By on March 2, 2018

Cadillac is showing off the upcoming XT4 before its official debut at the 2018 New York International Auto Show by tossing it into a handful of commercials scheduled during the 90th Academy Awards. While the television spots seem to be intended to whet appetites prior to the vehicle’s launch later this fall, it’s the best look we’ve had at the model to date. That said, careful lighting and smoke machines allowed the XT4 to show plenty of leg without unbuckling its belt and giving us a real show.

The overall design is on par with what we’ve come to expect from present-day Cadillac, with vertical headlights cutting deeply into the front fenders. However, it looks to be a more shapely SUV than everything else the brand currently offers. Styling was clearly a priority here, and every element that identifies a model as a Cadillac appears to have been exaggerated without going too far. 

 

With three ads geared up, Cadillac features the XT4 in two of them. The model is the primary focus in one spot, backed by the song Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson. In the other, it only makes a brief cameo as the brand highlights all the things that makes it great. While both can be accused of lacking substance, the brand should be praised for highlighting its products instead of trying to achieve consumer loyalty though a tacked-on narrative.

Last year’s Oscar ads from Cadillac took some heat for being too sanctimonious and focused on New York City. They weren’t terrible, but the brand took note of criticisms from dealers and outside experts and adjusted the game plan for 2018. Regardless, Cadillac’s marketing has vastly improved since its “Dare Greatly” campaign from 2015 — which associated the company’s vehicles with important people changing the world.

“Luxury brands don’t sell products, they sell dreams,” Cadillac’s then chief marketing officer, Uwe Ellinghaus, said at the time.

One of the ads didn’t even feature a product, just a woman narrating President Theodore Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” speech while we watched a POV shot from some vehicle’s bumper as it tooled around Manhattan.

“We thought we started off in a good place leaving last year’s Oscars, just in terms of making our products front and center,” Cadillac Director of Marketing Renee Rauchut told Automotive News in a recent interview. “I think looking at the past couple of years of ‘Dare Greatly,’ that wasn’t always the case.”

We would agree and, thankfully, those strange days appear to be over. Conveying sentiment is important in any car ad because people often make purchasing decisions for emotional reasons. But it’s incredibly easy to take things one step too far. Fortunately, the new commercials take about 15 steps back in the right direction, letting people know Cadillac is not some weird new religion — rather, it’s a quality automaker providing innovative products that it’s proud of.

The ads will air Sunday evening and the 2019 XT4 will be at the New York Auto Show later this month.

 

[Images: General Motors]

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48 Comments on “Handsome New Cadillac XT4 Teased at Oscars Before New York Debut...”


  • avatar
    St.George

    Will the Oscars be the kiss of death? Am not sure what the target demographic is for Cadillac.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      Nah; it was a stealth launch…nobody was watching to see them. ;)

      I wonder how much they were charged for those spots; and given how bad the Oscars tanked this year; if they will do it again next year.

      I think it is clear that the target audience is those that aspire to be like the celebrities they tune in to see on the Oscars; part of the concept of “selling dreams.”

  • avatar
    sckid213

    The glimpses of the XT4 look great to my eyes. I think this is the model that will get Cadillac a strong foothold in the luxury market, rather than being a second-tier alternative. It only took about 20 years or so, but I think they’re just about there.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Cadillac already has a strong “foothold” in the luxury market.

      The Escalade is the top selling model in the $75k+ segment and the XT5 is the 2nd best selling luxury model after the Lexus RX.

      The problem for Cadillac has been the lack of CUVs (which they are rectifying starting with the addition of the XT4) and the wrong sizing/packaging of their sedan lineup (which they also are rectifying).

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    It’s an SUV.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Looks like another POS.

    How much Chinese content?

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    So…sequels are bad.

    But yet another compact CUV is good.

    Got it.

    (Marketing nonsense aside, the vehicle looks good. I like the Escala inspiration on the front end. It’ll sell.)

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    What’s hilarious is that “Uptown Funk” includes the line “Julio! Get the stretch!” – XT4 is nobody’s stretch.

    That should be a cue for the Escalade to enter the commercial, stage left.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I really don’t like SUVs that don’t have quarter panel windows. Something about it makes them look cheap; I’m not sure why.

  • avatar
    EX35

    more FWD-based crap. pass.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Deadweight predicted all of this.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        DW didn’t predict anything (or at least anything that anyone who knows anything about Cadillac didn’t already know).

        The Cadillac CUVs were going to be FWD-based as the previous regime made the “brilliant” decision to engineer the Alpha platform so that it was unsuitable for crossover-duty.

        So Cadillac’s planned CUV line-up of the XT3, XT4, XT5 and XT6 will be FWD-based.

        The one exception will be the XT7 – which will top Cadillac’s CUV lineup (unclear if it has been greenlit for production yet).

