XT4 provides luxury in small SUV

By Roy J. Eaton | Published Saturday, October 26, 2018

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Cadillac XT4

Cadillac XT4

If you only think of Cadillac as the magnificent Escalade or a beautiful Fleetwood sedan from the past, then I have news for you.

The past few weeks I’ve driven Cadillac’s newest entry in the small luxury SUV market, the XT4, thanks to Will Lewis, sales manager of James Wood Cadillac in Denton.

The car is a distant cousin to the Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain. When I say distant, I mean it. Compared to the Messenger’s two Equinox SUVs, the XT4 is as different as night and day.

The XT4 that Lewis sent over was a top-of-the-line Sport Version with a beginning price of just over $39,000. As tested, with $7,500 in options, the MSRP totaled $47,850. That puts the XT4 in direct competition with the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes Benz GLA and others.

“Just like its competitors, it’s aimed at young, upwardly mobile buyers,” said Consumer Reports magazine.

In addition to the luxurious black leather interior and every electronic driving assistance known to mankind, the first thing you will notice is the performance. The XT4 is powered by a 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that develops 237 horsepower. It is paired by a nine-speed automatic transmission available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive versions.

The car is powerful and smooth and offers Active Fuel Management that shuts down two-cylinders when they are not needed.

While styling is always a matter of individual taste, most people who looked at the car during its time in Wise County thought it was beautiful. The Shadow Metallic paint was complimented by a jet black leather interior with cinnamon accents.

The XT4 does not have a third seat and is smaller than the XT5 that has been around for several years. Press reports indicate that early next year Cadillac will introduce the XT6, which will be a three-seat sport utility slotted just under the Escalade.

Even over some challenging Wise County roads, the XT4 rides like a Cadillac. That is made possible by a stiff chassis featuring MacPherson struts and a five-link rear suspension.

Our XT4 Sport was equipped with a dual panel sunroof, heated and cooled front seats and a hands-free liftgate. There was also a driver awareness package that included forward collision alert and low speed automatic braking to keep the driver from slamming into a car that suddenly stops in front of it.

The XT4 is a little larger than its major competitors, the Volvo XC40, the Audi XC40 and the Mercedes GLA.

Cadillac has taken some hits because of the complexity of its CUE radio and navigation system, but Motor Trend says the XT4’s system is greatly improved.

“We do like the new, responsive infotainment screen that sits above two clean rows of buttons,” the magazine said.

General Motors has greatly improved its system that turns off the engine when the car is not moving. The XT4’s system was flawless and seamless when the engine restarted when the driver removed his foot from the brake.

For those interested in a small, luxurious SUV, the Cadillac XT4 is a definite winner and will be a strong competitor to the Mercedes, Lexus, Volvo, Audi and Infiniti vehicles in its class. As buyers continue to abandon sedans in favor of SUVs, the XT4 is definitely worth a test drive.

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