Long known as America’s top luxury brand, Cadillac’s helped redefine luxury, especially in today’s modern age with crossovers and sport-utilities dominating the landscape.
The Escalade introduced a massive shift in what people thought of when the words “luxury vehicle” were spoken.” However, since then, Cadillac has gone well beyond the Escalade in developing a diverse fleet of utility vehicles, including the compact 2021 Cadillac XT4.
The Cadillac XT4 is relatively versatile vehicle with room for passengers and cargo. It is also nicely equipped and capable of delivering a comfortable ride even on a long trip — a trip during which a lot of similar vehicles would come up short.
The technology loaded into the car is nicely integrated, the vehicle’s entertainment system delivers high-quality sound, and the powertrain furnishes more than enough power, considering the vehicle’s overall size.
The suspension-system in the 2021 XT4 also is well-tuned giving the vehicle a nice feel on all kinds of road surfaces, including a direct track well out in the country while the all-wheel-drive system delivers ample traction.
The latest iteration of the XT4 Sport presents a handsome face to the world with the Cadillac crest perfectly positioned on the front grille. Attractive light fixtures with LED headlamps at the corners finish the overall look of the vehicle’s front face.
It possesses a sleek silhouette highlighted by the deft treatment of the windows, while the roof rails add a final touch that complements the sheet metal below the belt. The bowed out rear lift gate adds another point of visual interest to the vehicle as do the 18-inch, 10-spoke wheels with painted brake calipers that come with the Sport model, giving the XT4 some extra flair when it is out on the road or even sitting still.
The interior of 2021 XT4 is well furnished. It’s not flashy, by any means, but it offers a serene feeling with plenty of leather and wood accents that definitely give the cabin a luxury feel. The screens that are easy to read and use and the alerts, such as the one used on in-vehicle navigation system that warns the driver when they are closing in on a school zone, get the driver’s attention without being annoying.
The controls are well positioned both on the center stack and the steering wheel. The seat is supportive and comfortable on a long drive.
The cabin is relatively quiet for a compact vehicle where road noise can be difficult to isolate. Even the small center stack screen is well suited to the instrument panel. The visibility from the driver’s seat was also good and rear-view camera offered a nice bird’s view of the vehicle.
The powertrain on the 2021 Cadillac XT4 AWD sport includes a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that is matched up with a 9-speed transmission as well as the all-wheel-drive system with a dual clutch. In lower gears, the engine produces a pleasing hum and exhaust noted as the vehicle picks up momentum. The combined fuel-economy rating from the Environmental Protection Agency is 24 miles per gallon, including 22 mpg in city driving and 29 mpg out on the highway.
Safety and Technology
The technology on the Cadillac XT4 that I drove for a week, included the Cadillac user experience with embedded navigation, Bose center point surround sound with auxiliary amplifier and 13 speakers, Bluetooth, head-up display with speed-limit alerts, surround vision.
The system also features adaptive cruise control, enhanced automatic braking, reverse automatic braking, blind-spot alerts, lane-departure warning, intelligent high beams, heated steering wheel and forward-collision alert as well as airbags for protection in frontal- and side-impact crashes. The also is wireless phone charging and an air ionizer. It also has remote start and keyless entry.
Rather than being a conventional crossover, the Cadillac XT4 AWD, I found, was quite a bit of fun to drive. For one thing, the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine packs quite a big punch, moving rapidly through the nine gears very quickly. This made it easy to pass slower-moving vehicles on a two-lane country road.
The XT4 does not have an off-road vehicle’s ground clearance but the four-wheel-independent suspension and Stabilitrak stability system smooth out the ride over all kinds of surfaces. The brakes are first rate, and the steering is quite accurate. Overall, this is a very maneuverable vehicle that is easy to get in and out of tight parking places.
If your definition of luxury can stretch to include a relatively small, compact vehicle that is easy to maneuver, you certainly might want to consider the Cadillac XT4 Sport. It is not as fancy as some vehicles, but it has plenty of the sophisticated technology, and other features that have come to define a luxury vehicle in recent years.
It also has some of the same spirit and craftsmanship, particularly in cabin, recalls what made Cadillac famous in the first place while the $53,385 price tag for this model does not seem out of place, considering the price of competitors such as the Lincoln Corsair or Audi Q3.