The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is an all-new model from the luxury brand. It is their smallest crossover SUV that is poised to take on the likes of the Lexus NX, Lincoln MKC, Acura RDX, and Infiniti QX50 to name a few.
Engine – Like many other compact SUVs in this segment, the XT4 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0L engine. It produces 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque which is similar to the Lexus and Lincoln (with the 2.0L engine) but well below the Acura and Infiniti. The peak torque figure comes in at a low 1,500 rpms and holds until 4,000 rpms which makes this XT4 quite punchy off the line. But peak horsepower is at a high 5,000 rpms so this engine does need to rev a bit more than others to get the XT4 moving.
Happily however, the Cadillac XT4 is relatively frugal with the fuel as it can achieve better fuel economy figures than most of the competition. It is rated for 10.9 L/100km (21.6 mpg) in a city and 8.2 L/100km (28.7 mpg) on a highway. During my time with it, I averaged 9.0L/100km which is right in the middle.
Transmission – Whether you opt for the Front-Wheel-Drive or All-Wheel-Drive XT4, a 9-speed automatic transmission does the job of switching gears. Because it has so many gears, under normal driving conditions it almost feels like a CVT as the engine rpms don’t drop by more than 200 or 300 rpms between shifts. Put it into Sport mode and the shifts become more noticeable as the rpms go up.
Braking – The brakes on the Cadillac XT4 feel solid. It doesn’t require much pedal pressure to bring the almost 1,800 kg body to a stop. Intelligent Brake Assist is standard however low speed automatic braking and forward collision alert are part of an $895 Driver Awareness Package which is an option even on this top Sport trim XT4.
Handling – Despite the Sport trim designation, the 2019 Cadillac XT4 is no V-Series compact SUV. I’m not saying that it can’t go around a corner, it can, it just doesn’t feel very engaging. The steering effort is way too light and numb feeling. It’s great for parking at slow speeds but not so good when you’re on a twisty mountain road. However it does have plenty of grip whether the roads are dry or wet. The AWD system is pretty clever and the XT4 utilizes a twin-clutch rear differential to limit wheel slip mechanically rather than using the brakes like many other SUVs.
Ride Comfort – The Cadillac XT4 delivers a plush ride to all of the occupants. Granted it’s no Navigator but that’s a completely different type of SUV. Compared to the Lincoln MKC, the Cadillac XT4 is on par with the other American brand.
The seats are very comfortable with the fronts having multiple adjustments including lower back and side bolster adjustments. Better yet, the front seats can also massage your back.
Interior Space – The XT4 has a lot of interior space despite its relatively small looking exterior dimensions. Front and rear occupants have plenty of leg and head room with the rear seats comfortably seating 2 adults for long drives in the outboard seats. My only complaint though is the steering wheel. It doesn’t extend far enough and as a result I felt like I was overreaching to grab hold of the steering wheel. With 637L of space behind the second row and 1,385L with the rear seats folded, the XT4 has about average cargo capacity for the class.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – Like many other premium vehicles, the Cadillac XT4 doesn’t have any issues with squeaking or rattling trim pieces. However, unlike many other premium vehicles, the engine in this XT4 is a bit on the loud side and you definitely notice it when accelerating from a stop.
Interior Design – Most of the surfaces that you see and touch are covered in soft leather or soft touch plastics. The white leather brings a feeling of luxury and makes the whole interior brighter as it reflects more light from the big panoramic sunroof. The 8” infotainment display is the central focal point of the dashboard. The screen itself it tilted upward at what feels like a 45 degree angle (not actually 45 degrees) and surprisingly, it doesn’t reflect sunlight into my eyes. Underneath it is a row of buttons for the climate control.
Odds and Ends
Gadgets – While the 2019 Cadillac XT4 is available with a wide range of convenience and safety features, the majority of them are bundled together with optional packages. So that can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on what you’re looking for. This Sport trim, for example, starts at $42,795 CAD but can quickly go up to $55,565 CAD (or more if you choose extras like premium paint, different wheels, protection packages, etc.). But the packages are nicely bundled with similar features so if you only want more safety aids for example, opt for the Driver Assist package and you won’t need to spend extra money on other features you don’t need.
Exterior Design – Since the early 2000’s, Cadillac has adopted a “straight cut” and “angular” design language. Over the decades it has evolved to what it is now which I think it looks aggressive but also timeless. The 2019 XT4 has a strong presence on the road and in parking lots. You cannot confuse it for any other auto brand.
With a starting price of just $34,400 CAD, the Cadillac XT4 is significantly less expensive than the competition from Lincoln, Acura, & Lexus to name a few. It’s also one of the most fuel efficient of the bunch and can tow up to 3,500 lbs (when equipped with the max trailer package). But keep in mind that if you want specific features, they’re part of packages that can add up to a lot of money.
Thank you to Cadillac Canada for providing the vehicle. www.CadillacCanada.ca