2019 Cadillac XT4 — Not your Old Man’s Cadillac

2019 Cadillac XT4Model tested: 2019 Cadillac XT4 AWD

Engine: 2-liter, aluminum block inline 4-cylinder

237 horsepower • 258 lb. ft. of torque

Transmission: 9-speed twin clutch electronically controlled automatic

EPA ratings: 24/city, 30/highway, 26/combined — 2-wheel drive

22/city, 29/highway, 24/combined — all-wheel drive

Base price: $34,795

As tested: $48,295

Overview: As Cadillac embarks upon a major marketing offensive aimed at creating a new generation of buyers for the Cadillac brand, the XT4 is the crossover that’s been absent from Cadillac’s lineup for years. Brand new from the ground up, the XT4 is the smallest Cadillac since the ill-fated, ’80s-era Cimarron. The small luxury crossover segment is the most successful and popular today. The XT4 competes against the likes of the Volvo XC40, Audi Q3, BMW X1, Lexus NX and Acura RDX, among others. We drove the premium Luxury and Sport versions of the XT4 at the national media introduction in Seattle.

Walkaround: The XT4 features three trim levels — Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport. Smooth lines flow from Cadillac’s signature-slim LED headlights into the high beltline and over the roofline. The front end appears cloned from Cadillac sedans, so there’s no mistaking it for anything else. The rear LED taillights resemble the Volvo or old Saab 93 wagon. They’re clear on the Sport model and red on the Luxury versions. There’s also a foot-activated power liftgate.

2019 Cadillac XT4Interior: The luxuriously appointed cabin is everything you’d expect from Cadillac, with top-quality, soft-touch materials and excellent fit-and-finish. The 14-way, heated and cooled front seats are comfortable, with adjustable bolsters and a massage function. The rear seats are roomy, providing segment-leading rear knee and legroom. Instrumentation is all new, including a head-up display, plus paddle shifters on the Sport version. The rearview mirror is actually a camera image that takes some getting used to, but is pretty cool once you do. The infotainment screen is customizable, with buttons for controls as well — proving Cadillac has been listening.

Behind the Wheel: The 2-liter engine powers the XT4 enthusiastically, with torque felt immediately. On the highway, it automatically switches to two-cylinder operation for enhanced efficiency. Handling is crisp, with steering weighted well for good feedback. Braking is excellent.

Bottom Line: The Cadillac XT4 demonstrates the future direction of GM’s premium brand — promising introduction of new vehicles every six months between now and 2020. If the XT4 is any indication of what’s coming, that’s good news — because the XT4 is definitely not your old man’s Cadillac.