First Drive of the 2019 Cadillac XT4 Sport and Premium Luxury Editions

Who doesn’t love the smooth ride, roominess, and utility of a full-size luxury SUV? But until you’ve parked one in a tight garage, or put gas into an empty one, or made payments on one, you might not realize how impractical a full-size SUV can be. And that’s why we have compact SUVs like the luxurious new 2019 Cadillac XT4.

Although it is made to comfortably carry up to five passengers with all of their gear, the XT4 is first and foremost, a Cadillac. Manufactured in Kansas City, Kansas, the XT4 has a wide stance with an aggressive and slightly sporty appearance, yet there is no mistaking that at its heart, the XT4 is a luxuriously appointed Cadillac in mini beast mode.

There are three versions of the XT4 offered: Luxury, Sport, and Premium Luxury. Each of the three versions has the all-new Cadillac 2.0L Turbo engine which features efficiency-enhancing technologies including Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), coupled with a nine-speed automatic transmission and the next-generation Electronic Precision Shift.

All three new XT4 models (including the base Luxury edition) feature advanced LED lighting technology front and rear, with front LED low and high beams and an LED-illuminated light blade for the daytime running lamps. Cadillac’s vertical L-shaped lighting signature is stretched horizontally, emphasizing the XT4’s width and confident stance. Standard LED taillights are housed in traditional red lenses on Luxury and Premium Luxury, while the Sport model receives tinted neutral-density (clear) lenses that complement the generally darker exterior color choices.

The XT4 also allows you to take advantage of Amazon Key; it’s one of the car models that will allow you to have packages delivered to your trunk. I had fun listening to the justifications for this service: “Let’s say you ordered a surprise gift for your husband, and you don’t want him to see it.” Yeah right! We all know that this service will be a hit with people who are trying to hide their latest purchases for themselves from their spouse! But that’s fine … 😉

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 Sport

This was my favorite version to drive; even though the 18″ wheels look like daisies …

2019 Cadillac XT4 Sport – DAISIES, right?? Can’t be unseen.

… the XT4 Sport is aggressive and sporty (yet still luxurious) with its wide stance and blacked out trim.

2019 Cadillac XT4 Sport

I’m going to run through the Standard XT4 Sport features really quickly. They include tinted neutral-density taillamp lenses, gloss black finish on the front grille, side glass moldings and roof rails, body color door handles, Front and Rear Park Assist, power-folding outside mirrors (perfect for tight parking spots), leatherette trim with sport accents, ambient lighting, carbon fiber or wood interior décor, a sport steering wheel and pedals, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Safety Alert Seat, auto-dimming inside mirror, driver’s seat memory, and a power liftgate.

But if those aren’t enough standard features for you, you can also add a huge sunroof ($1550), a trailering package, all-wheel drive ($2500), navigation radio with a Bose audio system ($1500), the cold weather package ($850), the Comfort and Convenience package ($1050), 20-inch Luxury wheels, the Driver Awareness Package ($770), Visibility Package (includes the rear camera mirror and other goodies for $1500), Driver Assist Package ($1100), and the Technology Package ($1650), and Active Sport Suspension with Continuous Damping Control. In other words, it would be really easy to make this $42K car a $52K car. 😉

You’ll want the Comfort & Convenience Package ($1,050) which gives you perforated leather seating surfaces — perfect for running the ventilated driver and front passenger seats. Front driver and passenger seats also get lower back massage action on their 8-way power seats. Worth it!

The 8″ 768p HD resolution infotainment center integrates perfectly with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; you can pinch and zoom the navigation screens, and you can basically enjoy a very smartphone-like interface that is straightforward, intuitive, and easy to understand. There are built-in infotainment apps like Spotify and The Weather Channel which don’t rely on your phone to work, so if you are one of the two people out there who doesn’t use a smartphone, you can still get the (almost) full experience.

The XT4 Sport I drove had a rear camera mirror. It took me a while to get used to not seeing myself or my passenger in the rearview mirror.

If you aren’t a fan of touching your screen, you can use the XT4’s new rotary controller that’s built into the center console. It has volume and seek (forward/back) controls for the audio system, shortcut buttons for your most frequently used apps (i.e., Audio, Phone, Navigation (if available) and Home), and a “large center dial to operate primary features of the most frequently used apps, scroll menus and lists and select other apps to be displayed.” Honestly, it took me a minute to get my bearings with the multifunction dial, but I can see how using it without looking would be much better than looking at the infotainment screen. So let’s call that a safety feature.

2019 Cadillac XT4 Sport

There are four USB ports available along with three 12-volt accessory power ports in each model, but I particularly liked the tilted wireless charging pad that’s part of the Technology Package. Plugging your phone into one of the ports in the front console immediately connects it to the infotainment center, enabling Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but there is something to be said for being able to wirelessly charge your phone without worrying about cables. Besides, there’s always Bluetooth if you’re on an iPhone, or you can take advantage of easy NFC pairing if you’re on Android.

The steering wheel is also loaded with controls, but what I liked best about it was that it was thick and substantial in my hand. If you get the optional cold weather package ($850), you’ll also have a heated steering wheel, which seems silly until it’s freezing outside and you aren’t wearing gloves; then it is magical. That cold weather package also includes heated driver, front passenger, and rear outboard seats; these are totally necessary and make life bearable if you live somewhere that gets below 20º in the winter. If you live in Florida, I get it — you just can’t understand.

2019 Cadillac XT4 Sport

You can expect to find tons of luggage room in the back, even if you need to carry a passenger or three.

Acceleration was excellent; the XT4 Sport was fun to drive, and it had plenty of get up and go. I had to slow my roll several times because the highest speed limit we came across on our Washington State roads was 60, and I’m used to being able to go 75 all day long on our rural road (yay, Texas!). The Sport gripped corners on twisty roads, and I liked how responsive it was.

2019 Cadillac XT4 Sport

XT4 Sport interiors will be offered in Jet Black with cinnamon accents with twenty-two high-gloss carbon fiber, Light Wheat/Jet Black with red accents and Morello Red high-gloss carbon fiber, and Sedona/Jet Black with Fineline Calico high-gloss wood.

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 Premium Luxury

For the same price as the Sport edition, you can get the Premium Luxury edition which has 18″ 10-spoke wheels with pearl nickel finish, illuminated door handles with satin chrome accents, front and rear park assist, power-folding outside mirrors, a satin aluminum finish on the roof rails, leather seat surfaces, ambient lighting, wood or aluminum interior décor, Lane Change Alert with Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Safety Alert Seats (that vibrate your booty when an alert is warranted), an auto-dimming inside mirror, driver’s seat memory, and a power liftgate.

If you need MOAR, then you can add a sunroof ($1550), trailering package, all-wheel drive ($2500), navigation radio and Bose audio system ($1500), the cold weather package I mentioned before ($850), the Comfort and Convenience package ($1050), 20-inch Luxury wheels, the Driver Awareness Package ($770), Visibility Package ($1500), Driver Assist Package ($1100), and the Technology Package ($1650).

2019 Cadillac XT4 Premium Luxury

Hey, let’s talk about some of the standard features that stood out for me on the Premium Luxury edition: There’s a built-in 4G LTE WiFi hotspot (an unlimited data plan is available), a cabin air filter, mini-umbrella holders, active noise cancelation for a quieter ride, a rear cargo area shade, and a 4.2″ color driver information center that pops up in between the speedometer and tachometer.

Once again, plenty of room whether you are hauling golf clubs or your Saint Bernard.

And lots of controls right at your fingertips while driving without ever having to leave the wheel.

The XT4 Premium Luxury is very refined and comfortable to ride in; honestly, its driving experience was similar to the Sport, but maybe a little quieter. Both vehicles were extremely easy to maneuver in all kinds of tight spaces, but most impressive is its gas mileage. The 2WD XT4 gets 24 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, so 26 mpg combined, and the AWD XT4 gets 22 mpg in the city, and 29 mpg on the highway, so 24 mpg combined.

2019 Cadillac XT4 Premium Luxury

XT4 Premium Luxury interiors will be offered in Jet Black with diamond-cut aluminum, Light Platinum/Jet Black with linear galaxy high-gloss wood, and Sedona/Jet Black with Fineline Calico high-gloss wood.


If you get the new XT4 in any trim package, you’ll want to take advantage of the myCadillac App. Right on your smartphone, it gives you vehicle diagnostics, remote key fob functions (start and stop, lock and unlock), vehicle status, vehicle location, send-to-navigation, and compatibility with the Apple Watch.

You’ll also have OnStar in each XRT model. OnStar still reigns supreme for having the best service for any situation that might pop up while you’re out driving, be it a wreck, theft, or simply needing directions somewhere without having to figure out how to work a map app.

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is available in Atlantic Metallic, Autumn Metallic, Crystal White Tricoat, Twilight Blue Metallic, Shadow Metallic, Red Horizon Tintcoat, Stellar Black Metallic, and Radiant Silver Metallic. There are three trim levels being offered — Luxury, Sport, and Premium Luxury. Luxury starts at $35,790 while Sport and Premium Luxury both start at $40,290. The $995 destination charge is included in each amount, and AWD is an additional $2500. You can learn more about the 2019 Cadillac XT4 here.

So what do you think? Full-size SUV for you? Or would a smaller, more compact SUV fit your bill?


Disclosure: Cadillac paid for my room and meals; there were no conditions or expectations made regarding what I chose to write about regarding my media drive experience.

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
I've had a fascination with all types of gadgets and gizmos since I was a child, beginning with the toy robot that my grandmother gave my brother - which I promptly "relieved him of" in 1973. I'm a self-professed gadget magpie. I can't tell you how everything works, but I'm known world-wide for using a product until I have a full understanding of what it does, what its limitations are, and if it excels in any given area — or not.