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2019 Cadillac XT4 Has Improved Tech, but Safety Features Boost the Price

CR's testers detail their first impressions of this new luxury SUV

Update: Since this first drive was published in November 2018, we completed testing our own XT4 and added a quick drive video.

The 2019 Cadillac XT4, the luxury brand's newest SUV, gives GM a fresh competitor in the growing entry-level luxury SUV category. It takes on established competitors such as the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Jaguar E-Pace, Mercedes-Benz GLA, and Volvo XC40.

The XT4 comes with a smooth powertrain and a fairly stiff ride. Its controls are a big improvement over recent Cadillac models, but GM has skimped on advanced safety systems. 

We purchased our own XT4, an all-wheel-drive Premium Luxury trim. We also rented an XT4 Sport trim—which included nearly every available option—from Cadillac, which we found has a few differences from our purchased XT4.

Below are our first impressions of this new model.

2019 Cadillac XT4 front driving

What we bought: 2019 Cadillac XT4 AWD Premium Luxury
Powertrain: 237-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine; nine-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
MSRP: $41,795
Options: $6,640 (sunroof, Cadillac User Experience with navigation, comfort & convenience package, cold weather package, driver-awareness package—which contains active safety features—black paint, all-weather floor liner, rear splash guards)
Destination fee: $995
Total cost: $49,430

How It Drives

The SUV uses a new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a new nine-speed automatic transmission, just like many of its competitors. It’s the only powertrain offered, but buyers can choose front- or all-wheel drive.

So far, we think Cadillac has done its homework with this powertrain. It’s smooth and responsive, and doesn’t suffer from the hesitation or abrupt surging that we have experienced in other SUVs, including the E-Pace and XC40. However, everyone who has driven the XT4 commented on the engine’s raspy, tinny sound, particularly when revved high.

The Environmental Protection Agency rates the front-wheel-drive XT4 at 26 mpg combined; the AWD version sacrifices 2 miles per gallon. We have been observing 23 mpg with the onboard computer. Of course, we will put our own all-wheel-drive XT4 through CR’s full range of fuel-economy tests—as part of the 50 tests we perform on each vehicle—after our initial 2,000 break-in miles are completed.

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