Marcel Marceau in a deep sleep, the Dalai Lama meditating, Charlie Chaplin before the talkies. Each one, I reckon, makes more noise than a new Cadillac XT5 whooshing along the interstate at 70mph.
If you have to pick one major wow factor with this highly-anticipated replacement for Caddy’s top-selling SRX crossover- and there are many – it has to be the car’s phenomenal refinement.
I’ve been in Rolls-Royces noisier than this.
Fire-up the brand new 3.6-liter V6 and you hear, er, nothing. Accelerate hard away from a stop light and the sound of silence is replaced by the sound of a kitten breathing.
Wind noise? The same as you get in a bank vault. Road noise? Quieter than one of those Brookstone sleep sound machines.
To me, automotive luxury is so much more than leather and lots of equipment. It’s hushed refinement. And here this new XT5 sets a lofty benchmark.
Because the previous SRX was such a key model for Cadillac, its replacement had to hit a home run. I’d call it Mission Accomplished.
Firstly it looks terrific. Those razor-edged, origami-folded-paper lines of the SRX have been nicely softened. The new bigger chrome grille and trademark-Cadillac vertical bright-white LED lights add to the visual gravitas.
And just look at the angle of the windshield. It’s raked so much, it looks like it came off a Corvette and really gives the car a sleek, sporty, dynamic profile.
Beneath that sexy-looking body there’s an all-new chassis that’s considerably stiffer and stronger, but an impressive 300 pounds lighter than the previous SRX.
Less weight to move around makes the XT5 feel zippier and more athletic while improving fuel economy by over 3 miles per gallon.
And this new Caddy is a true joy to drive. The new V6 cranks out 301 hard-charging horseys and, coupled to a brand new 8-speed automatic, really makes the XT5 feel eager and lively.
Through the curves it feels like it’s running on invisible rails, thanks to its new lightweight five-link suspension and continuous damping control that tames body roll and smooths-out the ride.
But where this new Cadillac raises the bar is in its cabin. Stretching the car by two inches has enabled the engineers to add an extra three inches of rear seat legroom.
Now there’s segment-leading space in the back that’s only heightened by a seat that slides backwards and forwards 5.5 inches and even reclines.
Full marks too for the way the new 40/20/40-split rear seat back folds completely flat to give a huge and practical load area. And there’s an innovative luggage divider that runs in tracks to keep stuff in place.
This new 2017 XT5 comes in five different flavors, kicking off with a base front-wheel-drive at $38,995. But it’s the $62,500 all-wheel-drive Platinum model that comes with every option and latest safety and infotainment technology.
You know, they say silence is golden. That to me, makes this new XT5 the gold standard in this luxury crossover class. Yes, it’s that good.