How does Cadillac’s new SUV measure up?

Quick notes

– Lackluster performance

– Good level of tech as standard

– Roomy, if dull, interior

The Cadillac XT4 is a relative newcomer to the world of crossover SUVs. Production only began last year on the XT5’s stablemate, but it’s already become a strong contender for the likes of the BMW X3 and Audi Q3. We’re here to give you all the essential information that you need to know about this up and coming SUV.

How does it perform?

When it comes to engine options, the Cadillac XT4 is sadly lacking. Every XT4 is powered by the same engine, a turbocharged four-cylinder. It’s not bad as far as four-cylinders go, producing 237 horsepower, but it could be a lot better. Hitting 60 mph takes a leisurely 7.8 seconds, which is pretty poor for its class.

The engine is mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission, which can be slotted into manual mode, if you prefer. The shift times are lackluster, and the number of gears results in a difference in performance between gears that can sometimes be hard to spot.

Driving the XT4 in town, you notice that it’s far from sporty. It does, however, feel fast enough for everyday driving. Try to take it down an even slightly uneven road and you’re in for a bumpy ride. It doesn’t handle rough surfaces well at all, with the already average ride disappearing in a cacophony of vibrations and jarring impacts.

Interior design quality and utility?

Photo Courtesy: [elisfkc/Flickr]
The Cadillac XT4 does have one thing in its favor here: cabin space. If you want to haul an absolute metric tonne of shopping back from the grocery store, this will handle it. Up front, head and legroom are fantastic, and it’s not cramped in the back, either.

Build quality could be a lot better. As a “luxury” SUV, the XT4 loves its faux leather, while the center console feels unpleasantly cheap and plastic. Even the switches feel cheap, which is a huge shame. Considering the fact that this SUV is trying to compete with BMWs and Audis, we’d hope for a more prestigious cabin.

Is it economical?

Not particularly, no. The EPA rates the XT4 at 29 mpg on the highway, 22 in the city, and 26 combined. You’re quite likely to hit slightly lower figures than this, however. While no one expects an SUV to achieve city car levels of mileage, it’s distinctly average in its class. By contrast, the Volvo XC40 and BMW X1 can both achieve a combined economy of 27 mpg.

How does it look?

My kingdom for a Cadillac redesign. It feels like for the last 15 years, the company has been retreading old ground. Much like the Escalade, or the DTS, the XT4 features a wide grille and a slightly curved front-end. It’s by no means ugly, and with the 20-inch wheel option, it could even be described as muscular thanks to its low ground clearance. It is, however, more of the same Cadillac style that we’ve seen many times before.

My kingdom for a Cadillac redesign. It feels like for the last 15 years, the company has been retreading old ground.

Is it equipped with the latest tech?

Inside the cabin of every Cadillac XT4, you’ll find an eight-inch touchscreen recessed into the dash. The touchscreen is pleasant to use and comes with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and an onboard Wi-Fi hotspot – all standard. It’s a very decent level of standard equipment. A head-up display and digital gauges are available as options.

To get satnav, you’ll have to plump for the Cadillac User Experience with Embedded Navigation package, with none of the trim levels featuring it as standard. This option costs $1,500 and also includes a 13-point Bose surround-sound audio system and Cadillac’s Teen Driver safety system.

New safety tech has also made its debut as standard equipment for the first time on the 2020 XT4. There’s forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, and front pedestrian braking can be found on every new model.

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