- The Acura RDX is a solid luxury crossover that's been recently revamped.
- The Cadillac XT5 was the brand's first — and quite successful — effort at launching a new lineup of crossovers.
- The vehicles don't match up exactly, but they are quite similar, and consumers are likely to be comparing them with each other and with SUVs from Audi, BMW, and Lexus.
- The Acura RDX takes the prize in this comparison because it's both fun to drive and priced to perfection.
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We live in the golden age of the luxury crossover SUV. Automakers have been launching them at a furious pace to capture customers who have abandoned sedans and wagons in droves.
The major players are Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Lexus. But don't forget about Acura, which has been selling a pair of superb SUVs, the MDX and the RDX, for some time. And don't overlook Cadillac, which in the past few years has added a total of three crossovers to its lineup.
The first was the XT5. I like this SUV, but I've always been an Acura fan. So I thought I'd compare the XT5 with the RDX. Obviously, there are some segmentation questions that arise from such a matchup: The RDX covers both the compact and midsize segments, while the XT5 is intended to be Caddy's midsize warrior (the XT4 covers the compact/subcompact space, and the XT6 handles three-row midsize duties).
The RDX is also priced significantly lower than the XT5. But segmentation is kind of shaggy these days, as some automakers stick with their smaller lineups and others add new vehicles to dice and slice markets.
Ultimately, I think it's valid to cross-shop the XT5 with the RDX, thus this comparison. Read on to find out how it went down:
We checked out the all-wheel-drive Cadillac XT5 in 2017, not long after the SUV was rolled out in 2016.
We also tested the XT5 in both the Northeast and in Florida: the black SUV in the Sunshine State and the white version in the New York metro area.
Transportation reporter Ben Zhang tried the black XT5, which came with a slightly higher-level trim package and tipped the price scales at about $64,000, while the senior correspondent Matt DeBord investigated a $58,000 "crystal white" XT5.
The new XT5 is undeniably sharp, but it proves that Caddy is shifting away from its at-time divisive "art-and-science" stealth-fighter design vocabulary toward a more globally appealing approach.
There's a smooth sweep of lines from front to back, with an integrated spoiler completing the roof line, and a bold — but not too bold — chrome-trimmed angle on the rear windows picked up and extended by the large rear tail lights. A pair of chromed exhaust ports deliver a sporty vibe.