2022 Cadillac XT4 review

Cadillac has had a very love-hate relationship with entry-level models. There have been some absolute bangers as the kids say (the Series 62 and the V trim ATS), and there have been some absolute bangers in the way the British would use the word (Cimmaron, Catera). The XT4 is Cadillac’s entry-level model. The caveat means there’s a sedan underneath in the lineup (in stature, if not price). Sedans are the only vehicles likely to be stocked at a dealership by 2022 – that is, no one wants them. I say it makes this little crossover a big deal, and it’s in an incredibly competitive segment.

This is the fourth year for the Cadillac compact crossover. Normally around this point we would expect a facelift and a little freshening up on the inside. Instead, Cadillac has added a few new colors to the palette. Our tester, of course, wore neither. Instead appear in basic black. What boring.

Cadillac also discontinued Near-Field Communication phone pairing for 2022. This feature allows you to pair your phone very quickly, something you might do once every few years. Great for someone like me who’s in a different vehicle every week (you should see my Bluetooth list), but owners won’t miss it.

We’ll get one other thing out of the way. This $60,000 luxury SUV didn’t have heated or ventilated seats, even though it had the buttons. To make sure vehicle deliveries at dealerships didn’t get worse than they already are, GM made this (and many other models) without those features when the chip supply ran out.

The good news is that there is a credit on the window decal and GM will retrofit them for free as soon as possible. For XT4, this pertained to vehicles built from approximately mid-November to May 1. GM says they’ve gotten enough chips since then, so XT4s built after May 1 will have the features back. We will not hold our cold butt against the company for this. Still, you should check your window decal while shopping.

Okay, back to the car.

Cadillac divides its models into two distinct trims, which sets its vehicles apart from most other luxury car manufacturers. There are cars with luxury trim, which usually means shiny chrome, and there are sports trim, which means black trim. This is a sport.

Whichever way you go, the XT4 gets a 2.0-liter turbo-four. 235 hp and 258 lb-ft (if you run premium gas) and a nine-speed automatic. AWD is optional, but Cadillac is happy to let you have a front driver if you want it.

2022 Cadillac XT4

It’s a good little engine with plenty of torque throughout the rev range. When you’re planning a drag race, it doesn’t feel quite as fast, but when you step on the pedal to zigzag this Caddy on a highway ramp or overtake a slower car on a two-lane highway, it feels fast. Thank the fast-acting machine for helping with this. It’ll stay in gear for a few moments after that stormy run, just in case you need to pass another slow mover.

It’s also a noisy engine. Especially at cold idle, the sound that comes from under the hood is not exactly standard of the world. It’s worse when you’re outside, as the active noise canceling pretty much dampens the sound in the cabin. Once you get moving it’s less noticeable, but that’s largely due to the noise of the whirring 20-inch tires below. We’d stick with the standard 18-inch set rather than that expensive option.

Looking good is important in this entry-level luxury segment, and it’s hard to find a better-looking newcomer than this one. Cadillac’s large LED accent lighting and sharp creases on the hood, as well as those extra-tall taillights, help it look stunning. That goes double if you choose from the extensive range of paint tones, although Stellar Black over black wheels is a bit, well, boring.

Choose Wave or Rosewood and stand out in that sad corporate parking lot full of silver German SUVs. Or since everyone is still home, let the neighbors wonder what other secretly interesting habits and hobbies you might have.

Inside, this is every other Cadillac. Of course you can joke that every Audi has looked the same on the outside for years, but on the inside Cadillac does it. Honestly, that’s a better decision. It looks the same as the XT5 and XT6 except scaled down. It helps this cabin look impressively premium in a segment where many rely on the brand’s reputation over true luxury content.

2022 Cadillac XT4

The XT4 offers a range of leather and leatherette interiors. This one has what Cadillac calls Sedona and we peanut butter. It’s a look worth paying extra for – and it’s necessary because it’s locked into some option packs.

The 8.0-inch screen looks a bit small in the wide bezel, as if Cadillac intended to offer a bigger one but didn’t. You can add navigation if you want, but all versions have wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and those maps are probably better anyway.

The CUE, as Cadillac calls the system, is very responsive. Fast processing power, or at least making excellent use of it, the software runs smoothly, quickly and seamlessly. There are hard buttons for most controls and natural speech recognition, making the Cadillac User Experience painless. The volume control is on the center console rather than the dash, but at least there’s a button.

A hands-free hatch opens into a cargo area typical of this segment. That’s our way of saying small, with a high load floor. It’s easy to toss into a suitcase – we’re sure Cadillac can tell you exactly how many golf clubs to four decimal places – and groceries, but it won’t work for hauling bulky items. Again, that’s normal in this fashion segment. Style doesn’t work with a cargo area, as the minivan continues to prove.

2022 Cadillac XT4

In the passenger compartment, however, it’s a different story. Like everything from GM, there’s plenty of headroom up front. The back seat is good too, at least for the class. There’s plenty of storage, including pockets along the center console, and I’m a big fan of Cadillac’s hiding place for your phone (complete with wireless charging) just in front of the armrest.

I haven’t said much about the ride, but that’s because there isn’t much to say. It’s right in the middle of this class, which can get you some very sharp rides and some need more time in the development cycle. Goldilocks would love it. Comfortable and luxurious, but I wish the 18-inch sidewall instead of 20-inch wheels.

Cadillac lets you go into detail about the options of the XT4. Make that almost require you to dig deep and check boxes. For example, take a look at the standard driver assistance suite. Automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, rear park assist and pedestrian braking are standard, which is a good amount.

But you don’t get a luxury crossover without surround-view cameras and adaptive cruise. That cruise control is in one pricey bundle, the cameras in another. Automatic high beam and lane departure warnings are in a third and the head-up display in a fourth. This is all very similar to BMW, Audi and Mercedes, of course, so maybe it’s a sign that the XT4 is seriously big leagues?

It’s easy to end up with a $57,000 sticker price, like our tester. What else can that bring you? You will not get a comparably equipped competitor from the Germans, while the competition from Japan has the same price and is much more soberly finished. So, tick away, the Cadillac XT4 represents a strong bargain. As long as you get those heated and ventilated seats on the road.

2022 Cadillac XT4 Sport

BODY STYLE: premium compact five-door crossover

DRIVE METHOD: Front-engine, 4-wheel drive,

ENGINE: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (235 hp @ 5,000 rpm, 258 lb-ft @ 1,500-4,000 rpm on premium fuel)

FUEL ECONOMY: (Premium recommended) 10.9 / 8.2 / 9.7 L / 100 km city / highway / combined. 9.1 Observed

LOAD VOLUME: 637L behind the second row of seats, 1,384L with the rear seats folded

PRICE: $43,298 (base XT4 Sport). $57,208 as tested (plus destination and taxes). Includes $3,510 Gloss Black Wheels, $230 Safety Alert Package, $1,785 Sunroof, $1,595 Technology Package, $900 Stellar Black Metallic, $545 Driver Awareness Package, $1,795 Enhanced Visibility Package, $3,055 Premium Comfort and Convenience package, $195 Engine Block Heater, $255 all-weather floor mat, $260 Monochromatic badging. Also includes $25 credit not equipped with heated steering wheel, $50 not equipped with heated or ventilated driver and front passenger seats, $50 not equipped with front and rear park assist or automatic reverse braking.

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