Road Test: 2019 Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport

Cadillac’s XT4 is a new compact crossover tailored for shoppers and millennials seeking an athletic, elevated, all-weather luxury vehicle. We love the XT4’s bold design, confident performance, and impressive level of tech.

Our Autumn Metallic painted XT4 Sport tester features a gloss black mesh grille inspired by Cadillac’s high-performance V-Series models, gloss black window moldings and 20″ Sport alloy whees. Luxury and Premium Luxury models feature grilles with bright metallic accents, satin aluminum window moldings and satin chrome-accented door handles.

The LED lighting technology, front and rear, looks superb with Cadillac design elements. The front LED low- and high-beam headlamps with automatic high beams are bright and reach far down the roadway. The LED daytime running lamps are a Cadillac signature and fit the design of the XT4 beautifully.

Interior and Tech

Inside, a bold, refined and spacious cabin echoes the exterior design themes, offering a great balance of style and comfort. Materials are high quality and look beautiful. All the controls are intuitive and easy to use.

Front and center is Cadillac’s latest infotainment system bringing connectivity to a new level for Cadillac. With intuitive, smartphone-like functionality, it’s a dynamic platform that leverages the cloud to adjust personalization, navigation and other features over time.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto work perfectly on the integrated 8″ touchscreen. It looks much better as part of the dash than the “glued on” look, and is still an easy reach for the driver or passenger.

Other functions like the App Store and navigation work smoothly and intuitively, proving Cadillac didn’t skimp on the processor and memory for the system. The system also has a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot feature for areas of poor reception, since the vehicle mounted antenna is stronger and better positioned.

Cadillac gives the folks up front the option to use the touchscreen or the new rotary controller with the infotainment system. Depending on the driving situation, we liked using both.

USB-A and USB-C charging is plentiful front and back, and we especially liked the 15-watt wireless charger in the center console.

Our model featured head-up display, which we’ve come to love as more vehicles feature it. It features all the right info and very clearly.

Seat comfort up front is commendable, with sport seats featuring solid bolstering and adjustments. Ventilation in the front seats helps a lot on hot summer days, and the heater steering wheel feels fantastic on cool mornings.

The HVAC system is strong on hot summer days and features an air ionizer to keep the particle count down.

The rear bench is on the firm side and a bit too vertical, but legroom is plentiful. The outboard positions are also heated.

Cargo room is impressive even with the sloping roofline and angled hatch door. The lift gate opens hands-free with an easy foot swipe in the area where the Cadillac logo is projected onto the ground.

Performance

A new 2.0L Turbo engine features new, efficiency-enhancing technologies including Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), and it’s coupled to a 9-speed automatic transmission with next-generation Electronic Precision Shift.

Output is rated at 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and it feels every bit that powerful. The compact SUV sounds great and accelerates strongly.

Fuel economy is rated 22 MPG city, 29 MPG highway, 24 MPG combined for our AWD tester. The smart chassis features a twin-clutch AWD system that decouples to improve fuel economy. We averaged 28 mpg in mixed driving.

On winding roads, the XT4 feels more like an ATS than an XT4. Handling is linear, feedback is good, and the ride firm but not uncomfortable; it’s a lot of fun to be behind the wheel.

Safety

The XT4 has a full suite of available safety features, including HD Surround Vision 360-degree cameras and a second-generation Rear Camera Mirror.

We appreciate Cadillac making Rear Park Assist standard because of the XT4’s limited rear visibility.

What we’d like to see become standard are the active safety packages. The awareness package includes Low Speed Forward Automatic Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Following Distance Indicator, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning and IntelliBeam automatic headlamp control.

To get adaptive cruise requires another package, which we did not have the opportunity to evaluate, but would still recommend as most vehicles are featuring adaptive cruise since it makes highway driving easier.

An auto-dimming driver’s side mirror is a luxury feature we always appreciate during nighttime driving, and the XT4 has it. It also has a spare tire, a rarity in vehicle’s today.

Summary Scorecard (1-10)
Ride and Handling10
Braking10
Powertrain and Fuel Economy8
Noise10
Headlights10
Interior Fit and Finish10
Seating6
Visibility8
Gauges and Controls10
Infotainment10
Crash-Avoidance7
Total Score90


Make: Cadillac
Model: XT4
Trim Level: AWD Sport
Engine: 2.0L Turbo
Transmission: 9-speed Automatic
Options: Comfort and Tech Preferred Pkg, 20″ Alloys, Cold Weather Pkg, Driver Awareness Pkg, Autumn Metallic Paint

Base Price: $41,795
As-Tested Price: $50,985

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