2020 Cadillac XT5 vs. 2021 Volkswagen Atlas

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/05

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 Atlas 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 Atlas doesn’t offer comfort guides on its rear 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 Atlas doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

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 Atlas doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the XT5 and the Atlas have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, 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, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Cadillac XT5 is safer than the Volkswagen Atlas:

XT5

Atlas

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

26%

34%

Neck Stress

198 lbs.

441 lbs.

Neck Compression

20 lbs.

51 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Cadillac XT5 is safer than the Volkswagen Atlas:

XT5

Atlas

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

184 lbs.

345 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

12 inches

14 inches

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

51 G’s

Hip Force

799 lbs.

800 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/05

Cadillac’s powertrain warranty covers the XT5 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Volkswagen covers the Atlas. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Atlas ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The XT5’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Atlas’ (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are over 37 percent more Cadillac dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the XT5’s warranty.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/05

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the XT5’s reliability 24 points higher than the Atlas.

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

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/05

The XT5’s optional 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 34 more horsepower (310 vs. 276) and 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (271 vs. 266) than the Atlas’ optional 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Cadillac XT5 V6 is faster than the Volkswagen Atlas V6:

XT5

Atlas

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

7.9 sec

Quarter Mile

15 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

91.4 MPH

81.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/05

On the EPA test cycle the XT5 gets better fuel mileage than the Atlas:

XT5

Atlas

2WD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

21 city/28 hwy

21 city/24 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

3.6 V6/Auto

18 city/26 hwy

17 city/23 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

4WD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

21 city/26 hwy

20 city/24 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

3.6 V6/Auto

18 city/25 hwy

16 city/22 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

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

The XT5 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Atlas (21.7 vs. 18.6 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 Atlas doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Cadillac XT5 higher (6 out of 10) than the Volkswagen Atlas (3 to 5). This means the XT5 produces up to 23.4 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Atlas every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Cadillac XT5, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Atlas.

Brakes and Stopping

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

XT5

Atlas

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

12.2 inches

The XT5 stops much shorter than the Atlas:

XT5

Atlas

60 to 0 MPH

111 feet

139 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/05

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

Suspension and Handling

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The XT5 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the XT5 flat and controlled during cornering. The Atlas’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

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 Atlas’ suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The XT5 AWD handles at .82 G’s, while the Atlas SEL 4Motion pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The XT5 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Atlas SEL 4Motion (27 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.9 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

Chassis

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/05

The Cadillac XT5 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 350 pounds less than the Volkswagen Atlas.

The XT5 is 11.4 inches shorter than the Atlas, making the XT5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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 Atlas doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Cargo Capacity

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The XT5 has a much larger cargo volume than the Atlas with its rear seat up (30.2 vs. 20.6 cubic feet).

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

Servicing Ease

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/05

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 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 Atlas 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 Atlas 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 Atlas doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

On a hot day the XT5’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Atlas 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 Atlas only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Atlas has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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 Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium.

The XT5’s optional Automatic Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting and stopping automatically, with the driver only responsible for switching from reverse to drive. The Atlas SEL Premium’s automatic parking system requires operating the brakes and transmission to safely park.

Economic Advantages

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/08/05

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the XT5 is less expensive to operate than the Atlas because typical repairs cost much less on the XT5 than the Atlas, including $243 less for a water pump, $27 less for front brake pads, $331 less for a starter, $92 less for fuel injection, $101 less for a fuel pump, $312 less for front struts, $345 less for a timing belt/chain and $358 less for a power steering pump.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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