        In contrast, Cadillac’s sedan lineup will be entirely RWD (with the impending departure of the XTS), including its A Class, A3 and 1 Series competitor (which are all FWD).

        The CT6 will be repositioned as Cadillac’s “midsize” entry in the sedan market.

        While not at the top of its priority (like the CUVs), Cadillac has plans for a flagship “sedan” (may end up being a fastback).

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          The last time Cadillac had a true complete lineup was the mid 80s, and at the time it was something like 3 or 4% market share. I’m not sure what it has been recently, but in 2015 it was something like 1 or 1.2% of USDM, and nearly half of the figure was SRX alone. So why offer by your count nine models, four of which are exactly the same (XT3-6, 5 is C1XX at present), two sedans of which are also the same (ATS, CTS, alphas), and two trucks which are the same (Escalade, ESV, K2XXs), with only CT6 is truly unique among them. Three percent market share ain’t coming back.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            Why do the Germans offer CUVs in not only every size, but in a different body-style (the “sporty” CUV with a sloping roofline)?

            For example – BMW with the X1, X2, X3, X4, X5, X6 and the upcoming X7 (and likely an X8 in the future).

            The XT3-6 aren’t the “same” – they are different sizes.

            Also, the ATS and CTS aren’t the “same” either – they, too, are different sizes (one being based on an extended version of the platform).

            That too, is the norm for the industry.

            The Lexus GS shares a platform with the IS.

            The 5 Series shares a platform with the 7 Series (previously, it had shared its platform with the 3 Series) – which is why the move to sharing platforms with its larger sibling and not its smaller one caused many BMW enthusiasts to decry the loss of handling prowess/driving dynamics in the 5er.

            The problem with the ATS and CTS wasn’t sharing the same platform (albeit the CTS on an extended version), the problem was the poor packaging of the Alpha platform – which provided for cramped interior room (also seen in the Camaro when it moved over to the Alpha platform).

            Cadillac will be rectifying this with the replacements for the ATS and CTS (in a way, the China-market LWB versions of the ATS and CTS would have been better for the US market).

          • 0 avatar

            “Three percent market share ain’t coming back.”

            Chasing market share is what got Cadillac in trouble in the first place.

            EXCLUSIVITY is a component of prestige. When FEWER units are sold but every unit is a profitable sale for The General, then Cadillac will be on its way back to becoming a halo for the rest of the company.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I thought about BMW after I posted this and shut the PC down, and its not a good idea for them either. But, I don’t know all the platform nuances between them so I’ll move on to the XT argument. For years we’ve read about the high cost of certifications and general auto production, yet somehow it makes business sense to have three exactly the same models with the only difference being six to twelve inches of sheet-metal and other cheap bits (the smallest model will probably be a different platform)?. So instead of selling 30,000 of Model A, we’re selling 10,000 Model B, C, and D apiece with the only variant being size? How does this make business sense? Do we suddenly not have such high cost per model overhead as we were led to believe?

            The last time Cadillac offered a full lineup, it consisted of a few platforms (C, E, J, B, V) offered in different types and body styles, with two models being trim packages on two others (Fleetwood sedan/coupe C-body). I’m not sure what the certification costs were then, but by the late 80s two coupe variants (C-body Deville and Fleetwood) sold so poorly they were discontinued by 1992 (my guess is they were a loss or a wash vs certification and total production cost). They were however, coupe variants of a shared platform which had at least 1/3rd unique parts including the top of the platform, sheet-metal, interior, doors, and roof. What is being suggested is the same platform, type, drivetrain et al offered with additional sheet-metal to the rear and possibly some trim in order to split it into three models. This not only does not seem to make business sense as previously suggested, its a cheap cop-out and quite frankly shows how stupid consumers are these days if they cannot see through the obviously slight of hand.

            Oooo but we tilted to roof so you can’t use the rear seats of your sedan in comfort. Oooo but we added just a little room so you can fit your eight year old in a jump seat behind your massive car seats just so you can feel like you’re not driving a minivan when you are driving a minivan. Jeebus, really? How did mankind make it to the moon again? This batch does not seem like it could make it to the beach successfully with these critical thinking skills.

            ATS and CTS are exactly the same platform offered with the same motors and drivetrains the only difference being 12 inches of length. The coupe is the only real difference between them. Fleetwood FWD had a trim differential and different bumpers, yet it was *exactly* the same as Deville (a badge job if you will). If other marques are doing the same they are just as guilty. Differences between shared brand platforms used to amount to more than superficial changes.

            “Cadillac will be rectifying this with the replacements for the ATS and CTS (in a way, the China-market LWB versions of the ATS and CTS would have been better for the US market).”

            I do agree, generally speaking.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            @28-Cars

            Don’t know why you have such an issue with the ATS and CTS both being underpinned by the Alpha platform (in different lengths).

