You may look at this photo and see just another crossover SUV. And you’d be right! But more than that, the 2017 Cadillac XT5 is a really, really big deal for Cadillac. Let me explain why.

Believe it or not, 640 horsepower supercharged V8 land-missile luxury sedans don’t quite have the mainstream mass sales appeal that we all expect them to (I don’t understand this either but it is what it is.) So the Cadillac SRX actually happens to be Cadillac’s best-selling model.

You’re looking at the SRX’s all-new replacement, joining the CT6 in Cadillac’s new Letter-T-Number nomenclature. It’s also the first of four new XT luxury crossovers from Cadillac, and buyers can’t get enough luxury crossovers these days.

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It’s poised to be better than the SRX was, too. It’s 278 pounds lighter, as well as 100 pounds lighter than an Audi Q5 despite being seven inches longer. It’s also somehow 650 pounds lighter than a Mercedes GLE, which is kind of incredible.

Outside it’s attractive without being overdramatic or revolutionary, though I suspect it’s one of those new cars that may look better in person. On the inside we see the second iteration of Cadillac’s revised interiors, similar to the CT6.

The automaker promises the all-new CUE is updated to be faster and more responsive, and and hopefully much less frustrating to use. The reworked climate controls and steering wheel look like big improvements as well.

The XT5 is powered by the new generation 3.6-liter V6 with 310 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with an optional “twin clutch” all-wheel drive system that can send up to 100 percent of torque to the front or rear axles. Front-wheel drive is standard. In China, buyers will get the 2.0-liter turbo four, left off the option sheet in the U.S. to give power-hungry Americans the V6 instead.

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It looks like an impressive piece of kit so far. Can it keep up the SRX’s pace and steal some sales from the Germans? We’ll find out when it goes on sale next spring. We’ll see it sooner at the LA Auto Show next week.


Contact the author at patrick@jalopnik.com.