By on June 12, 2020

2019 Cadillac XT4

2019 Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport Fast Facts

2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (237 hp @ 5,000 rpm, 258 lb-ft @ 1,500-4,000 rpm)

Nine-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive

22 city / 29 highway / 24 combined (EPA Estimated Rating, MPG)

10.9 city, 8.2 highway, 9.7 combined (NRCan Rating, L/100km)

Base Price: $41,795 (U.S) / $42,795 (Canada)

As Tested: $50,685 (U.S.) / $53,270 (Canada)

Prices include $995 destination charge in the United States and $2,200 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can’t be directly compared.

Cadillac is a brand beleaguered. Part of the reason is its misadventures in Crossover Land.

In a world where Acura, Lexus, and others are serving up premium crossovers at premium prices, and building competitive vehicles while so doing, Cadillac has served up something that’s more like a glorified Chevy.

That, obviously, is a problem.

I drove the Cadillac XT4 back-to-back with a Chevrolet Equinox, and while the XT4 sits on a different platform, the experience was instructive. The Caddy felt a bit too much like the Chevrolet, and that’s not, well, good.

(Ed. note: I’m aware our friends at Hooniverse dropped a review of the XT4 that was fairly negative earlier this week. The timing of our publication is a coincidence. The draft of this post was already roughly 60 percent written when I saw the Hooniverse piece had published.)

When a companion of mine who knows little about cars mistook the XT4 for the Equinox, I knew Caddy had failed. The fact that they were both the same paint color doesn’t excuse this.

[Get new and used Cadillac XT4 pricing here!]

Cadillacs have to feel special. They have to feel like more than a dressed-up Chevy. Parts binning shouldn’t be obvious to anyone except us cranky keyboard warriors who get paid to shout our thoughts about cars into the void.

2019 Cadillac XT4

This was Lincoln’s problem for a long time, and the brand has only recently turned it around. Cadillac needs to look to the crew in Dearborn for the way to do it right. Shuffling offices back to Detroit isn’t going to move metal – only good product is.

Cadillac produced some lovely vehicles during the “Art and Science” era, but most were cars, often sporty ones, instead of crossovers. The SRX that once formed part of the brand’s lineup was done well enough, but remained unremarkable. The XT6 is similar – a box of “meh.” Only the Escalade stands out when it comes to Cadillac utility vehicles.

Cadillac had a chance to make a splash here, to live up to those ads showing impossibly attractive and happy people dancing in their vehicles as they dash all over tony Manhattan neighborhoods. And instead, it flopped.

2019 Cadillac XT4

In fairness, the XT4 is not, in a vacuum, a terrible vehicle. It drives well enough for urban maneuvering, although its dynamics are closer to mid-pack than Cadillac would like. But the problem here isn’t acceleration that’s merely adequate or ride and handling that’s neither unremarkably bad or good.

The XT4 does ride on a “car” platform – the E2 platform, shared with the Chevy Malibu and Buick Regal TourX, among others, and that helps.

While great performance, even by crossover standards, would surely be helpful, dynamics aren’t the concern. Nor is the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder (237 horsepower/258 lb-ft of torque) or the nine-speed automatic – as noted above, acceleration is adequate, and the trans goes about is business without much in the way of harsh shifts. The all-wheel-drive system needs to be engaged via a drive-mode selector, but it can be set and left on.

No, dynamics isn’t the concern. The lack of Cadillac feeling, especially in the interior, is.

Outside, the styling is actually attractive, even if it’s close enough to Equinox (despite platform and slight size difference) to cause mistaken identity (to be fair to Cadillac, the person who made this mistake doesn’t know much about cars) among the hoi polloi. It’s what’s inside that counts, in this case.

The cabin’s styling isn’t at issue. It looks upscale enough for a premium brand. The feel is where it falls apart.

Yes, the infotainment system is well integrated. Yeah, the sweeping dash looks upmarket.

2019 Cadillac XT4

But much of the switch gear and other bits and pieces one touches while operating the XT4 just don’t feel premium.

No one expects Cadillac to not use the parts bin at all. Given the costs of production and Cadillac and General Motors’ expectations of making a profit, or at least not losing money, that would be unrealistic. An unreasonable expectation. Furthermore, we all know that even luxury brands that get praised for quality use some parts from their less-expensive counterparts. It’s not a secret that there are Camry and Avalon parts in use in the Lexus ES interior.

