By on December 6, 2017

2019 Cadillac XT4, Image: Spiedbilde

By “can’t,” we mean “keep the division afloat.” The luxury brand’s sedan sales just aren’t cutting it anymore, forcing Cadillac to play a game of crossover catch-up with other players in the premium field. While the full-size Escalade and midsize XT5 remain strong (and consistent) sales performers, many of Cadillac’s rivals offer more utility vehicle choice. Lexus has four, and might not consider that enough. Even Lincoln has three.

The first of several answers to this problem is the XT4, a compact crossover positioned just below the XT5. Debuting in the middle of next year as a 2019 model, the new crossover recently made an appearance outside General Motors’ Milford proving grounds. Luckily, a cameraman was there.

2019 Cadillac XT4, Image: Spiedbilde

A trio of camouflaged XT4s, along with some segment rivals (BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC) brought along for comparison, couldn’t stay within the track’s confines forever. Because of this, we can see that the XT4 doesn’t diverge much, at least in profile, from something that already works — the XT5.

Riding atop a version of the modular C1XX platform used by the XT5, the XT4 appears shorter in length. Gone is the small window just aft of the XT5’s C-pillar. Aside from some brightwork along the lower bumper, as well as the roof racks, there’s not much glitz to be seen in these photos. While the XT’s grille utilizes numerous horizontal chrome slats, the XT4’s front aperture (which is probably a stand-in) has a mouthful of black mesh. This is a lower-cost vehicle, but it’s still a Cadillac. Expect some shiny bits when the production version arrives.

2019 Cadillac XT4

As for power, expect to find a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder under the hood, matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Depending on application, that engine makes anywhere from 250 to 272 horsepower in GM vehicles. The four-cylinder offering would help contrast the XT4 from its larger sibling, which carries a 3.6-liter V6 as standard equipment.

In the future, Cadillac will offer a crossover undercutting the XT4 in size and price.  That model should arrive in 2020. Also in the cards, and due out in 2019, is a larger, three-row crossover to split the difference between the XT5 and top-flight Navigator.

Cadillac sales in the U.S. sank just over 5 percent over the first 11 months of 2017, mainly the result of a continued decline in popularity of the ATS and CTS sedans. To put the issue in perspective, Cadillac sold 58,774 CTS sedans in 2008. With one month left to go in 2017, this year’s tally is just 9,539.

2019 Cadillac XT4

[Images: Spiedbilde/The Truth About Cars]

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51 Comments on “Spied: 2019 Cadillac XT4, Ready to Do What Sedans Can’t...”


  • avatar

    Sedans CAN’T EVEN.

  • avatar
    B Buckner

    I don’t like the paint scheme. It is hard to look at and is less than flattering.

  • avatar
    Compaq Deskpro

    Traverse Escalade is due in 2019? Why the hell not RIGHT NOW? Is it that hard to engineer?

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    The problem isn’t the sedans as such – it’s the pricing/aspirations. A CTS-V is cool, but >$100K cool??

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The model starts at $86,000 and it comes loaded up, but, yeah, if you’re careless with the options it’ll push a hundred, easy.

      Then again, something like a E class AMG or BMW M5 will run well into six figures…

    • 0 avatar
      SD 328I

      It’s also the sedan thing. BMW recently was caught without enough crossovers and had too many sedans languishing on lots.

      Also, right now a lot of premium sedans are coming off leases and not enough people want them.

      Cadillac was way too sedan heavy, only thing selling well are their SUVs.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Actually, the CTS-V sells well (unlike the GS-F).

      The problem is with the non-V specs of the CTS due to the inherent fundamental flaws of the Alpha platform – great for driving dynamics for horrible for space/interior room.

      The pricing of the ATS and CTS would have been fine, if they just had more interior space (and nicer interiors) – which is why the Cadillac sedan line-up is getting re-jiggered with the ATS replacement growing in size back to around what the 1G/2G CTS was in size and the CT6 being reformulated as Cadillac’s “midsize” offering.

  • avatar
    bluegoose

    Its amazing how the Hatchback has evolved into a desired “utility vehicle.”

