Boasting that it has used "the youngest team ever assembled to create a vehicle" at General Motors, Cadillac took the wraps off of its all-new compact crossover SUV, the 2019 XT4. Trying to move into Mercedes-Benz GLC and Audi Q5 territory is a tough row to hoe, but the new XT4 came ready to play the game. It's priced like a Lexus NX, but offers performance that rivals the best that Germany has to offer.

More than a simply a nifty marketing tag, there really is some all-newness to the XT4. The SUV's turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 has never been seen before, and the chassis architecture is fresh from the ground up. Your heart will tell you what it's feeling when you see the XT4, but there's no denying the 5-passenger SUV's nice, wide, low-slung stance.

Individual Initiative

Starting at about $37,000 and coming in three self-describing iterations -- Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport -- the Cadillac XT4 is available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive no matter which version you choose. In order, the three flavors of XT4 shake out like this:

XT4 Luxury: This is the $37,000 version. It's got leatherette seating, power-adjustable front seats, Rear Park Assist, and a competitive set of standard features. As it sits, it's a value in the class.

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XT4 Premium Luxury: Here's where you get leather seating and more lux including ambient lighting, a power liftgate, and the choice of wood or aluminum trim, plus more safety features (Front and Rear Lane Change Alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, GM's haptic Safety Alert Seats).

XT4 Sport: The Sport model gives you many of the Premium Luxury comfort, convenience and safety features, but it also sets you up with a sport steering wheel and pedals, carbon-fiber trim (if you desire), and body-color door handles.

Shared Substance

All XT4 models are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Like its luxury rivals, that torque-power comes on just a hair off idle, which should make for satisfying acceleration. Unlike all but the hybrids, however, the Cadillac is expected to get city/highway fuel economy of 25/30 mpg. Properly equipped, it can also tow 3,500 pounds -- not bad for a 3,660-pound vehicle. A 9-speed automatic transmission sends the engine's power to the driven wheels.

Also shared by all three 2019 XT4 personalities are 18-inch, 10-spoke alloy wheels -- each finished to match the model's Luxury, Premium Luxury or Sport personality. XT4 Premium Luxury and Sport model buyers can also opt for 20-inch wheels. There's decent room for cargo, and the rear hatch opens nice and wide.

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Inside, the new XT4's seats offer good-for-class adult comfort and support in both rows -- though the SUV's low profile compromises 2nd-row headroom a bit. Best of all, the Cadillac's technology is more real-world usable than ever. Touch screen controls are joined by redundant (trust us, that's good) infotainment controls on the steering wheel and center console, and completely separate buttons for the dual-zone climate control. You also get four USB ports, including two USB-C sockets. Another real-world plus: The XT4's available wireless smartphone charger is roomy enough for your phone's case -- even the Plus-size phones.

Compact SUVs are white-hot in the luxury market right now -- most (all?) of the luxury carmakers build SUVs first, and sedans as a hobby. The all-new 2019 Cadillac XT4 -- coming this fall -- seems ready to make its mark in that landscape, now that it's finally arriving.

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