The company’s smallest SUV yet goes against the BMW X3

A few years ago, Cadillac finally admitted that it’s way behind its competitors in the premium market and hired Johan de Nysschen, who devised a new strategy for America’s iconic luxury brand. The new plans includes a host of new models, of which the range-topping CT6 sedan and the XT5 crossover have already been launched. Come 2018 and Cadillac launched the XT4, an even smaller crossover that competes against the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and the Mercedes-Benz GLC. Spotted testing on public roads since early 2017, the XT4 made its public debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show.

Cadillac’s smallest crossover to date, the XT4 rides on a new platform and uses a brand-new, small-displacement engine. While the larger XT5 is a replacement for the dated SRX and aims at the midsize luxury crossover market, the XT4 is actually a brand-new entry. And it’s not surprising that Cadillac wants a piece of the compact market, as this is where a lot of car makers are making huge profits. Having missed out on sales for so many years, Caddy is finally trying to catch up. The question is, will the XT4 be good enough to give the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 a run for their money? Let’s find out in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Cadillac XT4.

2019 Cadillac XT4 Exterior

  • Sporty look
  • Some styling cues from the XT5
  • New design features from CT6
  • Standard LED lights
  • Eight exterior colors
2019 Cadillac XT4 Exterior
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While the XT5 boasts that specific Cadillac elegance thanks to its chrome trim, the XT4 has a more subdued appearance

As expected from the spy shots, the XT4 is based on the XT5 design-wise. It has similar swept-back headlamps with vertical daytime running lights, a big trapezoidal grille, and sturdy bumper that blends ruggedness and sportiness. However, the XT4 stands out on its own thanks to design cues borrowed from the latest styling upgrade applied to the CT6 sedan. For example, the side intakes are place higher in the fascia and the vertical LED strips are shorter than the XT5’s. The engine hood also sits lower, giving the crossover a sportier appearance. The V-Sport-inspired honeycomb mesh further enhances the XT4’s aggressive look.

The XT4 stands out even more next to the XT5 when viewed from the side. While the XT5 boasts that specific Cadillac elegance thanks to its chrome trim, the XT4 has a more subdued appearance. It also lacks a proper quarter window, a feature that’s not exactly common on crossovers this size. But simple isn’t necessarily mundane. Despite the no-nonsense look, the XT4 feels sportier, a much needed feat when going against the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC.

2019 Cadillac XT4 Exterior
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Despite the no-nonsense look, the XT4 feels sportier, a much needed feat when going against the BMW X3

The rear end also mixes XT5 and new design features. The tailgate and the bumper are reminiscent of the bigger SUV, but the taillights are completely new. Although similar to the Escalade, on which are mounted on the D-pillars, the LED taillights also extend into the tailgate a little bit. Again, there’s no chrome on the rear fascia, which further sets the XT4 apart in the Cadillac lineup.

Just like the facelifted CT6, the XT4 introduces the company’s new "Y" trim strategy, which adds distinctive styling cues for each model. Three distinct lines are available, Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport. The XT4 Sport gets a gloss black mesh grille inspired by Cadillac’s high-performance V-Series models (pictured above), gloss black window moldings, and unique alloy wheel choices. Luxury and Premium Luxury models, on the other hand, feature grilles with bright metallic accents, satin aluminum window trim, and satin chrome door handles. The taillights are housed in traditional red lenses on Luxury and Premium Luxury, while the Sport model gets clear and tinted lenses.

You can choose from eight exterior colors: Atlantic Metallic, Autumn Metallic, Crystal White Tricoat, Twilight Blue Metallic, Shadow Metallic, Red Horizon Tintcoat, Stellar Black Metallic, and Radiant Silver Metallic.

