Swing by the Cadillac House in Manhattan one of these days, and hiding amongst the pretentious hipsters, chic modern art, and overpriced coffees is the new XT4, Cadillac's latest salvo in the luxury crossover wars. Going up against popular models like the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, the 2019 Cadillac XT4 offers an enticing alternative for those who believe that the only way to travel is Cadillac style.
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2019 Cadillac XT4 Overview
What's New for 2019
The Cadillac XT4 is all-new for 2019.
Choosing Your Cadillac XT4
While three different trim levels and a few option packages are available for the front-wheel-drive XT4, all models utilize a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine for motivation. This motor musters 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, and is paired up with a new nine-speed automatic transmission. It hasn't been tested by the EPA, but Cadillac estimates that fuel economy should be 25 miles per gallon city, 30 mpg highway, and 27 combined.
As expected of something wearing the Cadillac crest, the XT4 comes well equipped even in base trim. Of all the included features, perhaps most noteworthy is the revised CUE infotainment system. Housed in an eight-inch color touchscreen with high-definition resolution, this software claims to be more intuitive, faster, and easier than ever before. Improved voice recognition, broadened App store access, and a new rotary controller are particular highlights of the system.
Other notable standard features for all XT4s include a seven-speaker audio system, LED lights, rear park assist, 18-inch wheels, and Teen Driver. The last one is a nifty little doodad that any parent will appreciate. Rather than hope the kids listen to the age-old admonishments about the dangers of speeding, the Teen Driver system acts as a parent even when the kiddos are driving solo. When activated, it turns on all safety features and makes it so that they're unable to be disabled, and parents can also program speed limits and volume limits. A registered key ensures that mom or dad isn't stuck doing a max of 55 miles pe rhour on their commute, and a report card can be viewed showing little Johnny's behind-the-wheel performance. For anyone who's concerned with giving their offspring the keys to the family car, the Teen Driver feature is a godsend.
A few extras permeate the options list of all XT4 trims. These include a $1,700 sunroof, $2,500 all-wheel drive, $1,500 navigation-equipped CUE system and 13-speaker Bose audio, and a $300 Trailer Tow Package that brings about a heavy-duty cooling system, wiring harness, and trailer hitch. With the Tow Package, you can tug along 3,500 pounds worth of boat, camper, or trailer. A Cold Weather Package is also available across the board. It costs $850 and includes heated seats both front and rear and a heated steering wheel. If you want any color but silver, expect to pony up $625.
As well-equipped as the base model is, we want our Caddy with the bells and whistles. To that end, we'd get the Premium Luxury with the Driver Awareness Package and Cold Weather Package. Together, they make for a 2018 Cadillac XT4 that has the safety equipment and comfort features that matter, all for an agreeable final price of $41,910.
2019 Cadillac XT4 Review
Cadillac is a late arrival to the compact crossover party, especially for a luxury marque. It hopes that the 2019 Cadillac XT4 will have been worth the wait. Initial signs are good – the XT4 gets a solid powertrain, spacious seating, aggressive styling, and a relatively low starting price. It remains to be seen whether the dynamics and practicality will come together, but we’re looking forward to the XT4’s arrival this fall.
The XT4 offers an unusual approach to trims, with two equally-priced upper trims offering either upgraded features or a sportier aesthetic. But both add a hefty premium, so for value we’d stick to the base trim. It still gets LED headlights and taillights, parking assist, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen.
Front-wheel drive is standard, and unless you need all-weather capability, FWD keeps the XT4’s mileage high. We do like the Cold Weather package, which heats up both rows of seats and the steering wheel. Even so equipped, our Cadillac XT4 slides in at just over $37,000 – thousands less than even the most basic BMW X3, Audi Q5, or Mercedes-Benz GLC.
- Model: 2019 Cadillac XT4 Luxury
- Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
- Output: 237 hp / 258 lb-ft
- Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
- Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
- MPG: 25 City / 30 Hwy
- Options: All-wheel drive ($2,500), Metallic Paint ($625), Cold Weather Package ($850, heated front seats, heated outboard rear seats, automatic heated steering wheel)
- Base Price: $35,790 (including a $995 destination fee)
- Best Value Price: $39,765
The XT4 puts up respectable numbers with a sensible powertrain. The turbocharged engine is down on power compared to German rivals, but not by much – performance should be comparable. Fuel economy is also strong; stop/start and cylinder deactivation help the XT4 achieve a Cadillac-estimated 27 miles per gallon combined. We don’t yet know how the XT4 will handle, but Cadillac’s recent sedans have excelled in that department, so we’re hopeful.
With just the one engine, the XT4 does offer less choice than many rivals. We’re not yet sure how elements like the nine-speed transmission will work with the powertrain.
Cadillac’s sharp and aggressive lines lend themselves well to the XT4’s compact but high-riding package. Angular split headlights surround a chunky grille, while sharp hood creases match the character lines running down the XT4’s flanks. Cadillac prides itself on the young team it assembled to design the car, and it shows, in a good way. The feature set looks solid, with a few nice touches like near-field Bluetooth pairing and a new rotary controller for Cadillac’s CUE system. Another highlight is the rear leg room, which is a class-leading 39.5 inches.
Sadly, that rear leg room comes at the cost of cargo space. The XT4 has only 22.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats, and 48.9 with the second row folded. That may be enough for many, but it’s significantly less than rivals. Rotary controller or no, the CUE system still isn’t our favorite. And many safety features (like automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control) are only available on the upper trims and require a significant investment.
The Best and Worst Things
A luxury compact crossover seems like a steal at this price, especially if Cadillac keeps it fun to drive. The biggest downside is the cargo space, which may cut into practicality.
Right For? Wrong For?
Like most crossovers, the XT4 could wear a variety of hats. We anticipate it working well for buyers who want a blend of luxury and utility for around-town versatility. It doesn’t hurt that the XT4 offers flashier styling than the Teutonic competition, with a distinctively American twist.
Buyers who need their crossover to play SUV duty may be disappointed – the XT4 has the space in the seats, but not in the trunk. Those who want a safe bet already have plenty of options, and as a newer entrant, the XT4 will have to prove itself against the polished and dominant competition.
The Bottom Line
It’s about time that Cadillac joined the crossover fray, and the XT4 could be the car they need. Although we wish safety tech were more widely available and the cargo space is disappointing, the 2019 Cadillac XT4 has the ingredients to be a winner: competitive features, an enticing price point, and its own brash personality. If Cadillac has sorted out the dynamics, the XT4 should be a real contender.
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