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      Bluegoose: shhhhhh…don’t say the “h” word, it’ll scare off consumers! “Those” types of cars are for plebes and folks of lesser means. Most wouldn’t be caught dead in one, except for the fact that a large quantity of crossovers are more or less exactly that!

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    how about little things like bringing back tactile buttons. And making XT5’s optional instrument gauge standard.

    Maybe 1 in 1000 people are going to say I’m not buying an XT5 because of the lack of haptic feedback.

    But it’s the little things that are the difference between “something’s not right” and “I’ll take it”

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    The world may not need yet another CUV, but Cadillac sure does.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    It’s a dead horse at this point, but I think it’s fair to say the Alpha platform was a mistake. ATS+CTS sell less than the old CTS did alone and have been in sales decline from the word go (faster than their respective segments). Large luxury sedan class is a waste of time… everyone but Tesla and Mercedes are pretty much DOA. Lincoln is competing in the same spaces and much more stable in sales with cheaper platforms and a focus on what actually matters. Money would have been better spent fixing the XTS’ weird looks and making something smaller with plug in/hybrid options on the Epsilon platform.

    As for these, it’s too little too late. When it comes to entering a new segment you want to be one of the first in, not the last. Nobody is going to care about this and it will have to do battle with a bunch of other offerings… whereas the first entries into the segment had much more freedom and less of a standard to compete against.

    Cadillac’s whole trajectory over the last 5-6 years or so has just been incredibly disappointing and a demonstration of how little they understand the market and climate. Which is bizarre as GM, and more specifically Chevrolet, is doing pretty well. I don’t understand it

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I don’t think Alpha was a mistake – it was poorly timed. The cars on that platform started coming out right when the demand for RWD premium cars started to fall off. Mercedes, BMW and Lexus are having similar difficulties moving their RWD sedans as well.

      Either way, ashcanning Alpha and going back to FWD sedans would be a massive blunder, far as I’m concerned. Lincoln’s sedans ain’t exactly setting the world on fire, and that includes the Continental.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        I mean, I don’t disagree; Caddy made its bed and now it has to lay in it. There’s still a lot that can be done to rejuvinate the Alpha based offerings, but I think GM needs to go back to the CTS old game plan of a tweener with 3 series pricing. They also really need to revitalize the design and upgrade the interiors. A&S needs a reboot.

        Lincoln may not be setting the world on fire, but they’re getting about the same sedan sales volume and ATPs on much cheaper platforms, with sales growth (or at least stability). Imagine what will happen once Lincoln updates the CD platform…..

        • 0 avatar

          Please bring back the angles. sticking the Art and Science look into a dissolve field has given us the dull third gen CTS. At least the ATS is a bit more angular. Don’t build an angular car then polish off the sharp bits….

          RWD = serious car. I’ve had a few fun FWD cars, Saab, GTi, TDi, but for real enthusiast driving, RWD cannot be beat. You can just do more with both sides of the car being useful. For a real deal luxe yacht or a true believer sportscar, drive the rear wheels first, then all four…….but FWD will always be “near luxury”. My CTS is a track star in a Zoot Suit, and 300 hp at the back is different than 300 hp at the front.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            “sticking the Art and Science look into a dissolve field has given us the dull third gen CTS.”

            What the Chinese market wants, everyone gets.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            I sure hope they keep the angles and the A&S going or whatever they call it these days as they stand out like from all angles like no Camry plain, slab-sided with a spindle grill.

          • 0 avatar
            Tele Vision

            Agreed. I DD a 2007 CTS-V for 100 Kms a day, and an LS2 powering the rears is better than ice cream on a hot day. I still love the Art & Science design language – but I’d take a manual Vagon or a new CTS-V sedan at a straight trade in a heartbeat.

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            I DD a 05 CTS-V also for 120 miles daily. Also did track days and it never skipped a beat for 50,000 miles.

    • 0 avatar
      SuperCarEnthusiast

      The big mistake was to have all their sedans drive like previous BMWs while at the same time, BMW was evolving to be less of a driver’s car and more into a luxury car! Cadallic end up with sedans that were much smaller interior space, poor looking interiors and BMW sedans were much more luxurious the the new Cadillacs. End result, no sales for Cadillac sedans.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      The Aloha platform was a mistake from the very start due to its fundamental flaw of tight passenger/trunk space.