There’s a trick to balancing the need to keep costs down while still using certain materials to convey a sense of luxury. I don’t doubt it’s hard – that’s why I sit here and write about cars instead of working at GM in product planning.

Yet if Cadillac could get that right, it could get back in the crossover game.

As I said, the XT4 doesn’t drive particularly poorly, nor is its styling a turnoff. But if one is going to pony up for luxury, one must feel the extra dough was worth it.

2019 Cadillac XT4

There are other positives for Cadillac here – the story isn’t totally dour. Cadillac User Experience, otherwise known as CUE, has been improved over the buggy systems of recent years, although work remains to be done. Headroom, legroom, and cargo room all feel acceptable when measured informally (i.e., sans tape measure), and a glance at spec sheets shows the XT4 is on par with or better than the RDX and X3 in most categories. The XT4 isn’t vault-like, but it’s quiet enough and NVH is (mostly) quelled well enough to be at least class acceptable.

The features list, at least on the Sport trim I tested, is also acceptable, if not remarkable. All the expected comfort, convenience, and safety goodies are available, although I question the choice not to make at least heated seats standard at this price point. Which brings up problem number two: the Sport is the top trim, yet a few features that are standard on other vehicles, or at least standard on the upper trims of those vehicles, requires a lot of option-box ticking. It’s one thing to have downmarket materials in a premium-brand vehicle. It’s another thing to add insult to injury by charging more for what the others don’t charge extra for.

Maybe it’s the luxury hotel business model – ever notice it’s only the five-star joints that charge for Wi-Fi, while roadside dumps usually don’t? It’s because those who have more will pony up.

My Sport test car wasn’t even fully loaded. Among the options were heated seats and steering wheel, as part of a package. CUE with navigation was also on the list. A few more clicks on the consumer Web site would bump the price by a few grand.

Again, the XT4 isn’t a bad vehicle. Far from it. I just don’t find many compelling reasons, except for the luxury dealer experience and the exterior styling, why I’d choose this over a perfectly cromulent Equinox, while pocketing roughly $15K.

2019 Cadillac XT4

Lexus gives you a reason to get the RX, and it’s not because the dealership experience is more pleasant. Likewise, BMW and the X3, Acura the RDX, and so on and so forth.

Cadillac seems to have gotten the message with the next CT cars, at least based on what I’ve seen on paper. And the XT4 and XT6 may be victims of timing – the long lead times inherent in product development mean that even if the brand’s brass is aware of its flaws and hard at work on corrections, we won’t see the fruits of that labor just yet.

Until then, the XT4 lacks the panache needed to compete in a premium class. That’s too bad, because it’s a perfectly acceptable ride otherwise.

Problem is, acceptable doesn’t cut it.

[Image © 2020 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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76 Comments on “2019 Cadillac XT4 Sport Review – The Caddy That Flops...”


  • avatar
    karonetwentyc

    A Cadillac with a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder engine that’s barely indistinguishable from its Chevrolet underpinnings. I’m surprised they didn’t resurrect the Cimarron name for it.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      This CUV could have been a real player, but as usual Cadillac took the cheap and easy way out still hoping no one would notice. Absolutely nothing has changed since the days of Cimarron :(

    • 0 avatar
      bufguy

      The BMW X1 uses the same engine found in the MINI Countryman, The Lincoln Corsair uses the same engine found in the Escape…The mechanicals don’t seem to be the problem, its the execution of the car…I totally understand the author’s point. A Cadillac should be special…This car isn’t

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      To be fair, it’s pretty much the same story w/ the FWD-based crossovers from Lexus, Infiniti, Acura and Lincoln.

      The thing that Acura separates itself from Honda is SH-AWD, but that hasn’t always been the case (the previous RDX had a simpler/cheaper AWD system).

  • avatar
    ajla

    Cadillac : “Not, in a vacuum, a terrible vehicle”.

  • avatar
    redapple

    HEATED SEATS ARE AN OPTION.
    OMG

    #2 Took them what 10 years to fix CUE?

    What s the point. Utter total f ing garbage.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      I dont see radio knobs. Volume and station.

