Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport – A Legacy of Excellence

The updated 2024 Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport luxury SUV quietly builds on its legacy with beautiful design touches, an expansive media screen and all the safety tech you could ever want.

Cadillac Xt4 Awd Sport
The Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport glistens in the sun. Photo: Paul Strauss

The Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport Brought Back Lovely Memories

When I was 10 years old, my dad picked me up after school in my Uncle George’s car. It was a 1978 Cadillac Sedan DeVille with a Sea Mist Green paint job. I opened the passenger door, climbed into the front seat and marveled at the luxurious interior. “Wow, what a car!” I muttered to my father.

Sometimes, design elements come together just right, and the impact is significant. That was the first time I had ever felt overwhelmed by the beauty of a Cadillac. Historically, this carmaker was the epitome of luxury and style and a premier manufacturer of well-built, high-quality automobiles. And it kept its crown for quite a long time.

Decades later, I found myself once again swiveling my head around in wonder as I sat behind the wheel of the recently reinvigorated 2024 Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport, which starts at $45,690 (the model I drove was $57,815). After my initial impression, I needed to drive it to see if I felt as giddy as I did when I was a kid. I’m so glad I had the opportunity.

Related: 5 Reasons to Love the Cadillac CT5-V and the CT5-V Blackwing 

Cadillac Xt4 Awd Sport

The rear view of the 2024 Cadillac XT4 Sport AWD. Photo: Paul Strauss

A Striking Cadillac Exterior, Even Without Tail Fins

It doesn’t take much time to recognize this Cadillac XT4’s curb appeal; the looks of this car grab hold of you the same way a well-groomed purebred dog on a leash does. You see it, and then you don’t see anything else around it because it’s so noteworthy. I enjoyed running my eyes over this car while I had my time with it. It beckoned to me, starting at the top with the dark, contrasting roof rails. The premium Crystal White Tricoat exterior paint pops and dazzles with cleanliness and dimension in the natural light, which caused me to take a few admiring double takes in the parking lots when I approached it after completing errands. I felt elegant and pleased sliding into the driver’s seat, even if I was just in my sweatpants with a messy bun, picking up dry cleaning and things at Target.

The days of the famous Cadillac tailfins are gone, now replaced with a set of distinctive LED taillights. These were the first things I noticed about the car. I couldn’t help but smile whenever I looked at them. They are bold and extend to the roofline, which compliments the curved headlights in front that finish in a line perpendicular to the hood. It all looks so put together, and the meticulous creases and edges on the body add to the elegance. The fins are gone, but this exterior LED lighting in both the front and the rear of the vehicle enhances the Cadillac XT4’s curves like a perfectly groomed set of eyebrows.

Cadillac Xt4 Awd Sport

I am wild about these headlights on the Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport. Photo: Gigi Leonard

This Interior Shines with Deluxe Details

The interior cabin for the Cadillac AWD Sport is awash in black leather and charcoal grey suede. The generously sized seats in the front and second rows are supportive and cradle all passengers in comfort. If you are a tactile person, you will enjoy some lovely textures in this model, too—a lovely suede panel lines the dashboard with contrast Santorini blue embroidery stitching and the same contrast integrated into the seating. This suede can also be seen on the seats, like opulent epaulets that drape sophisticatedly on a stylish jacket in your closet.

I was absolutely wild about the carbon fiber trim featured in the cabin in the Sport model. Even though this is not an SUV designed for racing, it did get my blood pumping whenever I looked at it, reflecting substantially in the sun. And brushed alloy sport pedals added even more sporty intrigue.

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors in the second row and a tether anchor for the middle seat. This is a subcompact 2-row luxury SUV, so I was not expecting a huge back seat and the legroom that comes with it; however, I did find that I had plenty of room behind the driver’s seat when I hopped in the back.

The most impressive feature inside this vehicle, though, is the 33” curved LED multimedia screen, which extends from the driver’s side all the way to the edge center of the cabin. Inspired by the screen in the Cadillac Lyriq, it is, of course, customizable and sets the tone for the interior. I couldn’t stop looking at it; its bespoke appearance was soothing to my eyes, it had all the information I wanted at a glance, and it made the information coming through it seem integrated into the driving experience. It even has the “Hey Google” voice assistance, although I did not use that feature.

I enjoyed the clarity and full color of the multimedia screen. It was a pleasure to see everything at a glance, in full color, too, thanks to Apple CarPlay. I would like to mention that the steering wheel can block some parts of the screen, including the climate display. This may be a learning curve for XT4 buyers until adjustments are made to the seating position and the steering wheel.

Related: Cadillac Escalade V Luxury 3-Row SUV Sounds as Drives as Good as It Looks

Cadillac Xt4 Sport Awd

The 33″ multimedia screen in the Cadillac XT4 Sport AWD is simply fantastic. Photo: Paul Strauss

Feeling Fine and Tasteful Behind the Wheel

In the driver’s seat, a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine is waiting for you. This is Cadillac’s only engine offering for this SUV. It provides a solid 258 lb-ft of torque and 235 HP when using premium gasoline, and a 9-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly through the gears as you accelerate.

