• Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0

    Cadillac User Experience (CUE)


    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    December 12, 2012

    The introduction of the new Cadillac XTS at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show marked the beginning of a new era. The XTS would be one the first Cadillac models to use their new CUE (short for Cadillac User Experience) infotainment system. Since then, CUE has made its way into new ATS and refreshed SRX. I sampled CUE in the 2013 Cadillac ATS 3.6 AWD reviewed yesterday.

    CUE is made up of four key components: a large eight-inch capacitive touch screen with haptic feedback. This means when you press the screen, you’ll feel a pulse as if you had pressed a button. The screen also features a proximity sensor which allows the system to bring up controls when a hand is waved or fades the controls, giving a less distracting screen. Next is the capacitive touch buttons which sit underneath the screen and feature haptic feedback as well. Third is the voice recognition system which can control certain functions of the system. Finally, there is a reconfigurable LCD instrument panel that a driver can customize to their liking. This is only available on the SRX and XTS. The ATS makes due with a regular analog instrument panel and 5.7-inch color display providing trip computer, navigation, and audio information.

    gallery_10485_520_1175669.png

    Reviews of CUE have been pretty mixed. Most say they like the layout and design of the system, the voice recognition, and the haptic feedback when you press one of the buttons or the touchscreen. On the other side, most don’t like how the system is somewhat sluggish when you’re moving around, the buttons don’t always respond when pressed, and the system is distracting when on the move.

    I had only briefly played with CUE at the press introduction of the new ATS back in January and found it to be very interesting and unique. I did wonder how it would work out in the real world as I was leaving the event. I would find out when a Cadillac ATS 3.6L AWD Luxury would arrive to my residence.

    My first day with CUE wasn’t a particularly pleasant experience. The capacitive touch buttons didn’t always respond whenever I pressed them, the touch screen had lag in certain situations, and trying to move around the system while moving was a bit nightmarish. I almost reached a point of where I wanted to put my fist through the screen and yank its electronic guts out.

    Thankfully, reason entered my head and I took some time out to read the manual and play around with the system. Before I knew, CUE wasn’t as frustrating as before. That’s the biggest takeaway with CUE; you have to spend time learning how to use the system and play around with it before it clicks into your head. If you don’t, you’ll be in a world of hurt.

    gallery_10485_520_607283.png

    Once I got my head wrapped around CUE, there are some bright spots to the system. For example, the large eight-inch touch screen is very bright during the day, provides the right amount of brightness during the night, and is very readable whenever given a quick glance. The haptic feedback provides acknowledgement that yes; you did touch the screen or button.

    One of the big surprises of CUE was the voice command system. No matter what command I threw at whether it was to change a station, provide an address, or a dial a phone number, the system was able to process and perform it with no problems. Not many systems that I have tried can boast as a high of a success rate as CUE.

    However for all of its good points, CUE has some huge downsides; the biggest one being how distracting the system is on the move. When you’re stationary, you can perform any function of CUE very easily since your attention focused on the screen and controls. However on the move, trying to find which button you need to press turn the temperature up or where you are on the map or a number of other things means your eyes are off the road. This isn’t helped by the capacitive touch buttons not always responding to your press, meaning you have to hit it again.

    gallery_10485_520_467412.png

    Cadillac does deserve some credit for at least trying to reduce distractions while using CUE. For starters, the eight-inch touchscreen features a proximity sensor that brings up the on-screen controls when a hand is waved across If the sensor doesn’t detect any motion, it will fade the on-screen controls. The system also locks out certain functions while the vehicle is in motion. The voice command system is able to perform many of the commands. Finally, there is the 5.7-inch color display that gives you a readout on certain items. Still it doesn’t fully cure all of CUE’s distraction ills. There are certain things that still to need to be performed on the screen or the buttons which takes your eyes off the road.

    Aside from this, CUE is also in its first generation. That means the system has a lot of bugs. During my time, I found the system to be somewhat sluggish when moving around from screen to screen. Plus, the buttons don’t always respond when pressed. Hopefully this can be fixed with some software updates.

    CUE is an interesting idea of what an infotainment system can be. In the real world though, the results are mixed. The system has some very good ideas and impressive features. Those are overshadowed by the problems of CUE being a first-gen product, distractions, and amount of time you have to spend with it. Over time, these problems will work themselves out. But it will hurt Cadillac in the short run.

