So, you survived business/law/medical school, landed your first big job in your profession of choice, and have some actual money to spend on a brand-new luxury vehicle.
You want something comfortable, versatile, and, of course, sufficiently fancy – but not too fancy; you’ve still got student loans to pay off, after all. Perhaps what you’re looking for, then, is the 2022 Cadillac XT4.
With classically sharp Cadillac design cues laid over stubby subcompact crossover proportions, the XT4 exudes a pleasant energy that’s equal parts stately and starter-luxury in that it’s definitely more youthful than the average Caddy. Sport trim XT4s like this one get a sinisterly blacked-out grille, darker headlights with slimmer LEDs, black window trim and roof rails, and clear taillights. A $4,390 Onyx package adds a black grille frame, monochrome Cadillac badges, and black 20-inch wheels.
Despite that big grille, the XT4’s face isn’t one that frowns or comes off as angry – as so many other vehicles seem to these days – but rather it smiles in a genuine, always-happy-to-see-you kind of way.
The interior looks decent as well, with a fair amount of soft, stitched surfaces and pleasant, flowing shapes. Overall, build quality isn’t terrible, but it leaves a little room for improvement, as I occasionally noticed a rattle coming from the back seats going over bumps.
According to the build sheet, this tester didn’t have the Driver Assist package’s adaptive cruise control (let alone the semi-autonomous Super Cruise), so highway drives were done the old way. That package not only adds adaptive cruise but also enhanced automatic emergency braking and reverse automatic braking, and costs $1,295.
The XT4 tested did, however, feature blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assist that were both quite reliable, but its parking sensors proved to be quite over-sensitive, frequently beeping over underground garage posts that, yes, I can clearly see with my own eyes and aren’t actually in my intended path. More positively, there were a bunch of helpful, selectable cameras pointed at all four wheels to make parallel parking without contracting curb rash easier.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) apparently only crash-tested the XT4 from the front with a moderate overlap and from the side but, for what it’s worth, the compact Cadillac received all “Good” marks in both areas.
Luxury-leaning features like a head-up display and big panoramic sunroof were appreciated in the Cadillac XT4, as was the wireless charger that’s positioned perfectly to keep your phone safely out of sight yet within reasonable reach.
Just like the CT4-V, the XT4 was supposed to have heated and cooled seats (and the buttons for those are, indeed, there) but due to semiconductor supply issues, those buttons don’t actually do anything. There was no heated steering wheel, either. Depending on when the XT4 you happen to be looking into was built, it may or may not include those features.
A premium 13-speaker sound system is available, but my tester came with the base seven-speaker unit that sounded very much like a base system, with little bass to speak of (pun completely intended).
User Friendliness: 8.5/10
Another minor grievance the XT4 shares with the CT4 – and, for the record, certain Hyundais – is that its doors are unlocked from the outside via a little button on the handle rather than a touch sensor.
Inside, the layout is fairly simple. Physical switches control the climate, the buttons on the steering wheel make decent sense, and there’s a volume knob located beside the redundant infotainment scroll wheel. The infotainment system itself is a bit small by modern luxury standards and runs software that’s aesthetically quite basic-looking but, functionally, it’s snappy, easy to use, and features a physical home button. The Volvo XC90‘s screen is like this, too, but I particularly like how the XT4’s touchscreen is tilted upwards to better accommodate your hand. (Hold your phone in one hand and tap with the other. Is the phone perfectly vertical? Probably not.)
Up front, there are two central cupholders, a sizable armrest cubby, that dedicated phone slot with wireless charging, and a closeable nook underneath the HVAC controls. It’s a sufficient amount of storage space, but I would’ve liked to see a big, bridge-style compartment underneath that centre section for larger items, considering what the XT4 is.
You can probably already tell by looking at its profile, but most of the XT4’s subcompact-ness is found in its relatively small cargo area – a demerit that becomes a bit harder to forgive considering there isn’t even a spare tire under the load floor, just an inflator kit. The rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split, while the cargo area is lined in a notably soft carpet material that makes the space feel more premium.
