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DRIVEN: 2019 Cadillac XT4 Premium Luxury AWD 2.0t

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DRIVEN: 2019 Cadillac XT4 Premium Luxury AWD 2.0t, sticker north of 50 for sure

HIGHS:

-Pretty spot on size for compact class for Cadillac, this will be easy to park for urban dwellers or those who park in ramps.

-A Cadillac with some personality, whoa.

-Despite what you've read, this is actually a smooth engine, and it revs nicely.

-I felt the acceleration was very good and more than I expected following reviews I've read.  And the transmission really kicked down nicely when i needed it.

-Very nice responsive steering.  Perfect quickness and a very nice size steering wheel to work with.  This wasn't a sport model yet to me this is sportier than so many other vehicles out there.

-It's an all wheel drive vehicle, but you wouldn't have guessed during the drive.  I didn't feel excessive weight or drag like on most AWD vehicles.  The AWD may have been fully turned off but even then on other cars you still feel the car carrying around all the other stuff all the time.  I didn't feel that here.  Overall the chassis felt tight.

-I feel very good cabin space front and rear for a compact class.  Right size, I even had what i felt was decent elbow room

-I felt the seat height and dash location was very good.  I didn't feel like i was sitting up too high like a lot of CUV's but i still could get a nice leg extension for CUV comfort.

-Really liked (and I didn't think I would) the dash layout.  Gauges were nice, the chiclet buttons for climate i would eventually figure out what each was for but they are RIGHT there.  The steering wheel buttons don't feel cheap even though there are a lot of them crammed in there.  Dig the size and shape of the new shifter, and the knobs for multimedia behind the shifter initially seem helpful to cut down pawing at the dash for audio functions.  The in dash screen is at a nice angle and doesn't dominate the dash like say, the 2020 Ford Explorer's.  Overall I was very surprised that I didn't really take issue with any material quality inside.

-No complaints on the front seats.  I would always like to spend more time with them but initially they seemed supportive for even a bigger guy. 

-I think this is a vehicle that would appeal to the target market of younger women, if they can look past the badge, and if you can get them in the seat.

-Overall, this vehicle has a much different feel than the milquetoast XT5 I drove immediately prior.  Really its quite evident very quickly between the two how different they are when you get it on the road.

-A really good vehicle for singles or DINK empty nesters, who won't be carting around a lot of extra people and stuff often.  A good second vehicle for those who may already have another larger utility vehicle in the fold as well.

LOWS:

-Exhaust is loud, and I think this is what some reviewers perceive to be coarse powertrain.  Admittedly I think Cadillac needs to tone down some of the exhaust sound and add some more sound deadening inside the cabin).  "Luxury" does mean a certain level of tuning out noise levels and certain types of road noise.  I won't classify it as egregious, just a bit different than what those shopping Cadillacs are used to hearing.

-Car had good power but I hope to see them offer an optional state of tune of 300hp or so (and more mid range torque snap); the vehicle is spunky and more power available would really add to the aura of sportiness.

-While I loved the steering, it's almost awesome, just asking for a bit more steering heft and weight to go with the quickness.

-If i recall, the rear seat backrests don't recline, that should be something you'd expect in a 50k vehicle.

-Shfter / console does tend to cut into your leg space more than it should I think.

-GM still wants to push this shifter with an odd operation.  I guess it just takes awhile to get used to, but I want to really know what the benefit is to it being different.

-There are those that criticize the styling as either being too much like an old Ford Edge, or too much old school GM folds and creases.  I would not call the XT4 sleek, I will say that.  I wish the design was less safe, even though it's just fine.

-Not having driven a lot of the competitors of this class of vehicle it is hard for me to know if it is really deficient in some areas like some reviews suggest or if it's just media bias.  

-Pricing is pretty ambitious, let's see what happens with that.  Value is decent at lower MSRP's but like other GM's the pricing gets comical when they start adding a ton of stuff; then at that point there isn't good value there.

-Be absolutely certain you don't want something larger than a compact class vehicle, especially if this is your daily driver and needs to serve all your passenger needs.

