New 2019 Cadillac XT4 SUV New 2019
Cadillac XT4 SUV

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

As the small luxury SUV market heats up, Cadillac is getting into the game with the 2019 Cadillac XT4. With prices starting under $36,000 and smaller than Cadillac's XT5, the XT4 is all-new and resides in the divide between compacts like the Mercedes-Benz GLC and BMW X3, and subcompacts like the Mercedes GLA and BMW X1. Divided into "Luxury" and "Sport" versions, the 5-passenger XT4 has a refreshingly simple setup: One turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, one 9-speed automatic transmission, and the choice of front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). Interior and exterior details make it easy to distinguish between Lux and Sport styles of XT4, but the differences are subtle.

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You'll Like This SUV If...

If you're Chevy faithful and find yourself in a new tax bracket, maybe it's time to step into a Cadillac SUV. Also, if an Audi Q3 is too small and the Q5 is a bit too big, the new XT4 should fit you just right.

You May Not Like This SUV If...

Some folks really want to live their lives flash forward, with the most power and the most expensive interior materials available, cost be damned. If that's you, you'll probably be happier with a German badge, rather than the Cadillac crest.

What's New for 2019

Slotted under the XT5, the 2019 Cadillac XT4 is an all-new small luxury crossover SUV that slides neatly (both size-wise and price-wise) between the subcompact and compact lux SUV realms.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

Driving the new XT4 was an easy job. The engine's 258 lb-ft of torque was on full crank from just off idle up to 4,000 rpm, and it snapped up 97 percent of peak acceleration (aka peak torque) for another 1,000 rpm beyond that. Paired with the liquid-wax-smooth shifting of the 9-speed automatic transmission, the turbo-4 let the driver pull away quick from a stop or ease into action, and pass slower traffic without complaint.

With the optional all-wheel drive system added, the driver can toggle through three settings: Touring (FWD-only), AWD (AWD on demand), and Sport/full-time AWD (full-time AWD, with aggressive changes to transmission shift points, steering feel, and the also optional Active Sport Suspension). On dicey surfaces in the AWD modes, close to 100 percent of the driving torque can be sent to the wheel or wheels with the best traction. Like the AWD XT4s, front-drive versions of the little Caddy SUV also offer a 3-mode setup which includes Sport mode.

The XT4's brakes bite early, but they're easy to get used to quickly. Steering response is rewarding (especially in Sport mode), and the vehicle's weight has no problem catching up with the steering direction in quick turns. As a parking and U-turn bonus, the XT4 is capable of turning in a tidy 38-foot-diameter circle. Ride quality is really good for the class.

Favorite Features

NOTABLE DRIVETRAIN SYNERGY
Cadillac's all-new 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and 9-speed automatic transmission dance together superbly. When you add optional all-wheel drive into the mix (and we recommend that you do), all of the XT4's propulsion systems work together as one to give you clean, linear acceleration.

NOTABLE STRUCTURAL SYNERGY
From the solidity of an all-new chassis architecture to the way that structure connects the driver to the XT4 suspension and standard 18-inch wheels on the road, the new Cadillac SUV supplies confidence on imperfect roads, peace on perfect ones, and authority when those roads start to twist.

Vehicle Details

Interior

While the interior of the new XT4 isn't the most adventurous, the seats are supportive without being overly "sporty," and the driving position excels, even for taller drivers. The outward view is also good, making it easy to change lanes and maneuver through tangled big-city traffic and park without ever having to wonder where the corners of the SUV were. While not breathtaking, the 2nd-row legroom/headroom will gladly accommodate 6-foot-plus adults as long as the front-seat occupants don't need to slide their seats all the way back. Out back, the rear cargo area is decent-sized and definitely usable, with clean dimensions and split/fold-down 2nd-row seatbacks that fold flat to carry larger loads.