      #2- I see they went forward with that Newton Meter badge. JEEZ

      Thx Melody or was it Johann.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        I thought that I might have misread but no “I question the choice not to make at least heated seats standard at this price point.” Heated seats were standard in our base model Hyundai and our 10 year old Kia. How can GM offer a Cadillac that lacks that feature? Pure management idiocy again defiling the brand.

        And the lack of dial to control the radio and HVAC would automatically disqualify it for me.

    • 0 avatar
      Trucky McTruckface

      You do realize that heated seats are an extra cost option on equivalent BMWs, Lincolns and numerous other premium brands, right?

      Also, CUE, for better or worse, is now essentially the same platform you’ll find in in nicer Chevrolets. It’s not as good as iDrive, but with the redundant controls on the console are a huge improvement and much more intuitive and easier to use that a lot of other systems. it’s worlds better than the ridiculous systems used by Acura and Lexus.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Trucky: In Canada heated seats are standard on all Lincolns. Also on generally every other luxury or near luxury vehicle. I did not check out BMW so they may be different but then anyone who has a BMW will tell you that they got it ‘for the driving experience’.

        If it is an option on a Cadillac that is a big ‘fail’.

        • 0 avatar
          RedRocket

          Heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel are standard on the XT4 in Canada on all trims, even the base model. Perhaps US spec is different. I suppose they are not much in demand in places like Florida.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    “Sport” trim. And yes that paint and overall shape looks a lot like my dad’s Equinox.

    Ah GM – I used to love a few of your vehicles but these days I would be hard-pressed to want to throw down my own $$$ on one.

    Sure if I was given a free car, the C8 would be a given.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “The Caddy That Flops”

    Don’t they all?

  • avatar
    ttacgreg

    The Escalade does not seem to have suffered from being an obvious blinged up Suburban. It sells.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Only because the Suburban was already a good vehicle, if Escalade was designed by Cadillac from the ground up it would have been an overpriced steaming pile

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      The Escalade actually presents a pretty good case study for anyone at Cadillac who’s interested – yes, as the OP says, it’s a blinged up Suburban, but the interior is very, very posh, and would never be mistaken for anything from Chevy. And that’s the central failing here – the XT4’s interior is just…downscale. Same story with the XT6.

  • avatar

    Hi!
    Those who have been here for more than four years may remember my contributions to this site. I reviewed the XT4 for Hooniverse. I like the fact that my opinions were justified by Tim.
    Cheers!
    -K

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      That’s why I posted the Ed. note…I realized we had very similar conclusions and wanted to make it clear I came to mine on my own :)

    • 0 avatar
      Trucky McTruckface

      And your review was just as useless, predictable, and out-of-touch with people who buy vehicles in this segment as Healey’s.

      It feels average, so it’s crap. What an insight.

      For years, I listened to journalists mock the outdated ornamentation on Cadillacs and complain that they should be more firmly sprung like a German car. Now that the brand has complied, you complain that vehicles don’t feel like Cadillacs anymore. What a joke.

      Also, complaining about the feature content relative to a Mazda, a brand with little credibility among mainstream buyers, let alone luxury buyers, is just ridiculous.

      • 0 avatar
        Tim Healey

        I didn’t criticize the ride. I criticized the lack of premium feel on the inside and the fact that features standard on mainstream vehicles are costly options here.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Besides the obvious competition from other automakers, in many Cadillac showrooms you’ll also find Buick and GMC options. On what planet would you buy this XT4 when you could just get a GMC Acadia, or even the Buick Envision?

    The current Cadillacs have literally no unique selling proposition at all. Not styling, not drivetrains, not feature content, not warranty, not brand image, not price. They seem to all have been developed with the least effort possible.

    Lastly, how is it possible that the XT4 interior has less bling than the interior of my 2017 Chevy Cruze?

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The Acadia is pretty much a 3-row today. GMC doesn’t really have a 2-row competitor.

      With the Envision getting E2 platform in the future it should be interesting to see how.it compares to this.

      • 0 avatar
        dwford

        Yeah, the new Envision really looks great. And that’s my point about the Acadia. You can get a larger, V6 powered, no less luxurious vehicle for the same or less money. And it looks nicer

    • 0 avatar
      RedRocket

      It sounds like you have never sat in any of the alternatives you state. Buicks and GMCs are far more plasticky inside, with membrane steering wheel buttons and surfaces that are a level below that found in the Cadillac despite what the author states in his hatchet job. As for the Chevy Cruze, I advise you to look up and check out that blingy molded cardboard healiner.

