The luxury arena of 2022 SUVs is getting a lot of heat with more and more automakers either bringing out an entirely new offering with both ICE and battery hearts or turning over a new leaf for existing crossovers. The 2023 Lexus RX is the latest among the midsize luxury SUVs to break new ground by kick-starting the fifth generation. It gets a new platform, new hybrid-focused powertrains, improved technological features and a bolder new design.
It’s elated to duke it out with German guns like Mercedes-Benz GLE/Coupé, Porsche Cayenne and BMW X5. But we decided to take on an aging and forgotten American luxury crossover – the Cadillac XT5. It’s certainly a five-year-old package, but the muscular stance still commands attention and it has an old-school V6. So, how do the evolving future and the stagnant past compare? We tell you.
The 2023 Lexus RX, the sharpest new luxury crossover in town, faces an aging but tough competitor in the Cadillac XT5.
2023 Lexus RX vs. Cadillac XT5: Trim and Pricing
The all-new Lexus RX range for 2023 will be offered in six trim levels, including three RX350 models, an RX450 iteration and a sportier RX500 model. While pricing is still under wraps, we expect the all-new RX to be between $50,000 and $72,000.
On the other hand, the 2022 Cadillac XT5 has a more affordable and simplified look. It is available in three trim levels: Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport with prices ranging from $43,995 to $55,895. But with this affordable angle, Cadillac has fallen way short for the XT5 where the Lexus RX shines.
2023 Lexus RX vs. Cadillac XT5: Performance and MPG
The 2023 Lexus RX will be offered with four engine options, including three hybrid powertrains. The base unit is a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 rated at 275 horsepower. This engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic and comes with FWD as standard. AWD is optional here.
The next step is a 2.5 liter NA unit mated to two electric motors that together send 246 horsepower to all four wheels via a CVT gearbox. Lexus then also combined the 2.5-litre turbo unit with a pair of electric motors to produce 367 horsepower through Lexus’ more advanced Direct4 AWD system.
Another plug-in powertrain will be added to this list later, but the details abound. We expect it to be a 302 horsepower unit, similar to the one found in the Toyota RAV4 Prime. At its most powerful with 367 hp, the 2023 Lexus RX can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.9 seconds. MPG figures are yet to be released, but Lexus is promising a combined 33 MPG from its base 246-horsepower hybrid engine.
The Cadillac XT5, on the other hand, is offered with two non-hybrid engine options. The base turbo inline-4 unit produces 237 horsepower, and the top-spec V6 (optional on Luxury and Premium Luxury) has 310 horsepower. The four cylinders come standard with FWD, while the V6 on Sport trim is mated to standard AWD.
Both engines are mated to a newer 9-speed automatic transmission. In its most powerful state with the V6 and AWD configuration, the Caddy does 0-60 mph in about 6.3 seconds. The inline-4 with FWD does 24 miles to a gallon and V6 with FWD drops that number to 21 mpg.
2023 Lexus RX saves us from the boring interior of the Cadillac XT5
The 2023 Lexus RX interior is much more superior and luxurious compared to the Cadillac XT5’s aging package. But the most exciting thing about the RX is the new 14-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s bigger, but most importantly gets rid of the annoying touchpad controls on the center console.
As the new platform has gained a few inches in wheelbase, this is likely to translate into a cozier and more spacious seating experience. The F Sport versions also boast a sporty flair with a cool red and black upholstery combination.
The Caddy scores high in terms of comfort, space and material quality. But it’s let down by a design layout that looks dull and outdated. The tiny 8-inch touchscreen unit doesn’t do justice to the capable technology package that also includes a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. It’s a clear win for the RX here.
2023 Lexus RX exterior is sharper and more exciting
The radical pivot design of the 2023 Lexus RX is a bit of a bull’s-eye and has drawn a lot of criticism. But we’ll have to leave it to Lexus to make the 2023 RX look sharp and futuristic.
Signature Lexus DRLs and cool new connected LED taillights add to the coolness factor. The 2023 RX has only been presented as a two-row crossover, but we expect a three-row option to follow shortly.
Compared to all the freshness that Lexus brings to the table, the 2022 XT5 continues to show off a 5-year-old design. While it looks muscular and sharp, its age is also evident and it doesn’t stand a chance against the cool new Lexus.
Japanese precision versus American boldness
The Lexus RX 2023 is the superior of this duo. The all-new generation upgrade has given the RX a better edge. And the myriad of powertrain options make it a lot easier for people of all mindsets to be happy.
We call the Cadillac XT5 “American Boldness” as it still manages to put up a fight (barely) despite being nearly five years old by all accounts. What remains to be seen now is whether Cadillac will consider the RX a threat and realize the next-generation XT5 before 2023, which will make things more interesting.
Sources: Pressroom.lexus.com, Media.cadillac.com