We’re all familiar with the “most improved” award. It’s the morale booster of elementary school sports teams and teachers, the recognition of effort even if results aren’t on par with the truly gifted. What a great concept, right?
Unfortunately, the adult world doesn’t hand out awards for effort. If you suck at your job, you get fired. If you build a bad product, no one buys it. This reality is no truer than in the automotive industry. Vehicles that can’t match rivals simply die a quick, accountant-declared death.
So when Cadillac began its transformation from a worn-out luxury brand into an innovative, stylish automaker, the consuming public didn’t immediately flock to showrooms with cash in hand. The American marque still huffed and puffed beside its German counterparts; its efforts were still not enough.
But the field has changed. Cadillac is no longer warming the bench; it’s starting every game. The ATS, CTS, and CT6 are all magnificent sedans, and yet Cadillac still sells more of its aging SRX crossovers than any other model. Therefore, the SRX-replacing XT5 is by far the brand’s most important vehicle — but is it also its most valuable?
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