The First Ever 2019 Cadillac XT4: A Modern Design and Function are the Soul of this Luxury SUV

A Girls Guide To Cars | The First Ever 2019 Cadillac Xt4: A Modern Design And Function Are The Soul Of This Luxury Suv - Cadillac Xt4 Featured Image

Designed for how you live, with everything you want.

We love our SUVs. We can’t get enough of them. And, we love luxury. Because, if you have to spend time in the car, shouldn’t it look and feel good?

Cadillac is with you. To better connect with car buyers in their 30’s and 40’s, buyers who crave adventure, value experiences and need flexibility in their cars, Cadillac rethought everything. The XT4, a brand new SUV, is smart, intuitive and of course, luxurious.

Further Reading: See how the XT4 luxury SUV compares to the larger XT5

A Girls Guide To Cars | The First Ever 2019 Cadillac Xt4: A Modern Design And Function Are The Soul Of This Luxury Suv - My Drive Partner Motoman And I Getting Ready For A Day Of Driving Through Seattle

My drive partner MotoMan and I getting ready for a day of driving through Seattle. Check out the panoramic sun roof! Photo: Scotty Reiss

Who This Car is For:

  • Buyers who want luxury
  • Urban drivers for whom parking and space is a consideration
  • Drivers who want a smaller SUV but don’t want to give up interior space
  • Small families
  • Singles or couples, especially those with dogs
  • Buyers who need an SUV and want luxury
A Girls Guide To Cars | The First Ever 2019 Cadillac Xt4: A Modern Design And Function Are The Soul Of This Luxury Suv - One Of My Favorite Details In The Cadillac Xt4 Usb And Usb C Ports In The Back Seat Let Me Charge My Laptop

Love this feature in the XT4: A USB-C port in the front AND back seat allow me to charge my laptop. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What This Car Costs

  • Luxury (entry) model: $35,790
  • Premium Luxury model with Bose premium sound system and leather seats, $40,290
  • Sport Model $40,290
  • Add all wheel drive, $2,500
  • Add heated and cooled massaging leather seats and a power lift gate, add $1,050
  • Add head up display, wireless charging and driver information screen, add $1,650
  • Add adaptive cruise and forward and reverse automatic braking, add $1,100
  • Add the panoramic sunroof, $1550
  • Destination charge, $995
  • Nicely loaded with most of the features mentioned here, $55,085

Need a Luxury SUV? Consider Cadillac. To Understand Why, Here’s a Little History

The brand is in the midst of reinventing itself. The classic American luxury brand built its reputation as a leader in luxury. For generations it was the brand that announced that you’d arrived—socially, financially, and then of course, in person.

And Cadillac drivers knew this; they were fiercely loyal. But, they aged and the brand aged with them. It became less relevant to younger buyers, to families, to lovers of modern luxury.

Still, you’d see Escalades whisking Kardashians around town, lining the award show red carpets and rolling with rock stars. But the cache didn’t translate to the driveways of affluent America.

A few years ago Cadillac set out to change that. First, the brand proved itself on the race track, adding engines and engineering that allowed it to win around the world.

Then, it became a leader in luxury experiences, adding every conceivable luxury, from a ‘subscription’ service that allows customers to drive the model they want when they want, to Super Cruise semi-autonomous driving mode that competes head to head with Tesla’s auto pilot feature.

We took a live look at the XT4 with our friend MotoMan:

Further Reading: Not ready for and SUV? See how the ATS-V sedan stacks up

A Girls Guide To Cars | The First Ever 2019 Cadillac Xt4: A Modern Design And Function Are The Soul Of This Luxury Suv - The Cadillac Xt4 The Fin Front Lights Are Designed To Hint At The Brands Iconic Past

The Cadillac XT4 we test drove, along Washington State’s Hood Canal. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Next up: The Driveways of the Accomplished and Affluent

As car buyers make the journey from success to reward, as they expand their families and add adventure to their bucket lists, Cadillac wants to facilitate the ride. Enter the X Series.

