2019 Cadillac XT4 Review
2019 Cadillac XT4 Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Carlos Lago has worked in the automotive industry since 2008. Along with an extensive background in performance testing and evaluation, he has produced hundreds of car-related articles and videos.
- Roomy seating and cargo area for this class of SUV
- Infotainment system is quick and sharp-looking
- Ride is far too busy for a luxury crossover
- Lots of engine and road noise
- Some controls are confusing to use
- Luxury features you'd expect to be standard are optional
- The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is an all-new vehicle
- Part of the first Cadillac XT4 generation introduced for 2019
The 2019 Cadillac XT4 makes for an affordable entry point into the world of compact luxury SUVs, offering a fuel-efficient engine and plenty of rear legroom. We also like its new technology interface, which is superior to older Cadillac systems by a wide margin. And unlike the bland styling found on many other crossovers, you won't mistake the XT4's distinctive design for anything but a Cadillac.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2019 Cadillac XT4 Luxury 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.93 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$184/mo for XT4 Luxury
Avg. Midsize SUV
The XT4, however, misses the mark in several key areas. It's not much fun to drive due to lackluster handling and an engine that is a little underpowered by class standards. For a luxury vehicle, it's also surprisingly unrefined. The engine constantly makes a diesel-like chattering sound, and the ride quality is unnecessarily firm. Rivals are similarly priced and triumph where the XT4 falters.
Overall, the new XT4 is a mixed bag. It's worth a look if space and style are priorities for you. Otherwise, we think you might be happier checking out rival crossover SUVs such as Acura's RDX or BMW's X1 or X3.
Edmunds' Expert Rating6.9 / 10
The 2019 Cadillac XT4 makes for an affordable entry point into the world of compact luxury SUVs. It offers a fuel-efficient engine and plenty of rear legroom. Also, you won't mistake its subdued design for anything but a Cadillac.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Cadillac XT4 Sport (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 9-speed automatic | AWD).
|Overall||6.9 / 10|
From a performance standpoint, the XT4 comes up a bit short due to a distinct lack of steering feel and a sometimes slow-witted transmission. Cadillac's rivals do almost everything else better in every category.
The turbocharged engine provides sufficient power for quick passing maneuvers. However, it takes a bit of time to get going from a stop. We recorded a 0-60 mph time of 7.6 seconds, making the XT4 a bit slower than rival SUVs with base-level engines. Acceleration wanes noticeably at higher speeds, too.
A firm, predictable pedal makes it easy to scrub off a little speed or bring the Cadillac to a smooth stop. In Edmunds' panic-braking test, our XT4 stopped from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is an average result. In one instance, our test vehicle unexpectedly displayed a brake temperature warning after a bit of spirited driving.
Light steering effort can be beneficial in parking lots, but the XT4's effort is light at all speeds, even when you put the vehicle in its Sport mode. There's also a distinct lack of feel. The sensation is like driving in a video game since you don't have any idea what the front tires are up to.
Faster bends are where this XT4 feels the most capable. Here, the all-wheel-drive system can put the rear wheels to work. In other environments, the front end feels heavy and cumbersome, making the XT4 seem much bigger than it actually is.
With a light foot, this Cadillac stays calm and is usually in the right gear. But more aggressive driving can catch the transmission out. It is either hesitant to downshift or downshifts too many gears at once. Other transmissions in rival SUVs are more refined in their shifting overall.
With a busy and sometimes unsophisticated ride plus a surprisingly noisy engine, the XT4 does not represent Cadillac's best effort. Thankfully, the seats are comfortable for a wide variety of body types. You'll need to use the powerful audio system to drown out everything else.
The leather on both front and back seats is firm and of high quality. The front seats have quite a lot of built-in lumbar support but not much support for the upper back. Our tester featured heated and ventilated front seats, along with heated rear seats.
There's a lot to say about the ride. Unfortunately, not much of it is very good. Over less than perfect roads, there's a constant jitter from all four wheels. And over rougher roads, there's a never-ending stream of impacts. A luxury SUV should be smoother.
Noise & vibration5.0
The engine makes a clicking sound (like a baseball card in bicycle spokes) and is too vocal when accelerating. That's disappointing for any car, let alone a Cadillac. At highway speeds, there is a substantial amount of road noise from the cargo area, and the panoramic sunroof buffets and booms when fully open.
