2021 Cadillac XT4

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz Senior Editor
January 5, 2021

Buying tip

The XT4 Luxury lives up to its name with optional leather upholstery.

features & specs

AWD 4-Door Luxury
AWD 4-Door Premium Luxury
AWD 4-Door Sport
22 city / 29 hwy
22 city / 29 hwy
22 city / 29 hwy

The 2021 Cadillac XT4 is a fine choice among small crossovers for those looking for equal parts style, tech, and value.

What kind of vehicle is the 2021 Cadillac XT4? What does it compare to?

The 2021 Cadillac XT4 is a stylish, small luxury SUV worth shopping against the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class, and Volvo XC40, among others. 

Is the 2021 Cadillac XT4 a good car/SUV?

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It’s good-looking and has excellent safety technology, but it’s less generous with back-seat space and features. We give it a 6.5 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2021 Cadillac XT4?

This year, the XT4 sees a handful of minor trim changes, plus wider availability of leather upholstery and active safety gear.

The XT4 has clean exterior lines with a wide grille up front augmented by swept-back headlights that pair well with the tail taillights at the rear. Inside, the XT4 isn’t as dressy, though the fact that real leather upholstery is much more affordable this year swanks it up at least a little. A big touchscreen with convenient tech helps its cause.

Underhood, look for a punchy 2.0-liter turbo-4 that pushes 237 horsepower to the front or all four wheels via a 9-speed automatic gearbox. The XT4 weighs less than 4,000 pounds, which is relatively chunky for a small SUV, but at 181 inches between its bumpers, this Caddy is somewhat bigger than its rivals. Quality tech

Handling and ride quality are good, veering just slightly more on the sporty side in appropriately-named Sport trim versions with their standard adaptive dampers. The electronic braking system may take some getting used to, though. 

Fuel economy is so-so; expect somewhere in the 25 mpg neighborhood.

Those extra inches give the XT4 decent space inside for passengers, though cargo space is better-utilized in some competitors. Furnishings are decent, even if the design is light on flair.

Standard safety gear includes automatic emergency braking, and parking sensors, blind-spot monitors, and rear cross-traffic alerts are standard on mid-level versions. Crash tests performed so far have been good, though we’re still waiting on the IIHS to bump one into a wall. 

How much does the 2021 Cadillac XT4 cost?

The XT4 comes in three trims—Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport. Starting at around $37,000 (plus $2,500 for all-wheel drive), the base Luxury lives up to its name with optional leather trim and a few other goodies that can still keep the price well below $45,000.

Where is the 2021 Cadillac XT4 made?

In Kansas City, Kansas.


2021 Cadillac XT4


The 2021 XT4 adapts Cadillac’s edgy styling cues to a limited canvas.

Is the 2021 Cadillac XT4 a good-looking car?

The 2021 XT4 makes perhaps the best use of Cadillac’s signature design cues, including a wide grille, complex headlamps that dive into the bumpers and climb into the fenders, and tall, boomerang-like taillights. We rate it at 8 out of 10; it’s a small crossover with styling personality.

Cadillac charges extra for most paint colors, but the sharp blues, reds, and even oranges the company offers are worth the upcharge. The standard 18-inch wheels look good enough that we see little reason to shell out big bucks now for the optional 20-inchers (and big bucks down the road for pricier tires).

The XT4’s interior isn’t as daring, but it also works well with brighter and lighter interior hues. Its central touchscreen is smaller than that in high-buck rivals, but it’s perched in a sea of soft-touch material and rides a gentle wave across the handsome cabin.

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2021 Cadillac XT4


The 2021 Cadillac XT4 has good power from its turbo-4 and a comfy ride, but its brakes take some acclimation.


Is the Cadillac XT4 4WD?

Base versions of the XT4 send power to the front wheels. Cadillac charges $2,500 for all-wheel drive, though the system defaults to a two-wheel-drive mode that requires drivers to tap a button. This system may save a little fuel (though not much given the crossover’s so-so fuel economy), and it’s likely to be forgotten by most drivers until the wheels slip their way through snow or wet roads. 

How fast is the Cadillac XT4?

Underhood, look for a 2.0-liter turbo-4 rated at a strong 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the wheels through a 9-speed automatic. There’s a hint of lag off throttle, but overall the engine provides good power and is pleasantly muffled. 

Handling-wise, the XT4 has well-weighted steering and slick, if not particularly sporty, moves. The standard suspension setup straddles the line between comfort and performance, while the adaptive dampers that can be fitted to Sports take the edge off. Try both to see if the hefty upcharge for the Sport makes sense for you and your roads.