First came the XT5, a mid-sized SUV with the classic Cadillac luxury DNA. It’s great for a family of 4, for owners who need all wheel drive, for buyers who want the Cadillac experience.

And now, Cadillac fills a spot in the most sought-after car category: the compact SUV. Drivers who love SUVs have long been asking why they need to haul around the cargo capacity of a walk-in closet. Smaller is more efficient, more fun to drive and easier to park and manage.

Further Reading: Learning to thrill: Performance driving with Cadillac on the track

A Girls Guide To Cars | The First Ever 2019 Cadillac Xt4: A Modern Design And Function Are The Soul Of This Luxury Suv - The Front Cabin Of The Cadillac Xt4

The front cabin of the Cadillac XT4. Photo: Scotty Reiss

XT4’s Interior Shows off the New Cadillac DNA

This is big. BIG. It’s gorgeous. The interior is smart. It’s intuitive. And, it’s pretty complete. In a car you want everything you need, when you need it, at your finger tips.

“We asked our customers,” Cadillac’s head engineer, Todd Pawlik, told me as he showed off his favorite features in the XT4. Customers responded they wanted touch screen function as well as easy to access buttons for things like air conditioning and radio volume. Customer surveys led Todd and his team to design a number of great features into the car, including:

  • Panoramic sunroof
  • A live view rear view mirror! Set it and forget it, keep the best mirror in the car positioned for lipstick touch-ups use the live view for seeing all that is behind you
  • A wireless charge pad that doubles as a great place to hold your phone
  • Underfloor storage in the cargo area next to the spare tire
  • Illuminated USB and USB-C ports, front and back
  • Heated rear seats
  • Head up display
  • Easy and intuitive screen dial and radio control
  • Apple Car Play/Android Auto, which connects your phone to the car (Yay!)
  • Massaging front seats are part of the heated seat package
  • 8” Entertainment screen that is s both touch and button controlled
  • OnStar, because, of course! Stay connected, get turn by turn directions and know where your teen driver is at all times
  • Better MPG: this smaller SUV also has a 4 cylinder twin turbo front wheel drive for better MPG; with the all wheel drive option you can pop it into AWD when you need it
  • Easy to fold flat seats
  • Height adjustable tailgate ideal for short people to reach the gate close button and prevent the gate from grazing the garage ceiling
  • Elegantly covered child car seat latches (LOVE this!!!)

It’s unusual to see the chief engineer geek out about all the features and amenities in a new car; they are usually all wrapped up in the engine specs and what the car can do on the road.

But Todd has been driving the XT4 for a while and was beaming with pride over all the features. So I had to ask, what is his favorite feature? The panoramic sunroof. I love that he said this! Not only is it one of my favorite features in new cars, but it’s a must-buy if you can. It changes your time in the car and makes smaller cars more comfortable for everyone. Back seat passengers won’t feel claustrophobic, and, everyone looks better with all that light.

A Girls Guide To Cars | The First Ever 2019 Cadillac Xt4: A Modern Design And Function Are The Soul Of This Luxury Suv - Legroom In The Back Seat Of The Cadillac Xt4 Note The Usb And Usb C Ports Nicely Illuminated So You Can Find Them

Legroom in the back seat of the Cadillac XT4; note the USB and USB-C ports, nicely illuminated so you can find them. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Small SUVs: Built for the City, and Yes, for Families

So here’s the thing about a small SUV. It’s small. But that doesn’t mean it is cramped. During our test drive in the XT4 I spent time in the back seat. Unless the front seat is pushed back significantly, there’s plenty of leg room. There is also plenty of cargo room in the rear and of course, the fold-flat seats offer even more space. I found the seats easy to fold down and push back into place with one hand. I love that.

I also loved that the second row is ideal for child passenger car seats; the seating surfaces are flat, not bucket seats, so they will accommodate car seats easily. It looks as if a booster or third car seat would be easy to install in the center, though we didn’t get the chance to try it out. Then, the latch anchors are easy to access yet elegantly covered by the leather upholstery. This is a smart and thoughtful touch. There are two latches in the back seat, though there’s not a latch for the center seat.

