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- Highs Stylish exterior, handsome interior design, spacious cabin.
- Lows Down-market interior materials, rough ride, loud engine note.
- Verdict The XT4 isn't as refined as most rivals, but it does offer a chic exterior and a nicely styled and spacious cabin.
With no shortage of choices in the small-luxury SUV marketplace, the Cadillac XT4 will appeal to buyers who value a sharp-edged design, a spacious interior, and a traditionally upright, SUV-like driving position. All models come with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and either front- or all-wheel drive. The cabin has a modern appearance with plenty of standard and optional technology and infotainment features, but overall refinement isn't quite on the same level as the XT4's key rivals, which includes the Audi Q3, the BMW X1, and the Mercedes-Benz GLA-class. If you overlook its down-market interior materials, the XT4 remains a practical and stylish option in this popular segment.
What's New for 2021?
Cadillac has made only a few minor changes to the XT4 for 2021, starting with the base Luxury trim, which receives a new standard power rear liftgate and the option of leather upholstery. An optional Driver Awareness package that includes automatic high-beam headlamps and lane-keeping assist has also been added to the Luxury trim. The Sport trim receives red-painted brake calipers, and both it and the Premium Luxury model come with new exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals. Two new colors join the available palette: Infrared Tintcoat and Wave Metallic.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The Cadillac XT4 base price is $36,790, and all-wheel drive adds $2500 to every model for those who want it. The Premium Luxury and Sport models both cost almost the same, but since the former doesn't live up to its name, and the latter is even better to drive, we'd recommend the XT4 Sport. It has unique wheel designs, blacked-out exterior trim, and exclusive interior accents. The Sport model also has an exclusive active suspension with adaptive dampers and better-bolstered front seats. To that we'd add the Comfort and Convenience package (leather interior, ventilated and massaging front seats, etc.) and choose the Active Sport suspension (adaptive dampers) to avoid the ride-quality-reducing 20-inch wheels that are required with the Sport Dynamics package.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Under the hood of all XT4s is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 237 horsepower. It pairs with a nine-speed automatic transmission and front- or all-wheel drive. The 2019 XT4 Sport we tested sashayed its way to 60 mph in a lackluster 7.8 seconds—1.5 seconds behind the X1. Despite the difference, the XT4 felt spry around town and when merging onto the highway. Ignore Cadillac's assertion of sportiness with the XT4. It's more of a boulevard cruiser than a sports car. The ride is okay, so long as the road is relatively smooth. Rough stretches of asphalt translate plenty of vibrations and sharp impacts into the cabin, especially when riding on the optional 20-inch wheels. The steering is similarly disappointing and is neither feelsome nor direct in its action. The XT4's only decisive controls are its brakes, which hauled our test car down from 70 mph in our emergency-stopping test in 172 feet with one of the firmest brake pedals we've encountered.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Despite its fuel-saving cylinder-deactivation capability, the XT4 earns wholly average EPA fuel-economy estimates, with front-wheel-drive variants reaching 30 mpg on the highway. In our real-world highway fuel-economy test, our all-wheel-drive test vehicle managed just 27 of its EPA-rated 29 mpg.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The XT4's interior, while comfortable and spacious, isn't as high-class as we expect in this premium segment. The dashboard and upper door panels are covered in a stitched, faux-leather wrap, but lower on the doors and center console, cheaper, sharp-edged plastic persists. The buttons and switches look and feel as though they're likely to be shared with less expensive offerings in the General Motors portfolio. Space is great for the front-seat occupants and actually pretty decent in the back seat, too. As with its passenger compartment, the XT4's cargo room is spacious. Behind the XT4's rear seat we fit six of our carry-on suitcases, and with the seatbacks folded flat, we managed to fit 18—slightly more than smaller rivals such as the Mini Cooper Countryman. If you're looking for a small SUV that can haul cargo like a larger one, the Volvo XC40—which held 23 carry-on suitcases—is worth a look.
Infotainment and Connectivity
All XT4 models come with an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Cadillac's CUE software. The touchscreen looks nice and crisp and is tucked slightly into the dashboard. The interface is reasonably easy to use, too, and in addition to touching the screen, the user can also interact via a console-mounted knob. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot, and a seven-speaker audio system are all standard; navigation is optional, as is a 13-speaker Bose audio system. Selecting the available Technology package (Premium Luxury and Sport models only) adds a digital gauge cluster, a head-up display, and a wireless smartphone-charging pad.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
The 2021 XT4 has earned a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but it wasn't named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Cadillac does offer it with a plethora of driver-assistance features, but few of them are standard fare. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Available blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The Cadillac warranty outdoes several of its rivals with powertrain coverage that lasts six years or 70,000 miles. Cadillac offers one free maintenance visit with the purchase of any 2021 model.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers six years or 70,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for one year or 12,000 miles
2019 Cadillac XT4 Sport AWD
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, front-/all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door hatchback
PRICE AS TESTED: $56,835 (base price: $42,790)
ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 122 cu in, 1998 cc
Power: 237 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque: 258 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 9-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Suspension (F/R): control arms/multilink
Brakes (F/R): 12.6-in vented disc/12.4-in vented disc
Tires: Continental ProContact TX, 245/45R-20 99H M+S
Wheelbase: 109.4 in
Length: 181.1 in
Width: 74.1 in
Height: 64.1 in
Passenger volume: 98 cu ft
Cargo volume, Behind F/R: 49/23 ft3
Curb weight: 3980 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
Zero to 60 mph: 7.8 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 23.0 sec
Zero to 120 mph: 40.9 sec
Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 8.2 sec
Top gear, 30–50 mph: 4.2 sec
Top gear, 50–70 mph: 5.4 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 16.1 sec @ 87 mph
Top speed (governor limited): 132 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 172 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.89 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 19 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/city/highway: 24/22/29 mpg