            The 5 Series used to share a platform with the 3 Series and now shares one with the 7 Series, as well as the 6 Series (which is going to be replaced by the 8 Series); not to mention Rolls Royce.

            The IS and GS share a platform, as does the Toyota Crown series.

            Same goes for Benz which has shared platforms among numerous models, including using the platform underpinning the C Class for the coupe version of the E Class.

            And with the newer modular platforms, auto-makers are taking a basic platform and using it for a wide-range of models.

            For instance, MB’S MRA platform will underpin at least 10 different models – basically all of MB’s RWD sedans will be based on the MRA, as well as several crossover models.

  • avatar
    CaddyDaddy

    I’m perplexed as to what is the targeted demographic? It appears to be aimed at the low credit, scofflaw types to let them know what is coming down the pike in the used car lot. These will be Avis/Hertz leftovers. fleet sale cockroaches with 75K miles.

    Stantander here are your secured assets.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      So, you’re saying that Acura RDX, Lexus NX, Infiniti QX50, Lincoln MKC, etc. owners are the “low credit, scofflaw types”?

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I don’t watch a lot of TV, is it normal these days for premium brand CUVs to get shilled over songs like “Uptown Funk”?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Those are all “entry” models and therefore will be composed of cheaper materials to meet the pricing. I would say they become “low credit” buys when the resale drops below a certain percentage. Historically Lexus models do not fall into this category but some Infiniti models have (Infiniti is great at one offs and resale challenged models). Lincoln MKC may or may not befall such a fate, historically Lincoln models do (D186 Conti, LS, Zephyr, Aviator, MKTaurus, Mark VIII to some degree). Acura like Lincoln has been a mixed bag, generally resale is high enough to avoid it but Legend/RL, ILX, and Integras have fell victim in the past.

        • 0 avatar
          ernest

          EVERY high end German car (that isn’t named Porsche) falls into this category a few short years after it runs out of warranty. “Buy Here Pay Here” lots are loaded with BMW’s, Mercedes’s, and (especially) Audis.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Certain models do become ghetto fodder but some do not. Resale is one of the primary reasons for this. When is the last time you saw an SL, SLK, post 2007 S-class, Porsche Carerra/911, hell even the Panamaera on a cheap lot? Audis historically are maintenance nightmares which made them cheap. Most BMWs the same, esp post 2002 7-series. Ditto the early Porsche SUV, but check pricing on a Porsche Panamaera, the later E550s, or some of the Mercedes SUVs. Some models fare better than others in the complex variables of the wholesale market.

          • 0 avatar
            ernest

            No SL’s, have seen a few SLK’s, plenty of ML’s. It’s just striking how common they are on that type of lot. Come to think of it, haven’t seen a post ’07 S-Class… but methinks its just a question of time.

            On that note, I noticed my neighbors S550 sitting on it’s bump stops parked in front of the house. That’s the third Mercedes I seen with an air suspension failure in a two block radius of my house (what are the odds?). The other two were GL’s.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The newer S-classes have higher resale than the previous generations which were plagued with issues. When BHPH is filling out floorplan there are buy targets and some models are simply too expensive for them to profit on given ATPs of that business.

            The last obviously BHPH I saw nearby was a first gen X5 being driven by Section 8. My guess is the example had dropped to around 2-2,5 wholesale and was put out for 10-12K since high car payments on junk are easy when you don’t have rent, a mortgage, utilities etc.

            EDIT: Damn I’m good.

