There’s plenty going on at Cadillac these days, what with the ATS/CTS combo being discontinued leaving us thinking no more sedans for us, until they decide to come back with a CT4 and a CT5 for later this year. Add to that 2 new crossovers the XT4 and XT6, also due out later this year and you began to see Cadillac’s new product offensive in full flow, which means they will launch an all-new or refreshed product every six months between now and 2021. Most of that product will be SUVs, of course, and next year sees a freshening of the XT5. A fully redesigned Escalade will debut in 2020, and a mini crossover XT2. Then in 2021 we’ll get a redesigned XT5 and another small crossover, the XT3. Are you keeping up?
My tester for the week was the 2019 Cadillac XT4, which rides on its own platform, a shortened version of the XT5’s. Only one engine is available and it’s a good one, a 2.0 turbo 4 with 237 hp @ 5000 rpm and 258 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm mated to a 9-speed automatic with manual shifting mode. At idle you can tell it’s a 4, it’s got that slight diesel sound much like the VW and Audi fours. Get it going though and it is exceptionally smooth and quiet and provides ample performance, if a tad slower than what’s expected in this segment. 0-60 takes a shade under 7 seconds, but this car prefers using its reserves of torque once on the move.
I really like how Cadillac XT4 looks, it’s edgy and pretty at the same time, with perfect proportions, a lot nicer to look at than the larger XT5, which is somewhat plain and boxy. My tester came in Autumn Metallic and a set of stylish 20 inch split spoke wheels to finish off the look, however, you can’t just have a pretty face, time to see how it drives.
Sprightly is a good way to describe the XT4, especially from a standstill, that extra low ratio chirping the front the wheels unless you select AWD mode from the available options, Tour being the default, which is always FWD. Selecting AWD Sport weights up the steering but offers no change in shift character just different shift points and logic.
The XT4 exhibits a sporty feel for a crossover thanks to a combination of precise steering and throttle inputs and decent body control. The brakes are excellent and provided fade free stopping from speed without fuss or overheating. The 9-speed is silky smooth, completely unobtrusive and has virtually no turbo lag which all adds to the fun factor.
Once one the move this little Caddy is almost silent, the only gruffness at idle which you can drown out with the excellent Bose entertainment system. The XT4 will start to under-steer on the very limit if you desire but it’s all very controlled and you get an early sign you have reached that point when the steering weights up. This is a sign that it’s not an Alfa Stelvio Q, nor is it meant to be.
Settle into the excellent and supportive front chairs and you immediately notice a big improvement in the usual Cadillac interior quality. The hand stitched look is everywhere and it gives the cabin a very non mass produced look. Overall feel and quality is exemplary, I can’t fault it, it’s a big step in the right direction. My only issue is with the new 8.0-inch infotainment screen, which should be angled towards the driver, always. My tester came loaded with all sorts of goodies including a rear view camera/mirror combo, front and rear park assist, lane change and side blind zone alerts, and rear cross traffic systems.
The 8-inch touch screen infotainment system, running the latest version of the CUE software, is fast, intuitive and simple to operate. Menus are clear and big icons make it easy and quick to select what you need. Support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard of course, and a Wi-Fi hotspot comes with three months (3GB) of data for free. My tester’s base price was $41,795 but had an eye watering $12,945 worth of options, including a Dual Panel Sunroof, Active Sports Suspension, Cold Weather Package, Driver Awareness Package and those 20 inch alloy wheels.
Cadillac says the XT4 is an entry level, luxury, compact crossover, to complete with the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA and Volvo XC40. It is a tad bigger than those cars though with 22.5 cu-ft of cargo space with rear seats up, 48.9 with them down. It’s smooth, luxurious and spacious and has a lot of appeal that luxury customers would expect and I really like, just don’t go crazy checking the options.
2019 Cadillac XT4 Numbers
VEHICLE TYPE: Front-engine, FWD/AWD, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
BASE PRICE: $41,795
PRICE AS TESTED: $55,735
ENGINE TYPE: 2.0 liter turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4
POWER: 237 hp @ 5000 rpm
TORQUE: 258 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 9-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
0-60 mph: 6.9 seconds
TOP SPEED: 140 mph
CARGO VOLUME: 22.3 ft³, 48.9 ft³ with seat area
CURB WEIGHT: 3,896 lbs
COMBINED/CITY/HWY: 24/22/29 mpg
OUR OBSERVED: 19.1mpg
PROS: Great looking, it’s a genuine luxury car
CONS: Pricey with options