Well, if you thought there couldn’t possibly be room for yet another compact luxury crossover, you were wrong. You see, until now, Cadillac has been sitting this one out. That all changes with an all-new xt4. So, let’s find out if it’s a welcome addition to the club.
Cadillac formulated the 2019 XT4 for a new generation of luxury buyers. Ones looking for spacious comfort along with expressive design, inspired performance, and lots of new technologies. A tall order indeed, and one that is already being serviced by the likes the BMW X3, Audi Q5, Acura RDX among others.
But one thing the XT4 does out do them all is in expressive design. Here you get a slightly detuned version of Cadillac’s current very bold look. The front facia hits you with knife edged, inverted L-shaped LED headlights, separated from a large shield grille.
A pinched waist, and concave body panels underset a tall yet still coupish flavored roof that ends with minimal overhang. At the rear, taillights are a modern take on the familiar Cadillac theme, now reaching out and up alongside the hatch.
There are also unique elements for each trim level; which include Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport.
This Premium Luxury includes plenty of bright metal-work; while the Sport trim gets the blacked-out treatment, and all ride on standard 18s, with 20s optional.
Moving on to performance, all XT4s are powered by… surprise, a 2.0-liter I4 turbo. Output is a healthy 237-horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque. Helping fuel economy, are Active Fuel Management and a 9-speed automatic transmission.
The Government Ratings are 24-City, 30-Highway, and 26-Combined with front-wheel-drive; 22-City, 29-Highway, and 24-Combined for all-wheel-drive. Making the Energy Impact Score an average one, with 12.7-barrels of annual oil consumption with CO2 emissions of 5.6-tons.
The available twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system can completely decouple from the rear axle, only engaging the aft tires when additional traction is called for. And it was the competent operation of this powertrain that was the true highlight of our initial driving sessions, which happened in the Pacific Northwest near Portland, Oregon.
Using some techno-trickery dubbed “tripower”, sliding camshaft lobes in the engine, allow for three distinct operating modes, as well as big delivery of torque when called upon.
An available Active Sport Suspension features continuous damping control, and gets the most out of the strut-type front suspension with 5-link independent rear.
Aiming for the younger sport-minded buyer means ride quality is not plush enough to bring back memories of riding shotgun in the bench seat of Grandpa’s Caddy, but this thing rips around corners better than Gramps could have ever have imagined.
And 5-place accommodations of the XT4, are every bit as nice as he would remember; spacious as well. Front seats are well-bolstered and comfy without being soft.
A thick 3-spoke steering wheel falls readily to hand, as do a welcome number of manual switches that poke out of the bottom of the wide, flat dash.
Rear seat passengers fare just as well, plenty of legroom; good comfort in the seats here too. You’ll find 22.5 cubic-ft. of space in the cargo bay; expanding to 48.9 cubic-ft. with the seatbacks folded.
As for XT4 technologies, the first thing you’ll notice is a new rotary controller added to the Cadillac User Experience or CUE system. Gauges are the now the expected mix of analog and the virtual; lots of information, presented in a clear fashion.
The 8-inch HD infotainment screen is recessed into the dash and is high enough for easy monitoring. Near-field communications makes for quicker and easier phone pairing; there’s faster next gen 15-watt wireless charging, and four standard USB ports.
Not to mention Cadillac’s improved rear camera mirror, surround vision cameras, and an available Driver Assist Package with Forward and Reverse Automatic Braking.
The base Luxury XT4 starts at $35,790. From there, you can choose the Premium Luxury or Sport route, both of which go for $40,290. For all-wheel-drive, add another $2,500.
The 2019 XT4 has what Cadillac needs to compete in the compact luxury crossover segment, and to stay relevant as a brand as well. So, while the XT4 faces a container load of rivals already charging after new age luxury buyers, it easily checks all of the boxes and then some. It is a fine addition to the storied brand, and who knows, it might even appeal to a few of their traditionalist too. Indeed, we think the XT4 is destined to become Cadillac’s best seller.
Engine: 2.0 liter
Torque: 258 lb-ft.
EPA: 24 mpg city / 30 mpg highway
Energy Impact: 12.7 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emissions: 5.6 tons/yr