Spied: 2019 Cadillac XT4, Ready to Do What Sedans Can't

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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.

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.

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.

[Images: Spiedbilde/The Truth About Cars]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

More by Steph Willems

Join the conversation
3 of 51 comments
  • Ajla Ajla on Dec 06, 2017

    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.

    • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on Dec 07, 2017

      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.

  • Kyree Kyree on Dec 07, 2017

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

  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Defender looks way better than the Bronco in both 2-door and 4-door.
  • ToolGuy I found this particular episode to be incredibly offensive.I am shocked that eBay Motors is supporting this kind of language and attitudes in 2024.I will certainly keep this in mind next time I am choosing where to buy auto parts (I buy a LOT of auto parts).
  • SaulTigh When I was young in the late 80's one of my friends had the "cool dad." You know the guy, first to buy a Betamax and a C-band satellite dish. Couple of stand up arcade games in the den. Bought my friend an Atari 2600 as soon as they came out. He had two of these crap heaps. One that only ran half the time and one for parts in the yard. My middle school brain though he was the most awesome dad ever, buying us pizza and letting us watch R rated movies recorded on free HBO weekend. At the time I though he was much better than my boring father.Now with adult hindsight, I now know he was "dad who should have taken better care of his family" and not had so many toys.
  • Dave Has to be Indy 500. Many more leaders and front passes than NASCAR, and Monaco is unwatchable with the inability to pass on that circuit.
  • Jeff How did the discussion get from an article about a 56 billion dollar pay package for Elon Musk to a proposal to charge a per mile tax on EVs in California or paying increase registration on vehicles to make up for lost gas tax revenue? I thought such a discussion would better fit Matt's Gas Wars series.