Rear seat space, meanwhile, is more generous than expected, mostly thanks to some seriously big slots underneath the front seats that let passengers really stretch out. Rear headroom is also more than acceptable for this segment, although I would’ve preferred if the seatbacks here weren’t quite as upright. The materials back here are alright, too, with soft, stitched panels at the top of the doors, just as there are up front.
If a smooth, comfortable ride is high on the list of reasons to consider a crossover like the XT4, this subcompact Caddy crossover delivers. Suspension isn’t overly floaty but confidently soft. The seats are comfy, too, with a lumbar massage function for both front seats that was fairly effective at moving my lower back around, curbing stiffness on longer drives.
Pumping out 235 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque is a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder. In reasonable driving situations, the amount of output on tap feels adequate, and the fact all of that torque is available at just 1,500 rpm gives it a decent kick. However, the quality of that thrust isn’t the most luxurious-feeling. The engine sounds whiny at high revs and the transmission – a nine-speed automatic – isn’t the slickest unit out there.
Driving Feel: 7/10
Like the powertrain, the rest of the XT4’s running gear gets the job done with little drama – or panache. Highway cruising is fairly smooth, while the XT4’s inherent compactness (and those previously mentioned cameras) make it easy to place in parking lots. Handling is simply fine for a crossover of this type.
All-wheel drive is available – and equipped here – but the XT4’s default “tour” drive mode keeps it in front-wheel drive. Four-wheel traction is selectable if you’d like to voluntarily exchange some fuel economy for a slightly more planted feel.
Fuel Economy: 8/10
And about fuel economy: Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) says the all-wheel-drive XT4 should get 10.9 L/100 km in the city, 8.2 on the highway, and 9.7 combined. After about 540 km of mixed driving done mostly in front-wheel drive, I saw 10.9 L/100 km, according to the trip computer. Ignition stop-start is on board, does what it’s supposed to, and was kept on for the majority of my test time.
A base XT4 can be relatively inexpensive, starting at about $45,500, but to get what you see here, expect to pay almost $60,000 before tax. It feels like a lot considering quite a few luxury features were missing – namely premium audio, adaptive cruise control, and a full-digital gauge cluster – and also given the fact that a top-trim Lexus UX hybrid costs almost $10,000 less. The as-tested price is also perilously close to that of the Genesis GV70 2.5T Advanced, which exists one size up and is generally a superior vehicle. And it’s a similar story when you look into the top-trim Acura RDX.
Even when comparing it to offerings from luxury brands that don’t typically offer oodles of value, the subcompact XT4 as-specced is a difficult sell. BMW recently redesigned the directly-competing X1 for 2023, and even with the M Sport package, snazzy optional paint, and destination, it only costs about $55,000, according to the automaker’s online configurator. A Mercedes-Benz GLA 250 absolutely loaded to the gills, meanwhile, can be had for about $61,000.
Unless you’re absolutely in love with the way the 2022 Cadillac XT4 looks or you can score a mega deal on one (whatever constitutes a mega deal these days, at least), there are quite a few preferable options out there when it comes to small luxury crossovers. In a vacuum, it’s not entirely bad to drive, and it’s a reasonably nice item to be in and travel with; but even discounting the shortage-related feature cuts, there’s not a whole lot that makes this vehicle stand out from the pack.
|Engine Cylinders||Turbo I4|
|Peak Horsepower||235 hp @ 5,000 rpm|
|Peak Torque||258 lb-ft @ 1,500–4,000 rpm|
|Fuel Economy||10.9 / 8.2 / 9.7 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb|
|Cargo Space||637 / 1,385 L seats up/down|
|Model Tested||2022 Cadillac XT4 Sport|
|Price as Tested||$59,608|
$14,010 – No heated steering wheel, -$25; No heated or ventilated seats, -$50; No park assist or reverse automatic braking, -$50; Safety Alert Package, $230; Sunroof, $1,795; Technology Package, $1,595; Stellar Black Metallic paint, $900; Engine block heater, $195; LPO, all-weather floor liners, $255; LPO, Monochrome Cadillac emblems, $260; LPO, 20-inch Gloss Black wheels, $3,510; Driver Awareness Package, $545; Enhanced Visibility Package, $1,795; Premium Comfort and Convenience Package, $3,055