From now until 2020 expect to hear a lot from Cadillac and it starts now with the debut of the 2019 Cadillac XT4, a completely new compact luxury crossover that is ready to take on the best from Europe, like the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Volvo XC40. After years of focusing on the dwindling luxury sedan market, Cadillac is ready to take on the meat of segment, which includes the XT4 and a future three-row crossover, which will likely be called the XT6.
From now until 2020 Cadillac has announced that it will release a new model every six months as the brand looks to regain marketshare. The 2019 Cadillac XT4 looks like a scaled down XT5, but with an extra dose of sport, while the interior is more spacious than you’d expect given the XT4’s compact footprint.
On the outside the it would be hard for anyone to not guess that the 2019 XT4 is a Cadillac. Its shape is similar to the larger XT5, but its wheels are pushed further to the corners to give it a sportier stance. At the front and rear the lighting also features a new take on the vertical headlights and taillights that we expect from Cadillac. Overall the look is more modern than the rest of the current Cadillac lineup, which should help it appeal to a younger audience.
Inside the 2019 XT4’s interior is spacious, comfortable and modern. The dashboard features the brand’s latest 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The touchscreen is also wide enough to display both a rear view and overhead view of the XT4 at the same time when you’re backing out of a parking spot. There’s also a second screen in front of the driver, a head up display and the rearview camera mirror. To charge your phone, wireless charging is there and even massaging front seats are available. Lastly to keep everyone connected, the XT4 is available with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.
The large panoramic sunroof gives the 2019 XT4’s interior an airy feeling and your friends in the back seat won’t whine too much, since the XT4 offers a surprisingly good amount of rear legroom.
Back at the front we welcome the return of buttons for the climate control system and an infotainment system that is much faster than Cadillac’s previous Cue infotainment systems. While the XT4’s interior is comfortable, packed with tech features and spacious, there was one issue that we noticed – wind and road noise. The XT4’s interior was louder than we expected from anything with a Cadillac badge on the grille. Also there were a few interior bits that felt a little cheap, like the sun visors that felt like covered cardboard.
Under the hood the 2019 XT4 is powered by a new 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder that generates 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque. The four-cylinder is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission and has a unique cylinder deactivation system that cuts off two of the cylinders during light driving. If you need all-wheel drive, the 2019 XT4 is available with a twin clutch all-wheel drive system.
At the XT4’s launch Cadillac mentioned a desire to introduce new innovative features, which is why the XT4 introduces new features, like electro-hydraulic brakes that ditches the traditional braking system. The system not only provides more consistent braking performance, but also has extended hill hold brake assist and fading brake support. The XT4 is also available with an active sport suspension with continuous damping control that automatically adjusts the suspension.
On our drive through the back country roads of Seattle, the 2019 XT4 impressed us with the strong performance of its 2.0L four-cylinder. The four-cylinder’s 258 lb-ft. of torque is available early in the rev range making the XT4 feel zippy and sporty. The nine-speed automatic manages to find the right gear without any drama, but if you prefer more control the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters are there for the fun. Thanks to its adaptive sport suspension body roll is non existent and the XT4’s ride is firm, but not jarring. Throw it fast into a curve and the nine-speed auto easily finds the right gear to pull you out, while the electric power steering actually provides a good amount of feedback.
Cadillac may be a bit a late to the compact crossover segment, but the 2019 Cadillac XT4 has the goods to put up a good fight.
The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is offered in three trim levels: Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport. The base XT4 Luxury starts at $35,790, while the XT4 Premium Luxury and XT4 Sport models start at $40,290.
Side note: We won’t have to wait too long to see the next new Cadillac, since Cadillac has confirmed that it will debut in January at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.