A Girls Guide To Cars | The First Ever 2019 Cadillac Xt4: A Modern Design And Function Are The Soul Of This Luxury Suv - Massaging Seats Are Controlled By The Buttons And Toggles On The Side Of The Seat Each Function Is Displayed On The Infotainment Screen

Massaging seats are controlled by the buttons and toggles on the side of the seat; each function is displayed on the infotainment screen. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Driving in the City With Confidence and Power

The XT4 carries an engine that is new to Cadillac. The 4 cylinder 237 horsepower engine has a 9-speed transmission and several features designed to maximize your power as well as your MPG. The XT4 offers two or three drive modes: Touring, Sport and AWD for buyers who choose this option.

The SUV’s natural state is front wheel drive; you can shift to AWD when you need it or into sport when you want to feel more of the road. With the car in Touring mode we averaged 28 MPG on city and highway roads, and with plenty of stopping and starting.

A Girls Guide To Cars | The First Ever 2019 Cadillac Xt4: A Modern Design And Function Are The Soul Of This Luxury Suv - Head Up Display Projects Key Information On The Windshiled In Front Of You So You Dont Have To Glance Away To See Your Speed And Other Information

Head up display projects key information on the windshiled in front of you so you don’t have to glance away to see your speed and other information. Photo: Scotty Reiss

I found the 9-speed transmission to be responsive and fun to drive. While 237 horsepower isn’t a huge amount of power, it was fine for the roads we drove through the Seattle area. Putting the car in sport mode gave a bit more power and a bit more fun, and I could shift with XT4’s the paddle shifters, which are more fun on hilly, curvy roads than on long, boring highways.

A Girls Guide To Cars | The First Ever 2019 Cadillac Xt4: A Modern Design And Function Are The Soul Of This Luxury Suv - Cargo Area Is Ample In The Xt4

The cargo area is ample in the Cadillac XT4.. Photo: Scotty Reiss

A Cadillac Redesigned for How You Live

When I first saw the brand new XT4 at the New York Auto Show I thought, oh, a smaller version of the Escalade. But it’s not. Not at all.

The interior of the XT4 is the biggest news, and the most pleasing thing in this car. The changes will appear subtle but are a departure from previous Cadillac interiors — still luxurious but way more intuitive and user-friendly.

And, the smaller size of the XT4 offers even more accessibility, in that you can drive it and park it anywhere. All this poises Cadillac for the next era of luxury, offering what customers want, whether they know it or simply appreciate it when they discover it. And once again, it’s a luxury car that signals that you’ve arrived.

What We Listened to in the Cadillac XT4

We love our music. We love a premium sound system. Thankfully, the XT4 has a Bose premium sound system standard. This is what sounded great on the highways and back rods of Seattle in this luxury SUV.

A Girls Guide To Cars | The First Ever 2019 Cadillac Xt4: A Modern Design And Function Are The Soul Of This Luxury Suv - The Infotainmnet Dial Is Placed Perfectly In Front Of The Arm Rest Rest Your Arm And Drop Your Wrist To Reach The Dial And The Radio Volumne Dial

The infotainment dial is placed perfectly in front of the arm rest; rest your arm and drop your wrist to reach the dial and other controls. Photo: Scotty Reiss

The Cadillac Xt4 Luxury Suv Is Redesigned For How Modern Families Live

The wireless charge pad also doubles as a great place to store your phone; a phone can tuck right inside the arm rest and charge, or connect to the USB port, as it does here. Photo: Scotty Reiss

A Girls Guide To Cars | The First Ever 2019 Cadillac Xt4: A Modern Design And Function Are The Soul Of This Luxury Suv - The Touch Screen In The Xt4

The infotainment screen is both dial and touch controlled in the XT4. Photo: Scotty Reiss

And finally, here’s a look at what we loved most in the Cadillac XT4. You’re welcome!

Disclosure: I was Cadillac’s guest for this test drive; travel and accommodations were provided by all opinions are my own.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss