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2021 Cadillac XT4 Review

The 2021 Cadillac XT4 is a small luxury crossover/SUV for people who don’t want a really small luxury crossover/SUV. That’s because it’s a bit bigger than conventionally subcompact offerings like the Lexus UX or Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class. But it isn’t quite as big as the regular compact crowd, like the BMW X3 or Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class.

Which makes the XT4 especially useful around town. It can fit into parking spaces that others might have to drive past, yet it still exudes an upscale air. The turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is civilized and more than capable. The cabin is comfortable, with generous rear passenger space.

Cargo space isn’t so plentiful. The XT4 is not an ideal choice for four adults and enough luggage for a long trip. How often does that happen, though? But because of this more passenger-oriented than cargo-oriented approach, the interior styling and furnishings are slightly disappointing, not up to class-leader standards.

If potential buyers can look past the few downsides and enjoy what might be an ideal size of luxury crossover, with individual style and “Made in America” credentials, then the Cadillac XT4 is an intriguing choice.

What’s New for 2021?

Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration becomes standard throughout the range. The entry level Luxury trim gains a powered lift gate and becomes eligible for more features. Sport trim now has red-painted brake calipers. And new paint choices are Wave Metallic and Infrared Tintcoat. See the 2021 Cadillac XT4 models for sale near you

What We Like

  • More rear passenger space than its competitors
  • Many standard infotainment features
  • Smooth, refined engine
  • Comfortable, composed ride

What We Don’t

  • Less cargo space than its competitors
  • Unremarkable interior for the class and price
  • Some safety tech false alarms

How Much?

$36,790-$40,990 

Fuel Economy

A turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine propels every 2021 XT4 with 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. A 9-speed automatic transmission is standard, along with paddle shifters mounted beneath the steering wheel. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is the base configuration; all-wheel drive (AWD) is optional.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the front-wheel-drive (FWD) 2021 Cadillac XT4 is rated at 24 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 26 mpg in combined driving. With all-wheel drive (AWD), the XT4 drops to 22 mpg city/29 mpg hwy/24 mpg combined.

Standard Features and Options

The 2021 Cadillac XT4 comes in Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport trim levels.  All-wheel drive is available in every version, costing $2,500. Vehicle prices include the $995 destination charge.

Luxury ($36,790) has 18-in alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, eight air bags, Teen Driver settings, automatic on/off LED headlights, LED daytime running lights/taillights, cruise control, capless fuel filler, electronic parking brake, keyless entry/ignition, remote start, active noise canceling, electable driving modes, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable front seats (8-way  for the driver, 6-way for the passenger), 60/40 split/folding rear seat, simulated leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated side mirrors, powered lift gate, forward collision alert with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, Safety Alert Seat, programmable Teen Driver key, hill-start assist, three 12-volt outlets, Wi-Fi, Cadillac Connected capability, OnStar emergency/remote services, one Type-A USB port, one Type-C USB port, 8-in infotainment touchscreen, Bluetooth, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, satellite/HD radio, and a 7-speaker audio system.

Premium Luxury ($40,790) adds blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert/lane-change alert, lane-keeping assistance, roof rails, active grille shutters, rain-sensing wipers, front parking sensors, power-folding side mirrors, self-dimming rearview and driver’s-side mirrors, driver’s-side memory settings, ambient cabin lighting, cargo cover, and hands-free lift gate operation.

The power-adjustable front seats in Sport ($40,990) trim gain 4-way lumbar support and bolstering. This version also comes with front cornering lamps, LED front turn signals, sport steering wheel, alloy sport pedals, red brake calipers and trim-specific exterior styling elements.

An adaptive suspension is also available in the Sport model.

Every XT4 can be upgraded with 20-in alloy wheels, sunroof, 13-speaker Bose audio system, rear-seat DVD entertainment setup, navigation, and a Cold Weather package (heated front and rear outboard seats, plus a heated steering wheel).

Premium Luxury and Sport trims are eligible for several packages.

A Driver Awareness package adds a following distance indicator, lane-keeping assistance/lane departure warning and automatic high beams.

