2020 Cadillac XT5 vs. 2019 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front shoulder belts of the Cadillac XT5 are height-adjustable, and the rear seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the XT5 are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Automatic Emergency Braking optional in the XT5 as “Superior.” The Golf Alltrack scores only 3 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport offers an optional Surround Vision to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Golf Alltrack only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the XT5 and the Golf Alltrack have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Cadillac XT5 weighs 520 to 1005 pounds more than the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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There are over 38 percent more Cadillac dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the XT5’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Cadillac vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac 17th in initial quality. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 25th.

Engine

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The XT5’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 69 more horsepower (237 vs. 168) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 199) than the Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl. The XT5’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 142 more horsepower (310 vs. 168) and 72 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 199) than the Golf Alltrack’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Cadillac XT5 V6 is faster than the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack (automatics tested):

XT5

Golf Alltrack

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

7.4 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.4 MPH

86.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the XT5’s fuel efficiency. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the XT5’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The XT5 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 4.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Golf Alltrack (19.4 vs. 14.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The XT5 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 7.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Golf Alltrack (21.7 vs. 14.5 gallons).

The XT5 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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The Cadillac XT5 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Golf Alltrack.

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Cadillac XT5, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Golf Alltrack.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the XT5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Golf Alltrack:

XT5

Golf Alltrack

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

11.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

10.7 inches

The XT5’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Golf Alltrack are solid, not vented.

The XT5 stops much shorter than the Golf Alltrack:

XT5

Golf Alltrack

60 to 0 MPH

111 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the XT5 has larger tires than the Golf Alltrack (235/65R18 vs. 205/55R17). The XT5’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Golf Alltrack (235/65R18 vs. 225/45R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XT5 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Golf Alltrack. The XT5’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the Golf Alltrack.

The Cadillac XT5’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

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The XT5 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Golf Alltrack’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XT5’s wheelbase is 9 inches longer than on the Golf Alltrack (112.5 inches vs. 103.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the XT5 is 3.9 inches wider in the front and 5.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Golf Alltrack.

The XT5 AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the Golf Alltrack SEL pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The XT5 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Golf Alltrack SEL (27 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the XT5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Golf Alltrack (7.8 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the XT5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The front grille of the XT5 (except V6) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The XT5 has 10.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Golf Alltrack (104.5 vs. 94.3).

The XT5 has 1.1 inches more front headroom, 2.4 inches more front shoulder room, 3.4 inches more rear legroom and 2.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Golf Alltrack.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the XT5’s rear seats recline. The Golf Alltrack’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers the XT5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the XT5. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the XT5 has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

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The XT5 has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The Golf Alltrack has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Cadillac service is better than Volkswagen. J.D. Power ranks Cadillac third in service department satisfaction. With a 49% lower rating, Volkswagen is ranked 18th.

Ergonomics

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The XT5 has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

When two different drivers share the XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a memory system.

The XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The XT5’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Golf Alltrack does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The XT5’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Golf Alltrack has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

On a hot day the XT5’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Golf Alltrack can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the XT5 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Golf Alltrack only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

When the XT5 with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Golf Alltrack’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Golf Alltrack offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the XT5 and the Golf Alltrack have standard heated front seats. The XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Golf Alltrack.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport’s standard heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The XT5 has a standard dual zone air-conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air-conditioning is only available on the Golf Alltrack SEL.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Cadillac XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Model Availability

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The XT5 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Golf Alltrack doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the XT5 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the XT5 will cost $360 less than the Golf Alltrack over a five-year period.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/10

The Cadillac XT5 outsold the Volkswagen Golf/GTI by 42% during the 2019 model year.

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