High-end look. The 2022 Cadillac XT4 competes in the fierce subcompact SUV segment. Against competitors like the Volvo XC40, Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLB, and BMW X1, the XT4 manages to stand out because of its stylish lines. Even in Cadillac’s lineup, which features sharply styled models, the XT4 holds its own.
The XT4’s exterior design features a bold grille, sharp taillights that run nearly the full length of the front fascia, and an angular front bumper. Around the back, the boomerang-styled taillights and dual exhaust outlets match the aggressive look of the front end. A wide range of bright colors, many of which cost extra, further help the XT4 look more distinct than rivals.
While the SUV has a bold exterior design, the interior is far more muted. The rising dashboard, the way the touchscreen is integrated into the dashboard, and the single row of buttons are stylish elements on the inside.
Choose options wisely. Official pricing for the 2022 XT4 isn’t available yet, but the subcompact SUV should start at around $37,000. That’s about average for the segment. For that amount of money, the base XT4 comes with dual-zone climate control, an eight-inch touchscreen, a Wi-Fi hot spot, smartphone compatibility, seven audio speakers, synthetic leather upholstery, LED headlights, and a power liftgate.
That’s a decent amount of features for the class, though things like heated seats, a Bose audio system, a wireless smartphone charger, and a rear-seat entertainment system are optional. Adding a few features quickly sees the price of the XT4 rise. It’s best to show some restraint with the XT4’s options, as a fully loaded model can eclipse $51,000.
The mid-level Premium Luxury trim is the most value-oriented one of the bunch, as it opens the door to more high-end features and adds must-have safety features as standard.
Space where it counts. The XT4 isn’t the largest SUV in the subcompact class, but it still offers a competitive amount of interior space. Passengers in the front get 40.4 inches of front legroom, which is more than enough to stretch out. In the back, there’s 39.5 inches of legroom, an impressive amount for a subcompact. The problem with the rear seats is the lack of hip room that makes fitting three adults a squeeze.
Passengers are treated to well-shaped seats that are comfortable. Available features like massaging front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, and a heated steering wheel make the XT4 even more comfortable.
Several competitors in the subcompact class offer more than 50 cubic feet of cargo space. When it comes to cargo capacity, the XT4 offers slightly below average figures, but still has plenty of room. The XT4 offers 22.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and a total of 48.9 cubic feet of cargo space.
Peppy, not fast. Cadillac simplifies things by offering the XT4 with one powertrain. Every model comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that’s rated at 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Besides a hint of lag off the line, the turbocharged engine delivers decent pep. The standard nine-speed automatic transmission makes the best of the engine.
The XT4 has mixed ride quality. For the most part, the subcompact SUV rides well, but large road imperfections and rough stretches of tarmac result in a choppy ride. The issue is exaggerated when the XT4 is fitted with the available 20-inch wheels. With vague steering and so-so handling, the XT4 isn’t the most enjoyable subcompact in the class to drive. Instead, it’s more of a capable cruiser.
For consumers that live in inclement weather, the XT4’s all-wheel-drive system could prove to be an issue. Cadillac charges $2,500 for the system over standard front-wheel drive. When the all-wheel-drive system doesn’t detect any slip, it resorts to going into a fuel-saving two-wheel-drive mode. In inclement weather, the all-wheel-drive system won’t give you maximum grip until it senses that you need it. It’s an extra step that could result in less grip when you need it.
Final thoughts. Going off the numbers, the 2022 Cadillac XT4 is a middle-of-the-ground subcompact SUV. Against the competition, the XT4 has a sharp design, standard turbocharged power, and – if you get the right trim – a decent amount of value.
While the XT4 is available with the latest safety features, a lot of equipment is optional and bundled as part of pricey packages. Some subcompact SUVs, like the Mazda CX-30 and BMW X1, are far more enjoyable to drive than the XT4, while others offer a more lavish ride. The XT4’s eco-focused all-wheel-drive system could be a drawback for consumers in snowy climates.
The Volvo XC40 has a design that’s just as stirring as the XT4’s, but offers more interior space. Volvo’s subcompact option comes with more standard safety features, a more fuel-efficient engine, and a more upscale cabin. The major downside to the XC40 is that it comes with a less powerful standard engine.
For drivers seeking a sporty subcompact SUV, the BMW X1 is the way to go. It has a 228 turbocharged engine that delivers plenty of pep and has lively handling that BMW’s known for. The X1’s 8.8-inch infotainment system looks dated and doesn’t have Android Auto compatibility.
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Pictured: 2021 Cadillac XT4