    So the question comes to this, should you buy into CUE now or wait? If you’re willing to learn how to use the system and put up with its shortcomings, then yes. Otherwise wait. There will be changes and updates coming.

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    0


    Sign in to follow this  
    Followers 0


    User Feedback


    Great review, I am interested in knowing how fast GM will provide software updates to their CUE system and other versions used by the sister divisions. How big is their software development and testing group? Will updates be provided for download from the customer site, provided on a usb flash drive, OnStar update enabled like a computer or only dealer available?

    Also features really need to be locked out? Compared to Euro and Asian systems, there seems to be two schools of thought. One is lock out 75% of the features when the auto is in motion and the other is have everything available. As a heavy GM owner I have gotten used to what I can and cannot do on the nav systems but have to admit, I wish I could easily do things while driving rather than having to pull over and stop and then get access.

    GM is trying to be good about safety, but I disagree with them locking out so many features/functions that you need to respond to at times.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I believe all of GM's systems run on an Android back end, so there is a solid base under all the Cadillac fluff. It seems like a solid first effort. Additionally, in spite of the initial hiccups, it does seem to be better thought of than iDrive. I doubt CUE will hurt Cadillac more than iDrive did with BMW. CUE as a system is more intuitive and people are more familiar with how smart phone screens work.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I haven't used CUE yet, but read mostly bad reviews. I don't like not having old fashion buttons for radio controls, because I am more likely to adjust the radio than climate. Other cars do it too, but Cadillac has all sorts of climate control buttons, when it is an automatic system, you shouldn't have adjust it.

    A second problem I see is they want this to work like a tablet, but the iPad is the best tablet. It isn't going to work better than iPad, GM should have just paid Apple to design the system.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    No, because then Apple would have wanted their branding all over the place. They are just that smug.

    I just spent 3 days in a Chrysler 300c rental again, the Uconnect isn't as comprehensive as CUE is, but everything works and works well. I can even activate the heated seats via the screen with my gloves on.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Ah, I love certain functions being locked-out. Because we all know the driver NEVER has a passenger to assist with certain things.

    By the way, how'd you like the CD player in your ATS?

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    CUE runs Linux but not Android. The latency quirks sound awful. From what I've read, the CPU is ARM11, which is quite old by today's standards. If I were GM, I'd be on the phone with Texas Instruments for some OMAP4's that could brute-force through the unoptimized coding until the second software revision.

    They should look at RIM's QnX as an example of efficient, in-car computing.

    A second problem I see is they want this to work like a tablet, but the iPad is the best tablet. It isn't going to work better than iPad, GM should have just paid Apple to design the system.

    Apple would make GM use their map software too, and GM really doesn't need people driving off cliffs.

    Edited by FAPTurbo
    1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Apple is soooo over rated. GM does not need their garbage.

    GM just needs to put in a proper CPU to run the Bloated Linux code.

    1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    ...and a CD player. Proper CPU and CD player, check.

    ASgreed, the CD player should be at either the top or bottom of the nav system and use the already included ripping software from the Linux system to rip the music onto a 40 or 80GB flash drive to allow a person to have a large database of awesome music.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    GM just needs to put in a proper CPU to run the Bloated Linux code.

    After some poking around, it appears the Linux kernal here is monolithic. Any crash or bug in one instance can cause the whole operating system to lag or crash entirely.

    I think GM should have definitely pursued a microkernal setup, where the drivers and filesystems operate on the 'outside,' meaning if one program crashes, the rest of the system operates fluidly while the program restarts.

    Some of the bugs could be related to just one or two instances that are causing the rest of the system to drag or hang.

    This approach would allow GM to continue using an older ARM chip but still having it function similarly to a modern tablet. Of course, Texas Instruments' OMAP's would offer the best of both worlds, with efficiency that has very little power draw on standby, whilst providing acceptable cpu/gpu performance for this system's modest needs.

    ...and a CD player. Proper CPU and CD player, check.

    ASgreed, the CD player should be at either the top or bottom of the nav system and use the already included ripping software from the Linux system to rip the music onto a 40 or 80GB flash drive to allow a person to have a large database of awesome music.

    It'd be very easy to implement a process where a CD is automatically ripped in FLAC format as it plays. GM is wise to use an open source system in a way, as these features could be implemented freely or with minimal licensing fees.

