so we sharpened our digital pencils to address it.

Up front, we gave our hypothetical Cadillac XT5 an all-new fascia, consisting of horizontal headlamps followed by the signature vertical accent lights. We also gave our more aggressive XT5 a more prominent grille. Those paying particularly close attention may notice that the elements on the front fascia of our make-believe XT5 are very similar to those found all-new 2021 Cadillac Escalade, and they would be very much correct in that observation: we were inspired by the Escalade in creating our new-and-improved XT5.

2021 Cadillac Escalade front end

2021 Cadillac Escalade rear end

But probably the biggest and most notable change to our Cadillac XT5 is at the rear, as we gave it a reworked rear fascia that features signature top-to-bottom vertical tail lamps from – you guessed it – the 2021 Escalade. The full-height tail lamps give the XT5 an instantly-recognizable appearance compared to the comparatively generic tail lights on the production XT5. In fact, we’d be willing to bet that more eye-catching, aggressive styling would propelling the XT5 from being a middle-of-the-pack also-ran to a segment best-seller.

In all, we would love to see Cadillac apply these styling cues to the next-generation Cadillac XT5. At this point, it’s unclear whether such a model will ever come to market, or whether the upcoming Cadillac Lyriq EV will simply replace the XT5 when it reaches the end of its life cycle around the 2023 calendar year.

Upcoming Cadillac Lyriq electric CUV

For more on all things Cadillac, be be sure to subscribe to Cadillac Society for more Cadillac XT5 news and around-the-clock Cadillac news coverage.

Written by
Alex is the founder of Cadillac Society. He has a deep passion for automotive business strategy and enjoys driving his ATS sedan on twisty mountain roads.


  1. Styling is such a subjective topic, and one that elicits many discussions in the studios. Hundreds of ideas are generated and considered over the course of developing a production design. I’ve leased both a 2017 and 2019 model, and while the powertrains are identical, the 2019 has the third level of trim, which has more features and conveniences.
    My only complaint is the ride quality. If there was a “softer ride” option, I would be 100% satisfied. As it stands, I’d rate it 95%.

    • The problem with the XT5 as it stands now is that it’s primarily a product considered and purchased by women. Its design is too bland and too soft to be considered by men while the German and even Japanese rivals strike a better balance of a product that appeals to both genders.

      The CS guys are spot on with their rendering: the XT5 needs to become more masculine and the Escalade elements definitely make it more masculine. Problem is that the successor to the XT5 will be the Lyriq, which is as much a female-oriented name as it gets.

      • First: How do you know that the XT5 is a ” product considered and purchased by women”?

        Second: If true, why do you say it’s a problem?

        Personally I can’t imagine what you mean by “too bland and too soft”. As an “INSIDER”, I’d have thought you had actually looked at it’s competition.

        • Caddy insider is spot on. I’ll answer for him but not in his behalf.

          First: because it is. The demographics Of XT5 buyers skew heavily toward females. It’s something you would know if you worked in the industry… I’m judging by your tone that you do not.

          Second: that is a problem because it limits the product’s sales potential. The men buy the same class BMW, Mercedes, Porsche offerings… even Alfa Romeo And now Lexus are getting some of that demo with their more gender neutral offerings.

          I am intricately familiar with the competition and the numbers fully support what the insider stated. The styling as is currently on XT5 does not attract the male buyer (largely). This is why the XT5 continues to be outsold by a significant margin by five or six other models in the segment.

          The product needs to be improved. Until then, caddy will continue lagging in sales and losing opportunity.

          • Define “Heavily”.

            And until just a couple of years ago the XT5 outsold all its competitors save the Lexus RX. Sales of the XT5 are moderating because of its age. I think its the oldest offering in the segment.

            And I ask again, what’s the problem with women buying?

            • Greg – the XT5 never outsold all competitors except the RX. The SRX and the succeeding XT5 were always outsold not only by the RX, but also by the X3, GLC-Class (née GLK-Class), and the Audi Q5. Even the Acura MDX outsold the SRX/XT5 in 8 of the past 10 years.

              I believe that the point that being communicated by Caddy insider and Ricky is not there there is “a problem with women buying” but that the XT5 – for the most part – does not appeal to men.

              As a result, about half of the market (potential male customers) is automatically pushed away from the Cadillac offering and end up buying a competing model. This is a competitive disadvantage that does not take place at the competition, and saps Cadillac of obvious revenue.

              If you do not see the glaring problem with the chain of events I presented, then I don’t know how else to explain it to you.

          • I agree with you, Ricky. The XT5 does need improvement. First, let me say that whoever at Cadillac Society ‘designed’ this XT5 rendering, should be employed by the Cadillac design team…it’s VERY nice.
            My wife has a 2017 XT5 Luxury and there is nothing even remotely close to refined about it. This is my biggest complaint. I feel like it is a really nice Chevy Equinox from an equipment standpoint . It is noisy, has rattles and I don’t think the ride is very good. Not much about it feels very ‘Cadillac’. Cadillac just seems to have a hard time getting this stuff right. Makes me wonder if Cadillac employs any noise, vibration , harshness engineers. Quietness is the biggest component of the sense of refinement in a vehicle. This needs to be a higher priority at Cadillac and I just can’t understand why no one seems to get it. Real shame because the XT5 has had zero mechanical or reliability issues.

