And yet it's being added anyway.
Today's typical car shopper almost certainly couldn't explain the difference between a crossover and an SUV. Nor do they care, and automakers will gladly sell them either one. SUVs and crossovers (and trucks) have higher profit margins over traditional sedans and combined with their already growing popularity, automakers will not only continue launching more of them but also upgrading existing ones. Take the Cadillac XT4, for example.
According to Cadillac Society, 2020 Cadillac XT4s equipped with the optional all-wheel-drive will be receiving a new driving mode in addition to the three existing ones, Tour, AWD, and Sport. That new mode will be Off-Road. The report claims Off-Road Mode will modify accelerator pedal response, AWD torque, and the Traction Control System. It will also engage AWD, which makes perfect sense. Drivers will know Off-Road Mode is enabled once the instrument cluster illuminates a unique icon.
And this brings us to ask this question: Why does the Cadillac XT4 need and Off-Road mode in the first place? Does Cadillac really expect owners to take their XT4s off-roading? Fat chance. Furthermore, the XT4 is a crossover, meaning it does not have an SUV's body-on-frame chassis and standard rear-wheel-drive. Instead, the XT4 is built on GM's E2XX platform, which also underpins the current Chevy Malibu and Buick Regal. A genuine off-roader it is not. It's a nearly $40,000 (base price) luxury mid-size crossover. Even with the new Off-Road mode, the XT4's most extreme "off-road" capabilities are limited to dirt roads and gravel.
And that's just fine because XT4 customers don't buy it for off-roading purposes. Still, the new Off-Road mode will probably appeal to them because it'll offer more peace of mind. You know, just in case one ever gets stuck in some serious mud at the bottom of their long driveways. Cadillac has yet to make an official announcement or offer 2020 pricing details, but we expect that information to arrive in the very near future.