Cadillac is synonymous with luxury. But no brand is perfect, and the 2021 XT4 has its fair share of problems. In fact, there isn’t a lot to recommend it over other luxury compact SUVs like the Acura RDX, BMW X1, and Volvo XC40.
What the Cadillac XT4 offers
The XT4 boasts a stylish exterior in line with other aesthetically pleasing Cadillac models. Sitting on 18-inch silver alloy wheels, the Luxury base model comes with LED headlights and taillights and silver trim on the grille, door handles, and windows. It’s a bit larger than many other luxury subcompact crossovers, such as the Acura RDX and Volvo XC40, but it’s smaller than most compact SUVs like the Infiniti QX50, Audi Q5, and BMW X3.
The Cadillac XT4 is also relatively well-powered, with a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine that produces 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It comes standard with front-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission but can also be purchased with all-wheel drive. The XT4 gets 24/30 mpg city/highway on FWD models and 22/29 mpg on AWD versions.
The Luxury trim also comes with technology and safety features comparable to many SUVs in its class. It includes a 4.2-inch gauge cluster display and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth integration. Two USB ports per row are also included, as are a Wi-Fi hotspot and a seven-speaker sound system. The XT4 also comes standard with advanced safety features like rear parking sensors, automatic emergency braking, and forward-collision warning.
Where the Cadillac XT4 misses
However, the Cadillac XT4 also has some big misses. You’d expect opulence in a luxury SUV. But the XT4’s interior is a letdown. The cabin brims with hard plastics, and the leather upholstery looks synthetic. Also, expect plenty of noise and a cramped second row. Heated seats often come standard in luxury models, but not in the base-model XT4. It also doesn’t get a sunroof. You’ll have to upgrade to higher-level trims for that.
The XT4’s vague handling also leaves something to be desired. It shifts unevenly between gears and exhibits a lot of body roll. Plus, there’s only a single choice of engine and transmission, so you’ll find this sluggish performance throughout all trims. However, the XT4 Sport comes with active suspension for improved performance (along with more upscale interior styling).
Though its generic interior would suggest a lower base price, the XT4 starts at $36,790. There’s also the Premium Luxury ($40,790). But the XT4 Sport at $40,990 is probably your best bet for overall performance and luxurious perks. You’ll also probably want to shell out the additional $2,450 for the Comfort and Convenience package, including leather upholstery, ventilated seats, and a hands-free liftgate.
However, for $40,045, you could buy a Volvo XC40 R-Design, which comes with a panoramic glass roof and far classier interior styling. Leather upholstery is standard (not optional) in all XC40 trims, the cabin is quiet, and the driving performance is superior. Or, for $38,395, you could purchase the BMW X1 xDrive28i, which also incorporates more premium interior materials and comes standard with a larger touchscreen. And for $39,425, you could get an Acura RDX, with a more upscale interior, heated seats, and excellent road performance.
Why purchase the Caddy?
The Cadillac XT4 does get some things right. Not only is the exterior sharp, but the XT4’s outside looks more and more impressive the higher the trim level. There’s also ample cargo space and space for front-seat passengers. The XT4 is a reasonably safe vehicle, earning a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And the XT4 offers better warranty coverage than many of its rivals. Its powertrain coverage is good for six years or 70,000 miles, and complimentary maintenance good for one year or 12,000 miles is included with the purchase of a 2021 model.
While the XT4 is a solid vehicle, it is competing in a crowded segment. Simply put, it is a pricier alternative to other subcompact SUVs. Only when outfitted with all the bells and whistles is it competitive with its peers in terms of exterior design, interior styling, overall performance, technology, and safety. But for budget-conscious shoppers, this Cadillac may not be the best option.
Then again, there are assuredly buyers willing to shell out the big bucks for a new Cadillac. After all, it is a luxury model Cadillac, and some buyers may be swayed by the brand alone rather than overall value. And if you’re in the market for a brand-new Cadillac SUV and have around $50,000 to spend, the XT4 may be right for you.