    Flash storage is still a little expensive but you might be on to something. Ultimately, the system would incur few writes over its life, save for a few dozen CD's, and the durability is far greater than a standard disk drive that many of these systems likely rely on.

    Edited by FAPTurbo
    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Apple is soooo over rated. GM does not need their garbage.

    GM just needs to put in a proper CPU to run the Bloated Linux code.

    Well Apple is the richest company in the world, so over rated or not they do something right. And I have a Droid phone so I am not just an Apple fanboy, I do own an iMac though. Bottom line is I have read more poor reviews than good form CUE. When you are trying to break the German luxury car strong hold you need to be perfect top to bottom because people already don't trust Cadillac like they do BMW or Mercedes.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    The problem with including Apple is that their products are closed-source and the ecosystem, limited. As it stands, CUE works with Apple, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Symbian, WebOS... you get the idea.

    Nowadays, iOS doesn't offer anything different in terms of interaction than an Android tablet or a PlayBook. Competing UI's have caught up and have even surpassed Apple's experience.

    CUE's issues appear to be more granular and that's to do with coding. Unless CUE was entirely driven by iOS, Apple wouldn't be too much help if all they worked on was the front-end.

    The one thing worth noting is that CUE runs on a CPU that was used in the iPhone... the original one... I wouldn't be surprised that GM stuck with the CPU for all 3 years of CUE's development because the accountants figured it was 'good enough,' even as the coders and engineers added flourishes, transitions and flashy effects which end up taxing the system more than they initially planned.

    Edited by FAPTurbo
    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Cue should run on an Intel core 2 processor powerful enough to run a good home computer, and the hard drive should be 150 GB minimum. That way 4 years from now the whole software can be updated. The problem with all these car computer/Nav systems is they will get dated quickly. People get a new smart phone every 2 years because they change so much, imagine having one of these car systems for 10+ years how dated it will get.

    3

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Cue should run on an Intel core 2 processor powerful enough to run a good home computer, and the hard drive should be 150 GB minimum. That way 4 years from now the whole software can be updated. The problem with all these car computer/Nav systems is they will get dated quickly. People get a new smart phone every 2 years because they change so much, imagine having one of these car systems for 10+ years how dated it will get.

    The best thing that could be done due to the power requirements of the intel duo core CPU's is to use the Armstrong CPU, it was developed originally by DIGITAL and through multiple purchases became Intels property and they then took it where it was always planned to be. Low power consumption, high performance and is currently used in many smartphone to tablet applications.

    GM would be wise to move to this CPU and pick up at least a 40 or 80gb flash drive to run their CUE system and allow updates via the USB slot or via a Paid current OnStar subscription. This way they could push out updates every 6 months or at least every 12months and keep the system cutting edge.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Cue or not, there should be redundant buttons and knobs on the dash more traditional in style so as not to confuse people so much. I have seen pictures of the non CUE interior of an ATS and I think it's laid out nicely.

    I like all the CUE's features and stuff but I played with one in the showroom at a Caddy dealer and the haptic feedback was so cheesy i could barely stand it. Maybe you get used to it. I also think stuff like this needs a glass screen. I'd almost rather have an ipad mini for a dash touch screen.

    http://www.morries.com/detail-2013-cadillac-ats-4dr_sdn_2_5l_rwd-new-9571846.html

    black base ATS with tan interior and standard radio

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Cue should run on an Intel core 2 processor powerful enough to run a good home computer, and the hard drive should be 150 GB minimum. That way 4 years from now the whole software can be updated. The problem with all these car computer/Nav systems is they will get dated quickly. People get a new smart phone every 2 years because they change so much, imagine having one of these car systems for 10+ years how dated it will get.

    The Cue system can be updated at anytime that there is software updates whether it be 2 years or 6 years. Thats the beauty of the infotainment system!!

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Cue should run on an Intel core 2 processor powerful enough to run a good home computer, and the hard drive should be 150 GB minimum. That way 4 years from now the whole software can be updated. The problem with all these car computer/Nav systems is they will get dated quickly. People get a new smart phone every 2 years because they change so much, imagine having one of these car systems for 10+ years how dated it will get.

    The Cue system can be updated at anytime that there is software updates whether it be 2 years or 6 years. Thats the beauty of the infotainment system!!

    That's all well and good, but the internal hardware becomes more stressed with each update. You can install iOS 6 onto an iPad 2 but it makes everything slow and horrible to use.