            Date Price (USD) Odometer (mi) Condition Engine Transmission Exterior Color Type Region Auction In Sample Year Make Model Style Edition
            3/2/2018 $3,000 86,780 2.2 6G Automatic Blue Lease Northeast Pennsylvania Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            3/1/2018 $1,900 243,270 3.7 6G Automatic Green Regular Northeast New York Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            3/1/2018 $1,000 216,892 2.5 6G Automatic White Lease West Coast Southern California Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            3/1/2018 $1,550 148,359 6G Black Regular Midwest Detroit Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/28/2018 $3,100 141,404 Silver Regular Southeast New Orleans Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/28/2018 $2,800 121,998 3.8 6G Automatic Black Regular Northeast New Jersey Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/28/2018 $3,450 166,122 6G Automatic Gray Regular Southeast Nashville Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/27/2018 $2,300 140,407 Automatic Red Regular Southeast St Pete Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/27/2018 $3,000 168,445 2.5 6G Automatic Silver Regular West Coast Riverside Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/27/2018 $3,000 126,341 2.3 6G Automatic Black Regular Southwest Denver Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/27/2018 $2,500 136,416 Blue Regular Northeast Baltimore-Washington Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/27/2018 $2,900 187,698 White Regular Southeast Atlanta Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/27/2018 $2,900 87,281 3 6G Automatic White Regular Southeast Central Florida Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/23/2018 $2,800 130,995 1.6 6G Automatic Gray Regular Southeast Fort Lauderdale Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/22/2018 $2,800 152,039 2.2 6G Automatic Silver Regular Southeast St Pete Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/22/2018 $2,600 116,244 4 6G Automatic Gray Regular Southwest Dallas-Fort Worth Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/20/2018 $6,000 59,888 3.9 6G Automatic Blue Regular Southeast Atlanta No 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/20/2018 $1,850 200,352 4.1 6G Automatic Blue Regular Northeast Philadelphia Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/20/2018 $1,300 126,390 Silver Regular Northeast NY Metro Skyline No 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/14/2018 $3,050 129,485 3.3 6G Automatic Silver Regular Southwest Dallas Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/14/2018 $2,300 132,831 2.8 6G Automatic Gray Lease West Coast California Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/14/2018 $950 159,412 2.6 6G Automatic Black Lease West Coast San Diego No 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/14/2018 $2,500 109,976 2.6 6G Automatic Silver Regular West Coast San Diego Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/13/2018 $1,700 162,276 1.3 6G Automatic White Regular Southeast Atlanta Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/13/2018 $2,300 131,174 3.1 6G Automatic Blue Lease Northeast Philadelphia Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018
            2/9/2018 $4,300 93,795 3.1 6G Automatic White Regular Southeast Fort Lauderdale Yes 2004 B M W X SERIES X3 3.0I SPORT ACTIVITY VEHICLE 3/3/2018

          • 0 avatar
            ernest

            Good call- yep.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            On S-class (no S500 after MY06, base is 550):

            2006 MERCEDES-BENZ S CLASS 4D SEDAN S500

            $4,675
            Avg Odo (mi)
            123,187
            Avg Cond
            2.9
            Typical Range
            $3,625 -$5,750

            2007 MERCEDES-BENZ S CLASS 4D SEDAN S550

            $9,675
            Avg Odo (mi)
            113,780
            Avg Cond
            3.4
            Typical Range
            $6,950 -$12,400

            Double the price!

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            Look at Porsche Cayennes. I’m seeing recent acquisitions in the hands of owners who can’t afford to change the oil at my shop.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            No need, pricing will be similar to those X5s, if not less for the gen 1s. I’m not sure what grenades them off the top of my head but I do know they were junk.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Offering more CUVs will be a plus in this marketplace. So, good luck Caddy.

    I want them to succeed – but clowns Ewe and Melody aint gonna do it.

    Hey, where’s Deadweight? Somebody buy him off?

    • 0 avatar
      Nick_515

      I miss him. TTAC has lost much of its contrarian edge in the comments. We need him back.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Yes, we need his unfocused rants citing facts and figures that don’t exist and don’t add up. I guess they’re great if you hate all the cars he does and don’t care how tirades against them stack up to reality.

        • 0 avatar
          Nick_515

          We need his rants no more or less than we need your endless rhetorical questions, JohnTaurus.

          I will say that he got too personal with the Baruth brothers at some point, which is not a good way of criticizing someone’s positions.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I’m still perplexed why three or four models of the same exact thing are necessary or even cost effective (or maybe mass production is simply cheaper than I thought?).

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Is the Sonic, Cruze, Malibu and Impala the exact same things? Some may be related to each other, but it is clear they are different cars with different missions. This is the same concept. Small, bigger, biggest.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Sonic was a legacy Daewoo model (Gamma II), the Cruze and Impala may share some sheetmetal but not much (hood, trunk, roof, prob doors, all different). Impala also offers a V6 and may use a different transaxle in its drivetrains. The current Malibu vs one of them may have many similarities, I have not kept up. One thing to use the same basic platform, quite another for them to all be clones of each other with the only difference being size or length of sheetmetal.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Why does Honda use a Civic to base thr ILX, Accord, CR-V, RDX….?

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I hate to defend Honda, but those fake SUVs really are different model types vs the sedans. Now if Honda offered Civic, Civic II, and Accord sedans with the only variable being slight length or size, they would fall into my argument. The current Civic also looks very different than the Accord and Accord still bests better rear passenger comfort vs Civic.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    I worry about interior space for passengers. Escalades often double as citizen ambulances here, dropping gunshot and stabbing victims in front of hospitals before speeding off. It wouldn’t surprise me if XT4s get pressed into similar service.

  • avatar
    33873

    Hmm reminds me of a chevy equinox

  • avatar
    el scotto

    In my company’s parking garage; there are few parking spaces that are reserved 24/7, then there are reserved parking spaces for management types. Yeah, the ones where people leave there windows/convertible top down in the summer time. This Caddy ain’t getting parked there.

  • avatar
    Tandoor

    Navigator. Escalade.
    Cadillac HDFJKB? I already don’t care about it. Stop with the 3 letter nonsense.

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