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Review: 2019 Cadillac XT4 is a mixed bag of premium luxury

Review: 2019 Cadillac XT4 is a...
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Introduced to market this year, the XT4 is a new luxury compact crossover from Cadillac. It's aimed at being an affordable entry option for the segment, and is clearly a Caddy inside and out. Like the larger Escalade that sets the tone for Cadillac's SUVs though, there are some odd misses in its design.

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 has a great powertrain setup and it's sized just right to hit the segment at its sweet spot. There's plenty of room in the front seats, good room in the back, and more cargo space than might be expected for its size. That's a good combination for the segment and should make for a winner.

Yet there are some things that will become deal breakers for luxury buyers. It doesn't have great handling or a quiet interior on the drive. The engine is exactly right-sized for this Cadillac, but some might expect more umph from a luxury vehicle. Though we think it's just right as-is.

The XT4 uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that outputs a robust 247 horsepower (184 kW) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque
The XT4 uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that outputs a robust 247 horsepower (184 kW) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque

The XT4 uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that outputs a robust 247 horsepower (184 kW) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque to a nine-speed automatic. The transmission outputs as front-wheel drive as standard, but all-wheel drive is an option in all of the trim levels for those who want it. Fuel economy is rated at 24 mpg (9.8 l/100 km) in the city and 30 mpg (7.8 l/100 km) on the highway (per the EPA) in FWD models and a little lower for AWD.

Driving around town, the vehicle feels confident and well-powered for everyday driving. It doesn't sprint off the line like some sport-centric models might, but it doesn't need to. It gets up and goes as needed and performs well as a daily runner. On the highway, it's less impressive. The modicum of refinement felt at lower speeds leaves and the Cadillac penchant for disengaging the driver and bringing all of the roadway into the cabin comes to the fore. It's loud, bumpy, and the slushy steering is disappointing.

Like most Cadillac models, the XT4 shines when it comes to exterior and interior design. There's no mistaking it for what it is when looking at it from a distance or up close. The edges, lamps, and flow all announce it as a Caddy. Inside, the usual Cadillac trope of stuffing as many material types together as possible and somehow coming out looking great is there. There's wood, metal, plastic, leather, vinyl, and more all blended together in a way that only Cadillac can pull off. It all flows well, feels premium level, and the build quality is smack on.

The XT4 benefits from GM’s strong suit of infotainment as well, sporting a system that’s more leading edge than many
The XT4 benefits from GM’s strong suit of infotainment as well, sporting a system that’s more leading edge than many

The compact crossover benefits from GM's strong suit of infotainment as well, sporting a system that's more leading edge than many. Where most luxury brands drop the ball heavily with infotainment, Cadillac soars. The infotainment has a sharp screen with easy controls and menu. We'd like to see it get away from the control knob, but unlike most in this segment, its control knob is user-friendly. Even when driving. The optional Bose Audio upgrade is well worth the money too, boasting some great sound in the cabin. That could help make up for the noise levels on the highway. Unless you're a smooth jazz or low-key listener.

Smartphone integration is easy and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. There are both USB and USB-C ports up front and in the back plus a wireless charging pad at the center console. Even a Wi-Fi hotspot is standard.

Another point of confusion for the XT4, though, is in Cadillac's choice of inclusions. There are plenty of driver's aids and advanced safety features available, but they are only available as options on the upper trim packages. The base model has no access to them at all. Which seems out of place in the luxury segment.

Overall, though, the 2019 Cadillac XT4 is a good compact crossover for the luxury segment. It's price of entry is great (US$34,795 at base) and means that it's far more accessible than many in that segment. Our nearly fully loaded test model, a Premium Luxury with AWD, was priced at $41,795 delivered. That's still below the average for this segment, which have base prices closing in on $40,000 without options.

Product Page: 2019 Cadillac XT4

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