    0

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   You have pasted content with formatting.   Remove formatting

      Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor




  • Popular Stories

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. FireStorm
      FireStorm
      (35 years old)
    2. MGZ06
      MGZ06
      (35 years old)
  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      When it comes to hot hatchbacks, there is a line that floats around in my head from one of the earlier episodes of Top Gear.
      “I love hot hatchbacks as they offer drawback free motoring. You can put a chest of drawers in the back and then take it home at a million miles per hour.”
      The only hot hatch that has come close to this is the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Not only is a hoot to drive, but you can carry your friends and stuff with no real issue. But what about the Volkswagen Golf R? It offers the space as the GTI, but with a more powerful turbo engine and all-wheel drive. But the Golf R also comes with a price tag that is nearly $10,000 more than Golf GTI. Is it worth the extra cost?
      The Golf R uses the same turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder found in the Golf GTI, but the wick has been turned up. The R’s 2.0L pumps out 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with either a six-speed manual (what my tester featured) or six-speed DSG. No matter the transmission, Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system comes standard. Acceleration in the Golf R is an exciting experience. It only takes a brief moment for the turbo to spool up and then hold on. Power comes on a fast and steady rate. The six-speed manual is a bit notchy when changing gears. Like other Volkswagens equipped with the manual, the take-up point for the clutch is very narrow and you’ll have to have your foot almost off the floor to find it. It should be noted that the manual is over a half-second slower than the DSG - 5.1 vs. 4.5. But the manual does give you a bit more control with controlling the engine’s performance and making you feel that you’re playing a role. The 4Motion AWD system helps put the power down and keep the Golf R glued to the road when it’s dry. But the system really comes into its own when it is snowy. A few days into my loan and Mother Nature decided to drop a bit on snow in the Metro Detroit area. Driving through unplowed roads, the 4Motion system was able to keep the vehicle moving through some deep snow. One issue that arose was a too-eager stability control system that would come on every few seconds to combat wheelspin when driving through the deep snow - something you don’t want. At least Volkswagen was smart to equip the Golf R with a sports mode for the stability control to allow some wheelspin. This made all of the difference to keep the Golf R moving. Handling-wise? It is like a Golf GTI. Entering a corner, the Golf R feels composed and doesn’t show any sign of body roll. Steering is a bit disappointment as the R doesn’t have the weight or feel you would expect in a performance car. The ride is slightly firmer than what you find on the GTI as some bumps and road imperfections will make their way inside. There are adaptive dampers, but you’ll need to spend an extra $3,000 to get it (along with some other features). Personally, I find the standard suspension setup is ok for most people. Volkswagen has made some slight exterior changes for the Golf R such as a new slim grille, 19-inch wheels, a set of quad exhaust tips. On one hand, I wished Volkswagen could have done some more work to make the Golf R a bit more exciting to look at. On the other hand, the downplayed nature of the Golf R’s changes gives it the ability to hide its true nature. The interior of the Golf R is mostly the same as the standard Golf, which isn’t a bad thing. A lot of the traits that we like in the standard Golf such as high-quality interior, loads of space for passengers, and one of the easiest infotainment systems to use. The only changes Volkswagen did make are a set of sport seats, flat-bottom steering wheel, and carbon fiber trim. If there is one problem for the Golf R, it is the price. As I mentioned in the introduction, the base Golf R is about $10,000 more than the base GTI. For some folks, this is tall order as the GTI can you 85 to 90 percent of the Golf R’s performance at a reasonable price. But for others, that extra 10 to 15 percent the R offers is very much worth the extra cash. Disclaimer: Volkswagen Provided the Golf R, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Volkswagen
      Model: Golf R
      Trim: N/A
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L TSI DOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 292 @ 5,400
      Torque @ RPM: 280 @ 1,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/31/25
      Curb Weight: 3,305 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Wolfsburg, Germany
      Base Price: $35,655
      As Tested Price: $36,475 (Includes $820.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      N/A

