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Cadillac XT4 targets next generation of luxury buyers Featured

Posted On Friday, 24 April 2020 02:30 Written by
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The XT4 competes well in the difficult compact luxury SUV segment. The XT4 competes well in the difficult compact luxury SUV segment. Photo courtesy of Cadillac

Cadillac has a couple key goals as it battles to maintain its share of the luxury market, and ultimately grow. 

First, it has to stand out against a wide array of luxury competitors (Acura, Tesla, Audi, Lexus, Infiniti, Lincoln, Benz and BMW among them). This alone is a daunting task.

The other goal is to capture the next generation of luxury car buyers, with the goal of getting them in the Cadillac family so they remain loyal as they buy or lease luxury vehicles in the future. In order to do this, you need new vehicles that will garner attention that are also somewhat affordable for entry-level buyers.

With that in mind, Cadillac developed the XT4, a compact SUV that debuted in 2019 and sees minor changes for 2020. This vehicle sits on the low end of the Cadillac luxury crossover lineup, and is priced to sell to first-time luxury buyers.

I recently spent some time in a 2020 Cadillac XT4, and I’m back with a full review on how it compares in a segment where you really need to shine to stand out.


The 2020 Cadillac XT4 offers the usual aggressive but stylish that Cadillac fans have learned to love over the years.

The XT4 is part of the family of crossovers which also includes XT5 and XT6, the new naming convention which hopefully will stick around since I can't keep track of all the changes anymore. The XT4 features LED headlamps and tail lamps, with front cornering, as well as LED turn signals, passive entry and keyless start.

The exterior of my test vehicle featured a silver metallic paint job, while the interior was jet black with cinnamon accents. 

The interior design of the XT4 was well thought-out by Cadillac. Up front, seats are extremely roomy, and back seat leg room is also strong for the segment. Seating is available for up to five people.

One area where the XT4 does fall short is cargo space, as numbers are lower than some rivals with the rear seats up or down. On a positive note, the rear does have a 60/40 split to boost storage options depending on the number of rear passengers.

The interior design emanates luxury better than many of this segment’s offerings. The high-quality seating was plush and cozy and features lumbar support for both front seats, and driver settings can be saved via the memory package.

Drivers in colder climates would be wise to opt for the cold weather package, which includes front heated seats, rear outboard heated seats in rear, and a heated steering wheel.

Buyers who choose the Sport trim level will get attractive design features including a gloss black mesh grille, gloss black window moldings and specific Sport alloy wheel options.

Luxury and Premium Luxury models will get you a grille featuring bright metallic accents, satin aluminum window moldings and satin chrome-accented door handles.


A 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder turbo engine powers all trim levels of the 2020 XT4. This power plant brings a boost in fuel efficiency, and is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. It offers 237 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque.

FWD and AWD versions of the XT4 are available. My test vehicle featured all-wheel drive, a four-wheel independent suspension, selectable driving modes, stability control and traction control.

Driving modes included Touring, Snow/Ice, and Sport, and can be adjusted based on your driving situation and how you want to get around. There is also an available Active Sport Suspension featuring Continuous Damping Control.

I was happy with the acceleration, handling and overall power of the XT4. Though it is not best in class in any of these categories, it is one of the better performers overall and will satisfy most drivers. The overall ride quality was also extremely smooth, as a luxury ride should be.

One small gripe is that Cadillac uses a unique shifter design that most people won’t be used to maneuvering. It doesn’t take long to learn it though, so not a huge deal in the long run.


I have long questioned the quality and user-friendliness of the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) system that was in place for many, many years. And it looks like Cadillac finally got the hint from so many frustrated users, and has made an upgrade to the infotainment setup in the XT4, a truly positive change.

While it still has its quirks, this new CUE system is nowhere near as dramatic and unreliable as the former system was. Better late than never, and I’m curious to see future evolution to make it even better.

The updated infotainment system features an 8-inch color display, and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone mirroring. It now offers a rotary infotainment controller, which is much easier to use than the touch controls on the previous system.

Satellite radio comes as a trial and then you must subscribe. OnStar services are available on the vehicle, and you can choose a Wi-Fi hotspot in the vehicle. You also get a hands-free liftgate, universal home remote, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Safety ratings are another huge benefit of the XT4. Almost every government rating is at 5 stars with a couple at 4 stars. It may be a smaller SUV, but is still very very safe.

Safety and Security features on the XT4 include: Automatic Emergency Braking, Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Safety Alert Seat to warn you when you're exiting your lane, Front and Rear Park Assist, and Forward Collision Alert. All of the systems worked very well in my experience and were not overzealous.

An optional feature is an embedded navigation system, which also includes real-time traffic reports. This feature also includes an upgrade to a Bose Centerpoint surround-sound 13-speaker audio system.

An optional driver assist package includes: Advanced Adaptive Cruise Control, Enhanced Automatic Emergency Braking, and Reverse Automatic Braking. Wireless phone charging is also an option. Cadillac Connected Apps are available, as are Teen Driver controls, and the vehicle is loaded with air bags. An HD Rear Vision Camera (which looks and works great) and Rear Park Assist are standard features on the XT4.

Official fuel mileage numbers on the AWD version of the XT4 come in at 22 city/29 highway/24 combined. The FWD version can reach 30 mpg on the highway.

These numbers, courtesy of the new fuel-efficient engine, are near the top of the class in the luxury compact SUV category, and were confirmed during my time driving the vehicle. If fuel economy is a key box for buyers to check, they’ll have a lot to like in the XT4.

My test vehicle with a good number of add-ons was priced just over $48,000, and the XT4’s base price starts about $36,000. These are very competitive numbers in the luxury segment, and will help to attract new buyers who may have a lower budget.

When you consider that the XT4 competes well in most categories against more expensive alternatives, it comes across as a steal.

Warranties include a 4-year/50K mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty, and 6-year/70K mile powertrain limited warranty.


SUVs are the segment where auto companies will make their money going forward. And Cadillac should see success attracting new luxury buyers to the brand with a vehicle like the XT4.

The price is right, it’s more stylish than many of its rivals inside and out, and the drive is enjoyable. Add to that a bevy of tech and safety features, and you have a truly competitive package.

Especially if someone is looking to buy domestic, they now have a compelling reason to do so.

===== can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2020 Cadillac XT4
  • Price as tested: $48,310 (starts around $36K) 
  • Best feature: Design, safety, drive quality  
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars  
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Luxury compact SUV buyers seeking a strong domestic entry
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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