    • 0 avatar
      CombiNation

      The CTx-V sedan lineup is unique to Cadillac, IIRC. I don’t think you’ll find the twin-turbocharged HF V6s in other GM vehicles, or even the 2.7T in the CT4-V.

      Until recently, the Escalade was sort of in a class of its own as well.

      But the crossovers… ugh. Cadillac is not doing much to distinguish itself here. The drivetrains are underwhelming and there’s a cheap feeling to these rigs, even the XT6.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Cadillac made the same mistakes with the ELR, and they should have learned that lesson.

    The problem with the ELR wasn’t that Cadillac charged too much for a warmed-over Chevy Volt drivetrain; the problem was that Cadillac didn’t provide enough performance and content for the price.

    A 2.0 237-HP 4-cyl shouldn’t be in a Cadillac, and heated seats and heated steering should be standard on every luxury car.

    • 0 avatar
      bufguy

      A 2.0 liter 240 hp is in my BMW X3 and heated seats were optional…in fact leather was optional

    • 0 avatar
      CombiNation

      I agree with you about the ELR, but the Europeans are doing just fine with 2-liter turbos across much of the lower end of the range. GM’s problem is that their LSY Ecotec is too old and rough. It’s fine in a Equinox or Malibu and maybe the entry-level FWD XT4. But when the options take this CUV over $40K it becomes hard to countenance.

      What’s crazy is that Cadillac also has the L3B 2.7T available that seems perfect for a heavy crossover. At least offer it as a trim level in the XT5/XT6.

  • avatar
    86er

    “True Luxury Embiggens the Smallest Man”

  • avatar
    Fred

    Where is all that piano black I love to hate in Cadillac interiors? Now it looks more like a de-contented Chevy.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    What size is this car even?

    It looks like a tweener– between sub-compact and compact? The styling does this car no favors. Most CUVs are a bit stubby, but this thing looks plain fat with that rear quarter treatment.

    Can _we_ name this car’s class? What would we call it?

  • avatar
    cardave5150

    I wanted to like this vehicle, I was rooting for Caddy to get this (and the XT6) right, but it’s just sooooo wrong. I see a LOT of downmarket vehicles in the details of this thing (original gen Ford Escape in the profile, something about those lights climbing to the roof the way they do on the back makes me think Mitsu Lancer wagon). The headlight modules look like they melted on the way here from China (and why do the headlights curve DOWN so far, and the taillights curve UP so far???).

    This steering wheel design is used by EVERYBODY, and every single time I see one, I see a smiling cartoon face remiscent of Disney’s movie “Cars.” I just can’t un-see it.

    The instrument panel does not look like it belongs in a Cadillac. The author’s right – there’s no reason to buy (or lease) this over anything else in the GM CUV lineup. Top trims of anything else GM builds would make a more-luxurious experience than this.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    If you want to see how you make a lux CUV out of cheaper bones correctly, go directly to a Lincoln dealer and check out the Corsair. It’s a fancied-up Escape, but you’d never know by looking at it, and the interior is an unqualified knockout. You can also order the Corsair with a more powerful engine that isn’t offered in the Escape, which GM was too lazy to do with the XT4.

    Anyone who’s conversed with me knows how I feel about CUVs, but The Corsair is cool enough that I could actually envision owning one. That’s pretty high praise.

    By comparison, the XT4 and XT6 are just incredibly blah. This isn’t to say that minimalist style doesn’t work for me – I own an Audi, after all – but there’s a way to do that with panache (insert another Audi reference here), and Cadillac just isn’t getting that done.

    • 0 avatar
      jkross22

      If Cadillac wants to relive the glory days of the 1980s, they should at least put the ducks back in the logo.

    • 0 avatar
      eng_alvarado90

      Agreed. I sit in a Corsair in the LA Autoshow and felt great. It had blue leather with white stitching and everything felt good to the touch. That’s super refreshing compared to the previous MKC.
      I also sit in a XT4 and felt very dull (black smudgy plastics everywhere) and at least 1 class lower than the Corsair despite costing about the same.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    This is a $25k vehicle that stickers for $40k. XT4 isn’t competitive with Toyota and Honda CUVs.