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      When it comes to hot hatchbacks, there is a line that floats around in my head from one of the earlier episodes of Top Gear.
      “I love hot hatchbacks as they offer drawback free motoring. You can put a chest of drawers in the back and then take it home at a million miles per hour.”
      The only hot hatch that has come close to this is the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Not only is a hoot to drive, but you can carry your friends and stuff with no real issue. But what about the Volkswagen Golf R? It offers the space as the GTI, but with a more powerful turbo engine and all-wheel drive. But the Golf R also comes with a price tag that is nearly $10,000 more than Golf GTI. Is it worth the extra cost?
      The Golf R uses the same turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder found in the Golf GTI, but the wick has been turned up. The R’s 2.0L pumps out 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. This comes paired with either a six-speed manual (what my tester featured) or six-speed DSG. No matter the transmission, Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system comes standard. Acceleration in the Golf R is an exciting experience. It only takes a brief moment for the turbo to spool up and then hold on. Power comes on a fast and steady rate. The six-speed manual is a bit notchy when changing gears. Like other Volkswagens equipped with the manual, the take-up point for the clutch is very narrow and you’ll have to have your foot almost off the floor to find it. It should be noted that the manual is over a half-second slower than the DSG - 5.1 vs. 4.5. But the manual does give you a bit more control with controlling the engine’s performance and making you feel that you’re playing a role. The 4Motion AWD system helps put the power down and keep the Golf R glued to the road when it’s dry. But the system really comes into its own when it is snowy. A few days into my loan and Mother Nature decided to drop a bit on snow in the Metro Detroit area. Driving through unplowed roads, the 4Motion system was able to keep the vehicle moving through some deep snow. One issue that arose was a too-eager stability control system that would come on every few seconds to combat wheelspin when driving through the deep snow - something you don’t want. At least Volkswagen was smart to equip the Golf R with a sports mode for the stability control to allow some wheelspin. This made all of the difference to keep the Golf R moving. Handling-wise? It is like a Golf GTI. Entering a corner, the Golf R feels composed and doesn’t show any sign of body roll. Steering is a bit disappointment as the R doesn’t have the weight or feel you would expect in a performance car. The ride is slightly firmer than what you find on the GTI as some bumps and road imperfections will make their way inside. There are adaptive dampers, but you’ll need to spend an extra $3,000 to get it (along with some other features). Personally, I find the standard suspension setup is ok for most people. Volkswagen has made some slight exterior changes for the Golf R such as a new slim grille, 19-inch wheels, a set of quad exhaust tips. On one hand, I wished Volkswagen could have done some more work to make the Golf R a bit more exciting to look at. On the other hand, the downplayed nature of the Golf R’s changes gives it the ability to hide its true nature. The interior of the Golf R is mostly the same as the standard Golf, which isn’t a bad thing. A lot of the traits that we like in the standard Golf such as high-quality interior, loads of space for passengers, and one of the easiest infotainment systems to use. The only changes Volkswagen did make are a set of sport seats, flat-bottom steering wheel, and carbon fiber trim. If there is one problem for the Golf R, it is the price. As I mentioned in the introduction, the base Golf R is about $10,000 more than the base GTI. For some folks, this is tall order as the GTI can you 85 to 90 percent of the Golf R’s performance at a reasonable price. But for others, that extra 10 to 15 percent the R offers is very much worth the extra cash. Disclaimer: Volkswagen Provided the Golf R, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Volkswagen
      Model: Golf R
      Trim: N/A
      Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L TSI DOHC 16-Valve Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 292 @ 5,400
      Torque @ RPM: 280 @ 1,800
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/31/25
      Curb Weight: 3,305 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Wolfsburg, Germany
      Base Price: $35,655
      As Tested Price: $36,475 (Includes $820.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      N/A
    • By William Maley
      Cadillac has been trying to position itself being as an alternative to German brands with models that offer exemplary handling characteristics and sharp designs. But the brand has the issue of models that don’t quite fit the image being presented. The SRX is the poster child for this. Yes, it had the sharp looks the brand was getting known for. But you wouldn’t call it sporty. It was more along the lines of a Lexus RX where luxury and comfort were the main priorities. Enthusiasts and critics were not pleased with this, but consumers gobbled them up. The SRX for a time was Cadillac’s best-selling model.
