~ A DriveWays Review ~
by Frank A. Aukofer
For people of a certain age and persuasion, Cadillac has always signified unbounded luxury and prestige, often with dashes of schmaltz. That’s why the 2023 XT4 AWD Premium Luxury crossover sport utility vehicle comes as something of a surprise.
It’s a decent, compact four-door with all-wheel drive; utilitarian in outlook with schmears of sportiness and luxury—not unlike others of its ilk that pepper the marketplace and have been forcing traditional sedans into oblivion. This Cadillac’s competitors are not exclusively luxury marques; nor are they economy vehicles.
At least a dozen were identified for this review as possible choices for a customer seeking a reasonably priced four-door, five passenger crossover with adequate power. They have starting prices in the $30,000 and $40,000 ranges; higher when options are tacked on. They have front-wheel drive (less expensive) or all-wheel drive.
In no particular order, their names are familiar to anyone with a passing knowledge of the U.S. vehicle collective: Lincoln Corsair, Acura RDX, Hyundai Tucson PHEV, Lexus NX 350, Nissan Rogue, Volvo XC-40, Volkswagen Taos, Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV4 and Chevrolet Equinox.
Most are in the neighborhood of 15 feet long and a bit more than 5 feet tall, with nearly all of them offering the interior room of a large sedan, defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as interior volume of more than 120 cubic feet, including space for passengers and cargo. As a group, they also deliver combined city/highway fuel economy average of 25-30 miles to the gallon.
The Cadillac XT4 fits the cadre like an oiled piston in a cylinder. It is 15 feet 1 inch long and 5 feet 4 inches tall, with 98 cubic feet of passenger space and 23 cubic feet for cargo (49 if you fold the rear seatbacks). It weighs 3,980 pounds and can tow up to 2,500 pounds.
Power to all four wheels is delivered via a nine-speed automatic transmission from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (What? No V-8?). It makes 237 horsepower and 238 pound-feet of torque, enough to give the XT4 a zero to 60 miles an hour acceleration time in the seven-second range. Three decades ago, that was considered outstanding for a family hauler; now it’s fairly routine. Its city/highway/combined fuel consumption is rated by the EPA at 22/29/24 miles to the gallon.
There are four pushbutton selectable drive modes: Tour, which reverts to front-wheel drive and delivers a nimble handling feel; AWD, to send the power to all four wheels; Sport, which recalibrates shift points for a more powerful acceleration feel, and Off-Road. All but the Tour mode are all-wheel drive.
The tested XT4 came with a base price of $43,890, including the destination charge. It covered full safety equipment: Automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, reverse automatic braking, forward collision alert, lane-changing alert with side blind-zone alert, lane-keeping as ist, rear cross traffic alert, high-definition rear camera and rear-seat safety alert.
Other equipment, some optional, included adaptive cruise control, a head up display, navigation system, SXM satellite radio, rain-sensing windshield wipers, air ionizer, power rear lift-gate, perforated leather upholstery with heated seats, power tilt and telescope steering wheel, dual-panel panoramic glass sunroof with front opening, and wireless device charging. It amounted to a fully-equipped luxury SUV with a price tag of $56,385.
Perforated leather upholstery with heating offered long-distance driving comfort. Front seats have prominent bolsters to secure the torso. An intuitive center touch screen handles infotainment functions, which also can be controlled with a console mounted rotary dial. There also are separate buttons to control various functions. Multiple controls for the power driver’s seat ensure an optimum driving position.
Outboard back seats are nearly as supportive and comfortable as the fronts. There’s plenty of head and knee room for average-sized humans but taller passengers are shortchanged. The center-rear position, though not impossible, is not a place to spend a long afternoon. The cushion is hard, knee room is compromised by the intrusion of the front center console, and a large floor hump restricts foot space.
For the driver and three companions, all of this combined to make the XT4 a cordial daily companion. Its size, with capable steering and a well-designed suspension system, delivered competent handling on twisting roads, a comfortable, a serene highway ride with few mechanical sounds and only minor intrusion of road noise except on rough surfaces.
- Model: 2023 Cadillac XT4 350T Premium Luxury four-door crossover sport utility vehicle.
- Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder, turbocharged; 237 hp, 238 lb-ft torque.
- Transmission: Nine-speed automatic with manual shift mode and all-wheel drive.
- Overall length: 15 feet 1 inch.
- Height: 5 feet 4 inches.
- EPA/SAE passenger/cargo volume: 98/23 (49) cubic feet.
- Weight: 3,980 pounds.
- Towing capability: 2,500 pounds.
- EPA city/highway/combined fuel consumption: 22/29/24 mpg.
- Base price, including destination charge: $43,890.
- Price as tested: $56,385.
Disclaimer: The manufacturer provided the vehicle used to conduct this test drive and review. Photos © Cadillac