The 3.6 liter VVT V6 has been a staple of the Cadillac XT5 and other GM branded vehicles for some time now with its high-feature content of technology. For the 2017-2023 XT5, the second generation 3.6 liter engine gained even more high tech for more refinement, better fuel economy and more power.
In the XT5 it produces 310 horsepower at 6,700 rpm and 271 pound-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. Here it’s mated to a nine-speed automatic transaxle and available with front or all-wheel drive such as in our tester here. The EPA rates it here with all-wheel drive at 18 mpg city, 25 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined.
The engine itself is all aluminum, with a stiffened and cross-bolted block and a forged steel crankshaft and forged connecting rods. It retains its 60 degree vee angle but has increased bore size and center spacing.
Aluminum heads feature high flow ports and larger valves for both intake and exhaust than the first generation. The exhaust manifold is now cast into the head for better thermal efficiency and under hood packaging, putting the catalyst units right up under the hood. Topping off the heads are dual overhead cams, both with variable cam timing.
With direct fuel injection, the engine also features active fuel management that can shut off two of the cylinders and allow it to operate effectively as a V4 when coasting or when extra power isn’t needed. When you roll back onto the throttle, the system fires the cylinder back up near seamlessly.
Following the airflow, the intake air comes in through a large filter box at the passenger side of the engine compartment and straight into a composite intake manifold. The intake manifold on this version of the engine is taller than those found in rear-wheel drive applications.
Looking down at the engine itself you can see a healthy dose of sound insulation shielding applied to the top and sides of the upper structure. Back on the firewall is also a pretty significant layer of sound deadening. This is not only because of the inherent noise that direct fuel injection makes, but because of the luxury vehicle this engine finds itself in.
When it comes to servicing this engine, most of the pertinent items are within easy reach and view. The air filter box is located on the passenger side for easy access though it does require screws to be removed to replace the filter.
Checking and filling oil is done at the front and center of the engine with the dipstick easily seen with its bright yellow handle.
The windshield washer fluid is down low at the driver side near the headlamp. Behind it you will find a fuse box over the driver side wheel well, the 12-volt battery right next to it and adjacent to that, the main engine computer. The engine coolant and brake fluid reservoirs are are together at the driver side firewall
Notable is that there is not a dipstick for the automatic transmission as GM considers it not to be a user servicable item, sealed for life they call it. Take it to your dealer for service. Also, the main serpentine drive belt does exist for engine driven accessories, but takes some effort to get to.