by Gerhard Horn
The late arrival of the Cadillac XT4 to the luxury compact crossover segment is its main problem. This particular segment has been around since 2003 when BMW launched the first-generation X3, and the rest of the German manufacturers followed shortly after, with the Brits and the Japanese hot on their tails. The segment itself has quickly become the most popular in the US market, with most luxury compact crossovers now in their second or third generation, giving them enough time to build a reputation. Cadillac only entered the segment in 2019 - but at least it arrived with a reasonably good car. While it feels more like an SUV, that's not necessarily a bad thing. The Cadillac XT4 is a relaxed cruiser with a 235-horsepower/258- lb-ft turbocharged four-pot under the hood. The standard features list is good, and Cadillac has improved it by adding even more last year. There's no doubt that the XT4 is a good car, but is it good enough to lure customers away from the likes of competitors such as the Acura RDX, The Audi Q3, or BMW X1?
The 2022 Cadillac XT4 undergoes only a few very minor changes. There are three new extra-cost metallic paint colors added to the Premium palette - Galactic Gray, Rosewood, and Latte - and the Sport's brake callipers are now painted red. There have been a few deletions too; the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine loses 2 hp - down from 237 to 235 hp - and when speccing the Premium Carpet Package, the standard floor mats underneath no longer accompany the vehicle. The NFC wireless phone-pairing features will also be absent from all trims this year.
See trim levels and configurations:
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
It's impossible to mistake the XT4 for anything but a Cadillac; Caddy's design language has been distilled to create a smaller version of the XT5 and the famous Escalade. All models have LED headlights and tail lamps, dual exhausts, a power liftgate, and 18-inch wheels. The Sport features front cornering lamps. Sport trims have gloss-black roof rails and a gloss-black lower fascia accent, while the Premium Luxury has these items in satin aluminum. Optional extras include 20-inch alloys, a power sunroof, and various appearance packages.
As far as dimensions go, the XT4 has an overall length of 181.1 inches, housing a wheelbase of 109.4 inches. It's 76.7 inches wide with the mirrors folded and has a minimum ground clearance of 6.7 inches. The Luxury model stands 63.2 inches tall, while the Premium Luxury and Sport are 64.1 inches in height. In terms of curb weight, the standard Luxury with front-wheel-drive weighs 3,660 pounds. The all-wheel-drive system adds roughly 200 lbs to each model. The FWD Premium Luxury weighs 3,691 lbs, while the FWD Sport weighs 3,710. The heaviest model is the AWD Sport, weighing in at 3,896 lbs.
The only non-cost option is Radiant Silver, as all the metallic colors cost $625, while Infrared Tintcoat and Crystal White Tricoat cost $1,225 apiece. The metallic color palette consists of Wave, Twilight Blue, Stellar Black, Rosewood, Latte, and Galactic Gray - the last three new for 2022. We think the little XT4 SUV looks at its best in the either Infrared Tintcoat or the blue Wave option. The darker colors don't emphasize the design as much as the brighter options do. Three colors disappear from the 2022 palette: Garnet, Shadow, and Autumn.
Looking at the XT4's relatively low curb weight, small size, and 235 hp/258 lb-ft power output, you'd expect lukewarm hatch-like performance. The reality is that it doesn't feel like that at all. Cadillac doesn't claim a 0-60 mph time for the XT4, but it has been independently tested at 7.8 seconds. Not slow, but roughly a second behind its German rivals. It's peppy enough, but happiest when cruising. Merging with traffic on the highway is easy, as is keeping up with freeway speeds.
The XT4 has various driving modes, with Touring suiting the nature of the car best. The Sport mode tends to hang onto the gears for too long, making the vehicle frantic and noisy. When you equip it with the Trailering Package, the Caddy's towing capacity is 3,500 lbs.
It's good to see Cadillac follow the modern trend of using a small-capacity turbocharged engine rather than a large gas-guzzling V6. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot suits the nature of the car perfectly. It's a silky-smooth powertrain, and the delivery is wonderfully linear. The engine is mated to a nine-speed gearbox with a perfect set of ratios. It makes the most of the low-down torque and virtually eliminates turbo lag, and it has enough gears left over for everything else. On the downside, the engine is loud. The NVH levels are generally good, but more could have been done to dampen the noise intrusion. The XT4 is available in FWD and AWD guise, and a manual transmission is not available.
