Fresh Cadillac crossover
Continuing to fill out an already robust portfolio, Cadillac rolled out an all-new offering last year in the XT4. Classified as a compact SUV and slotting underneath bigger brother the XT5, the model boasts the brand’s latest styling language — created by a team of young designers reflecting the target demographic — and technologies. Let’s see how it stacks up.
\Wearing unique “light blade” inverted L-shaped signature daytime running lights, the vehicle certainly possesses a distinct look when approaching head-on. Complementary LED taillights are found at the back, either covered with standard red lenses on the Luxury and Premium Luxury trims or clear ones for the Sport, which we drove. Although the entry-level crossover in the automaker’s lineup, the XT4 is not small. At 4,599 millimetres long, 1,881 wide and 1,627 tall, the sizable exterior measurements translate into a roomy interior. Plenty of head and legroom is available for all occupants, and folding the rear seats forward opens up 1,385 litres of cargo space.
There’s certainly nothing entry-level about the well-equipped interior. Darpan’s tester in particular was fully decked out boasting the Comfort and Convenience Package (+2,795) that includes leather front heated and ventilated massaging front seats. The Light Wheat/Black upholstery colour scheme is striking, although will likely show dirt and scuffs easier than the other choices over time.
All Sport grades receive a special chunky steering wheel with paddle shifters. The thick spokes feel great in hand and enhances the overall driving experience. Next to the wheel is a 768p high-resolution eight-inch touchscreen — I’ve rarely seen a clearer picture on a display when the backup camera is activated.
Powering the hardware is the next-generation Cadillac CUE infotainment system. Much improved over previous versions, there’s virtually no lag time but for ease of navigation a rotary volume and/or tuner knob would speed user inputs up a bunch. Caddy has chosen the XT4 to introduce Near Field Communication (NFC) allowing almost instant smartphone pairing, much quicker than using conventional Bluetooth.
A turbocharged 2.0-litre mill making 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque lurks under the hood, mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Featuring what’s referred to as an industry-first tripower setup, performance and efficiency are optimized via high and low valve lift and cylinder deactivation. The acceleration off the line actually kind of surprised me. I just wish the engine note was a little less tinny and more throaty.
The XT4 sits atop a front strut and five-link independent rear suspension system. Our press vehicle had the optional Active Sport Suspension (+$1,395) installed, designed to constantly monitor road surface conditions and adjust the dampening on the fly to match. I was actually surprised at how stiff the ride was for a crossover, but it is also the reason why handling is sharper than most in the segment.
Twin-clutch all-wheel drive provides a surefooted grip in all weather conditions, helpful in a climate such as Vancouver’s where the rainy days often outnumber the sunny ones. When the skies open up and the streets dry up, however, the SUV is capable of operating in two-wheel drive mode to conserve fuel.
Motor: 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder
Horsepower: 237 @ 5,000 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 258 @ 1,500 rpm
Gearbox: Nine-speed automatic
Layout: Front engine, all-wheel drive
Fuel economy: 14.3 L/100 km mixed city/highway (observed)