- Clean lines
- Strong turbo-4 engine
- Good infotainment system
- Comfortable ride
- Options are costly
- Safety gear should be standard
- Unimpressive all-wheel drive
- Dainty cargo space
features & specs
The 2020 Cadillac XT4 hits the compact-crossover mark, but be prepared to spend up for optional extras that ought to be standard by now.
The 2020 Cadillac XT4 is the smallest crossover SUV in a luxury lineup—its least expansive and its least expensive, all at once. It may represent the bottom of the totem pole, but the XT4 points the way forward for Cadillac in an excellent way.
We rate the 2020 XT4 at 6.2 out of 10 points, a score that would climb if some collision-avoidance safety gear was made standard. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport editions differ largely in equipment and suspension settings. A 2.0-liter turbo-4 rated at 237 horsepower delivers power to the front wheels, or all four for a $2,500 upcharge. A 9-speed automatic transmission is standard and doles out confident, quick shifts. Fuel economy is good, if not great, and no hybrid version is offered.
XT4 Sports live up to their name with standard adaptive dampers, though all versions of the XT4 soak up bumps well and have quick, accurate steering. An electronic braking system that’s standard across the line may require some acclimation for most drivers.
Cadillac’s trick SuperCruise advanced adaptive cruise control system isn’t offered on the XT4, though a simpler system that keeps a set distance from the car in front is available.
The XT4 cuts a dashing profile with its standard LED headlights that sweep back into the fenders and tall taillights that work well. Inside, it’s more ordinary, but comfortable for passengers and well-appointed with good materials and quality build in the models we’ve tested. Cargo space isn’t enormous, unfortunately.
A sharp 8.0-inch touchscreen boasts the latest Apple and Android compatibility, as well as intuitive baked-in software and optional navigation. The available surround-view camera system provides a convenient bird’s-eye view, too.
If only active safety features standard on rivals made an appearance here as well. Adding collision-avoidance tech such as automatic emergency braking and active lane control requires spending hundreds, if not thousands over the base price—and much that gear is unavailable on the base Luxury trim.
2020 Cadillac XT4
The 2020 XT4 delivers some of the best modern Cadillac cues.
The 2020 Cadillac XT4 slims down sharp details drawn from the boxy Escalade to good effect, and pairs them with a classy interior.
We rate it at 8 out of 10, a standout score for a model that stands out in this hotly-contested segment. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Up front, the LED headlights that come standard on all trims jut upward from the bumpers and dive deep into the fenders. The large grille wears the brand’s traditional crest-and-wreath badge, and the hood dazzles with its angularity.
The crossover’s side profile offers few surprises and does without the trendy plunging rooflines that may date crossovers to a certain era. At the rear, the short overhangs reinforce the XT4’s relatively petite dimensions, though the tall taillights are a pleasant cue from Cadillac’s illustrious past.
The XT4 is at its best in warm orange and red shades rather than the coal-bin black or the bland grays likely to populate dealer lots.
Inside, the XT4’s interior relishes lighter hues and offers few surprises. Trim finishes range from wood to faux carbon fiber.
2020 Cadillac XT4
The 2020 Cadillac XT4 boasts a gutsy turbo-4, but its brakes can frustrate.
Cross-shop the 2020 Cadillac XT4 against its rivals—and even vehicles from other brands under parent General Motors’ umbrella—and its 2.0-liter turbo-4 and 9-speed automatic transmission seem commonplace. However, the XT4 inaugurated a new engine for GM, and it’s one we hope will stick around. We rate the XT4 at 6 out of 10 on account of its good engine and transmission, with a point dialed back for a high-tech braking system that can be annoying. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The turbo-4 is rated at 237 horsepower as well as 258 pound-feet of torque, and after only a touch of lag it delivers good acceleration from a stop with limited cabin intrusion. The 9-speed automatic transmission fires off quick shifts and makes good use of its numerous cogs.
In the 2020 XT4 Sport, adaptive dampers do a good job of controlling the XT4 on bumpy terrain. The standard shocks fitted to the Luxury and Premium Luxury trims give a soft, controlled ride as well.
The XT4 makes use of an electronic braking system designed to reduce stress on the engine. It may save some fuel, but it comes at the expense of pedal feel and results in jerky around-town maneuvers.
