Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2017 BMW X3 VS 2017 Cadillac XT5 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2017 BMW X3

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2017 Cadillac XT5

Safety Comparison

The X3 has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The XT5 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the X3 and the XT5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty Comparison

The X3’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the XT5’s (12 vs. 6 years).

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the X3 has a standard 210-amp alternator. The XT5’s standard 155-amp alternator and largest (optional) 170-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X3 third among compact premium SUVs in their 2016 Initial Quality Study. The XT5 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 14th in reliability, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 15th.

Engine Comparison

The X3 xDrive35i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 29 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 271) than the XT5’s 3.6 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the X3 s/xDrive28i is faster than the Cadillac XT5:




Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

6.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

15.1 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the X3 gets better fuel mileage than the XT5:








21 city/28 hwy

19 city/27 hwy




21 city/28 hwy

18 city/26 hwy




19 city/26 hwy



Regenerative brakes improve the X3’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The XT5 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the X3 has larger standard tires than the XT5 (245/50R18 vs. 235/65R18). The X3’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the XT5 (F:245/40R20 & R:275/35R20 vs. 235/65R18).

The X3’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the XT5’s standard 65 series tires. The X3’s optional 245/40R20 front and 275/35R20 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the XT5’s optional 55 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X3 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The XT5 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The X3’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.1% to 49.9%) than the XT5’s (58.2% to 41.8%). This gives the X3 more stable handling and braking.

For greater off-road capability the X3 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the XT5 (8 vs. 7.8 inches), allowing the X3 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

The X3 is 5.9 inches shorter than the XT5, making the X3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the X3 xDrive35i xDrive is quieter than the XT5 4x4:




At idle

38 dB

44 dB


74 dB

77 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

68 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The X3 has 2.3 inches more front headroom and 3.1 inches more rear headroom than the XT5.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The X3 has a larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the XT5 with its rear seat folded (63.3 vs. 63 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

If the windows are left down on the X3 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the XT5 can only raise the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The X3’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The XT5’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the X3 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The XT5 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The X3 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The XT5 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The XT5’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The X3’s optional adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X3, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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