Car Review: Next big thing from Cadillac is a smaller crossover, the new XT4

You might know Cadillac for its big and brash Escalade that’s as large and luxurious as it is expensive. Crossovers and SUVs are big business for Cadillac, and the latest and smallest of them is looking to get new and younger buyers in the showroom.

The Cadillac XT4 is a fresh face, and style seems to be a top priority as the small crossover stands out in a crowded field.

Lately, the grill is the biggest thing you notice on new vehicles. Yes, the XT4 does have a large grill but the slick front light clusters steal the show on this baby caddy. There are crisp lines and sharp angles on the body. Even the back side has a spoiler and dual exhaust openings. Like up front, the light clusters are large and dominate the look of the XT4.

I tested the top-of-the-line XT4 Sport that starts at around $43,000, but with options can quickly jump past $50,000 like this ride. That extra coin buys you the optional Autumn paint, a pleasing orange, that I actually liked.

Bigger 20-inch wheels are part of the Sport Dynamic package. Usually, I would frown upon the bigger wheels, but they look good on the XT4 and the suspension is also upgraded to better cope.

Driving the Cadillac XT4 Sport proves it is the most refined of the XT4 model range. Much of that has to do with the optional Active Sport Suspension that helps keep the small crossover a smooth operator under most road conditions.

But the suspension can get a bit busy on poor road surfaces transmitting into the cabin. I found the handling solid and happier as a normal crossover. It feels a bit heavy when pushed in the turns. The 2.0L four-cylinder turbo is the only engine and it moves the XT4 well.

At first, the XT4 is very eager allowing you keep up with traffic, but it is losing some steam as the speed builds. The nine-speed automatic seems to search for the highest gear possible as quickly as possible, I guess for improved fuel economy. But I managed about 24 mpg for my week of driving, maybe not the best MPG in the small crossover class.

While the new Cadillac is small on the outside, it’s surprisingly spacious on the inside. There is adequate space for those riding up front and two adults can fit in the back without much hassle.

Materials in the interior are a mixed bag of really high quality with some cheaper plastics. Nice dash and top half of door panels lead to lower hard plastics that are mostly out of sight.

The rear windows are small and the door panels are high, so it’s not the best vision for smaller riders. The large panoramic sun roof lets in more light.

Even the cargo area is bigger than that of most competitors in this class. Leather is part of the “Comfort and Convenience” package that adds seat ventilation and front seat massage, a nice touch in this price class.

Part of the package includes a hands-free lift gate, which helps not having to fumble for the remote key.

The cold weather package adds heated seats front and rear, plus a heated steering wheel.

A pleasant surprise is the eight-inch touchscreen that’s easy to use and very responsive. While the knobs aren’t back near the screen, there is volume and tuning on the center console, which is a huge win for easy operation.

The sound from the Bose system is excellent for this class and sounds good turned up or at normal level.

The smallest Cadillac crossover could have the biggest impact for the luxury brand. With its standout looks, luxury interior and a price that’s obtainable by more people, we might just see more Cadillacs on the streets.

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