Vaughn Lowery, Cadillac, General Motors, 360 MAGAZINE, auto, xt4, suv

CADILLAC XT4 SPORT AWD

“Spunky with muscle tone and loads of curb appeal!”360 MAGAZINE

By Krishan Narsinghani × Vivek Lalchandani × Vaughn Lowery

Big, boujee, and imposing. Three words which are normally used to describe Cadillac SUVs. With more people buying smaller SUVs and crossovers rather than sedans, Cadillac had no choice but to roll out this new compact crossover. So, can the XT4 AWD hold its weight in this ultra-competitive market?

Design

Let’s start with playing the shield game, ever heard of it? Try counting how many Cadillac shields you can find on the vehicle – let’s keep a count. Starting out front and center is the signature Cadillac emblem located inside, you guessed it, a shield shaped grill (2). Admittedly it looks terrific and adds the touch of luxury that Cadillac loyalists expect. Outlining the grill are full LED headlights across all trims with signature lobster claw lookin’ DRLs. Looking at the side profile, the XT4 has one of the best profiles of any compact crossover out there. It’s slightly boxy like other Cadillac crossovers and SUVs but still has curves and swooping lines like its European competitors, the Audi Q3, BMW X1/X2 and the Range Rover Evoque. All XT4s come standard with 18” wheels but 20” inch wheels are optional. Also visible from the side profile are two more logos prominent on each front fender (4). Wrap around to the back to find full LED vertical taillights wrapping around slightly to the side of the vehicle. They work well on the XT4, making it appear bigger and wider. An interesting attention to detail is the two lower trims, Luxury and Premium Luxury, come with red taillight lenses whereas the top Sport trim comes standard with clear taillight lenses to add to the sporty aesthetic. Below is a dual exit exhaust setup with a single tip for each side. Rounding off the rear is the Cadillac shield placed right above the license plate which is placed within another shield shaped cutout (6). Overall, the XT4 is a very handsome breed that exudes luxury and sportiness.

Interior

The XT4’s interior is a much-needed upgrade over the past piano black cladded plastic feel. The soft touch materials, soft leather seats (ventilated and heated) and design integrate well with the exterior design. Slide back the shade over the sunroof and watch the white leather pop – making the interior feel airy and open. This must have sunroof is unacceptably optional. The design is refreshingly modern and upscale with a minimalistic approach. Cadillac nailed the balance between on screen vs. physical buttons… there’s even a volume knob! Step into the backseat and you’ll find class leading rear leg room. It’s a six foot passenger’s dream come true. The materials get slightly worse in the rear of the cabin but not obnoxiously. The rear passengers get their own climate control zone, lined up to resemble our favorite logo (7).

Technology

Looking into the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system, Cadillac has come a long way in intuitiveness and display quality. The system is very easy to use with either the touchscreen or the control knob like its European competitors. Climate controls have their own set of physical buttons also lined up to resemble the Cadillac shield (8). The fully integrated display is cleaner than the stuck-on tablet looks of many vehicles nowadays. Its only downside must be that the screen is slightly tilted away from the driver attracting potential glare. CUE also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with one touch NFC pairing for the latter. Optional features include a head up display, digital gauge cluster, thirteen speaker Bose Centerpoint audio system, wireless phone charging, massaging front seats, and a rear view camera built into the rear view mirror that resembles a Cadillac shield (9).

Safety

Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking and rear park assist. Level up to the premium luxury trim and you get front and rear park assist, lane change alert with blind spot alert, and rear cross traffic alert. Other optional safety features include adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, automatic high beams, advanced adaptive cruise control, and enhanced automatic emergency braking. Unfortunately, Super Cruise from Cadillac is not available. XT4 follows suit with its GM siblings by alerting the driver of blind spot detections and lane departure warnings with the vibration of the driver’s seat.

Performance

Cadillac has made a name for itself in driving performance and the XT4 does not disappoint. Using a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, the XT4 makes 237hp at 5000rpm and 258 lb/ft torque from a respectable 1500rpm. That’s 0-60 in 7.5 seconds. Not bad for the 3600lbs being carried plus a slight disadvantage due to the shape being less aerodynamic than rivals. Handling feel is good for a crossover and it rides very well on the 20-inch wheels. Stick with the 18s and expect a very comfortable and cushy ride. Go with the 20s and opt for the active sport suspension to get the best ‘drivers’ version of this vehicle. Heck you should be able to keep up with a base model Dodge Charger on a rainy day. All in all, casual drivers should have enough power and handling feel to fulfill their needs. Fuel economy is everything in today’s age and eco-goers can appreciate the fuel consumption of this one The FWD models get 24/30 city/highway while AWD models get 22/29 city/highway. The AWD system Cadillac threw at this is interesting in that it’s a dual clutch setup, enabling it to disconnect power going to the rear wheels to help fuel economy.

Overview

In a saturated market, 360 Magazine can confidently say the XT4 drives for comfort, boasts luxury, and combats rivals with dashing looks. One may argue that Cadillac has never built a crossover or SUV that truly belonged in the same conversation as major German or British players but now we have a winner. If you want a crossover that will haul your family, let others know you made it, and provides a fabulous trip experience, Cadillac will gladly sell you this one. Pricing begins at a reasonable $35,600 base. Counting nine shields on this vehicle, not including the logo on the wheels and the steering wheel (surely we missed a few), the branding imposes itself on consumers and spectators.

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