  • avatar
    CadiDrvr

    The service advisor was SSSOOO excited for me when he saw this was my loaner. He kept falling all over his tongue over how much i would enjoy driving the XT4 over my Escalade. When I returned, he made a beeline to me asking: “Well…what’d ya think. Amazing isn’t it, blah, blah, blah”, more of his effusive praise for it. My response: ” I didn’t.” He just couldn’t believe how unimpressed I was with it. As has been said many times, in a vacuum, its a decent little upscale CUV…but as a Cadillac, NO, JUST NO. Like the 4 in the Jags, GMs 2.0T 4 certainly moves the XT4 along, but it has no place in a luxury vehicle…they’re just too unrefined. And while I’m not one to usually harp on such a small detail, the standard gauge clusters in the current Cadillacs are AWFUL.

  • avatar

    Late last year Cadillac released the best car they ever produced the CT6-v with the Blackwing engine. Before that, the CT6 was already flirting between being the second and third best selling car in its class. Than Barra lost her mind again and cancelled it to concentrate on some electric SUV, that few will buy. Barra has brought GM back to the ’70s.

    It is interesting that we don’t get many GM defenders here anymore. What is there to defend.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Typical GM mathematics. Rather than put $2000 more of content into the car, they will discount them $5000 to move them off the lot.

    • 0 avatar

      spot on. GM’s engineering and design efforts are waylaid by idiocy. similarly brilliant they cut dealer margin making them rely on stair step programs for profit. effectively this reduced sales commission to less than what is earned selling an Equinox. dual franchised stores are populated by front line employees who purposely steer clients away from Caddy. I certainly do and so far this year I’ve delivered numerous Yukon Denalis and exactly zero Escalade.

  • avatar

    Lets be honest the Honda Pilot has a better interior than the XT4.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    Product Planning exercise (feel free to play along at home):
    – Swivel away from your computer, put down your phone, and find a piece of paper and a pen (this will reinforce that not everything that looks good on your expensive digital screen translates well to real life).
    – Write down the average age of the Cadillac buyer (then ask your optometrist friends if older individuals have any issues relating to changing focus from far objects to near objects, etc. etc.).
    – Count the number of identically-sized buttons clustered together on the steering wheel and the dashboard of this vehicle – write down those figures.
    – Now ask your graphic arts friends to tell you the effective font size in which your employer has labeled all those buttons (allow for the natural ‘shrinkage’ that occurs with the ‘printing’ process).
    – Now reflect. Light bulb: Your customers can’t read the labels on those buttons.
    – Now, staple the paper to your non-dominant hand as a reminder for next time, because *you keep doing this*.

    • 0 avatar
      PeriSoft

      Well, if you’re the guy who’s been ordered to lower the average age of buyers at all costs, what’s easier – attracting more young buyers, or getting rid of the old ones?

  • avatar
    bd2

    Lincoln has done a much better job making the interior of the Corsair feel premium.

    That being said, don’t the interior of the NX makes it worth getting one over the RAV-4 (aside from maybe the NX actually having the better sheetmetal).

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      @bd2 – A quick glance at Wikipedia seems to indicate that the RAV4 and the NX are a half-generation out of sync, so that they’re not currently platform-mates. The current (1st) gen NX is a platform-mate of the previous (4th) gen RAV4.

      There are some clues to confirm their siblinghood (e.g., wheelbase and the goofy rear-center shoulder belt) but Lexus did a lot to move the NX upmarket. The chassis received about 400 pounds’ worth of strengthening, and its engine is unavailable on the RAV4 and is much more powerful (dual-injected 2.0T versus port-injected NA 2.5).

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        @Featherston –

        That’s only for now, and that raises another issue w/ lux brands that use the same (or essentially the same) FWD architecture w/ their mainstream counterparts – that the mainstream brand gets the new/updated platforms FIRST.

        And the smaller/cheaper UX has widely been deemed superior to the NX when it comes to the ride/handling combo, in large part due to the UX already being on the TNGA platform whereas the NX still hasn’t undergone the switch.

        • 0 avatar
          Featherston

          Hmm, yes and no. The counterpoint to that is that bugs or potential bugs can be ironed out in the lower-tier brand – e.g., Oldsmobile’s getting Hydramatic and the Unitized Power Package before Cadillac did. (Not a perfect comparison in that Cadillac and Olds functioned more independently, in my opinion, than Lexus and Toyota do. But you get my point.)

