Ulysses, the story goes, took 10 years to complete his journey home back to his wife and kingdom. For Cadillac, the journey to reclaim its place as the world’s preeminent luxury automobile brands is taking a bit longer.
Cadillac and General Motors, like the plucky Ulysses have never given up, and there are signs they are making progress. For example, the 2020 XT4 AWD illustrates how far Cadillac has moved forward in its journey to reclaim its place at pinnacle of automotive culture.
The 2020 Cadillac XT4 AWD is a compact crossover that has been given a complete makeover that makes it more sophisticated. For starters, the interior of the XT4 is simply gorgeous. Lots of carmakers use leather in the interior sometime without much effect.
But Cadillac’s designers deftly used the leather to add a touch of old-fashioned glamour to the cockpit with the inner panels of the door, around the gear shift and the center stack, and on the seats. The leather is complemented by bright work and polished black insets that adds to the overall ambience of the interior of “Premium Luxury” version the Cadillac XT4 AWD that I drove.
The care and craftsmanship that went into the interior is matched by the integration of technology in the vehicle. Technology has become one of the key differentiators for luxury brands and the integration of the technology in the 2020 XT4 is very good.
The voice recognition system, on-board navigation system and entertainment system are all very responsive and easy to find and to use, which I consider key. There is no point in loading tech features into a vehicle if they aren’t accessible.
The 2020 XT4 uses the Cadillac user experience with a rotary controller and with an interface screen that features 768p high-definition resolution, which makes it easier to read — especially welcome if you are behind the wheel at night.
Cadillac also has deployed something called “Near-Field Communication,” which makes the process of pairing a phone to the car and using Android Auto or Apple Car Play features. In addition, the Cadillac user experience also is available with 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot and with Cadillac Connected Apps. Wireless device charging is available on the XT4.
General Motors and Cadillac, however, haven’t neglected the fundamentals so the XT4 has plenty of power and solid vehicle dynamics. During a long drive through the open country north of Detroit, I also thought the all-wheel-drive system helped in keeping the vehicle stable even on a stretch of gravel road.
The steering was also quite responded quickly when needed and the brakes had plenty of stopping power. The all-wheel-drive system helped keep the vehicle stable on a stretch of loose, wet gravel.
The XT4’s four-wheel independent suspension handled the varied pavement well and the smart chassis features, including an available twin-clutch that decouples the all-wheel drive system, were also virtually invisible during the test.
Under the hood, the XT4 is equipped with a 2.0-liter with 237 horsepower and 258 foot-pounds of torque with active fuel management and is matched a nine-speed automatic transmission that l found quite efficiently. The engine’s horsepower is more than adequate and makes for a lively driving experience, particularly when coupled with the Cadillac XT4’s vehicle dynamics.
The Cadillac XT4 AWD Premium, I drove, was equipped with a full suite of active safety features and Rear Camera Mirror and with advanced driver assistance features such as forward collision alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning and intelligent automatic headlamp control as well as adaptive cruise control.
Moreover, the safety technology was nicely integrated into the vehicle to help keep the driver alert.
The 2020 Cadillac XT4 also had a long list of comfort and convenience features such as a heated steering wheel, remote start, rain-sensing wipers and power liftgate.
The exterior styling of the XT4 carries over the Cadillac division’s contemporary styling themes, particularly in the front of the vehicle with its signature grille and LED lighting. Given the fact that the Cadillac XT4 AWD is a smaller vehicle, the fascia has been downsized a bit to fit the vehicle, but it’s nicely done.
The XT4 enjoys a handsome profile. However, I did notice while in a parking lot loading some groceries that the rear didn’t look all that different from those found on other utility vehicles. It’s dictated by function and the functional requirements are stringent, limiting the distinctiveness is part of Cadillac’s heritage.
Nonetheless at $49,000, at Cadillac XT4 AWD offer plenty of style, comfort and technology in package with substantial capability to meet the demands of everyday life.