The Cadillac XT4 is powered by a compact 2.0L 4-cylinder engine aided by a turbocharger. Though diminutive in size, the engine makes a stout 237 horsepower, feeding power to the front wheels via a 9-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration on the small SUV is so good that it easily outpaces most of the non-performance oriented vehicles in its class, yet still returns respectable mileage. Cadillac estimates that owners will see around 30 mpg on the freeway in front-wheel drive versions.
The XT4 is available in three basic trims. The base trim is, fittingly for a Cadillac, simply dubbed "Luxury." Standard items on the Luxury trim include dual-zone automatic climate control, a remote starter, four USB ports, four 12-volt power sockets, SiriusXM satellite radio, aluminum interior trim, power front seats with adjustable lumbar support, Cadillac's CUE infotainment system with an 8-inch color touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, faux leather trim, 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlamps and LED tail lamps.
Standard safety systems include Forward Collision Alert warning and Front Pedestrian Braking and Rear Park Assist.
The midlevel trim for the XT4 is called "Premium Luxury". Stepping up to Premium Luxury adds a powered liftgate, a memory function for the driver's seat, an auto-dimming mirror, wood trim, additional ambient interior lighting, leather seating surfaces, power folding mirrors, illuminated exterior door handles with satin chrome accents and a more powerful suite of electronics for avoiding accidents. In addition to the Forward Collision Alert, the Premium Luxury gets a lane change alert system, a rear cross-traffic alert system, Front and Rear Park Assist and a safety alert seat.
The top-of-the-line trim for the XT4 is dubbed "Sport." The Sport trim includes much of what was in the Premium Luxury trim, but adds LED turn signals, tinted taillights, a gloss black front grille, body colored door handles, carbon fiber décor, sport pedals, and a sportier steering wheel. Active suspension is also available on the XT4 Sport, making it better to handle than any other SUV out there.
Options across the board include a sunroof, all-wheel drive, a cold weather package, 20-inch wheels, a navigation system, Bose surround sound system, wireless phone charger, heated and cooled seats, adaptive cruise control, following distance indicator, rear camera mirror, a trailering package, HD surround vision and reverse automatic braking.
There's no denying the business case for automakers selling as many sizes and types of crossovers as possible. With so many crossovers on sale today, new entrants need to do something special to make a splash and to earn our recommendation. The 2019 Cadillac XT4, the brand's smallest and most affordable crossover, is likable in many ways but not head-and-shoulders above what the competition sells. Though it's stylish and filled with great features, the XT4 leaves me feeling a bit underwhelmed.
At least it's not meh to look at. The XT4, which is about 8 inches shorter in length than the Cadillac XT5, packs far more curb appeal than its big brother. Enormous vertical running lights at either side of the big mesh grille define the nose, while an angled rear window with a relatively large spoiler injects a dose of sportiness. My tester's 20-inch wheels added extra pop, and while clear taillights are an unconventional choice, they somehow work quite tidily on the XT4. As on all modern Cadillac design, straight lines and tight creases make for a very modern look all round.
Move inside and things are still stylish, albeit with some dull plastics that feel more Chevrolet than Cadillac. But carbon-fiber trim, nice leathers and some chrome garnishes dress up the cabin. The center stack is button-intensive, although it's nice to have quick shortcuts to things like the safety systems and heated/cooled seats without digging through the touchscreen menus.
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