      Now we come to the successor of the SRX, the 2017 XT5. Those who were hoping for a change in the priorities will be disappointed as the XT5 doesn’t mess with the SRX’s recipe. But is that bad thing?
      Evolution is the impression you get when walking around the XT5. Cadillac’s designers didn’t make any drastic changes to the design profile aside from softening the Art & Science design language. The front now features a comically-large grille and headlights with a strand of LEDs that run into the bumper. Towards the back is an integrated spoiler that extends the roofline, a set of large taillights, and a rear bumper that comes with chrome exhaust ports and a faux skid plate. The XT5 does lose some of the polarizing details that made the SRX stand out, but it still stands out slightly in what is becoming a crowded class.
      Cadillac has been stepping up its game in terms of their interiors with their new models. Case in point is the XT5. Our top-line Platinum tester featured faux suede, leather, and wood trim on a number of surfaces that make it look and feel quite luxurious. We’re glad to see the removal of the Piano Black panel for the center stack as it looked out of place and was a magnet for fingerprints. One design idea we’re not so keen on is the gear selector. Instead of a lever, Cadillac went with a joystick controller to engage the various gears. The controller isn’t intuitive as you’ll find yourself going into the wrong gear or not going into one at all on a somewhat regular basis. You will get the hang of it after a bit, but you can’t help but wonder why Cadillac decided to change this in the first place.
      The leather used for the seats feel quite supple and help fix the issue of uncomfortable seats in the SRX. Interior space has grown, thanks to a two-inch increase in the wheelbase. Rear legroom has grown 3.2 inches and it allows anyone sitting back there to stretch out. Headroom is still slightly tight thanks in part to our tester coming with the optional panoramic sunroof. But this can be alleviated by recalling the rear seat slightly. Cargo space in smack dab in the middle - 30 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 63 cubic feet when folded.
      Cadillac User Interface (CUE) has been one of our least favorite infotainment systems to use since it was introduced a few years ago. The litany of problems ranging from a touch sensitive buttons not responding to inputs to the system crashing have dragged Cadillac down. But the system has been getting a number of changes and updates over the past few years. For starters, Cadillac has removed most of the touch-sensitive buttons from the system. Being able to press an actual button to turn on the heated/ventilated seats or adjust the temperature is really nice. It is a shame Cadillac didn’t bring back an actual volume knob for CUE - the touch-sensitive strip is still there. But at least there are volume controls on the steering wheel that allow you to avoid it. The system itself has been overhauled with a faster processor and a slightly improved interface. The changes make a difference as the system is snappier and a little bit easier to understand. If you still find CUE a bit overwhelming, you’ll be happy to know that CUE now features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
      Cadillac bucks the trend in the midsize luxury crossover class by only offering one engine - a 3.6L V6 producing 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque (@ 5,000 rpm). This comes paired with an eight-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The V6 is the weak link in the XT5. When leaving a stop, it takes a moment for the engine to realize the accelerator pedal has been pressed before it starts working. This is even worse when you’re trying to make a pass as it seems the engine was busy taking a nap before it was hastily woken up. Once the engine is awake, it takes its time to get up to speed. There is a positive to the V6 engine and that is the stop-start system. Unlike some previous systems that are slow to restart the engine or do so in a very rough fashion, Cadillac’s system is quick and smooth when you let off the brake. The eight-speed automatic seems reluctant to downshift at times. We’re guessing this transmission was calibrated for fuel economy. At least the eight-speed automatic delivers smooth shifts.
      Fuel economy figures for the 2017 Cadillac XT5 all-wheel drive stand at 18 City/26 Highway/21 Combined. Our average fuel economy for the week landed around 22.3 mpg in mostly city driving. 
      One characteristic we liked about the SRX was its comfortable ride. Yes, it flies in the face of Cadillac’s message of beating the German’s at their own handling game. But buyers loved the smoothness on offer. Sadly, the XT5 loses a bit of the smoothness. Despite our tester featuring an adaptive suspension system, the XT5 wasn’t able to fully iron out bumps. Some of this can be attributed to 20-inch wheels fitted to our tester. At least the XT5 keeps road and wind noise out of the interior. Like the SRX, the XT5 isn’t sporty. Body motions are kept in check, but the light weight and nonexistent feel from the steering puts a halt to that idea. 
