DETROIT -- Cadillac’s new XT5 midsize crossover is lighter and roomier than the outgoing SRX, the first of four new crossovers planned in coming years to fortify Cadillac’s patchy lineup.
The replacement for the SRX midsize crossover -- Cadillac’s top-selling nameplate -- the 2017 XT5 will be powered by a 3.6-liter V-6 engine, the all-new motor introduced earlier this year in the ATS and CTS sedans. A new eight-speed transmission will come standard.
The exterior design retains the SRX’s basic silhouette, although the front end has been revised substantially, with a wider, deeper grille, creased hood and sleeker vertical headlamps. The window outline is narrower and more swept back than that of its predecessor.
More dramatic changes were made inside, with a less cluttered layout, more refined materials and high-tech features such as a rearview mirror that uses a camera system to enhance vision by 300 percent.
Production is scheduled to begin this spring in China and at GM’s assembly plant in Spring Hill, Tenn.
The crossover officially debuts at the Dubai auto show this week, with a U.S. reveal at the Los Angeles Auto Show next week. Cadillac offered a sneak peak of the XT5 when it dangled one from a helicopter above the Hudson River in New York in September.
Cadillac hopes the redesign of its bread-and-butter nameplate will sustain its recent success and set the tone for the slew of crossovers to follow. U.S. sales of the SRX rose 25 percent this year through October, to 56,732 vehicles.
In a statement, Cadillac called the XT5 “the cornerstone of a new series of crossovers in the brand’s ongoing expansion.” For now the brand’s only crossover, the XT5 is the first vehicle to get the “XT” designation under Cadillac’s new nomenclature.