          Ultimately I think it comes down to the “how well,” and I totally agree with you that any manufacturer who uses the Sloan playbook walks a fine line here. My 2¢ is that Lexus has made some missteps that haven’t quite bitten them yet. (Background: 2 Toyotas and 2 Lexuses in the family fleet since 1995.)
          – Styling has gotten goofy, but perhaps this has been [sigh] a net win for the brand: lose some people; retain some who like the brand on the whole despite the styling; gain some people with, um, questionable taste.
          – Mediocre but functional infotainment has gotten worse with the panicky move from the joystick to the track bad.
          – A decrease in the quality of interior materials and paint.

          Despite some of those issues, I think the brands virtues largely remain: reliability, great dealer service (especially compared to sibling Toyota), good sound deadening (no, really, it’s important to non-enthusiast customers), and so forth.

          Will they skew “Cadillac under Sloan” or “Cadillac under Smith”? We’ll see.

  • avatar
    mcs

    My definition of a luxury car interior is that other than maybe the touch screen or a translucent interior light cover, it should be impossible to find a single plastic surface in the car. Vents should be all metal. Just metal, wood, and leather.

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      If the plastic part costs $.50 and the metal part costs $3.00, in automaker math that equates to a $2000 increase in selling price, so it’s “too expensive” to put in the car.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        “If the plastic part costs $.50 and the metal part costs $3.00, ”

        I had a family member that was a manufacturing engineer and do some small scale manufacturing myself. The price difference can be only a few cents, but it’s still a big issue for the volume automakers. I was always lectured on how just a few cents can multiply when you’re running 80 cars an hour. Automaker math wouldn’t say $2k price increase. It’s a case where they just wouldn’t do it. I’m looking at low volume pricing on metal toggle switches like you’d use in automotive use are about 80 cents each. Moving up to milspec, they’re about $15 each.

        But, there’s no excuse. No plastic switches in a luxury vehicle. I think many vehicles that some might consider luxury vehicles are like apartments I see branded as “Luxury Apartments”. They may be “premium volume” vehicles or brands, but not really luxury vehicles.

    • 0 avatar
      RedRocket

      That definition disqualifies every luxury brand at present. Only things like Bugatti meet your definition.

  • avatar

    I did not get it. Acura and Lexus are glorified Honda or Toyota. Did I get something wrong?

    • 0 avatar

      They are, but they start with a much better parts bin. This is why I’ll never do a GM product ever again. My Caddy CTS was well engineered, the interior was quality, and everything else was literally Chinese lowest bidder parts…with Made in China tags. Cadillac patches this issue by being very generous with warranty for the first or CPO buyer, but out of warranty Cadillac resale tells the story.

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    We test drove this, a Cx5, and an envision back to back. The envision felt the most luxurious, but just barely over the CX5. The XT4 was the most fun to drive.andnthe largest front seats, but it was noisy compared to both the CX5 and Envision. I mean, it was 55k to get all the features that the CX5 had. Sure, it could be purchased for 47 or so, but it’s not worth it.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Not that I am a big fan of the recent Buick crossovers but I would take a Buick over a Cadillac. Buick is nicer than Cadillac and is less expensive. Save more money and buy the Chevy. GM has really gone down the hole.

  • avatar
    Trucky McTruckface

    What a lazy, disingenuous, hackneyed review.

    I’m not a really fan of the XT4’s styling because it’s not my kind of vehicle, but it’s certainly distinctive and not in a bad way. It doesn’t remotely share the same design language as the Equinox and has an entirely different greenhouse. Same with the interior…there’s a lot of shared design themes and components with other current Cadillacs (the wheel, climate controls, and gauge cluster are straight out of the CT5), but other than the display screen software and maybe the steering column stalks, there’s nothing in here from a Chevy.

    Anybody who mistakes this for an Equinox is either a total imbecile or was coached by the author to push a desired narrative.

    You even admit that the XT4 is competitive on paper with the likes of the RDX, X3, NX, etc. They’re all pretty unremarkable, honestly. All the non-German competitors have equally plebeian underpinnings, and everybody in the segment nickel and dimes you for crap that’s standard on crapwagons that cost half as much; knocking the Cadillac for these reasons is not a fair argument when the other vehicles get a pass. At least Cadillac didn’t try to screw its customers by charging a subscription for Apple CarPlay like BMW did.