The Cadillac User Experience system with 8-inch high-def touch screen now adds a controller knob on the center console that makes it much easier to navigate around the audio, phone, navigation (if available), and other infotainment systems. Four USB ports come standard.

Exterior

As if to remake the point that it's tough to find a striking design language for small SUVs, the 2019 Cadillac XT4 joins a long line of good-looking, but "drop-dead nice" exterior styling efforts that most luxury carmakers engage in. Most interesting are the signature-style headlight and taillight treatments (including Cadillac Easter eggs within both, and clear taillight lenses on the XT4 Sport models). The most practical exterior styling move comes from the grille, which is larger than originally designed allowing for better cooling and a 3,500-pound towing capacity.

Notable Standard Equipment

Base Cadillac XT4 Luxury model highlights include the style of 18-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and aluminum trim, and the comfort of Leatherette trim, power-adjustable front seats, and dual-zone climate control. For entertainment, you get the Cadillac User Experience infotainment system with the new rotary controller knob and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus the peace of mind of LED headlights/taillights and rear park assist.

It's at the next level up -- the XT4 Premium Luxury and XT4 Sport -- that the value-for-dollar deals get made. Beyond their next-level safety -- lane-change and blind-spot monitoring with seat alerts, front/rear park assist, rear cross-traffic alert -- the top XT4s also enjoy goods including roof rails, a power liftgate, and ambient lighting. Exclusive to Premium Luxury models are leather seating, wood or aluminum trim choices, and illuminated door handles. The XT4 Sport ledger, on the other hand, comes with a sport steering wheel and pedals, carbon-fiber or wood trim, LED cornering lamps, and body-color door handles.

Notable Optional Equipment

Base-model XT4 options include a sunroof and roof rails, while all models offer all-wheel drive, navigation and Bose audio upgrade, a trailering package, and the $850 Cold Weather Package -- front and rear heated seats, heated steering wheel. In addition to 20-inch wheels and a sunroof, the XT4 Premium Luxury and XT4 Sport buyers have five option packages to choose, each designed to enhance your comfort and/or safety. Unfortunately, the two packages we'd most recommend -- the $1,500 Visibility Package (which includes 360-degree Surround Vision cameras and Automatic Parking Assist) and the $1,100 Driver Assistance Package (includes forward/reverse automatic braking and adaptive cruise control) -- both require that you also buy the $770 Driver Awareness Package. This enhances pedestrian safety, but can make a new XT4 cost more than it has to.

An exclusive to the XT4 Sport, the optional Active Sport Suspension continuously monitors road conditions and can make 500 damping adjustments every second to optimize your SUV's driving personality.

Under the Hood

A turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine has become the standard engine choice among small luxury SUVs, and that powerplant usually comes paired with an automatic transmission with 8, 9 or 10 forward gears. Every 2019 Cadillac XT4 uses a twin-scroll turbo and variable-lift camshaft mated to a 9-speed automatic with a very short 1st gear for good parking-lot drivability and a tall 9th gear to achieve unsurprisingly decent fuel economy numbers that we were easily able to approach during our test drives.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
237 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/30 mpg (FWD), 22/29 mpg (AWD)

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Pricing Notes

As is the case with size and horsepower, pricing for the 2019 Cadillac XT4 successfully threads the needle between subcompact and compact luxury SUVs from around the world. A base XT4 luxury model starts out at $35,790 (including $995 destination charges). The Premium Luxury and Sport both start at $40,290, and like all good luxury carmakers, Cadillac will allow you to load them up with options and option packages until your budget cries "Uncle." Adding all-wheel drive to any XT4 costs an additional $2,500. As an all-new vehicle, it's too early to fully anticipate how well the Cadillac XT4 will hold its value over time, but its big brother, the XT5 is a mid-pack residual-value player. To get a bead on what the new XT4 is selling for in your area, check out the KBB Fair Purchase Price.

OK, so what's next?
I'm interested in this car, and I'd like to trade in my current car while I'm at it.

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