SUMMARY

I am usually pretty homer on GM stuff, so this was probably going to get a good review from me anyways, and I really do put out the disclaimer that I don't know what an X1 or XC40 is like.  But to me I judge this in two significant ways.  I think it could potentially appeal to younger women who take the chance to drive it (which is exactly what GM is hoping for), and I think some of GM's usual fan base.... I will be curious to see the reaction.  I've already read some owner reviews of this vehicle on other websites and such and some typical Cadillac fans think its not posh like they are used to.  I think the liveliness of the XT4 is something new for pedestrian Cadillacs and I think its a good direction that we shall see if it sticks.  But I liked it well enough assuming lower trim spec and a careful control of the price.  No letter grade here, I just enjoyed driving it, it was fun, i could live with it apart from overall usually just wanting a larger vehicle.  Plenty of opportunities to fine tune little things as far as perceived refinement and maybe adding more power.  Once they do that, I hope to see this do well in the market .

Edited by regfootball
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Hey Cadillac has a neat little benefit going on right now.    Go to www.xt4tickets.com and you can test drive register.  Driven an XT4 for a 100 dollar ticketmaster gift.

So I did drove the XT4 again today.  I think now after a second time I can say or confirm reaffirm some things.

For a compact size class of vehicle, Cadillac got the exterior and interior size right.  And it has space inside, more than you may expect for a compact, but the vehicle may not be big enough for everyone looking because it is a compact.

I did like the seating position and the interior layout is nice.  It is true the interior could be more luxurious, however..... with this being a brand entry vehicle like say, the Mercedes CLA, I think you have to know you are not getting something on par with a more expensive model.  

It is true there is perhaps more road noise than there should be, and also the gnarly exhaust is not what traditionally passes for Cadillac.  And the ride is not as supple as you may want.  These are minor NVH issues Cadillac can improve on.  For a vehicle targeted at younger buyers however, they will care less about that than old folks I believe.  With this being Cadillac and high price points, I do think they need to keep working on these things for this model.

Acceleration is good, better than common brands, but they should rush to get a higher power option to market soon.

The space efficiency of this vehicle impresses me.  GM demonstrates from time to time that they can be efficient with space in their models.

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Posted (edited)

well i have an unexpected offer from a retailer for a screaming good deal on an XT4 lease, (Its an event vehicle, really its like, Malibu or XT4 kind of deal).  I was getting jazzed up about it but,

the Base trim level ont he XT4 does not have blind spot monitor / cross traffic alert available, even as an option.  This is stuff I feel should be standard on a Cadillac.  At least this particular XT4 has the heated seat option.  Heated seats should be standard on any Cadillac IMO.

I turned down an absolutely sick good deal on a lightly used Regal Sportback Essence recently because it did not have that feature on that particular vehicle as well.

Absolutely and completely irritating GM does this stuff. No wonder their vehicles sit on lots forever.

Edited by regfootball
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So you're not all alone in this thread~
I would NOT buy a vehicle specifically because it had the "safety" package, IE: forward collision warning/ blind spot watcher/ etc etc. Thankfully it's optional on the Silverado & not forced on you. Buddy's wife has some of those features on a mazda cx-5 and he says it's a frightening & invasive suite of controls. Who wants to be repeatedly jarred & on edge as they drive. Hopefully a 'fuse can be pulled' if a future vehicle here has them.

Heated seats I can get up on. ;)

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Posted (edited)

i do respect the choice aspect here.

But I think to omit even the option of the safety equipment on the base trim for something that is standard on Kias, is quite GM like and frustrating as hell.

GM in general.  I would love a Regal TourX wagon.  But the TourX with cloth, you can't get heated seats on as an option.  Not a big deal really except that often the TourX in cloth is even stickering at 37k on the lot, and I'm sorry, a 37k MSRP vehicle.  Especially a mid lux brand like buick....Dual Zone climate and heated seats should be in that vehicle at 37,000.  And a nicer seat material than ratty cloth that even Suzuki wouldn't put in their cars.

On the Silverado they sell so many of them they can afford to have so many different configurations.

On the XT4, the heated seats option covers the front and rear seats.  Now that i like as Cadillac doing something in line with luxury.  Both rows.

I've had blind spot monitor on both my cars now and have gotten used to it to 'assist' me in checking my blind spot better.  It does IMO save me some close calls, it's a feature I absolutely want to have.  It's most useful function is when you are passing it helps you to be more confident in the space you have before you pull back in front of someone.

I think there are some aftermarket blind spot systems out there.  But back to my point, Cadillacs IMO ought to have them, at least available on every trim.  I think standard, and maybe able to be disabled by the user if desired.