Opt for the available all-wheel-drive system and the XT4 turns into a slushy weather hero, if hardly a rock-crawler. The part-time system can be left in a fuel-saving two-wheel-drive mode that requires a double tap to go into all-weather mode. Some drivers may forget to do so until the front wheels begin to spin their way through a snowstorm. The sport mode transfers more power to the rear wheels to help the XT4 Sport behave more like a rear-wheel-drive crossover.
2020 Cadillac XT4
Comfort & Quality
Upscale furnishings and comfortable seats help the 2020 Cadillac XT4 deliver on its luxury mission.
The 2020 XT4 serves as the gateway to Cadillac’s crossover lineup, but most versions don’t feel like base models. We rate the 2020 Cadillac XT4 at 7 out of 10, awarding it points for its good front seats and cargo space. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Leather upholstery is optional, though even the standard synthetic has a durable, reasonably convincing feel. The power-adjustable front seats can be upgraded with additional lumbar adjustment, heating, and cooling. The leather-clad seats we’ve spent time in offer all-day comfort.
Rear seating is sufficient for two adults, but three may find it a tight fit. Two 6-footers can sit one behind the other thanks to the generous 39.5 inches of leg room, something we can’t say for coach class on most airlines.
One thing the XT4 is not is especially spacious when it comes to its cargo hold. The back seat folds to offer up to 49 cubic feet of cargo space, and there’s room for just 22.5 cubes with the rear seat upright—still a useful size, but on the small side.
Nice materials on the doors, dash, and center console give the XT4 a quality feel that matches like-priced German and Japanese rivals.
2020 Cadillac XT4
The 2020 Cadillac XT4 hasn’t been fully crash tested, and active safety tech that should be standard is a costly extra.
In most ways, the 2020 Cadillac XT4 exceeds luxury-car expectations. Active safety technology availability is, unfortunately, not one of those ways. Even before it has been crash-tested, we know that we’ll ding the XT4 an entire point because of the automaker’s frustrating insistence on charging a hefty premium for collision-avoidance tech standard on every rival and most new cars. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The NHTSA said that the all-wheel-drive version of the XT4 rated five stars overall, including four stars in the frontal crash test. The IIHS has given the crossover top marks in two of its barrage of crash tests but hasn’t finished its full evaluation yet.
The XT4 includes eight airbags and blind-spot monitors as standard fare. Outward vision is average, something we expect given the relatively high window line and the big rear pillar. A rearview camera is standard and a rearview mirror that doubles as a display for a tailgate-mounted camera delivers unobstructed, if a little quirky, rearward vision.
Adding automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control means inflating the price considerably. Buyers must select two extra-cost option packages that add thousands to the bottom line merely to match what is standard on most competitors.
2020 Cadillac XT4
The 2020 Cadillac XT4 can be awfully expensive when equipped with the optional features we would want.
The 2020 Cadillac XT4 is offered in three trim levels—Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport—that start at about $36,000 but work their way toward $57,000 with a quickness.
We give the lineup a 5 out of 10 score, with the point that we award for the large infotainment screen canceled out by the costly safety features we expect to see standard. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The XT4 Luxury anchors the lineup with synthetic leather seats that are power-adjustable up front, LED headlights, a quartet of USB ports, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment that’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible.
The Premium Luxury and Sport trims cost the same $40,000 or so, while layering on a few more goodies and serve as the gateway to extra-cost active safety features. Equipped with that gear, the XT4 comes in at around $43,000, or $45,500 with all-wheel drive.
The 8.0-inch touchscreen responds quickly to inputs and boasts a bright, crisp screen. We especially like the optional surround-view camera system that makes parallel parking a cinch.
2020 Cadillac XT4
For a new engine, the 2.0-liter turbo-4 is just so-so when it comes to fuel efficiency.
The 2020 Cadillac XT4 offers good, but not class-leading fuel economy. It earns a 5 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Front-wheel-drive versions are thriftiest at 24 mpg city, 30 highway, 26 combined, which is 1 to 2 mpg lower on the combined scale than competitors such as the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40.
Opt for all-wheel drive and those figures predictably slide to 22/29/24 mpg.
During a brief test at sea level in Seattle, we averaged 22.2 mpg according to the crossover’s built-in trip computer.