We talk a lot about the Cadillac Escalade, but what if you want something at the other end of the spectrum. That’s where the small Cadillac XT4 comes in. It’s a stylish small crossover that attempts to give you the same luxurious experience as the Escalade. In this hotly contested segment, the XT4 is going up against some heavyweights like the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. Does the XT4 succeed at its mission? In some areas yes, but in some others Cadillac’s smallest crossover could work a bit harder.
On the outside the XT4 is a stylish crossover that has a more unique look that helps it stand out from its German rivals. The angular styling is distinct and although the XT4 has been around for a few years, it still looks fresh. Cadillac didn’t give the 2023 XT4 any big exterior updates for the new model year, but it is available in two new colors: Argent Silver Metallic and Radiant Red Tintcoat.
While the exterior is a stand out, the XT4’s interior could use some upgrades to make it feel more luxurious, like we expect from Cadillac. The XT4’s interior is covered in materials that don’t feel very premium. The dashboard is covered in fake leather and other parts of the interior are covered in hard plastic. The overall design of the interior is also not very memorable, plus there are too many parts shared with GM’s other vehicles, which makes the interior not feel very special. The good news is that there’s ample space in both rows while the cargo area is a tight squeeze for a weekend’s worth of gear.
On the tech front, the 8-inch touchscreen looks pretty basic and in the front of the driver there isn’t a fully digital instrument cluster, like we’ve come to expect from pretty much every automaker now. There is a head-up display and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but we wish the XT4 had something similar to the Escalade’s large curved screen to make it feel more special.
Under the hood there’s only one engine available, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 235 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, that’s mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. It comes standard with front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available. Around town there’s more than enough power to get you moving, but the engine could be a bit more refined. Its sound is a bit more coarse than we’d expect. With 235 hp on tap, the XT4 is more than capable, but also not very sporty or engaging to drive.
The suspension provides a smooth comfortable ride, but if you encounter some twists and turns along your route, the XT4 quickly lets you know that it isn’t happy. The steering also lacks feedback, while the brakes aren’t a stand out either. Overall the driving experience in the XT4 is not entirely memorable, nor does it really present a challenge for its German rivals. If you want a competent, smooth riding crossover the XT4 could be good for you, but again some crossovers costing thousands less are more enjoyable to drive.
The XT4’s fuel economy ratings are pretty average at 23 mpg city and 30 mpg highway with front-wheel drive, and 22/29 mpg with all-wheel drive.
On the safety front, the XT4 comes standard with blind-spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, lane keeping assist and automatic emergency braking. If you want adaptive cruise control and “enhanced” automatic emergency braking you have to add the Driver Assist package, which lists for $1,100. We do wish that the XT4 was offered with GM’s Super Cruise hands-free tech, like the Escalade.
The 2023 Cadillac XT4 is available in three trim levels: Luxury, Premium and Sport. The pricing for the base Luxury trim level with front-wheel drive starts at $37,490, making it a pretty good value on paper. But that price quickly skyrockets when you add the Driver Assist package ($1,100), Technology package ($1,400) and the Enhanced Visibility package ($1,500) and a panoramic sunroof ($1,500). A fully equipped XT4 Sport with all-wheel drive easily reaches over the $50k mark.
At the end of the day, the 2023 Cadillac XT4 is a stylish luxury crossover that stands out with its looks, but easily falls to the rear of the pack with its boring driving experience and easily forgettable interior.