Don’t Expect Big Changes to the 2021 Cadillac XT4

After disappointing reactions to the 2020 Cadillac XT4 from critics, you might think that they would be putting in a ton of effort to turn things around for the 2021 model year. In reality, it seems as though Cadillac didn’t spend much of their time putting thought into updating the crossover SUV just two years after its debut. The 2021 XT4 is remarkably similar to the 2020 XT4. Drivers will notice a few little changes here and there, but don’t expect any vast improvements.

What did people think about the 2020 Cadillac XT4?

Consumer Reports rated the 2020 XT4 an overall score of 52/100. That puts it in 11th place out of 12 SUVs in its class, with the 12 place candidate having yet to be tested and placing it in the last place by default. The 2020 XT4 rated the lowest in reliability, one of the essential categories for consumers shopping for a new vehicle. Another problem spot was how loud the vehicle is while driving, both from outside noise and from the engine.

The 2020 Cadillac XT4 also rated mediocre in owner satisfaction with a score of 3/5. While it scored fine in comfort and styling within the owner satisfaction category, it ranked poorly in value, meaning that drivers don’t think it was necessarily worth the price they paid for it. 

Critics were unimpressed with how few advanced safety features come standard on the 2020 XT4. Things like forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking come standard on other luxury SUVs, but the 2020 XT4 doesn’t offer them as optional at the base level.

What’s new for 2021?

Luckily, Cadillac has responded by adding a few more safety features to its standard model. The 2021 XT4 comes standard with front pedestrian braking, intelligent brake assist, and automatic emergency braking — all things were lacking in last year’s model. Safety features have become one of the fastest-changing categories in new vehicles each year. Safety is more important to drivers than ever before, and safety technology has advanced so much over the past decade that there’s no excuse to include more features as standard nowadays. Thankfully, the 2021 XT4 has more to offer.

Cadillac has also added the power liftgate as standard and added two new exterior paint colors in addition to those new safety features. Other new features, though, are on the upper-level trims. The Premium Luxury and Sport trims now include side-mirror turn signal indicators, and the Sport trim also has red brake calipers. Motor Trend predicts that the 2022 model year will see more updates than 2021 has gotten.

What are critics saying about the 2021 Cadillac XT4?


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Motor Trend recommends that you steer clear of the 2021 XT4 in favor of a luxury vehicle that feels more luxurious. The XT4 doesn’t offer more than any other SUV in its class and ranks lower in most areas. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which critics have since reported as being plenty powerful but so noisy that it doesn’t belong in a luxury vehicle. Critics have also noted that while the XT4 feels great on straightaways, going around curves produces excessive body roll. 

The interior is comfortable and spacious, but it doesn’t offer much more than the 2020 XT4 had inside. The infotainment system is up-to-date and easy-to-use and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Aside from that, many reviewers believe that unless you’re a loyal XT4 driver, your money would be better spent on a luxury vehicle that has more to offer.