The XT4’s braking system discards the mechanical connection between driver’s foot and calipers, a move designed to reduce fuel consumption. That may be true, but brake feel is just so-so, which leads to a herky-jerky feel. 

We rate the XT4 at 6 out of 10; it has plenty of power and its transmission makes good use of its numerous cogs, but those brakes can frustrate. 

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2021 Cadillac XT4

Comfort & Quality

The 2021 Cadillac XT4 has a comfy, stylish interior, though cargo space could be better.


With furnishings that nearly match more expensive models in Cadillac’s lineup, the XT4 is a proper gateway to the brand. We rate this small crossover at 7 out of 10 with points above average for front-seat comfort and for cargo space that trails rivals but is still plentiful.

Synthetic leather is standard, while real hides are more widely available for 2021. The front seats are power-adjustable and can be upgraded with heaters, coolers, massagers, and additional lumbar adjustment. So equipped, they offer great support, but admittedly our time hasn’t been behind the wheel of base versions.

Rear-seat riders have plenty of leg room—nearly 40 inches—but three abreast may be a tight fit. 

The XT4’s cargo area offers almost 50 cubic feet of space with the second row folded flat, but just 22.5 cubes with it upright. That’s useful, but not as spacious as some of its competitors. 

Interior materials match competitors, but generally at a lower price, and assembly on versions we’ve tested has been top-notch.

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2021 Cadillac XT4


The 2021 Cadillac XT4 hits the basics when it comes to collision-avoidance gear.

We give the XT4 an 8 for safety, though all its crash-test scores aren’t in. It gets a point for top NHTSA scores, as well as points for safety options and standard automatic emergency braking.

How safe is the Cadillac XT4?

We’re still waiting on the IIHS to give the 2021 XT4 a go, but the NHTSA rated the XT4 at five stars overall, albeit just four stars for front-seat passengers in the frontal crash test. 

The XT4 comes standard with automatic emergency braking. Blind-spot monitors, active lane control, and automatic high-beam headlights are reasonably priced options, while adaptive cruise control is a bit pricey but worth seeking out if you spend a fair amount of time on the highway. You’ll want the add-on features, as outward vision is limited by that thick rear pillar.

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2021 Cadillac XT4


The 2021 Cadillac XT4 has excellent standard features and good infotainment.

The 2021 Cadillac XT4 wants for little in base Luxury form with a few options, though ritzy bits can escalate that price tag. Its infotainment works well—but its optional features and warranty are average, as is value.

Which Cadillac XT4 should I buy?

Three trim levels are on offer, starting with the Luxury at a little under $37,000 (plus $2,500 for all-wheel drive). It comes with automatic emergency braking and a crisp 8.0-inch touchscreen, though we’d spend up for extra-cost paint, leather upholstery, heated seats and steering wheel, and the Driver Awareness Package that adds active lane control and automatic high-beam headlights. Toss in Bose speakers if you want and at around $41,000 with front-wheel drive, the XT4 is a sufficiently luxurious crossover.

That’s about where the Premium Luxury trim starts, and it’s the one to shop if you want massaging lumbar, cooled seats, and a few other niceties. It’s also the gateway to adaptive cruise control, which is bundled with a number of other options. Still, it’s possible to be gentle with options and find one for around $45,000.

The XT4 Sport is mostly about style, though the $700 for its adaptive dampers is worthwhile.

How much is a fully loaded 2021 Cadillac XT4?

Cadillac will sell you an XT4 for around $55,000 with every option selected, but it’s easy enough to skip a lot of that bloat and still have a nicely-equipped crossover. 

The XT4 comes with a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty and throws in the first service visit for free. We give luxury vehicles a point for warranty coverage when three visits or years of service are included—so Cadillac’s on its way to a higher score here.

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2021 Cadillac XT4

Fuel Economy

The 2021 Cadillac XT4 isn’t as fuel-efficient as some of its competitors.

Is the 2021 Cadillac XT4 good on gas?

The Cadillac XT4 should average around 25 mpg in mixed driving, but that’s not as green as some of its competitors. 

Officially, the EPA rates front-wheel-drive versions as 24 mpg city, 30 highway, 26 combined, and all-wheel-drive XT4s at 22/29/24 mpg. Premium fuel is required. Those figures are good for a 4 out of 10 on our scale.

Most competitors top 30 mpg on the highway with all-wheel drive, and the BMW X1 squeezes out 33 mpg highway. 

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MSRP based on FWD 4-Door Luxury
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Expert Rating
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Styling 7
Performance 6
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety 8
Features 7
Fuel Economy 4
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