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2019 Cadillac XT4: New Car Review

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is the long-awaited new entry point into Cadillac’s SUV lineup. It’s distinctly sized between luxury segments, with models like the Volvo XC40 below and the Acura RDX above, and distinctly packaged with an emphasis on rear passenger comfort rather than cargo space. It’s a vehicle for urban dwellers and suburbanites to take friends out on the town, as opposed to taking them camping for the weekend.

Either way, those friends should be plenty impressed by the amount of tech on display in every XT4, including standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, four USB ports (including a new type C one) and Cadillac’s 8-in touchscreen. You often have to pay extra for these features in this luxury segment. Interior quality and design are arguably not up the segment best, however. It’s disappointingly a bit stark inside.

In terms of the driving experience, we appreciate the XT4’s comfortable and composed ride, plus its smooth and refined turbocharged engine. It may not be as powerful as some rival engines (or the old 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder found in some other GM brands), but its civility counts for a lot when you’re talking about providing a luxury car experience.

In total, the XT4 is a compelling option for those diving into the most affordable end of the luxury SUV market. Each of its competitors have a slightly different take on the segment, though, so make sure to shop around as you might find them to be a better fit for your tastes and needs.

What’s New for 2019?

The XT4 is an all-new model.

What We Like

More back seat space than its competitors; lots of standard infotainment features; smooth and refined engine; comfortable and composed ride

What We Don’t

Less cargo space than its competitors; unremarkable interior for the segment and price; some safety tech false alarms

How Much?

$34,795-$41,795

Fuel Economy

Every Cadillac XT4 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. A 9-speed automatic and front-wheel drive (FWD) are standard, while all-wheel drive (AWD) is an option. Fuel economy with FWD is estimated to be 24 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg in combined driving. AWD lowers those estimates to 22 mpg city/29 mpg hwy/24 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2019 XT4 is available in three trim levels: Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport.

Standard equipment on the Luxury ($34,795) includes 18-in wheels, rear parking sensors, automatic LED headlights, a backup camera, proximity entry and push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, power front seats (8-way driver, 6-way passenger), simulated leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, OnStar emergency and remote services, four USB ports, an 8-in touchscreen interface, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite and HD radios and a 7-speaker audio system.

The Premium Luxury ($39,295) adds blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, roof rails, power-folding mirrors, automatic wipers, auto-dimming rearview and driver-side mirrors, a cargo cover, driver memory settings and leather upholstery.

The Sport ($39,295) gets different exterior styling elements (mostly darkened trim) and reverts to simulated leather upholstery. It also gains power front seat side bolsters and a sport steering wheel. Only the Sport can be equipped with an adaptive suspension.

The Premium Luxury and Sport are available with a number of packages. The Driver Awareness package adds forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and low-speed automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and automatic high beams. The Driver Assist package enhances those items with adaptive cruise control, a higher speed automatic emergency braking system and a reverse automatic emergency braking. The Enhanced Visibility package adds an automated parking system, a backup camera washer, a rearview mirror camera and a surround-view parking camera. The Comfort and Convenience package adds heated, ventilated and massaging front seats, a hands-free power lift gate, and on the Sport, leather upholstery. The Technology package adds upgraded gauges, a head-up display, a power-adjustable steering wheel and wireless smartphone charging. You can also specify 20-in wheels on these trims.

Every XT4 can be upgraded with integrated navigation and the Cold Weather package that include heated front and rear seats, and a heated steering wheel.

Safety

Standard safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, a backup camera, and seven airbags (front, front-side, side curtain and driver knee). Blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on all but the base trim. The two upper trims can be equipped with forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection and either low- or high-speed automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist and a variety of camera systems intended to improve visibility in motion and while parking. This amount of content is commendable, but the forward-warning collision system can cry wolf at times. We also experienced some issues with the adaptive cruise control system.

The XT4 has yet to be crash tested by a third party.

Behind the Wheel

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is smooth and composed behind the wheel. The suspension ably sops up bumps in every trim level, though things can get a bit better with the Sport trim’s optional adaptive suspension. That improves handling a bit too, but the XT4’s rigid structure and ably tuned chassis ensure a reasonably engaging driving experience regardless of specification.

The engine may seem a bit down on power for the segment, but the XT4 weighs less than most competitors. As such, it’s hard to complain about the resulting acceleration, or the smooth refined way this turbocharged engine goes about its business. GM’s 9-speed automatic transmission is hard to fault as well.

Inside, the XT4 puts an emphasis on rear-seat comfort and space. Four 6-footers should be able to comfortably fit aboard, which is rare among smaller luxury SUVs. Indeed, the XT4 has more rear seat legroom than models like the Acura RDX and the Audi Q5 that are larger on the outside. There is a trade off to this, however, and its diminished cargo capacity that’s in line with smaller "sub-compact" models like the Volvo XC40 and the BMW X1. Maybe this won’t be an issue, but it’s something to consider.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Volvo XC40 — The stylish and versatile XC40 is another new entry into the smallest luxury SUV segment. Its value and safety content stand out.

2019 BMW X1 — The X1 boasts impressive passenger and cargo space, plus a strong, efficient engine and a sporty driving experience.

2019 Lexus NX — The NX is closest to the XT4 in terms of its in-betweener size and similar emphasis on back seat comfort rather than cargo space. It offers a thrifty hybrid model.

2019 Acura RDX — For similar money to the XT4, the RDX provides a much larger overall package and a compelling amount of equipment. Acura’s reliability ratings are also very strong.

Autotrader’s Advice

We’re not sure if the extra equipment that comes on the Premium Luxury and Sport trim levels is really worth the extra $4,500 they charge over the base model. If you’re OK without leather seating and aren’t going to opt for the advanced safety tech packages any way, you might as well stick with the XT4 Luxury.

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