      Cadillac went from having the roomiest compact offering (along with the G/Q50) in the 1G/2G CTS to having the the tightest quarters with the ATS.

      The 3G CTS has a similar issue in the midszie segment.

      Exacerbating the problem is that the Alpha platform was unsuitable for CUV-duty, hence, the delay in adding to Cadillac’s CUV lineup and keeping with FWD.

      See the same issues with cramped space in the current Camaro.

      The Alpha platform is a great when it comes to driving dynamics, but takes away one of the leading factors for American buyers.

      Nonetheless, despite all the problems with the Alpha platform, Cadillac sells WAY more sedans in the $45k+ price-range than Lincoln.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Top-flight Navigator?

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      “due out in 2019, is a larger, three-row crossover to split the difference between the XT5 and top-flight Navigator.”

      Exactly Mr Taurus, sir. It’ll be sort of a super Nautilus, no doubt. The Escalade never even gets a look-in on this new super-plan.

  • avatar
    bluegoose

    Why would anyone pay 80-100K to drive a Cadillac. That question needs to be answered.

    • 0 avatar
      SD 328I

      If its the right product. Plenty of people are buying Escalades and thats right in that price point of 80-100K.

      • 0 avatar
        bluegoose

        You are right. I meant to write “Cadillac Sedan.”

        • 0 avatar
          JDG1980

          Some people might, I suppose, if Cadillac made something that was genuinely better than the S-Class. Imagine if they made a new Fleetwood to compete with the Bentley Mulsanne in the Chinese market and spared no expense – whale leather, real tropical hardwood trim, and a suspension so soft you could drive over a curb at 55 MPH and not notice. Certain buyers would go for that even at six figures, especially in those parts of the world where there is no such thing as inconspicuous consumption.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      No one’s ever done that. $3,000 down, $299-$499 per month for 36 months.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    I predicted this in 2014 as I watched Johan-Melody CTLee-Uwe flail around in helpless drowning –

    GM (Mary Barra )’could have saved itself 12 billion USD by canning the Johan and his idiotic plans.

    Here’s what I said and that which I predicted would replace the utter failures that are now the ATS, 3rd gen CTS, CT6, and (now defunct) ELR:

    “XT1 – Rebadged Chevy Spark-based CUV (this can actually be seen in the Cadillac Urban Luxury concept)

    XT2 – Rebadged Chevy Sonic-based CUV

    XT3 – Rebadged Chevy Cruze-based CUV

    XT4 – Rebadged Chevy Malibu-based CUV

    XT5 – *exists*

    XT6 – Rebadged Chevy Impala-based CUV

    Escalade – *exists*

    And there’s your future Cadillac lineup, that Roger Smith himself would proudly bring to market and ensure that pleather trim, CUE and the storied Cadillac emblem, now monochromatized and devoid of wreath, are distinguishing, standard features separating the Cadillacs (“standard of the world”) from their less prestigious GM siblings….”

    WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN…GENERAL MOTORS AND CADILLAC ALA ROGER SMITH STYLE!

    • 0 avatar

      A car for every purse and purpose…..

    • 0 avatar
      01 Deville

      Cadillac failed in interior execution and price, because the interiors were upgraded Chevy’s and Buicks.

      Johan and company are a plus for the brand. They might be clueless at the beginning about the brand and customer base, but they are trained to ask the right questions, figure out the problem and solve it. They are actively doing it and that’s why invested in by GM board.
      There is a reason why you are spending time ranting here and they have multi million dollar compensation packages.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        “There is a reason why you are spending time ranting here and they have multi million dollar compensation packages.”

        One (you included) would HAVE TO BE a clueless, f’ing MORON, to believe that a) Johan & Co. have done anything but a spectacularly horrendous job, or b) that there’s any consistent, rational basis for the level of compensation senior executives at publicly traded corporations receive that is legitimately correlated to their performance (I could list the number of excessively compensated, total failures of such executives, including Johan, who has literally turned Cadillac into even more of a financial black hole tanning was previously, assuming I had 1-2 MONTHS TO COMPILE THE STATS AND A TEAM OF RESEARCHERS), or c) Johan is even remotely capable of the problems facing Cadillac or is remotely capable of resolving them (2020 500,000 Cadillacs will be sold, he guarantees it).