2019 Cadillac XT4 Interior

  • Unique dashboard design
  • 8-inch infotainment display
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Premium seats and upholstery
  • State-of-the-art tech
  • Many upholstery color options
  • Wireless charging port
2019 Cadillac XT4 Interior
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The cabin sports a few familiar features, but it has just enough styling elements to stand out

The cabin sports a few familiar features, but it has just enough styling elements to stand out on its own. And needless to say, it look very high-tech for a vehicle this small. The dashboard is the first detail that catches the eye, mostly because it showcases a multi-tier design, a novelty for a Caddy. The central piece holds the new eight-inch infotainment display in the middle, with several control underneath. The latter are spread horizontally rather than arranged vertically or as a square cluster, yet another feature you don’t see in many modern vehicles. The lower fascia includes horizontal A/C vents at the corners, which are place lower than in most vehicles. Black trim complements the passenger side dash just above the glove box.

2019 Cadillac XT4 Interior
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The sporty seats can be optioned up with a massage feature

The upper tier of the dash is highlighted by large A/C vents placed atop the infotainment screen. The cool feature here is that the vents become larger as they move toward the instrument cluster. On the other side, there’s a third upper A/C vent that become slimmer toward the driver-side window. The three-spoke steering wheel is new and has big grip handles at 10 and two o’clock for a sporty feel. It’s also wrapped in leather for extra confort.

The sporty seats with side bolstering are also dressed in hide and can be optioned up with a massage feature. White ambient light is also available. On the tech side, there’s a new infotainment system with smartphone-like operation and an intuitive interface. It offers faster response and comes with improved voice recognition that can be updated over time. The new rotary controller on the center console includes volume and seek forward/back controls for the audio system, shortcut buttons for fast access to the apps, and a large center dial to operate primary features. Four USB ports and a 15-watt wireless charging pad are included in the standard package.

2019 Cadillac XT4 Interior
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Cadillac promises the most rear passenger legroom in the segment at 39.5 inches

Cadillac promises the most rear passenger legroom in the segment at 39.5 inches and a big trunk with up to 48.9 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats folded flat.

Various upholstery combinations are available with the equipment lines, starting with the XT4 Luxury with Light Platinum/Jet Black with Aluminum Metallized decor trim. Go with XT4 Premium Luxury and you get Jet Black with Diamond-Cut Aluminum, Light Platinum/Jet Black with Linear Galaxy High-Gloss Wood, or Sedona/Jet Black with Fineline Calico High-Gloss Wood. Three more upholstery options come with the XT4 Sport trim: Jet Black with Cinnamon Accents with Twenty-Two High-Gloss Carbon Fiber, Light Wheat/Jet Black with Red Accents and Morello Red High-Gloss Carbon Fiber, and Sedona/Jet Black with Fineline Calico High-Gloss Wood.

2019 Cadillac XT4 Drivetrain

  • 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine
  • 237 horsepower
  • 258 pound-feet
  • Cylinder deactivation
  • Nine-speed automatic
  • All-wheel drive system
  • Up to 30 mpg
2019 Cadillac XT4 Exterior
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Unlike the XT5, which uses a 3.6-liter V-6 engine, the XT4 comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood

Unlike the XT5, which uses a 3.6-liter V-6 engine, the XT4 comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood. The turbocharged unit is all-new and uses Active Fuel Management, or cylinder deactivation, to provide the best fuel economy you can get from a Cadillac. And it’s plenty powerful too, providing 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. These figures put it on par with the base models of the BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC in the U.S. While the X3 xDrive30i cranks out 248 horsepower, the GLC300 comes with 241 horses on tap.

The XT4’s engine mates to a nine-speed automatic transmission and a decoupling all-wheel-drive system. A twin-clutch is available as an option, as is the Active Sport Suspension, which features Continuous Damping Control with electronic sensors that monitor the road in real time and make damping adjustments every two milliseconds. The XT4 is also the first Cadillac to use electro-hydraulic braking assist, which enhances fuel economy and takes up less space under the hood compared to the traditional vacuum-assisted power braking system.

Specific fuel economy figures aren’t yet available, but Cadillac says that the XT4 will return up to 30 mpg.

2019 Cadillac XT4 Prices

2019 Cadillac XT4 Exterior
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Pricing for the XT4 starts from $35,790 including the destination charge, but excluding tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. This sticker makes it significantly more affordable than the competition. The BMW X3, for instance, retails from $42,650, while the Mercedes-Benz GLC comes in at $40,050. The Audi Q5 is also notably more expensive at $41,500 before options.

