Gasoline engines continue to become more efficient as fuel prices remain stable. Consequently, buyers can get bigger vehicles with more interior space for less money. That’s why Cadillac, like nearly every major automaker, is in the midst of shifting its attention toward crossovers and SUVs. In one sense, this is a shame because Cadillac has a stable of excellent driver’s cars. But if they can synthesize those great driving dynamics with the luxurious comfort of the Escalade, the forthcoming XT4 will be a massive success.
Cadillac’s utility lineup has been in drastic need of reinforcements. The imperious Escalade continues to be the full-sized SUV against which others are measured. At the other end is the XT5 crossover, Cadillac’s biggest seller. These are both objectively excellent and commercially successful vehicles. They’re easily identifiable on the road, drive well, and pack a compelling suite of luxury features. The problem is that they’re Cadillac’s only SUVs. That’s why Cadillac is preparing to bolster its utility lineup, starting with the XT4.
The Cadillac XT4
As the name suggests, the XT4 is smaller than XT5, making it a sub-compact crossover. Admittedly, building an attractive sub-compact SUV is difficult, a fact to which BMW and Audi must readily attest. Planting a body on a smaller platform, but making it taller can lead to some awkward proportions. However, what we’ve seen from spy shots of the XT4, shows that success is possible.
The XT4’s lower stance actually helps Cadillac incorporate some of the great stylings from its sedans. It has a squarish architecture and an athletic stance much like the ATS. But the front end is actually more reminiscent of the Cadillac Escalade. The result promises to be one of the best looking CUVs we’ve seen yet. Of course, we’ll have to wait until Cadillac pulls the camouflage off to be sure. The whole picture is, of course, accented by some relatively giant wheels.
Under the Hood
Presumably, the engines will be turbocharged four cylinders. That’s the industry’s en vogue powerplant thanks to its compact size, low weight, and relative power. And it just makes sense for the XT4. The ATS sedan has a powerful 2.0L Turbo with 272 horsepower and 295 lb/ft of torque. It would be a good candidate for the XT4 and should promise confident power. The low stance should allow Cadillac to impart it with some compelling driving dynamics like its sedans. The thrill of driving is sometimes lost in taller SUVs with less “planted” weight.
On the Inside
Rightly or wrongly, buyers judge premium crossovers primarily on their interior quality. But, based on the standard set by the rest of Cadillac’s lineup, that shouldn’t be a problem. By now we’re used to genuine leather, aluminum, hand-stitched details, and the latest technology like wireless charging. And it’s fair to expect most of the elements in the XT4. What we know for sure has been gleaned from a recent spy photo. You’ll notice a fairly spacious cabin with a characteristically sturdy steering wheel and a large touchscreen complemented by minimalistic piano key buttons. We’ll have to reserve judgment until we’re afforded a more complete view.
When can expect to see the XT4 without its camouflage? Cadillac will be unveiling the 2019 XT4 at the New York Auto Show in March. Rumours indicate that Cadillac will be offering virtual reality walkarounds, so that prospective buyers can experience the XT4 in person.