The XT uses the GM's new Epsilon architecture. GM says it gives their engineers more freedom in terms of interior space and exterior design. It also claims class-leading torsional rigidity, which makes the handling more precise. Once again, it sounds like a sporty setup but it's really not. The XT4 is a refined, luxury cruiser more than anything else. It likes smooth tarmac, as the ride is compromised as soon as conditions get a little rougher. It's even worse with the optional 20-inch alloy wheels, which is something to keep in mind if you want to tick that box. The brakes are good, but the steering is devoid of any feel. The latter is particularly disappointing, but it will likely not matter to the average person in the market for a luxury compact crossover.
The new Cadillac XT4 has a small-capacity turbocharged engine with cylinder deactivation and stop/start technology. The result is impressive, albeit class-average, gas mileage figures. The EPA estimates for the FWD version are 24/30/26 miles per gallon on city/highway/combined cycles. The AWD does 22/29/24 mpg. In comparison, the most frugal Acura RDX manages 22/28/24 mpg, while the FWD Cadillac XT5 manages 22/29/24 mpg with the same engine.
For the XT4, FWD variants are equipped with a 15.9-gallon tank, offering a driving range of 413 miles. The AWD model has a slightly larger 16.3-gallon tank, which allows for a range of 391 miles.
There are certain aspects of the interior that we adore, but it's let down by substandard quality. There are two positive attributes worth mentioning. There's loads of interior space, and the minimalist approach is sleek. It's also worth noting that the XT4 has loads of standard features, even on the base model, which is something we appreciate on a luxury vehicle like the XT4.
The base Luxury trim has an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, six-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, dual-zone climate control, active noise canceling, and a beautiful touchscreen display. Premium Luxury and Sport models add ambient interior lighting and auto-dimming rearview and side mirrors. The Sport model adds some sporty kit on the inside, including alloy pedals, four-way power lumbar support for front-seat passengers, and power seatback bolsters for both front seats.
The amount of interior space is one of the XT's unique selling points. Unlike most compact crossovers, the Cadillac XT4 is a small SUV that will easily fit five passengers. The front seats are power-adjustable from the base level, making it easy for front passengers to find a comfortable seating position. Higher up in the range, you also get power lumbar support for the ultimate in comfort.
Legroom in the front is 40.4 inches, while rear passengers get 39.5 inches. Headroom is 39.4 inches in the front and 38.3 inches in the rear. Those seated at the back will appreciate the added legroom, and although you'd probably have a few complaints if you had three adults abreast in the rear seat, kids will be quite happy there. To put it in perspective, the Audi Q3 only offers 36.1 inches of rear legroom, while the X1 offers 37 inches.
We like the XT4's minimalist interior. It's more appealing to the eye than the Acura RDX interior, which is extremely busy and confusing with the large center dial. The Cadillac struggles against its European rivals when it comes to interior quality, however. Cadillac made an effort to disguise the low-quality plastics, and the upper door panels and dash are wrapped in fake leather, but lower down it's still hard, scratchy plastic. Not what you want to feel when you consider the premium pricing.
Luxury and Premium models have a leather steering wheel and shifter, while the Sport comes with a few model-specific touches for a sportier interior ambiance. The base Luxury trim comes with Light Platinum or Jet Black leatherette, but you can upgrade to leather in the same color schemes by adding specific packages. The Premium Luxury model has a total of five upholstery options to choose from, including Jet Black leather, a combination of Light Platinum/Jet Black leather, perforated leather in the same two schemes, or Sedona/Jet Black with perforated inserts. The Sport model has four upholstery options, with Cinnamon-accented Jet Black in leather or leather with perforated inserts, or Light Wheat/Jet Black with Red accents, or the Sedona/Jet Black combination from the previous trim.
When it comes to cargo space, a spacious interior usually results in a compromised cargo volume, but the 2022 Cadillac XT4 is an SUV that, whilst smaller in size, manages to offer both quite comfortably. There's 22.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, which is more than enough for the monthly grocery shop. Fold the rear seats flat in a 60/40 split, and the cargo capacity grows to 48.9 cubes. The Audi Q3 has less space with the seats folded away, but only by about one cubic foot.
Interior storage consists of dual cupholders up front, seatback pockets on both sides, and a lockable glove box. There is also an overhead storage compartment for your sunglasses.