Interestingly enough, the XT4 is also a bit more affordable than the smaller BMW X2, which is priced from $36,400. The Caddy is also only a couple of grand more expensive than the smaller BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. While it’s true that the XT4 seems a bit smaller than the X3, it’s also bigger than the X1, so I think Cadillac placed itself really well as far as prices go.

Competition

BMW X3

2018 BMW X3 High Resolution Exterior
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While some argue that the XT4 would be better off against the X1 given the price, the crossover is slightly bigger and closer to the X3 as far as dimensions go. Just like the XT5 is almost as large as the X5. The latest X3 is actually fairly new, having been introduced in 2017 for the 2018 model year. Restyled to look more like the latest X5, the X3 no longer is the ugly duckling of the BMW lineup. The Germans also updated the interior, but needless to say, the X3’s cabin is by no means as exciting as the XT4’s. As far as features go, I’d say that the crossover ar pretty much on par in every department. In the U.S., the XT4 will go against the base trim of the X3, which is called the xDrive30i and uses a 2.0-liter turbo-four rated at 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. Pricing for the X3 starts from $42,650, which makes it almost $7,000 more expensive than the XT4.

Read our full review of the 2018 BMW X3.

Mercedes-Benz GLC

2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class High Resolution Exterior
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Introduced in 2015 as a replacement for the GLK, the GLC is a sportier take on the previous crossover that borrows its platform and styling cues from the C-Class sedan. The interior is also based off the sedan, featuring the same three-vent layout in the center stack and the "floating" infotainment display. The GLC is well-equipped in its base trim, but things become seriously luxurious with the more expensive models. The U.S. lineup begins with the GLC300, which uses a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that cranks out 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The GLC retails from $40,050, but the base model doesn’t come with all-wheel drive. Opt for the 4Matic version and the sticker jumps to $42,050.

Read our full story on the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLC.

Audi Q5

2017 Audi Q5 High Resolution Exterior
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Also brand-new for the 2018 model year, the Q5 now looks like a shrunken Q7. This isn’t an issue if you like the bigger SUV and Audi’s current design language with sporty, more angular styling cues, but it might be one if you want a crossover that stands out. While the XT4 is notably different from the XT5, the Q5 looks a bit too much like the Q7. On the other hand, the Q5 didn’t get the continuous air-vent strip design of the Q5, with Audi opting for a simpler, cleaner configuration of the dashboard with more conventional A/C vents atop the center stack and at the corners. The cabin looks pretty high-tech though and the digital instrument cluster gives the interior a sporty feeling. Also powered by a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the Q5 is the most powerful option in this comparison, coming with 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet on tap. Pricing starts from $41,500.

Read our full review of the 2018 Audi Q5.

Conclusion

2019 Cadillac XT4 Exterior
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Back in 2014, Cadillac went ahead and reserved a huge array of model names for its future lineup, with insiders also announcing that the car maker is preparing to launch a sub-ATS model lineup in the upcoming years. The XT4 is part of that lineup and finally gives Caddy a competitor in one of the hottest segments on the market. The BMW X3 is very popular just about anywhere in the world and Cadillac wants a piece of the action. What’s more, Cadillac is doing things right with a sporty design, a rich interior, and a four-cylinder turbo engine that’s both powerful and efficient. It will most definitely sell like hot-cakes in China, but the XT4 should do well in the United States too. It has everything it needs to become a winner, but it won’t be easy against established big guns like the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and the Audi Q5.

  • Leave it
    • Could cheapen the brand for some
    • Tough competition anywhere

References

2017 Cadillac XT5 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read more news on the 2017 Cadillac XT5.

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Read more Cadillac news.

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Read more New York Auto Show news.

Spy shots

June 14, 2017 - Cadillac XT4 caught testing during hot weather testing in Southern Europe

2019 Cadillac XT4
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2019 Cadillac XT4
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