        So, are you that clueless?

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      So Honda makes a completely new platform for Acura? A TOYOTA for Lexus, Nissan for Infiniti?

      At least GM has the smarts to interject Buick and GMC (cash cow that Denali is!) and exploit earning potential of said platform sharing.

      You’ll never see a Lexus Tundra, Infiniti Titan or a Acura Ridgeline. They just do not sell enough and it would be to costly.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      GM has always built Cadillacs off of regular platforms. Crossovers are a growth market. Not sure what’s wrong with that. If Cadillac were building 240″ long Fleetwoods they’d go out of business. But I suppose all those people should lose their jobs for the satisfaction of DeadWeight on TheTruthAboutCars.com. Get over yourself

      • 0 avatar
        JDG1980

        They could make a 240-inch-long Fleetwood sedan work, but it would have to be a very specialized and expensive ultra-luxury flagship. It would have to beat the Bentley Mulsanne Long Wheelbase (>229 inches) at its own game. These vehicles are designed to make money in overseas markets where sedans are more popular than they are in America.

        Of course, if Cadillac wants to sell vehicles in America, they’re going to need more crossovers and fewer sedans on the dealer lots.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Eh, how is that (when it comes to CUVs) any different from Lexus?

      For someone who complains incessantly about Cadillac sales, the XT5 is the 2nd best selling “luxury” CUV next to the RX and don’t see why the upcoming Cadillac CUVs won’t have similar type of sales success.

      Cadillac is also revamping its sedan lineup with a significantly larger successor to the ATS, the CT6 being reformulated into Cadillac’s “midsize” offering and a supposed flagship (CT8? fastback?) on the drawing boards.

      There are also rumors of the a higher-end CUV (presumably sharing the platform with the flagship sedan) that will slot on top of the FWD-based 3-row CUV.

  • avatar
    CaddyDaddy

    At a local Credit Union there was a brand new Equinox with temp plates. It looked to be fresh off the dealer lot. All four doors were misaligned with crooked panel gaps, it was just plain bad. I am guessing this Caddy will be rolling off the same assembly line. I expect the same quality. Another buzzy little CUV passed off as a luxury purchase. Yuk!

    Mercedes is also equally guilty of producing coarse sounding sub S-Class lease specials.

    Merry Christmas.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Just had a Mercedes GLC pos for 3 1/2 days (drove 245 miles) down south for biz last week.

      It was nearly as wretched as the Mercedes CLA I had for 4 days in AZ in August/September.

      Here’s my copy & paste condensed review:

      “DeadWeight
      December 3rd, 2017 at 11:31 am

      I had a Mercedes GLC with 2,300 miles on the odometer for 3 days this week on a biz trip and it was an unmitigated pile of steaming sh!t, also. It was *literally* 1 to 1 1/2 notches above a Nissan Rogue, with a cheap interior, overly stiff suspension, severely compromised rear cargo space, a very un-Mercedes like flexing chassis, a diesel loud POS 2.0T liter 4 banger, and idiotic controls (anyone who spends even 70% of the MSRP on either a Mercedes CLA [see my prior review] or GLC is a f’ing moron who would be better off with the equivalent Hyundai products). What an overpriced, cheap-feeling, cheap-sounding, turd shaped lump of sh!t of a vehicle, yet another of the Mercedes rentals I have had recently. The fact that Mercedes is using the same 2.0T in this GLCrap also in the C and *gasp* E class is SACRILEGIOUS AND BEYOND A MORTAL SIN!

      FCUK YOU MERCEDES AND YOUR CLACKITY, PIECE OF SH!T VEHIClES, ALSO! STICK THESE DIRECTLY UP YOUR ARSEHOLE!!!”

      Many claim I’m unfairly harsh regarding General Motors piles of steaming sh!t (all GM products are piles of steaming sh!t save for 3 to maybe 4 models) when I am and have been (for a long time) just as unfairly harsh towards Acura (totally fallen from grace and absolutely overpriced, rebadged, Honda rubbish), BMW, Mercedes (with a few exceptions), etc.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    The Alpha was a good idea to make up for THE MISTAKE.

