2019 Cadillac XT4

Frank Washington | 9/25/2018, 6 a.m.
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Overall, the interior was softer. Gone were the hard edges and angels of recent Cadillacs. I thought it interesting that interior designers avoided the recent trend of floating infotainment screens and embedded the XT4’s screen into the dash and angled it outward, making the screen easy to reach and operate the touch screen. It was also surrounded by soft heavily padded leather.

Cadillac listened to focus groups and gave the XT4 some buttons. One was for audio volume and the other large button was the controller, or rotary mouse. They were on the console which also housed the electronic gear shift which seemed to be a little smaller on the XT4 than it is on the XT5.

There was a beefy steering wheel on the sport model we test drove. It was not as thick on the premium luxury model we also tested but there was still some substance. Both trims had AWD and both sported 20-inch wheels.

There was a slender horizontal line of climate controls under the infotainment screen. Just below that line there were controls for the heated and cooled seats, parking sensors, lane keep and emergency lights. There was an analog speedometer and a matching odometer on either side of the instrument pod. A large black and white TFT screen was between them. Both models also had a heads-up-display.

The XT4 had its own Wi-Fi hot spot and it also had a back seat alert. I thought the high definition rear-camera mirror was innovative. The image was shown on a screen that doubled as a rearview mirror and you could switch between the two in the exact manner that you would change between normal and nighttime on a manual rearview mirror.

There was plenty of head room in the back, even with a panoramic roof. The seats were pretty firm though, almost hard. That’s the sort of thing that can lose a sale in comparison shopping. A colleague also pointed out that the material, read plastic, on the inside of the front doors was pretty hard near the bottom. A thorough shopper will pick that up too.

That was the only quibble I had with XT4 during a day of test driving. There was plenty of hip room. The tunnel is the only thing that would keep three people from seating abreast comfortably in the second row. The 2019 XT4 was really spacious fore and aft.

Our test route was kind of an oblong circle that covered about 180 miles. We got a chance to put the newly developed engine through its paces, check out just how rigid the new chassis was on the twisting two lane roads, see how responsive the electronic steering system was and perhaps most important check out the brakes and the maneuverability of the 2019 Cadillac XT4.

The steering felt a little loose in the normal setting but as soon as we put the drive mode into sport it tightened and the handling sharpened. I was pleased that you could turn off stop start and the all-wheel-drive system could send torque to either of the rear wheels as needed. On dry pavement the system maintained front wheel drive.