Cadillac XT4 test drive.

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I think the new XT4 is a really nice looking small SUV.
Especially with the 20-inch wheels from the Sports version, I got to drive.

At 181 inches long it actually is a bit longer than the Mazda CX-5 but appears shorter.

Same thing inside. It is pretty luxurious while keeping things pretty simple looking.
(Nothing like the super busy recent BMW interiors)

Everything feels solid and well made. As it should.

The Bose stereo in the version I drove sounded great. And loud! (many Bose units in other cars area actually not loud at all)

And the new Cadillac infotainment system is one of the best and easiest to use.
The screen is now very sensitive. Like a phone.
And the rotary control by the center armrest also works great.

It is actually very nice to have both a touch screen and manual control.

The steering wheel is surprisingly thick. maybe even a little bit too much.
Since the steering feel is itself pretty light, it doesn’t sem to match.

The electronic shifter actually works fine. I usually don’t like these, but I had no problem with it.
The center armrest is comfortable, but not adjustable.
In a “luxury” brand like Cadillac, it should be.

The giant double sunroof is also great. But still a $1550 option on all models…

With 39.5 inches of legroom, the rear seat is very roomy.
This is actually the same as in the larger XT5.

The only part of the interior that desperately needs improvement, is the rear side of the center console.
This super cheap looking plastic faces the rear passengers at all time.

It is really not worthy of a luxury brand and reminds me more of a base model VW Jetta than a Cadillac.

The cargo area is quite spacious. But there is no extra space under the floor.
And it is actually a few inches too short to be able to camp in. Unless you are under 5 feet 5 inches tall…

Unfortunately, the first thing I noticed every day was how noisy the engine sounded when cold.
Something that, of course, disappears quickly, but still. Other versions of GM’s 2.0 Liter do not sound that loud when cold.
This newest version used in the XT4 is just not as quiet when you start the car after a while.
Once it is warmed up, things are actually very quiet and smooth.
And there is lots of power all the time.

The 9-speed automatic transmission felt great. Always in the right gear and pretty eager to downshift when needed.
This makes for a pretty sporty experience.

As I mentioned earlier, the steering is very light. With not much feel to it.
It is not vague or too artificial feeling. And is actually precise. 
I match the very smooth ride. Which is quite amazing with huge 20-inch wheels (The other models with smaller 18-inch units must be super smooth)

The XT4 is rated at 22/29MPG.
I was able to get 22MPG around town when I drove like a grandma.
Otherwise, you get more like 17 or 18.

But easily got 35 on the freeway.
Which is actually better than What I got on the freeway with the 2.0 Liter Equinox.

Spending a week with the Cadillac XT4 was great.
A quick, refined and fun car to drive. The only problem I had was with its “noisy when cold” engine.
It is never as bad as what I experienced a few weeks ago with the Mazda 3. 
But not really something I expect in a luxury car. And especially surprising since the 2.0 Liter Turbo engines in other GM cars are always smooth and super quiet. 

As a potential buyer, I would, of course, compare it to others.
 $35 000 to start, is OK.
But, the larger and more powerful Acura RDX starts at around $37 500. 
But it comes standard with the glass roof (A $1550 option on the Cadillac)
And, while the larger XT5 starts at around $42 000, you can get a loaded one for just a couple of thousands more than the $57 000 XT4 I was driving.
If you are into the XT4, just go easy on the options…
The Acura RDX is actually a formidable competition to the XT4. As well as the XT5.
It is right in between both in size. 
But the top of the line version with all options (without the A-Spec) tops out at $47 500.
Which is about $10 000 less than the loaded XT4!
Life it eally tough for luxury brands these days. Even a loaded $38 000 Mazda CX-5 Turbo Signature could actually compete with the XT4.
While the Cadillac has a very nice interior, there is really not much more in design or quality that justifies a $19 000 premium (for the loaded version I was driving)
And even at “just ” $10 000 less, the Acura RDX also seems a great deal.
(Except for its complicated Infotainement system)
So, as usual, choose your options wisely…

Conversation 9 comments

  1. Finally, the rear looks very nice for a Cadillac. Fully loaded, this model should not go over $50k. 20% off MSRP is around the corner.

  2. I really like this model, yet I have a problem with GM's way of doing business. They seem to suck the life out of everything they put their hands on. And to them it's all about money. They just have a bad history of having an imperialistic attitude.

  3. That dash, particularly the screen and controls, looks absolutely awful. Is GM even trying anymore?

  4. It is a little short for my needs and I do not like the smallish engine options in the XT4. I think the XT4 is just an Equinox dressed up plus $15K more for the Cadillac badge.

  5. Maybe in a year or two they'll offer an interior without all the black. But they'll probably reserve it for the Platinum, as in the CT6 and XT5. Dumb and annoying, because I might like to buy one one day.

  6. Can you tell if it's the valvetrain or the direct injection that's making the startup noise? Clatter or buzz?

    Good to hear about the smooth ride. 35 hwy mpg is amazing, but someone got around that with the CT6 2.0T.

    Odd that the accent strip on the front seats is perforated leather. They need to do multi-colored seats more often.

  7. It's more of a buzz. The engine seems to be turning very fast at idle when cold…

    It has the new version of the 2.0 Engine, the LSY. The previous one, called LTG, is used in almost everything GM makes and is much quieter for some reason.

    Also, the XT4 is not based on the Equinox. It is built off the E2XX platform. Shared with sedans like the Opel Insignia/Buick Regal.

  8. They claimed the new 2.0 had less power in order to be quieter & smoother, but CAFE requirements come before anything.

    They're probably trying to get the engine & converter heated up really quickly so the auto stop can kill it when you get to the end of your driveway.

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