      An item Cadillac has been touting on the XT5 is the Rear Camera Mirror. Available only on the top-line Platinum, the mirror can stream the view from the rear camera by flicking a switch. We found this to be really helpful when backing out of parking lots as it gave a view that isn’t hindered by the thick rear pillars. Hopefully, Cadillac spreads this feature down to other trims of the XT5. 
      In some respects, the 2017 Cadillac XT5 is a step forward. The model improves on certain parts of the SRX such as a more luxurious and spacious interior, improved CUE system, and sharper looks. But in other respects, Cadillac messed up with the XT5. The 3.6L V6 needs to be shown the door and a new engine that offers better low-end performance to take its place. The loss of the smooth ride that the SRX was known for hurts the XT5 as well. Finally, there is the price. Our XT5 Platinum tester came with an as-tested price of $69,985. It is a nice crossover. But if we’re dropping close $70,000 on a luxury crossover, we can think of a few models that would be ahead of the XT5.
      It should be noted that the Cadillac XT5 has taken the place of the SRX of being the brand’s best selling model. At the end of 2016, Cadillac moved 39,485 XT5s. But unlike the SRX which we could recommend without hesitation, the XT5 comes with a number of caveats that we cannot do the same.
      Disclaimer: Cadillac Provided the XT5, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Cadillac
      Model: SRX
      Trim: Platinum
      Engine: 3.6L V6 VVT DI
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 310 @ 6,700
      Torque @ RPM: 271 @ 5,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/26/21
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: Spring Hill, TN
      Base Price: $62,500
      As Tested Price: $69,985 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Assist Package - $2,340.00
      20-inch Wheels - $2,095.00
      Trailering Equipment - $575.00
      Black Ice Body Side Moldings - $355.00
      Compact Spare Tire - $350.00
      Black Ice License Plate Bar - $310.00
      Black Roof Rails - $295.00
      Black Splash Guards - $170.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Cadillac has been trying to position itself being as an alternative to German brands with models that offer exemplary handling characteristics and sharp designs. But the brand has the issue of models that don’t quite fit the image being presented. The SRX is the poster child for this. Yes, it had the sharp looks the brand was getting known for. But you wouldn’t call it sporty. It was more along the lines of a Lexus RX where luxury and comfort were the main priorities. Enthusiasts and critics were not pleased with this, but consumers gobbled them up. The SRX for a time was Cadillac’s best-selling model.
      Now we come to the successor of the SRX, the 2017 XT5. Those who were hoping for a change in the priorities will be disappointed as the XT5 doesn’t mess with the SRX’s recipe. But is that bad thing?
      Evolution is the impression you get when walking around the XT5. Cadillac’s designers didn’t make any drastic changes to the design profile aside from softening the Art & Science design language. The front now features a comically-large grille and headlights with a strand of LEDs that run into the bumper. Towards the back is an integrated spoiler that extends the roofline, a set of large taillights, and a rear bumper that comes with chrome exhaust ports and a faux skid plate. The XT5 does lose some of the polarizing details that made the SRX stand out, but it still stands out slightly in what is becoming a crowded class.
      Cadillac has been stepping up its game in terms of their interiors with their new models. Case in point is the XT5. Our top-line Platinum tester featured faux suede, leather, and wood trim on a number of surfaces that make it look and feel quite luxurious. We’re glad to see the removal of the Piano Black panel for the center stack as it looked out of place and was a magnet for fingerprints. One design idea we’re not so keen on is the gear selector. Instead of a lever, Cadillac went with a joystick controller to engage the various gears. The controller isn’t intuitive as you’ll find yourself going into the wrong gear or not going into one at all on a somewhat regular basis. You will get the hang of it after a bit, but you can’t help but wonder why Cadillac decided to change this in the first place.
      The leather used for the seats feel quite supple and help fix the issue of uncomfortable seats in the SRX. Interior space has grown, thanks to a two-inch increase in the wheelbase. Rear legroom has grown 3.2 inches and it allows anyone sitting back there to stretch out. Headroom is still slightly tight thanks in part to our tester coming with the optional panoramic sunroof. But this can be alleviated by recalling the rear seat slightly. Cargo space in smack dab in the middle - 30 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 63 cubic feet when folded.
      Cadillac User Interface (CUE) has been one of our least favorite infotainment systems to use since it was introduced a few years ago. The litany of problems ranging from a touch sensitive buttons not responding to inputs to the system crashing have dragged Cadillac down. But the system has been getting a number of changes and updates over the past few years. For starters, Cadillac has removed most of the touch-sensitive buttons from the system. Being able to press an actual button to turn on the heated/ventilated seats or adjust the temperature is really nice. It is a shame Cadillac didn’t bring back an actual volume knob for CUE - the touch-sensitive strip is still there. But at least there are volume controls on the steering wheel that allow you to avoid it. The system itself has been overhauled with a faster processor and a slightly improved interface. The changes make a difference as the system is snappier and a little bit easier to understand. If you still find CUE a bit overwhelming, you’ll be happy to know that CUE now features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
