By Frank S. Washington
DETROIT – We first the test drove the Cadillac XT4 when it debuted in Seattle. The point is that the test drive was structured and on unfamiliar pavement.
This time we had it on our turf and were duly impressed, not that we weren’t the first time. We could really drive the XT4, unencumbered by looking at a map or trying to figure out where we were and where we were going.
All that is to say the excitement was under the hood. The XT4 was powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that made 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque that kicked in at a low 1,500 RPM.
The engine was mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. We had the all-wheel-drive sport trim package. It got 22 mpg in the city, 29 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg combined.
This XT4 was quick, had oodles of oomph and it was responsive. The luxury crossover was comfortable, easy to drive and it was spacious.
Luxury is not a word we toss around. We thought the power tilt and telescoping steering wheel was indicative of some luxurious thinking. All four doors were keyless entry which is not a bad sign either.
We think Cadillac has mixed high tech and low tech well. The instruments on the XT4 were analogue with a large TFT screen between the odometer and speedometer. There was an adjustable head up display and you could change the information displayed on the windshield.
The touch infotainment screen was embedded in the dash. Underneath were the climate controls and underneath them were the controls for equipment like the heated and cooled seats.
We thought it interesting that both lines of buttons underneath the infotainment screen were shaped like a wide version of the V of the Cadillac Crest. That was a nice bit of branding.
There were four drive modes: touring, AWD, sport and off-road. We stayed in either touring or sport.
Cadillac arguably has done more with edge design than any other automaker. Our XT4 Sport model featured a gloss black mesh grille, gloss black window moldings and specific Sport alloy wheels.
We had LED lighting, front and rear, with front LED low- and high-beam headlamps and an LED-illuminated light blade for the daytime running lamps.
The interior featured a carbon fiber pattern along the dash and on the doors. On the center console was the rotary mouse for the infotainment screen, of course the electronic gear shifter, and the volume control for the radio. At the front of the console was a covered bin that had A and C USB jacks.
The wireless charging pad was in the center console. There was a removable shelf in there too; take it out and it revealed a very deep cargo space as well.
There was no moon roof nor panoramic roof on this model. But the liftgate was power and there were paddle shifters.
We found heated rear seats and additional A and C USB jacks in the rear. We thought the LED lights over the doors versus in the middle of the headliner were a nice touch. They illuminated the back nicely and we only turned one of them on.
The other thing we noticed was that there was little fall off in the quality of the back seats. The rear door panels were soft to the touch.
There was plenty of head room and the tunnel was not so pronounced to keep somebody from sitting on the hump which did not amount to much. Three people could sit abreast in the back seat, but we would not recommend it for the long haul.
The 2021 Cadillac XT4 has all the creature comforts you would expect: satellite radio, heated power folding mirrors, Bluetooth, wireless streaming, forward collision warning, navigation, park assist, Wi-Fi, voice controls and adaptive cruise control.
But there were couple of things that caught us by surprise like the massaging front seats and the rearview mirror camera as well as the rear pedestrian alert. What’s more, anytime we got out of the XT4, a chime would go off and a message that would flash on the TFT screen to remind us to check the back seats.
The base price of our 2021 Cadillac XT4 Sport AWD was $42,495. But add $10,395 worth of options packages, plus a $995 freight charge and the sticker came to $53,385.