    GM should have targeted LEXUS, not BMW. THAT was THE MISTAKE.

    However, having targeted BMW, the Alpha proved to be a viable competitor. Where it (the ATS/CTS) failed was that is was overpriced. OVERPRICED Alpha = FAILED ALPHA.

    The car magazines generally agree that the Alpha has better handling and ride than the BMW 3/5. However, especially for the ATS, the interior is less well-regarded.

    In any case, Cadillac did not have the brand equity to price these cars like BMWs. Had they been priced more modestly, they would have sold relatively well, Cadillac’s reputation would have improved, and in the FUTURE, GM could GRADUALLY raise prices.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      GM was saddled with a sports oriented C-P-C platform still in development when it died. After rebirth, the decision was made to continue development and shift focus to Cadillac. Then the marketing liars stepped in and invented this Nurburgring BS not understanding German cars are built the way they are because of the Autobahn. The US does not have anything like it, as most if it’s road infrastructure is a step or two above Mogadishu, and therefore tight handling, stiff riding, touring models are only effective for maybe 20% of the nation. Therefore the direction the *brand* took made absolutely no sense and I argue was predicated on a sunk cost from the previous corporation, nothing less. Cadillac could have had an Alpha *model* (a coupe) and it could have done well being the “nicer” Grand Am gen 7 to Pontiac’s el cheapo (which would have made sense), but taking the brand where they did was incompetent at best.

      Yeah, ugly mommy mobiles with monster truck rims are real sporty next to that ATS-V Johann. Everyone wants a tight handling V8 monster which doesn’t really exist to sit in Manhattan traffic and roll over huge potholes at 10mph for 1.5 hours every day.

      Idiots.

    • 0 avatar

      I recently drove an M2. Engine, brakes and chassis are everything BMW stands for. The steering is an electric joystick…or in this case, no-joy stick. Saying Caddy has better steering than BMW is both amazing and actually true. Times change….

      The prices for Caddy were wrong. They should have slotted like Acura, the price for our car is the same as the base German, BUT ours has all those “extra cost” options…like seat heaters…or bluetooth that took the 30k frame up to 55k. Priced like Acura, GM would have sold a lot more. Now, a typical dealer shows a CTS (2.0… WTF???) for 55k, discounted to 44k. ATS likewise, a 3.6 for 48k slashed to 39k. So, what does it cost ? Who knows, the pricing isn’t clear….

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Problem wasn’t targeting BMW, but not taking account that models increase in size every generation.

      The ATS was bench-marked against the E90 3 Series, but the powers-that-be at Cadillac should have taken into account that the E90’s replacement would grow some.

      The F30 offers a good bit more interior space than the ATS and the its replacement (which will soon be here) offers even more.

    • 0 avatar
      JDG1980

      I really think the problem is that, in targeting BMW, Cadillac didn’t set its standards high *enough*. Cadillac is supposed to be the “Standard of the World” – they should be targeting Bentley. Cadillacs should forget about sportiness and emphasize over-the-top luxury, a pillow-soft ride, and effortless power (nothing below a V8, with a 12-cylinder for the flagship). When you’re driving down the road in a Cadillac at 85 MPH it should feel like you’re standing still. When you hit a curb at highway speeds in a Cadillac, you should float over it without even noticing. The seats should be made of the finest whale-p***s leather, and the trim should be 100% authentic tropical hardwood. Real knobs and dials should be made of the finest metal alloys. And so on and so forth.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Spied: 2019 Cadillac XT4, Ready to Do What Sedans Can’t”

    Be comfortable?

  • avatar
    ajla

    In an ideal world the Alpha platform would have been a slightly larger and more direct Zeta replacement and been used make a future Camaro, Commodore (just don’t build it in Australia), Chevelle (Charger/Stinger priced sedan), VXR8, and CTS (a little under G80 priced). Then the ATS never would have existed.

    This wouldn’t have set the sales world on fire, but I bet it would have worked out better than what we got.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      They should have stuck to the CTS original formula and maybe coupled that with an Epsilon based PHEV/EV. But this focus on crossovers should have come way earlier. It’s too late now.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    The lack of a quarter-panel window makes it look cheaper than it probably is.


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