      Cadillac bucks the trend in the midsize luxury crossover class by only offering one engine - a 3.6L V6 producing 310 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque (@ 5,000 rpm). This comes paired with an eight-speed automatic and the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The V6 is the weak link in the XT5. When leaving a stop, it takes a moment for the engine to realize the accelerator pedal has been pressed before it starts working. This is even worse when you’re trying to make a pass as it seems the engine was busy taking a nap before it was hastily woken up. Once the engine is awake, it takes its time to get up to speed. There is a positive to the V6 engine and that is the stop-start system. Unlike some previous systems that are slow to restart the engine or do so in a very rough fashion, Cadillac’s system is quick and smooth when you let off the brake. The eight-speed automatic seems reluctant to downshift at times. We’re guessing this transmission was calibrated for fuel economy. At least the eight-speed automatic delivers smooth shifts.
      Fuel economy figures for the 2017 Cadillac XT5 all-wheel drive stand at 18 City/26 Highway/21 Combined. Our average fuel economy for the week landed around 22.3 mpg in mostly city driving. 
      One characteristic we liked about the SRX was its comfortable ride. Yes, it flies in the face of Cadillac’s message of beating the German’s at their own handling game. But buyers loved the smoothness on offer. Sadly, the XT5 loses a bit of the smoothness. Despite our tester featuring an adaptive suspension system, the XT5 wasn’t able to fully iron out bumps. Some of this can be attributed to 20-inch wheels fitted to our tester. At least the XT5 keeps road and wind noise out of the interior. Like the SRX, the XT5 isn’t sporty. Body motions are kept in check, but the light weight and nonexistent feel from the steering puts a halt to that idea. 
      An item Cadillac has been touting on the XT5 is the Rear Camera Mirror. Available only on the top-line Platinum, the mirror can stream the view from the rear camera by flicking a switch. We found this to be really helpful when backing out of parking lots as it gave a view that isn’t hindered by the thick rear pillars. Hopefully, Cadillac spreads this feature down to other trims of the XT5. 
      In some respects, the 2017 Cadillac XT5 is a step forward. The model improves on certain parts of the SRX such as a more luxurious and spacious interior, improved CUE system, and sharper looks. But in other respects, Cadillac messed up with the XT5. The 3.6L V6 needs to be shown the door and a new engine that offers better low-end performance to take its place. The loss of the smooth ride that the SRX was known for hurts the XT5 as well. Finally, there is the price. Our XT5 Platinum tester came with an as-tested price of $69,985. It is a nice crossover. But if we’re dropping close $70,000 on a luxury crossover, we can think of a few models that would be ahead of the XT5.
      It should be noted that the Cadillac XT5 has taken the place of the SRX of being the brand’s best selling model. At the end of 2016, Cadillac moved 39,485 XT5s. But unlike the SRX which we could recommend without hesitation, the XT5 comes with a number of caveats that we cannot do the same.
      Disclaimer: Cadillac Provided the XT5, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Cadillac
      Model: SRX
      Trim: Platinum
      Engine: 3.6L V6 VVT DI
      Driveline: Nine-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 310 @ 6,700
      Torque @ RPM: 271 @ 5,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/26/21
      Curb Weight: N/A
      Location of Manufacture: Spring Hill, TN
      Base Price: $62,500
      As Tested Price: $69,985 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Assist Package - $2,340.00
      20-inch Wheels - $2,095.00
      Trailering Equipment - $575.00
      Black Ice Body Side Moldings - $355.00
      Compact Spare Tire - $350.00
      Black Ice License Plate Bar - $310.00
      Black Roof Rails - $295.00
      Black Splash Guards - $170.00
  • Recent Status Updates

    • Drew Dowdell

      So help me.... One of these days these Miami drivers are going to make me test the loss damage waiver on my rental car. Worst drivers in the US.
      · 1 reply
    • Drew Dowdell

      I have one co-worker who has been a thorn in my side for the past 6 months.... but I have to admit that when I need something done that is in his area of expertise, he goes after it like an angry rabid chihuahua and gets it done.
      · 0 replies
    • Drew Dowdell

      Me: I'll take "Shopping" for $800.
      Alex:"This shopping location is popular on Sundays for groups of gay couples, families with small children, and college kids with parents in tow to gather."
      · 3 replies
  • Who's Online (See full list)