      • Can you cite some sources for this statement? (i.e., JD Powers) I’m simply asking where you got your ‘data,’ not to prolong a debate over personal preferences.

  2. Gotta love how Cadillac addresses the 1st issue of power such that for 2020 it now has significantly LESS power now that a 4 cylinder is std and one must now pay more for the formerly std underpowered 6. Oh and they raised the base price by $2400. Great value GM! This company is lost!

    • V8 power is becoming obsolete , and Cadillac knows this when they discontinued it and offer four and six cylinder engines. And All luxury brands are doing the same. Only pure sports fans want a V8, such as the new Chevy Corvette Stingray and the Dodge Hellcat. But if you can pay for a V8, then get one and let the rest of us drive smaller engines.

      • V8 power is certainly NOT obsolete as turbo 4 & 6’s are designed to provide exactly that. V8’s are thirsty and in our PC weenie world they’re becoming dinosaurs. European vehicles have always been 4s & 6s for main stream and lux vehicles formany reasons but Cadillac ought to be different, see Escalade. As they attempt to mimic they fail, why buy the imitation go with the original.

        The CT6 should have been launched with a V8 and turbo 6 but the weenies running the company are so PC and pathetic it’s wasn’t wasting millions if not more. The CT6-V w/Blackwing sold out in minutes you tell me there’s no market? There are no balls at GM. Everything they do is 1/2 @$$ except for the new Vette and the CT6-V…

        • About the CT6 having a 2.0L turbo engine: you do realize that every single competitor to the CT6 offers a 2.0L turbo engine as the base powerplant, right?

          So could it be that it’s not about being PC or pathetic, but rather about offering what the market wants?

  3. The XT5 may be more attractive to women because they need more of a practical than sportier vehicle, since most women do drive around with passengers (such as children or seniors) and cargo for both. Men are more independent and drive alone, so a luxury wagon isn’t that attractive to them. I know this because I drive a sports sedan and my wife drive a Chevy Equinox, and wants that XT5.

  4. Sorry, I like the XT5 as is. The rendering does not do it justice since it is FWD. It needs a long hood w/ RWD for the design to work. Regardless, if this vehicle was properly on a RWD platform w/ aggressive looks, a good majority of the women would still buy this.

  5. Myself, I totally disagree. Given there are so many things going on with Cadillac, it only follows that they would get lost in minutia. With-in the climate of re-locating back to Detroit, which is a positive, the already announced decision to go back to a non-alpha numeric Nameplate on Collections, something the ‘Land Whale’ Escalade had escaped for some reason. The cosmetic change or suggestion as to horizontal Light placement on the smaller XT5 and probably the extension of XT4 and or XT6 for continuity, is really counter to the Size and Design Cosmetic, one is huge GM Livery type vehicle where Verticly placed Lighting would not make the ‘Whale’ any more svelt, while the Design Question that inspired the 4-5-6 were more of the Stealh Fighter, accentuated Angles that truthfully come across better as is being done currently. What seems ignored by all is that the consumer once they choose the “Shell” want performance at some level, and the reason, it is the diametric opposite is the Industry got in line with Gas Mileage, which immediately made everything that was Taken from the “8” to a “6” now an under-powered “4” to move the weight! If the XT-4 is the entry, the best Turbo-4 available, to the XT5, remain a “6”, but enhance it if need be, the XT6, by it’s nature as a potential 3-Row Hauler, needs the bigger mill, as well. Going to China with Manufacture trying to be a World Car was a pipe-dream, conceived by the “Yes-man” crowd, looking to stay afloat. To the Value argument that some have raised, I agree, If Luxury be the Game, then minimally The Moonroof should be Standard. Rather then faux Leather, Vinyl in Entry Leather, think outside the Box to a Material that exudes comfort in a soft Fabric, then progress to Leather, this is Cadillac, the Crown on the GM Mantel. Much of this is Marketing, people will come back to the Brand, Seville was a Leader, Allante could have been in a “soft-top”!

    • In case all have forgotten, ALL manufactures have to plan years ahead for their future models. Certifying powertrains for each vehicle takes years, and every combination has to be certified in order to be sold.
      Add in the Design Studio’s timing to vet all the hundreds of aesthetic options, through multiple levels of management, and you’re out of time. Those who like to pretend they’re “insiders” do no one any good here. Please identify your comments as mere opinions.

  6. THIS!!,news letter hit the problems with the XT5 HEAD-ON,lets hope that the folks in the head shed at cadillac take notice and make the chances and improvements before its to late and loses more customers like myself.


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