    Cadillac sold over 30,000 of these last year, so they must be doing something right. I’m seeing a decent numbers of the equally-panned XT6 out on the road as well and the XT5 is everywhere. Also, while I’ve long been a GM-basher, after cross-shopping the M340i and S4, I just bought a CT5-V. It’s drives better than the BMW and is a total knockout in person.

    Look, Cadillac had a comically bad run in the ’80s, but that was over 30 years ago. They still frequently miss the mark, but they’ve been building BMW-beating sport sedans for over a decade and their SUVs are at least worthy of comparing against the increasingly cynical junk from the Germans and Japanese. Maybe if you actually gave this thing a fair shake, instead of writing something to fit your preconceived auto journalist stereotype that Cadillac still sucks, this review could have been constructive and worth somebody’s time. Instead, it’s further proof of why TTAC hasn’t been relevant in years.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “it’s further proof of why TTAC hasn’t been relevant in years.”

      So which era of TTAC do you believe would have given the XT4 a positive review?

      And since you seem to be the expert, why would someone buy this over an Equinox or a Corsair?

      • 0 avatar
        Trucky McTruckface

        Better eras of this site had reviewers like Dykes or Karesh who would have given it a useful review, good or bad, based on the merits relative to competing vehicles, rather than dunking on it with no specifics in a poor imitation of Farago.

        Asking why anybody should buy this over an Equinox is like asking why somebody should buy a Corsair over an Escape or a RDX over a CR-V. It’s not an economic proposition or even a rational one. Healey’s only reason NOT to buy the XT4 is that it doesn’t feel “special” enough. That’s a totally subjective quality.

        Healey also says “Lexus gives you a reason to get the RX, and it’s not because the dealership experience is more pleasant.” What? The whole point of Lexus is Toyota durability with a snootier ownership experience. The cars are full of Toyota’s dated engines and switchgear. Ditto on Acura, but without the great service. I get why an X3 would be more appealing with it’s dedicated rear drive chassis, but it doesn’t feel particularly “special” to me, either, nor have most BMWs since they began the race to the bottom as lease fodder. Again, totally subjective.

        All things being relatively equal, it comes down to personal taste and brand preference. I actually prefer the aesthetics of the Corsair over this, but because I’ve been burned by Ford twice, Lincoln won’t be getting my business no matter how bespoke the switchgear is, so there you go.

    • 0 avatar
      geo

      I fully agree with Trucky.

      This resembles an Equinox only to people who want to relive the GM glory days when a Toronado supposedly resembled a Grand Am. It was so fun to pick on GM back then.

      I was prepared to dislike this Cadillac until I read this review, which, as Trucky says, appears to be shoehorning a vehicle into a preconceived narrative. Reading between the lines, a practice that any online reader should be employing, reveals that there is really nothing wrong with this Cadillac, and it’s exactly where it should be dynamically and visually.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        @ Geo & Trucky – 2 pts off for dissing the 2GR-FKS and 8AR-FTS, which are both gems and are not obsolescent (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_GR_engine#2GR-FKS and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_AR_engine#8AR-FTS). The 8AR-FTS owned by a family member runs like a top; meanwhile, my buddy’s BMW 2.0T of nearly identical age and mileage is on its 3rd head gasket and requires walnut shell blasting as part of regular maintenance.

        That quibble aside, I also agree with you. “[S]hoehorning a vehicle into a preconceived narrative” describes this review to a T. It’s not a platform-mate of the Equinox (which the author begrudgingly admits), and a quick internet search showed me that, no, they don’t look alike other than in a general “they’re both CUVs” way. The respective C- and D-pillars are obviously different, e.g.

        I came into this review not knowing whether or not this was a good vehicle; I came away still not knowing because it was obvious the author wasn’t being objective.

        Dykes is sorely missed around these parts.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      There’s not much to like about this Cadillac.
      1) Too many other similar choices at better prices
      2) Almost no storage room in the back
      3) Nothing interesting or even attractive about the styling
      4) Nothing in the interior that’s innovative, already been done for years or unique or special in any way

      The paint is pretty good, though. What this thing is lacking is a single reason to buy it instead of anything else.