A Driver Assist package brings adaptive cruise control, an automatic emergency braking system that works at higher speeds and a reverse automatic emergency braking.

The Enhanced Visibility package adds an automated parking system, rearview camera washer, rearview mirror camera, 360-degree camera system and rear pedestrian alert.

The Comfort and Convenience package adds heated/ventilated/massaging front seats and, in the Sport, leather seating surfaces.

The Technology package adds upgraded gauges, head-up display, power-adjustable steering column, wireless smartphone charging and a cabin air ionizer.

Safety

Standard safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, rearview camera, eight airbags, and forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking. Blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is standard in the top two trims.

Those trims may also be fitted with a 360-degree camera system and a rearview camera mirror that takes the place of the regular mirror. Its image is unobstructed by the XT4’s rear pillars.

In crash tests performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the XT4 scored a maximum five stars overall, with four stars in the frontal and rollover challenges. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has only put the XT4 through its moderate front overlap and side impact tests so far, but gave the XT4 top scores of Good on both counts.

Behind the Wheel

The 2021 Cadillac XT4 is smooth and composed. The standard suspension absorbs bumps well, although the Sport trim’s optional adaptive suspension does a better job. It improves handling as well. But the XT4’s rigid structure and well-tuned chassis ensure a reasonably engaging driving experience, regardless of specification.

The engine is a bit down on power for the class, but the XT4 weighs less than most rivals. There are no complaints about the acceleration or the refined way this turbocharged unit delivers its energy. The 9-speed automatic transmission is a perfect complement.

On a less positive note, the forward collision warning system can cry wolf occasionally. We also experienced some issues with the adaptive cruise control feature.

Inside, the XT4 puts an emphasis on rear-seat comfort and space. Four 6-footers should be able to fit comfortably, which is rare among smaller luxury SUVs. The XT4 actually has more rear legroom than the Acura RDX and the Audi Q5, both of which are larger on the outside.

Generous rear legroom does have an impact on cargo capacity, however, which is more in line with smaller subcompact models like the Volvo XC40 and the BMW X1.

Other Cars to Consider

2021 Audi Q3 — An all-new generation launched for 2020. It’s exceptionally refined (apart from the occasional less-than-slick gear shift) and spacious, and has that special Audi style.

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class — Also all-new last year. The GLB slots between the GLA and GLC crossovers. Its starting price is a couple of thousand above the XT4, although all-wheel drive is $500 cheaper.

2021 Volvo XC40 — The stylish, versatile and value-packed XC40 is another relatively fresh entry into the smallest luxury SUV class. Many standard safety features make it even more attractive.

2021 BMW X1 — The spacious X1 has a strong, efficient engine, and a sporty driving character.

2021 Lexus NX — The NX is close to the XT4 in size and with a  corresponding emphasis on backseat comfort rather than cargo space. A hybrid variant is also available.

2021 Acura RDX — Priced similarly to the XT4, the RDX provides a much larger overall package and a compelling amount of standard equipment. Acura’s reliability ratings are also strong.

Questions You May Ask

How old is the Cadillac XT4?

The XT4 was completely new when it debuted as a 2019 model. So it’s still fresh.

Where is the 2021 Cadillac XT4 built?

At General Motors’ Fairfax Assembly Plant in Kansas City, Kansas.

How reliable is the 2021 Cadillac XT4?

The XT4 hasn’t been around long enough to get a really detailed picture. RepairPal says the Cadillac marque in general only has average reliability. But owners responding to JD Power’s surveys rate the XT4 higher than that.

Autotrader’s Advice

Not only does Premium Luxury trim have more standard equipment than the entry level Luxury model, including blind spot monitoring, it’s also eligible for a greater number of options. So this would be our recommendation. Find a Cadillac XT4 for sale

Colin Ryan
Colin Ryan specializes in writing about new cars. But he has also covered trucks, vans, 3-wheelers, even the occasional motorbike. That’s the kind of thing that happens while contributing to the Los Angeles Times, Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Popular Mechanics, Variety, Mazda and Lexus customer magazines, as well as many enthusiast sites and publications. He was also a staff writer at BBC Top... Read More about Colin Ryan

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