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Review: 2019 Cadillac XT4

It took a while for Cadillac to realize the compact luxury SUV market was big enough for them to participate, but now they’ve arrived to the party.

The XT4, which is marketed as a luxurious and sporty player, comes up just a smidge short on both fronts.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a solid choice. It’s a fun drive, and won’t ever let you forget you’re driving a Cadillac.

The Basics

The XT4 is a luxury compact SUV that’s available in three trim levels, from the base Luxury model through the Premium Luxury and Sport trims.

Each is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, which produces 237 horsepower.

The car features a 9-speed automatic transmission, and while front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is an option.

This is the first year for the XT4.

The Inside

The first thing I noticed during my week behind the wheel was the roominess. Passengers up front get plenty of room, and even your friends in the back will do just fine, unless they’re NBA players.

The seats are as comfortable as you’d expect from a Cadillac, with nice styling and mostly-good materials. Even the stitched dash looks great.

Yes, in a few spots it seems less-than-luxurious, but overall the experience is solid.

I liked the way the cockpit folded around the driver, a nuance that provides confidence and security. All of the gauges were laid out well, with everything easily accessible.

Storage up front is about average, and includes a much-appreciated well in front of the shifter for you to store additional items.

Backseat passengers won’t get as much, but do have good-sized drink holders in the doors.

Cargo space in the way-back is about average, but the rear seat will fold in a 60/40 style to provide additional room. They lay practically flat.

The Drive

This is one of the few places where I deducted a point or two.

Overall the drive is good, and the acceleration seems better than it is, if that makes sense. The XT4 will not blow anyone off the starting line, and its 0-60 times are slow compared to its competitors.

But at no point in my week of driving did I feel nervous about merging or passing.

I did notice some cabin noise that was unexpected. For a luxury SUV I thought it would provide a relatively quiet experience on the road, but between engine and highway noise it was a little startling.

Steering, braking, and overall handling were average, if not compelling. The XT4 isn’t designed to wow you in the turns. It’s a safe, practical ride.

The Tech

The 8-inch infotainment system looks great, and behaves pretty well. (Do any of the infotainment systems blow anyone away, ever?)

It’s a touchscreen, which is handy, and there’s also the now-customary control knob.

Thankfully the XT4 has a good share of buttons and knobs, which we cheer.

Climate control was easy, and audio controls are about the same. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are appreciated here. You can step up to a Bose sound system if you’d like to really override that aforementioned road noise.

The Technology Package adds a plethora of features, including wireless charging and the always-loved heads-up display.

Bottom Line

This was a fun ride. For their first time out of the chute with a compact luxury SUV, Cadillac has delivered an attractive and solid ride.

Some competitors have an edge in each of the categories, whether it’s driving/handling, interior design, or tech delights.

But overall the XT4 is off to a good start.

The Details

2019 Cadillac XT4
2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
9-speed automatic transmission
Front-wheel drive (AWD available)
Fuel economy: 22/29/24 combined
MSRP: $41,795
As tested: $54,785

Reviewed by Dom Testa
Vehicle provided by manufacturer


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