Responsive engine. Easy for loading cargo. Ideal for younger buyers.
Interior Quality Vs. Competition
Options Quickly Drive Up MSRP
There’s another new entry into the compact luxury SUV segment, as Cadillac gets into the mix with the XT4. The smaller XT4 joins the midsize XT5 and the three-row XT6, along with the larger Escalade to complete Cadillac’s SUV and crossover lineup. The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is attractively priced, but you can load it up with extras that aren’t offered on the base trim. All-wheel drive is available too, making this a capable all-weather performer.
This week, we’ve been driving the 2019 Cadillac XT4 in the Premium Luxury trim.
What’s New For 2019
The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is an all-new vehicle from the ground up aimed at younger buyers. It’s no surprise a team of young designers at GM were responsible for the overall design of the XT4. The vehicle is built on a compact SUV architecture with a new turbo engine and seats five. Trim levels include Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport.
Features & Options: Connectivity & Safety
The 2019 Cadillac XT4 AWD Premium Luxury ($41,795) comes standard with 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, power-adjustable front seats, simulated leather upholstery, keyless entry and ignition, remote start, and dual-zone climate control. Infotainment is handled by an eight-inch touchscreen, Near Field Communications for easy Bluetooth connections, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There are four USB outlets (including one Type-C) and a seven-speaker sound system with satellite radio.
The Premium Luxury trim receives automatic wipers, auto-dimming mirrors, a power liftgate, rear cargo shade, driver-seat memory settings, and ambient interior lighting. The Premium Luxury trim also adds safety aids like front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and a seat that vibrates to alert the driver. The latter is known as the Safety Alert Seat, which gives vibrating pulse patterns on the left and/or right side of the lower bolster to alert the driver of potential dangers. Threats from the front and rear trigger pulses on both sides of the seat.
Related: Cadillac enters the “Goldilocks zone” with the new XT6.
Features & Options: Loaded Up
This Premium Luxury trim came loaded with the Comfort and Convenience package, giving us a massaging function for our front seats, and hands-free operation of the power liftgate. The Technology package includes a digital gauge cluster, heads-up display, a telescopic steering steering column, and wireless device charging, among other features.
The Driver Awareness package offers additional safety with low-speed frontal collision mitigation, a following distance indicator, and lane keeping assist. The Enhanced Visibility package adds a suite of cameras, including one that displays in the rearview mirror, as well as an automatic parking feature.
Other options included a sunroof, navigation, and a Cold Weather package, which added a heated steering wheel and heated front and rear seats. Total MSRP including destination: $54,785. By comparison, the 2019 Cadillac XT4 starts at $35,790.
Stepping inside the XT4 reveals an attractive cabin with quality materials, and a fit and finish you would expect from Cadillac. But the overall feel is less impressive versus other luxury brands. The driver’s seat comes with eight-way power adjustments, memory settings, and two-way lumbar for extra support. Our tester came with additional comfort features (heating, ventilation, and massage) to help ease the stress of a long drive.
We think the Technology package with its digital gauge cluster, heads-up display, wireless smartphone-charging pad, front cornering lamps, and cabin air ionizer is worth the cost ($1,650). The eight-inch infotainment system comes with Cadillac’s CUE software. The touchscreen sits slightly tucked into the dashboard and fits nicely. We thought the informant system was reasonably easy to use via a console-mounted knob.
The rear seating area is quite roomy for a compact luxury SUV in this class, and the XT4’s cargo floor is spacious. Behind the rear seat, the 2019 Cadillac XT4 offers 22.5 cubic feet of space; folding it down gives you 48.9 cubic feet of space. We were able to carry extra cargo (and groceries) this week with the seats folded flat.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
The 2019 Cadillac XT4 comes standard with a turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, producing 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque when mated to a nine-speed automatic. Cadillac designed the engine to have a nearly flat torque curve for better response, something we noticed on our drive. Our XT4 tester came with twin-clutch, decoupling all-wheel drive, a nice option to have in colder climates.
EPA fuel mileage estimates with all-wheel drive are 22/29 city/highway and 24 combined. Even with GM’s cylinder deactivation feature (Active Fuel Management) we didn’t get anywhere near that. However, we were pushing the small SUV hard at altitude. By comparison, front-wheel drive models come in at 24/30 city/highway and 26 combined.
Driving Dynamics: Few Bumps Here & There
The Premium Luxury trim features a strut-type front suspension and five-link independent rear suspension, which on the open road, is fairly smooth. However, with the available 20-inch diamond alloy wheels, the ride on rougher roads – like the dirt ones in the mountains west of Denver – will be a bit jarring. We could feel plenty of vibrations and sharp impacts into the cabin. We would be curious to see how the XT4 Sport trim with its Active Sport Suspension and Continuous Damping Control handles on a similar road.
Unfortunately, that suspension upgrade is not available on the Premium Luxury trim.
Driving Dynamics: Smooth & Seamless Enough
However, for most urban commuters, this should not be an issue. On the open road, the 2019 Cadillac XT4 provides a smooth ride, and the cabin offers a quiet place to spend time during those long commutes. Although a new SUV for Cadillac, the XT4 offers an enjoyable and comfortable driving experience, especially with its numerous safety and connectivity features. We made use of the on-board 4G LTE Wi-Fi several times while we had this XT4 tester.
The on-board Wi-Fi is a feature many younger buyers will appreciate (and even we did being a bit older!).
With its 237 horsepower, the XT4’s turbo engine matches most competitors in terms of its ability to get you moving. The 2019 Cadillac XT4 feels lively around town, and when merging onto the highway we had no issues. Those looking for a little more fuel economy will want a front-wheel drive XT4.
Conclusion: Affordable & Capable
The 2019 Cadillac XT4 makes for an affordable entry point into the compact luxury SUV segment; as long as you don’t get carried away with the multitude of available options. They can add up quickly. And with all-wheel drive, the XT4 is a capable all-weather commuter too.
Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his firsthand reviews are archived on our test drives page. Follow Denis on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy