Cadillac, a brand historically known for its luxury sedans and coupes, is expanding its SUV roster with the all-new XT4 compact crossover that was unveiled at an exclusive party at Manhattan’s Cadillac House on the eve of the 2018 New York International Auto Show.
At this juncture in the auto industry, SUVs and crossovers rule the roost with over 40% of Canadian sales attributed to these utility haulers in 2017, so it’s no surprise Cadillac is following suit. The XT4 represents only the start of a vast expansion of the Cadillac brand that will see a new model every six months through 2021.
The XT4 finds itself in the middle of the subcompact and compact segment, rivalling the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and X3, Lexus NX, Lincoln MKC and Mercedes-Benz GLA and GLC.
“The first-ever 2019 Cadillac XT4 expands our successful SUV lineup to a segment where Cadillac has never been before,” explained Cadillac President Johan de Nysschen.
The XT4 will slot beneath the XT5, becoming the new entry-level utility vehicle for Cadillac. With a starting price of $35,790 US (Canadian pricing to be revealed in April), the XT4 will attempt to bring in a new wave of potential buyers.
The XT4 might appear simply to be a smaller version of the XT5, but it’s built on an exclusive compact architecture that shows off a more aggressive design language and spacious interior. That aggression is found up front through its scalloped mesh grille, Cadillac crest and signature vertical L-shaped LED headlights that also stretch out horizontally.
“The XT4 has a great presence that is confident and poised,” said Therese Pinazzo, exterior design manager. “It exudes Cadillac’s DNA, but with a new boldness that speaks to the youthfulness of its team and its customers.”
All XT4s will be driven by another all-new item, Cadillac’s 2.0-litre turbo inline-4, which produces 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, matched to a 9-speed automatic transmission. Torque receives a boost at lower speeds thanks to a twin-scroll turbocharger.
Like all new General Motors products, the crossover will use an Active Fuel Management system with cylinder deactivation, as well as direct injection, active thermal management, stop/start technology and an electro-hydraulic braking assist that aids it in achieving a 7.8 L/100 km highway driving fuel economy rating.
Inside, passengers are treated to a refined cockpit that features a thick leather-wrapped steering wheel and sport-inspired bolstered seats configured for comfort with an available massage function. Comfort is accentuated with an expected best-in-class rear-seat space and an in-cabin air ionizer.
When it comes to technology, a more intuitive and quick-to-respond infotainment unit and smartphone-inspired 8-inch Cadillac user experience (formerly acronymed to CUE) interface screen places the XT4 in the top echelon of luxury compacts. A new rotary controller and plenty of shortcut buttons provide another easy option for passengers to navigate through audio, climate control and apps. Four standard USB ports and three 12-volt accessory power outlets round out the need-to-know technologies.
When it goes on sale in fall 2018, the XT4 will be available in three trims: Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport, all possessing their own unique stylings. The Sport trim shows off a black mesh grille inspired by V-Series models, while the other trims feature grilles with metallic accents and satin chrome for the door handles.