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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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