    • 0 avatar
      RedRocket

      Has any GM vehicle, excepting perhaps the sportiest of Camaros or Corvettes, ever received a good review from this site in recent memory? A Mazda crapwagon that is noisy and can’t get out of its own way will regularly get fawned over here, as will virtually any plastic-interior Honda or Hyundai or Kia. Perhaps the site should just abandon vehicle reviews entirely and stick to articles naming the best wiper blades.

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    Still like their CT6 1st year expensive video and print ads! They were top notch even if the car was not so!

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Store Brand cake mix with homemade buttercream?

    Sounds like a Cadillac.

  • avatar
    dumblikeyouTu

    You had my attention until you used Lincoln. I knew it was coming because the first few sentences were written in a way that reeked of Ford fanboy loyalty. Please, stop. Lincoln isn’t fooling anyone. They’re still fancier Fords at best with as little identity as Lincoln has ever with retro-tack interiors.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    In all fairness this review was lacking more than this Cadillac. It felt like more of a lecture and opinion rather than actual facts. I too have driven and spent lots of time in an Equinox, a 2020 LT 1.5T AWD actually and just do not see the resemblance to this Cadillac. If anything this XT4 looks like a smaller scale XT5 if anything. I also do not think the Equinoxes interior is up to the standard of this XT4 either. There are far more padded and upscale surfaces to be had, a more modern shifter mechanism, even if it more annoying, and a quieter cabin but not as quiet as it should be. This vehicle basically shares nothing with the Equinox, even the 2.0 liter engines are different.

    With that said this is not up to “standard of the world” status as GM would like you to believe. For starters the 2.0T LSY engine is actually down on HP and torque by a considerable amount compared to the old LTG 2.0T as used in previous Cadillacs. Even in the Nox and Terrain it cranks out 17 more horses being an upgradable option. The interior while being an upgrade over the Nox just looks too plain and not at all special as stated here and the dash does look like something from a Chevy.

    The fact that the base model doesn’t include seat heaters is bad enough considering Lincoln makes them standard on all trims but they aren’t even leather unless you move up to the 41-45k Premium Luxury trims. They didn’t even include basic things like rear cross traffic alert, F/R park assist or side blind zone alert!

    Comparing base engines this Cadillac does have the edge in both power and refinement compared to the lower trim Noxes but take note that you must use premium fuel as indicated on there website to get these rather low figures of 237/258 which is just plain poor engineering. A mere move up to the optional 2.0T in the Nox/Terrain gives you more power and torque compared to the LSY for about the base price of entry into a FWD version of the XT4.

    The XT4 has 22.5″ of cargo space with the seats up and 48.9 with the seats down. The Nox has 63.9 of the latter so even in that metric the Cadillac is behind.

    If you want navigation or advanced radar cruse control you need to shell out an additional 1500 bucks for the first item and an additional 1100 for the driver assist package! And that is on the top line Sport! After all Mary needs to make profit hand over fist to fund her “triple zero” yo…

    Then you have the meaningless name, the WTF newton meter torque rating rounded up on the trunk lid and a shifter lever that nobody likes.

    The fact that the lackluster new CT5 is now Cadillac’s flagship speaks mountains on where this division of GM is heading- to the graveyard in the sky. If it wasn’t for the Escalade that is exactly where they would be juddering around aimlessly at sea by a clueless woke SJW who is more worried about those things than making best in class quality products that people actually want!

  • avatar
    Canadian driver

    I have to say this seems to be a very odd review. As others have noted, the author grudgingly admits that most aspects of the vehicle are class competitive, or minor issues. I don’t think any objective person could claim that this vehicle looks remotely like an Equinox. The proportions and details are so different. As for the interior, I have spent a fair bit of time in both the Corsair and the XT4, and I have to say I really prefer the Cadillac, and not just a little. I thought the Cadillac interior looked a bit plain when I first saw the pictures, but after having sat in and driven a number of models, I find the XT4 interior to look very sophisticated and upscale. In fact, I like it much more than the BMW interiors as well. It is, to me, simple and elegant. This is hard to pull off, and I think Cadillac has succeeded. It does seem like Cadillac takes a lot of unwarranted heat in comment sections, perhaps based on past sins. But that doesn’t automatically make these negative comments valid.
    I do wish they would drop in the 2.7L engine though!

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