It was only a matter of time before Cadillac entered the hot small luxury crossover/SUV market. And their new 2019 XT4 is a real looker. Plus, it’s surprisingly affordable for a Caddy, but that depends on the model.
Offered in Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport trim levels, all models can be had in FWD or AWD with the latter adding $2,500 to the base price. We were privileged to test the Premium Luxury and came away quite impressed.
XT4’s size can best be described as falling between subcompact and compact. It slots beneath Cadillac’s XT5 in size and price and has a striking design that follows the styling scheme of the XT5, only it’s a bit sexier.
With a low 18-inch step-in, XT4’s interior gives a sense of airy spaciousness and its lavishly decorated with sumptuously padded seats, the fronts of which can be ordered with a massage feature. The drivers’ bucket seat bottom also vibrates when sensing danger while backing or other dangerous conditions.
An 8-inch display nestles nicely into the dash and is controlled by a console mounted rotary controller. In front of the console box is a wireless smartphone charger that can accommodate even the larger phones.
The display offers the usual compliment of navigation, apps, audio and rearview camera that gives an overhead, side and front overhead views. It includes Wi-Fi connectivity, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functions. There’s also an adjustable Heads-Up-Display on the driver’s side windshield showing vehicle speed in addition to the digital readout on the gauge set.
The 9-speed automatic transmission shifter has a Park button at its top that must be depressed to select that gear. XT4 is not the only one to use that gear scheme and it makes you wonder why not just shift into a P position, as has been the mode for past years on many vehicles. In addition, a set of buttons on either side of the shifter must be depressed to engage Drive and Reverse gears. Seems like technology overkill.
In addition, XT4 offers three modes of Tour, AWD (if so equipped) and Sport which tightens things up and stretches shift points.
In the back seat, ingress/egress is good thanks to wide opening doors. Leg room is spacious for two 6-footers provided the fronts aren’t racked well rearward. The seats themselves are nicely padded, comfy and overlooking them was the optional ($1,550) panoramic sunroof measuring 42x29 inches so back seat riders can enjoy a sky view.
Behind the seats is a spacious cargo area that’s rated at 22.5 cubic feet with the 60/40 rear seatback’s upright. That translates into a more meaningful 33.5 inches deep, 43 wide and 27.5 high. Flip them, and capacity expands to 48.9 cubic feet for 63 inches of cargo loading depth.
Beneath the cargo floor is a space saver tire around which small items can be stowed out of sight. Cargo lift over is an easy 30 inches.
XT4 gets its grunt from a 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder producing 237-hp and 258 lb/ft of torque for EPA mileage estimates of 22 city, 29-highway mpg. That gets some help from an auto start/stop feature that can be disabled. Combined with the 9-speed automatic transmission, XT4 has a 3,500 tow rating.
So powered, the 2.0L moves this 3,876-pound crossover with spirited acceleration from a standing stop. It actually has some push-you-back-in-the-seat Gs. One drawback, however, is that the little four is noisy at idle, which is not typical for a Cadillac.
When shutting off the ignition, a warning notice appears on the driver’s information display signaling the driver to check the back seat for occupants be it a baby in a child seat or even the family pooch. There’s a push for all carmakers to add this safety feature to all their vehicles.
Ride wise on optional ($1,100) Continental 20-inch tires (18s are standard), is exceptionally good for its class of short wheelbase vehicles, as it smooth’s imperfect roadways.
Handling too is adept as XT4’s suspension keeps the vehicle on an even keel and it parks easily with its tight 38-foot turning radius.
With the Luxury trim model carrying a base price of around $35,790, Cadillac makes a lot of standard features on many cars, optional. That quickly drives the base price of all trim levels. And they are pricey. Aside from the two options mentioned, here’s a sampling:
The AWD Premium Luxury started with a base of $41,795, but after adding the Cadillac User Experience ($1,500) that adds nav, real time traffic, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, surround sound and more; Enhanced Visibility Package ($1,500) with dual, heated outside power folding mirrors, auto dimming mirror, rear camera mirror with washer, automatic parking assist w/braking, surround vision; Driver Assist Package ($1,100) with adaptive cruise, forward/reverse braking; Comfort/Convenience Package ($1,050) with massage and ventilated front seats, hands free liftgate; Cold Weather Package ($850) gives heated front seats and rear outboard seats, heated steering wheel; Driver Awareness ($770) provides forward collision warning, front pedestrian braking, following distance indicator, lane keep assist/lane departure warning; Shadow Metallic Paint ($625); Trailering Equipment ($300) includes HD cooling system and trailer hitch, and after all this, delivery added $995 for a grand total of $54,785. See what we mean? The options add up.
All in all, the XT4 is a refreshingly new Cadillac for those who are Caddy owners who want to downsize from a sedan or from an XT5. Others may want to migrate to an American made icon that is an exceptional eye-grabber.