Cadillac is known for its generosity when it comes to standard features. The Premium Luxury and Sport trims get heated, power-adjustable, power-folding, and driver's side auto-dimming side mirrors. All models boast a power liftgate, too.
The base model gets dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable front seats, cruise control, drive-mode selector, keyless entry, remote engine start, and forward-collision alert. Active noise cancellation and an HD rearview camera are also standard.
In the middle of the range, the Premium Luxury model adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, lane-change alert, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear park assist, and ambient lighting. There are also memory settings for the driver's seats, mirrors, and steering column.
Finally, the Sport trim offers more lumbar settings for the front seats, power adjustment for the side bolsters, and front seatback bolsters. It also boasts alloy sport pedals. Additional driver assistance features are unlocked when you add the optional safety packages.
The Caddy already had an impressive eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system, featuring Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, HD Radio, and SiriusXM. Since last year, Cadillac has included wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard across the range. A seven-speaker sound system is standard, but a 13-speaker Bose surround sound system is available across the range. The 4.2-inch color driver information system in the instrument cluster can also be upgraded to an eight-inch display.
The 2022 Cadillac XT4 scored 80 overall out of a possible 100 points from J.D. Power, and 81/100 for quality and reliability. In terms of recalls, the 2020 model was recalled four times - for a missing bolt on the Start/Stop accumulator, a possible sensor contamination in the electronic brake boost, over-cured tires causing sudden air loss, and an improperly secured rear seat-belt retractor. Only the last problem carried over to the 2021 model and so far, the 2022 model has been recall-free.
The XT4 is sold with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty in the USA. The drivetrain is covered for the same period, while roadside assistance is covered for six years or 70,000 miles.
The NHTSA's review of the Cadillac XT4 for 2022 yielded an overall score of five stars. Side-crash evaluations received full marks, while frontal crash and rollover tests resulted in a four-star rating for each.
The IIHS did not review the XT4 comprehensively, with only two tests conducted: the 2021 model achieved top scores of Good for both moderate overlap front and side crashworthiness. Buyers who are safety-minded will take comfort in these positive outcomes.
The Cadillac XT4 has a lot of the standard active and passive safety features. It has automatic LED headlights as standard across the range, a high-definition rearview camera, rear parking sensors, automatic emergency braking, forward-collision alert, pedestrian detection, cruise control, and eight airbags. The Premium Luxury and Sport trims add blind-spot alert, lane-change alert, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking sensors front and rear. Optional safety systems for the Premium Luxury and Sport include lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning, a head-up display, rear pedestrian alert, and adaptive cruise control.
The XT4 may be late to the party, but we think that may just count in its favor. You see, Cadillac has had a long, long time to study this particular segment and what customers are attracted to specifically. These attributes are usually a stylish exterior, a frugal engine, a spacious interior, and loads of features they can show to their friends. The Caddy hits the nail on the head in every department, especially when it comes to style. Cadillac's design works exceptionally well on a smaller SUV.
We're not fans of the hard plastics on the inside, but Cadillac makes up for it by giving customers an attractive, minimalist interior with many features. And let's not forget that it's pretty spacious, too. While the standard features are generous, we feel some essential bits on the options list could have been standard, especially on the top-spec models. The ride can get busy at lower speeds, and some road noise intrudes into the cabin, which are not things you'd expect from a supposedly premium product. Having said all of this, we do think the Cadillac's positive attributes outweigh the few niggles we found. Safety reviews were positive, and gas mileage isn't awful. Overall, the XT4 is a good package.
The price of the 2021 Cadillac XT4 is competitive for the segment. The Luxury has an MSRP of $35,795. The Premium Luxury is a big step up in terms of cost, retailing for $39,595. The Sport is just $200 cheaper with an MSRP of $39,395. Adding a four-wheel-drive system to any of these models will cost an additional $2,500. The prices of the XT4 mentioned here all exclude the destination cost of $1,195. We feel obligated to warn you about the expensive options, however. An XT4 Sport AWD with all the driver assistance features, the comfort and convenience preferred package, and a few nice color and alloy additions result in a luxury compact crossover in excess of $52k. That's deep into BMW X3 territory: a standard X3 sDrive 30i has a starting MSRP of $43,700. A more apt comparison would be against the Acura RDX, which starts at $39,300 and goes up to around $51k for a top-spec AWD model.
There are three trims in the 2022 Cadillac XT4 lineup: Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport. All trims share the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 235 hp and 258 and a nine-speed automatic transmission. Drive goes to the front wheels by default, but all trims are available in all-wheel drive.
