2020 Cadillac XT4: Premium crossover aims high

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By Asian Journal Auto Editor

Cadillac is on is journey of continuous improvement and refinement. Point in case in the new 2020 Cadillac XT 4, a compact, five – seater crossover built to take on the worlds best. In the flesh, the new XT4 is certainly a most handsome vehicle. Athletic, lithe, and taut-looking, the XT4 works as an example of the softer, less brash  approach to styling for Cadillac; There is a lot less of the hard straight lines and razor creases, but the XT4 is identifiable as a Caddy, thanks to the distinctive elongated front and rear light clusters. There is also a less overwhelming modern take on the Cadillac grille.

Engine wise, there is a 2.0-litre turbo I-4- 2.0L Turbo 4-cylinder engine with 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Fuel-saving technology such as a cylinder deactivation – and an automatic engine stop/start function is also fitted. The transmission is a new nine-speed automatic unit with either FWD or AWD.

Cadillac is offering different three different XT4 model trims in Canada. The base Luxury model at $35,298 offers as standard: Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system, with a rotary controller, Rear Park Assist, Haptic safety alert seats, Selectable drive modes, Forward Collision Alert, Front pedestrian braking and; low speed braking. The Premium Luxury trim ($43,298) adds: leather seats, Forward and Rear Park Assist, Lane Change and Blind Side Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, interior ambient lighting and hands free tailgate. The Sport model ($43,298) comes with: a unique gloss black grille, gloss black window trim and roof rail accents. Also included are 18 -inch metallic finished wheels, interior carbon fiber or genuine wood decor and a sports steering wheel. Note, some extra features are options bundled in packages and are extra cost.

The spacious upscale design of the XT4 cabin features a sleek dash design, a nice chunky three-spoke, leather-wrapped steering wheel with a new rotary infotainment controller. I liked the details such as the carbon fibre inserts on the doors. Plenty of technology features abound – in a quest to attract a younger breed of buyers to the Cadillac brand. There is: fast wireless device charging, four USB ports, a built-in 4G LTE WI-Fi hotspot Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smart phone capability. An eight-inch touchscreen is well integrated into the dashboard design to display Cadillac’s excellent CUE infotainment system— which can be operated either by the touch screen or from a rotary controller. And there are plenty of extras to add to the comfort level including heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and massaging function and cooled front seats.

There’s excellent headroom, shoulder-room, and legroom in all five seats, with 39.5-inches of best-in-class rear leg room. There is also a fairly spacious cargo area with 637 litres of space. Fold down the rear seats and that expands to 1,385 litres of cargo capacity. The rear is finished off with a rear cargo cover, and a hands-free power lift gate. Safety is good as well, with plenty of safety technology including adaptive cruise control, front pedestrian detection, forward collision alert, and lane-keep assist with a lane-departure warning system.

On road acceleration and cruising speed is good. The 2’0 liter engine features three operating modes: high valve lift for more power, low valve lift for improved efficiency, and cylinder deactivation that turns off two cylinders when they’re not needed. The result is fuel efficient, smooth cruising. I like the responsiveness of the engine. The XT4 offers a hushed, comfortable ride rides quietly with little road noise. The Sport models offer a more performance orientated drive, with a more aggressive nature to transmission shifts, with the dual-clutch auto and split torque distribution between the rear wheels. The AWD models twin-clutch system can completely disengage the rear wheels when the driver selects the right mode so increasing fuel economy. The fuel rating is city/highway 10.7/9.5 L/100km for the AWD Model as tested. The over boosted steering is light, good for navigating parking and low speed driving, while new  electrohydraulic braking provides quicker, more confident stops.

Downside are few, the XT4 is not as fast as some of its rivals, but all in all- is a very good   premium Crossover. The equipment list and entry level price is very tempting!  The pleasant road manners will satisfy both dyed in the wool Cadillac fans looking to downsize, and those new to the brand, who are considering a Cadillac. Highly impressive and well recommended.

2020 Cadillac XT4 Priced from: $35,298 – $43,298. More info at Cadillac.ca