Edited by regfootball
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15 minutes ago, balthazar said:

Who wants to be repeatedly jarred & on edge as they drive. Hopefully a 'fuse can be pulled' if a future vehicle here has them.

I'm pretty sure that stuff can be disabled without any fuse removal.. At least they can on my MKC.. I'd only assume everybody would make that stuff disable-able.. 

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• if the Regal cloth is “sub-Suzuki quality” (which has to be raging hyperbole), then why not get leather and your heated seats? Or is the leather ‘sub-fiat quality’?)

• if its frustrating to want a ‘safety package’ on a Cadillac but it’s not available, it’s exactly the same if you DON’T want it and are forced to pay for it on a Brand X because it’s standard.

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Posted (edited)

If an automaker offers both cloth and leather, at least make the cloth offering nice enough. Buick>Kia on the pecking order. Buick’s cloth should be nicer than what you can find in a random Kia. 

And yes you can get leather if you choose  but then if you are a premium brand why offer the cloth if it’s shitty cloth  

 

Edited by regfootball

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Seeing the XT4 on the road has brought me around to the looks.  The stubby rear overhang was a problem for me until I realized the length was put into the rear door and subsequent rear seat room.  Seems a decent CUV.  I still think the Corsair is much more classically handsome and well proportioned though.

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This isn’t ‘the one’ but you gotta admit the XT4 is sharp. 

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I like the exterior color of that XT4, but the interior looks awfully drab and colorless.

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Would love a saddle brown color that does not skew orange like other late model GM non-black or gray interiors.  I really liked the Cinnamon and Black cloth interior on the Equinox, but of course GM discontinued it for 2020.  They are so obsessed with offering the fewest, only top-selling color combos, to heck with customer choice anymore.

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Sucks that you can get the Black / Brown interior with any color other than the Atlantic Metallic and that has to have the White / Black interior.

I agree GM needs to allow better interior color combos.

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6 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

I like the exterior color of that XT4, but the interior looks awfully drab and colorless.

GM standard SEA OF BLACK.  DEATH BLACK interiors, GM's specialty!

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I forget which models had/have that gorgeous cocoa brown interiors.  Why GM would ditch that for just black interiors is insane, especially down here in FL where the heat is rather brutal and humid.  Why does GM not have any variety at all these days?  Are they trying to repel potential customers?

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22 minutes ago, regfootball said:

Yes, they are in the Barra Erra

Agreed!

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On 6/23/2019 at 8:13 PM, regfootball said:

GM standard SEA OF BLACK.  DEATH BLACK interiors, GM's specialty!

death black, and despair gray.  

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Black is my first choice in an interior color. I really don't care how many of what other vehicles I didn't buy have in them.

Changing the green interior of my B-59 to black.

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On 6/23/2019 at 5:13 PM, regfootball said:

GM standard SEA OF BLACK.  DEATH BLACK interiors, GM's specialty!

^This is one of the many reasons my next new Auto might not be a GM product.

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Remember when Buick did a purple interior and no one bought it?  It was just a few years ago.   

2016-Buick-LaCrosse12.jpg

 

Cadillac did very nice red interiors.... no one bought them. 

Cadillac-ATS-Red-Interior-637x340.jpg

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that's because GM's plastics and leathers are cheap to start with and when its not tan, gray or black it looks that much more like ass.  If the leather and plastics were better quality the unique colors would look a lot better.  I sat in a Stelvio with the red leather awhile back and all the red interior and leather looked really good.  GM never really pulls off colors well because they don't execute.

 

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1 minute ago, regfootball said:

that's because GM's plastics and leathers are cheap to start with and when its not tan, gray or black it looks that much more like ass.  If the leather and plastics were better quality the unique colors would look a lot better.  I sat in a Stelvio with the red leather awhile back and all the red interior and leather looked really good.  GM never really pulls off colors well because they don't execute.

 

If you're already sold on an ATS, you're not going to not buy the red one because the plastic in the center is cheap looking.  It's the same on all of them. 

In other words... if you're going to get an ATS, might as well get one with the red interior instead of the black.

I like the blue and tan that jeep does on some models. 

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Yes, that blue and tan is nice.  I also love Lincoln's interesting interior colors.  The blue is divine.  Luxury cars could be more bespoke because luxury car buyers want to stand out.  Lincoln gets a thumbs up for all of their newest interiors.

Lincoln wants to be seen as a car for people who come from wealthy families for generations... where Cadillac comes across as too techy and sterile... unwarm.

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