The Luxury trim comes as standard with 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, LED tail lights, and a power liftgate. Inside, it has leatherette upholstery, eight-/six-way power driver's/passenger front seats, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a seven-speaker audio system.
The Premium Luxury adds roof rails, a driver's auto-dimming exterior mirror, illuminated door handles, rain-sensing wipers, and a hands-free power liftgate. Inside, it gets genuine leather upholstery, an auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror, ambient lighting, front and rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-change alert.
The Sport has more sporty styling with blacked-out exterior accents instead of chrome, a sporty grille, red-painted brake callipers, and model-specific 18-inch alloy wheels. Inside, it has a similar specification as the Premium Luxury, but with power-adjustable seatback bolsters, sport alloy pedals, and a sport steering wheel.
Cadillac obviously took a glance over at the Germans' homework books when developing the XT4, because there are a lot of additional options. The base Luxury has two styling packages available. Called the Onyx Sport and Radiant packages (both $2,595), each gives the XT4 a distinct look. The Onyx adds some sporty touches, while the Radiant provides the XT4 with a more elegant appearance. The Cold Weather Package ($850) sets the car up for cold-weather states by means of heated front and rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. Then there's the Driver Awareness Package ($470) which adds a following-distance indicator, lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning, and automatic high beams.
The Premium Luxury can be ordered with the same style packages, as well as a Comfort and Technology Preferred Package for $2,100. It includes features like an eight-way power-adjustable front-passenger seat, wireless phone charging, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, an eight-inch diagonal gauge cluster, and a head-up display, to name just a few. The Driver Assist Package costs $1,100 and adds adaptive cruise control, enhanced automatic emergency braking, and reverse automatic braking. There's a total of 14 packages available for the Premium Luxury.
For the Sport, the Comfort and Technology Preferred Package adds $3,250 to the bill, but adds front ventilated seats with a massaging function, head-up display, wireless charging, and quite a bit more. There is also a $2,350 Comfort and Convenience Package if you don't want to go all the way. It's worth mentioning that each trim can have a moonroof optioned on, too, and the Trailering Package is available on all models. For $300, it adds a trailer hitch receiver and wiring harness and a heavy-duty cooling system for the engine. With this package equipped, the XT4 can tow up to 3,500 lbs.
The 2022 XT4 gives you a lot of standard features from the base model. All models are also powered by the same engine and transmission combination, with available AWD. It depends entirely on how much you want to spend on the base car, and how much you want to spend on top of that customizing it. We find it odd that the base model has nine available packages, but none offer the full suite of driver assistance features. As the XT4 will likely be used to transport families, safety is a top priority. This forces you to buy upwards and into the Premium Luxury, to which you can add the Driver Assistance Package for $1,100, at the very least.
The RDX is part of Acura's plan to re-establish itself as a proper competitor in the American market. It was launched in 2019 and is a compelling package, offering a 272 hp/280 lb-ft 2.0-liter turbocharged four-pot engine. It's not just more powerful on paper - you can feel those extra horses at work when you drive it. The fuel economy is also close to the XT4, with an EPA estimate of 22/28/24 mpg for the FWD model. The RDX is an attractive car, offers more interior space than the XT4, and it's more entertaining to drive. Like the XT4, the RDX is still below par in the quality department; the Germans set a very high standard in this segment. The Acura's infotainment is easier to use, but we prefer the minimalist approach of the Cadillac. Overall, the Acura is a more dynamic car, so if you want something that will provide a more entertaining driving experience, the RDX is a better buy.
The Cadillac XT5 has a starting price of $43,995, so there's some overlap to when you start adding options to the XT4. Both SUVs use the same 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, but the XT5 can also be ordered with a 310-hp V6 motor. Although the XT5 is bigger, it's not so much larger that you'd really notice it outright, and it actually sits in an awkward segment of one: not quite as small as the XT4, but not as big as a midsize SUV. Still, the XT5 handles surprisingly well although the four-pot engine doesn't perform particularly brilliantly, due to the additional weight.
Like the XT4, the XT5 boasts a generous standard specification, but the base model is slightly light on optional extras. To gain access to the driver's assistance systems, and the luxurious interior features, you have to opt for a mid-spec XT5, which retails for $48,795. We reckon the XT4 is a more rounded package.
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