While this isn’t a performance vehicle like my daily driver, it did provide enough passing power when I needed it and I felt comfortable connected to the road at slower speeds. At higher speeds, I felt more vibrations during the ride. Cabin noise levels were average while traveling on the highway.

Given my combination of city and highway driving, I got an average of 30 mpg in the Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport, which is notably higher than the 23 city/28 highway/25 combined EPA-estimated mpg for AWD listed for this model.

Related: Cadillac Escalade IQ Electric 3-Row SUV

Cadillac Xt4 Awd Sport

The Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport kept me safe and alert in substantial downpours. Photo: Gigi Leonard

I Felt Safe in the Cadillac XT4

These safety features are standard in the Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport:

  • Front Pedestrian Braking
  • Automatic Emergency braking
  • Forward Collision alert
  • Safety Alert seat
  • Rear Park assist

Of all the things on this list, I appreciate the Safety Alert seat the most. Somehow, I found myself driving this car multiple times in the heavy pouring rain at night. On dark two-lane highways in the country, it was a comfort to know the car was watching out for my safety; I wasn’t on my own.

The Safety Alert seat uses cushion vibration pulses to help you detect and identify the direction of potential crashes. It is activated in tandem with a variety of other driver assistance technologies. You will feel them on the left, right, or both sides of the bottom of the driver’s seat. The occasional gentle but firm buzzing vibration under my legs helped me to stay focused in the hazardous weather.

The Cadillac Xt4 Awd Sport

The side view of the Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport. Photo: Gigi Leonard

The Trim Selections on the Cadillac XT4

There are 3 models offered currently. The Luxury model begins at $37,895. This includes the 2.0L Turbo 4-cylinder engine, the 33″ diagonal advanced color LED display with Google Built-In, 18″ alloy wheels, LED headlamps and taillamps, and the Cadillac Smart System suite of safety and driver assistance features.

The Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport has a base price of $45,690; the model I drove was loaded with over $12K of upgrades, including:

  • Comfort and Convenience package, including power lumbar massaging front-row seats with ventilation and power adjustment
  • Active Safety package, which includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Speed Limit Assist, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, enhanced HD Surround Vision, Rear Pedestrian Alert, Side Bicyclist Alert, Traffic Sign Recognition, Enhanced Automatic Emergency Braking, Reverse Automatic Braking, and Intersection Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Technology package, including head-up display, rear camera mirror and washer, power tilt steering column, and wireless phone charger
  • AKG 14 speaker upgrade – which I did not deem necessary because the dynamic range was limited unless listening at high volumes
  • Dual panel glass power sunroof
  • Premium paint
  • 20″ multi-spoke alloy wheels
  • Carbon fiber trim on the interior
  • Active Sport suspension

There was a Cold Weather package included as well, which heats the steering wheel and the seats in the rear.

The Cadillac Xt4 Awd Sport

Sleek and sexy carbon fiber is part of the Sport trim package on the Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport. Photo: Gigi Leonard

What We Loved About the Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport

  • The carbon fiber details made my heart race
  • The luxuriously modern and impressive multimedia screen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • An amazing suite of HD cameras
  • The spacious second-row seating and generous cargo space
Cadillac Xt4 Awd Sport

The second-row seating in the 2024 Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport. Photo: Paul Strauss

Who is the Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport for?

The Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport is for lots of people: buyers who are ready to purchase their first luxury car, buyers who feel they deserve the reward of a luxury SUV but wish to keep its expense at a reasonable level, and also for those who are downsizing from a larger family car but still want to drive an SUV with luxurious touches.

It’s not as athletic as a BMW X1, but it has more cargo capacity (48.9 cubic feet) and legroom (39.5”) in the rear. It’s more expensive than a Volvo XC40, but the XT4 has better gas mileage efficiency. It has similar power to the Lincoln Corsair, but the Corsair can’t tow 3,500 pounds like the XT4 can.

The XT4 AWD Sport, priced towards the higher end of its class, is a good fit for professionals who want to enjoy a higher level of sophistication. It’s great for daily commutes or touring, with adult-size seating in the back and elevated design touches in the interior.

It may be OK for young families with kids in forward-facing car seats or boosters, but a rear-facing car seat will be a squeeze on front-seat passengers. And cargo space is ample, allowing room for hauling gear or groceries.

The Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport is also for anyone who respects the longevity of this venerable brand and for legacy buyers who wish to see the luxury continue.

Who knows—there may be another 10-year-old girl out there now, marveling at the feel of this elegant vehicle and wondering what it would be like someday to have a car like this—one that carries a legacy of luxury.

Cadillac Xt4 Awd Sport

The Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport Monroney courtesy of Cadillac.

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Raconteur, bon vivant, and Managing Editor of A Girls Guide to Cars, Oklahoma-based Gigi Leonard has vivid memories of... More about Gigi Leonard