Air circulation is uniform and thorough, and rear-seat passengers get two low-mounted center vents. The control panel's comprehensive set of physical buttons is a welcome sight, though the buttons are small, similar looking and tightly packed. Cadillac also provides an on-screen climate control interface, but it's redundant and not readily accessible.
The XT4 makes a strong initial impression with its stylish and modern interior. But some controls appear either unnecessary or overthought, making them difficult to use without errors and frustration. The clumsy multimedia control knob is the most glaring example but can thankfully be ignored.
Ease of use6.5
The controls on the dashboard, including the infotainment touchscreen, are easy to decipher and use. The steering wheel controls don't seem to follow any convention, and we found ourselves constantly pressing the wrong buttons. The multifunction control knob is unnecessary and frustrating to use — it can only scroll and won't work on certain menus.
Getting in/getting out7.0
One of the selling points of a small SUV is the ease of getting in and out, and the XT4 is on the money. Front passengers will like the wide door openings. Getting in back is more difficult due to the narrowness of the bottom of the door opening.
It's quite easy to get comfortable. The ergonomics are generally sound, but taller drivers might find the dash and steering wheel to be a bit low. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is thick and comfortable, and it imparts a good sense of control.
Front passengers have ample room, and the cabin feels quite large and airy from there. Rear passengers have a solid amount of legroom, but headroom can be tight, especially if the XT4 has the optional panoramic sunroof. From a width standpoint, two adults can fit in the rear seats without issue.
Thanks to the low dash, forward visibility is very good. The side windows narrow toward the rear, and the roof pillars are fairly wide, but the large side mirrors compensate for most of that. Rear visibility isn't great, but the many cameras make tight spaces much less stressful.
The quality of the interior materials is a welcome step forward for Cadillac. The leather covering the seats, as well as parts of the dashboard, looks and feels expensive. The panel fit and the feel of the control knobs and switches are to a high standard, too. However, there are still a few areas of low-rent plastic.
The XT4 is likely to be a buyer's primary vehicle, so the more practicality and versatility it has, the better. The Cadillac doesn't disappoint and fits right into a varied but competitive segment.
From cupholders to cubbies, there's a decent amount of interior storage space for small personal items. Rear-seat passengers don't have nearly the same amount of space, but the door pockets are large enough for drink bottles.
The XT4's 22.5 cubic feet of cargo capacity puts it about average for the class, in between the smaller Volvo XC40 (20.7 cubes) and more spacious BMW X1 (27.1 cubes). The split-folding rear seats add to the practicality. They are well-constructed and fold nearly flat.
Child safety seat accommodation7.0
The LATCH are concealed behind leather upholstery, and the backs of the rear seats have sturdy, well-marked anchors as well. Larger car seats might require sliding a front seat slightly forward, but loading them in the back of the XT4 shouldn't be a problem.
With the inexpensive optional tow package, the XT4 is rated to tow 3,500 pounds. That's about average for the class.
In some ways, the XT4 is right at the leading edge of the compact luxury crossover segment. Its upgraded infotainment system is quick, sharp and easy to use, and the optional Bose audio system is impressive. But its unnecessary control knob is clumsy, and the optional driver aids are expensive.
Audio & navigation8.5
GM's new infotainment system is a big step forward in every way. The graphics are crisp and modern, and response times are very quick. The native navigation looks a little like Android Auto, which isn't a bad thing. The optional Bose audio system is strong and crisp, even at higher volumes.
You can connect to the XT4 in a multitude of ways, and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are chief among them. There are USB and USB-C ports for both front and rear passengers as well as a wireless charging pad under the center armrest. Bluetooth connectivity is also standard.
The forward collision warning and adaptive cruise systems are calibrated well (i.e., they are not overly sensitive). However, Cadillac has chosen to bundle electronic driver aids into option packages that aren't available on the base trim level.
The XT4's voice controls support natural spoken language, which enhances their effectiveness. Elevated speeds cause some missed commands due to the higher levels of road and wind noise.
Which XT4 does Edmunds recommend?
Though attractively priced, the based Luxury trim is missing some features you'd expect. As such, we recommend starting out with the Premium Luxury, which comes with niceties such as leather upholstery, auto-dimming mirrors and a power liftgate. You'll still need to opt for the Technology package for a power-adjustable steering column, and the Comfort and Convenience package is worthwhile for its upgraded front seats — who doesn't like a massage on the commute?
2019 Cadillac XT4 models
The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is available in three trim levels: Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport. Though the base Luxury boasts solid entertainment and phone integration features, it's light on some features. The Premium Luxury and the Sport come with upgrades that match their names, such as leather for the former and additional seat bolstering for the latter. Regardless of trim level, the XT4 employs a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (237 horsepower, 258 pound-feet of torque) and a nine-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.
The base Luxury trim level doesn't quite come with all the features you might expect, but nonetheless it's decently equipped. Feature highlights include 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, power-adjustable front seats, simulated leather upholstery, keyless entry and ignition, remote start, and dual-zone climate control. Infotainment is handled by 8-inch touchscreen, Near Field Communications for easy Bluetooth connections, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, four USB outlets (including one Type-C), and a seven-speaker sound system with satellite radio.
Stepping up to the Premium Luxury nets you automatic wipers, auto-dimming mirrors, a power liftgate, a rear cargo shade, driver-seat memory settings, ambient interior lighting and added drive safety aids, including front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and a seat that vibrates to alert the driver.
The Sport is similarly equipped but dons black trim-specific details, LED turn signals, and front cornering lamps. The interior has simulated leather upholstery, a different style of steering wheel and sport front seats.
Additional options are available for the Premium Luxury and the Sport. The Comfort and Convenience package adds upgraded front seats with a massaging function, leather upholstery (for the Sport) and hands-free operation of the power liftgate. The Technology package includes a digital gauge cluster, head-up display, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, and wireless device charging.
For added safety, the Driver Awareness package includes low-speed frontal collision mitigation, a following distance indicator and lane keeping assist. After ordering this package, you can also opt for adaptive cruise control and both front and rear automatic braking from the Driver Assist package. The Enhanced Visibility package adds a suite of additional cameras, including one that displays in the rearview mirror, as well as an automatic parking feature.
When equipped with the optional 20-inch wheels, the Sport can also be outfitted with an adaptive suspension. Other available options include a sunroof; a built-in navigation system; a Cold Weather package, which adds a heated steering wheel and heated front and outboard rear seats; and a Trailering package, which brings additional cooling, a 2-inch receiver and a wiring connector.
Jump to:Related 2019 XT4 articles
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
XT4 Tech/Comfort, Fun-to-Drive, Performant SUV
2019 Cadillac XT4 Sport 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
Well thought out SUV. Just traveled 250 highway miles at 70 mph and averaged 29.2 miles per gallon - incredible! My 6 cylinder, 2015 top-rated SUV never got more than 22 mpg on the highway. The advanced adaptive cruise control is truly set and forget. Will even stop the car. This feature alone significantly reduces driver fatigue. Made the 250 mile highway drive a breeze. XT4 is well … laid out - smart combination of buttons and touchscreen makes it easy to operate - no fumbling for climate controls, heated seats, or switching audio tracks. Very convenient volume control knob ensures you play all your music at the perfect level. (Or you can use the up/down volume control buttons on the steering wheel if you prefer.) Advanced technology makes the XT4 a pleasure to drive. The other day a neighbor was walking his dog as I was rounding a corner. The person icon in the heads-up display turned yellow and the SUV automatically slowed. XT4 will anticipate things before you do. XT4 is an interesting SUV that combines technology and comfort for a fun-to-drive, performant SUV. Note: A few of the reviews I've read have said that the engine is noisy. I'm don't agree with those reviews. The interior is very quite and don't notice any excessive engine noise. I've driven the car over 1,100 miles and much prefer it to the Acura RDX (previously owned) and Infinity Q30 (rented on trip before getting Cadillac and is not as comfortable). Bottom line is that the XT4 performs well (strong engine, quick/smooth shifts), is very comfortable (great seat positioning/support), great layout of controls (and very responsive touch screen) and is really fun to drive.
5 out of 5 stars
May Be The Best Cadillac SUV Yet?
2019 Cadillac XT4 Premium Luxury 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
Have owned two other Cadillac's in the past 5 years and this one is clearly the best, not that the other two were not, but this one stands out. Replaced a 2016 SRX that we really liked, but like this more. It's sporty looking, has great acceleration and quiet comfortable drive. Excellent interior finishes with controls that make sense and are easy to understand and use. Vastly … improved entertainment system is a pleasure to use vs. old CUE systems. Plenty of room front or back for my 6'3" frame. Add to all this the fact it runs on regular gasoline vs. any competition and this is a vehicle to take seriously over it's competition.
4 out of 5 stars
Nicely thought out and comfortable compact SUV
Bruce W., 04/14/2019
2019 Cadillac XT4 Premium Luxury 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
I traded a MB 300E Sport for this- which was just 'too low' for me to be comfortable in. The tech is 'on par' with the Benz- and it is quieter except for hard acceleration. Ride is firm- but not much different then the MB's Sport suspension. Handles well. It has a 'full size spare tire' - so no worry about getting stranded and the expense of replacing a 'run flat tire'. Seats are very … comfortable and wide with adjustable lumbar and heat and massage- and rear leg room is 'unmatched' by anything else in this class. Like the Benz it has 'control buttons' for those who prefer them - and CUE system is much improved and faster then previous system- and uses a 'touch screen' that Benz lacked. I think Cadillac is on 'right track' with what the XT4 has to offer!
3 out of 5 stars
Great Car If Sensors Worked As Expected
Patti M, 02/10/2019
2019 Cadillac XT4 Premium Luxury 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 9A)
I leased a Premium Luxury XT4 after driving a Lexus for the past 12 years. Unfortunately my car died on me at 300 miles with a Service Transmission message. The dealer was good about getting me a loaner car out that same night. It turned out to be the sensor and they found that many of the wires had been pinched and/or misrouted. I had been experiencing the parking sensors and the … cameras coming on at random times. While they corrected the wiring which fixed the transmission issue, the parking sensors continue to come on at random times. The dealership even took out a new car and was able to duplicate the same problem. Supposedly the dealership is working with Cadillac to see if the problem can be resolved with a software update. Not only do the front parking sensors come on at random times, the pedistrian sensor also comes on randomly - like on a major freeway where I'm sure there pedistrians are not walking. My phone also continues to unsync and I have to delete everything to get it to pair again. This means I often do not have a phone that will work with my car. My gas milage has been around 22 in the city and 29 when I did a road trip. I am now at 1200 miles and while there are things I like about my car, I could not recommend it to anyone else until they manage to get all of the bugs worked out of the sensors. I have an expectation that everything should work as expected when paying this much for a new car.
2019 Cadillac XT4 videos
[MUSIC PLAYING] WILL KAUFMAN: There was a time when entry-level luxury meant a small sedan, like a BMW 3 series. With the SUV craze, these days, entry-level luxury means a small crossover, and that's where the new 2019 Cadillac XT4 comes in. Cadillac has big plans, with an onslaught of new products slated for the next few years. That makes the XT4 doubly important. Not only is it competing in a really hot segment, it has to introduce new buyers to the brand and make them excited about trading up to a higher end Cadillac when the time comes. So is the 2019 XT4 a promising entry into the Cadillac brand? We're here on the outskirts of Seattle to find out. The driving dynamics of the XT4 are kind of interesting. They're not what I was expecting. But I think I can see what Cadillac was going for here. Let me try and describe what I'm talking about. Power for the XT4 comes from a 237-horsepower turbo-charged, four-cylinder engine. There are a lot of technical changes to it that are designed to just get more mileage and make sure that it can still deliver all the power it needs. Power delivery from the engine is very smooth, and it's pretty strong for a vehicle in this class, but there's no real sense of urgency to the way that it puts the power down. It doesn't feel like a sporty SUV the way some of the German competitors do. This vehicle also has a nine-speed automatic and an optional twin clutch all-wheel drive system that's similar to what you see in other GM products like this. There's a clutch that can completely disconnect the rear wheels, so you get more efficiency when you're in two-wheel drive mode. And then it can send power to the rear wheels when it's needed and shift power between the rear wheels, which is good for traction if you're in a low traction environment. The variable steering in the XT4 is pretty light. It's precise. You can definitely put this car where you want it to be, but you can't really tell what's going on with the front wheels through the steering wheel. The ride feels a little stiff-legged and a little bouncy, especially over larger bumps. The other thing is the brakes. These are electrically-activated hydraulic brakes, so the feel through the pedal is really artificial. It's a very firm pedal, and it's very linear, so it's pretty easy to judge braking force. But you feel a little disconnected from what's actually happening with the car. All of these things together-- the sort of light steering, the firm brake pedal, the little bit bouncy suspension-- all of it comes together to make this feel a bit more like a large SUV, dynamically. Now, that's not to say that it completely drives like a large SUV. There's definitely more maneuverability, there's less body roll, there's more grip, but it still has that feeling like this is a little bit more like an SUV than just a lifted car. Sets it apart a little bit from some of the competitors that do a lot of work to make their vehicles feel very car-like on the road. I mentioned before that the small luxury crossover segment is very hot, and that's true. There are a lot of brand new vehicles that this has to compete against. There's the Volvo XC40, and the BMW X1 and X2. There's also the all-new Lexus UX and the brand new Audi Q3. The Cadillac XT4 starts at about $36,000. And for a sport or premium luxury trim and front-wheel drive, you're looking at about $41,000 with destination and handling added in. All-wheel drive is another $2,500. A fully-loaded XT4 is going to break $55,000. That really puts the Cadillac XT4 right in the thick of things in terms of pricing in this segment. EPA estimated fuel economy is 24 miles per gallon city and 30 highway. For a car that makes 237 horsepower, that's not terrible, but it's not amazing either. That's definitely not going to make this a class leader in terms of efficiency. [MUSIC PLAYING] On the outside, the XT4 has a pretty distinctly Cadillac look to it where, on the inside, they've clearly put in some effort to give it that entry-level luxury feel. All of these surfaces are covered with nice looking materials. There's a lot of soft touch inside of the cabin. There are definitely a few places where you can feel the entry-level part of entry-level luxury. There's this plastic around the window switches that General Motors just can't seem to get away from. These are very comfortable seats. I've been in these all day. I'm really happy with them. There's a good amount of adjustability. There's heating and ventilation in this premium luxury trim and even sort of a basic massage function. There are a lot of deep pockets and cubbies around. There's even this convenient little wireless charging pad that you can slip your phone into. And since this is a General Motors product, you get things like OnStar, you get 4G LTE connectivity with a wifi hot spot, you get Android Auto and Apple Car Play. There are also USB and USBC ports for both the front and back seat. Of course, there's a full suite of active safety features and driver aids, lane keeping, collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control. Now, one thing is, just in terms of that wow factor of interior technology, some of the other vehicles are going to look a little more impressive. One thing they've done here that's sort of interesting is they've installed a control knob for the infotainment system. Now, I have mixed feelings about this. I like knob interfaces. I think it's a less distracting way to interact with the infotainment system, but this system is not really optimized for this interface. And what the knob does also changes depending on what screen you're in. I do appreciate that there are buttons for just about everything in here. The HVAC system can be controlled entirely through buttons up here. Heating seating and cooling, a lot of the safety features all have buttons attached to them, which makes life a little easier. There are a ton of different camera views. You can get a good look at the curbs. You can see what's happening both in front and behind the car and get a good 360 view from multiple angles. And that's good because visibility in the XT4 is not amazing. They are pretty thick pillars all around. So for low speed maneuvering, I really appreciated having the cameras. This backseat is one of the things that Cadillac is counting on to set the XT4 apart from its competitors. There's more leg room here than you get in a lot of vehicles in this class and a decent amount of head room. I'm just starting to rub on the roof, so taller passengers might run out of headroom but for the most part, full grown adults are going to be able to use this back seat. On this trip, I will say I've enjoyed my time in here. This is a comfortable place to enjoy a picturesque drive through the Pacific Northwest. I think for people who like the Cadillac brand already, for people who really enjoy larger SUVs but are looking to scale down a bit, they're going to find stuff in here that appeals to them. Our final verdict on the XT4 is going to have to wait, though, until we have a chance to get it to our test track along with all its competitors and do full ratings and reviews. So stay tuned to Edmunds for more. If you like this video, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and be sure to check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
2019 Cadillac XT4 First Drive
The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is a new entry in the hottest segment right now: entry-level luxury SUVs. A lot of brand-new or fully redesigned competitors are crowding the market, but Cadillac is betting that a little extra interior space and a lot of technology features will help the XT4… stand out. Edmunds staff writer Will Kaufman traveled to the outskirts of Seattle to jump behind the wheel of the XT4 and get the measure of this not-so-small small crossover. Find out what we think of the 2019 Cadillac XT4 in our Edmunds First Drive.
2019 XT4 Highlights
|Combined MPG||26 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$184/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
Our experts like the XT4 models:
- Safety Alert Seat
- Vibrates the driver's seat to alert you of things such as unintentional lane departure.
- Teen Driver
- Monitors driving habits, prevents disabling safety features such as stability control, and lets parents limit the volume of the stereo.
- Rear Camera Mirror
- Displays the view of a wide-angle camera in the rearview mirror to make reversing safer and easier.
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover16.7%