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2021 Cadillac XT4 Review

The 2021 Cadillac XT4 finishes near the bottom of our luxury subcompact SUV rankings. It has a spacious cabin, but many rivals are more athletic and more upscale.

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy, supportive seats
  • Good cargo capacity behind rear seats
  • Long features list
  • Subpar ride and handling
  • Noisy engine
  • Unimpressive interior quality
  • Slightly below-average maximum cargo capacity

7.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.0
Performance: 7.0
Interior: 7.4
Safety:
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 9.1 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Cadillac XT4?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Cadillac XT4 a Good SUV?

Yes, the Cadillac XT4 is a good SUV. It gets solid mpg ratings and has composed handling. Inside, you'll find two rows of spacious seats and a good amount of cargo space behind the second row. There are plenty of standard and available features as well.

Unfortunately, there are also some blemishes on the XT4's record. The turbo-four engine feels strained at times, and ride quality and handling are below the standards set by rivals. This Cadillac also uses more hard plastics throughout the cabin than you’d expect to see in a luxury crossover.

Why You Can Trust Us: 20 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This 2021 XT4 review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2019.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

Should I Buy the Cadillac XT4?

Though it's a nice little vehicle, the truth is you shouldn't look to buy the XT4. Many other luxury subcompact SUVs are more athletic, more lavish, or both. This Cadillac also sports an above-average starting price for the class, meaning it doesn’t give you much bang for your buck. Instead, consider alternatives like the BMW X1, Audi Q3, or Volvo XC40.

Compare the XT4, X1, and XC40 »

2020 vs. 2021 Cadillac XT4: What's the Difference?

Cadillac makes no major changes to the 2021 XT4, meaning it's virtually identical to the 2020 model.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 XT4 »

Here are the key changes for the Cadillac XT4 over the past few years:

  • 2019: brand-new model
  • 2020: forward automatic emergency braking and forward collision alert added to standard features list
  • 2021: no notable changes

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2019 XT4 and 2020 XT4 reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Cadillac XT4 Cost?

The base XT4 carries a starting price of $35,795. That's a bit higher than the starting prices of most other luxury subcompact SUVs. The XT4 Sport is the most expensive model, with a starting price of $39,995. Many competitors' top trims cost more.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Cadillac dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Cadillac deals page.

Cadillac XT4 Versus the Competition

Cadillac XT4 vs. Cadillac XT5

The Cadillac XT5 is a luxury compact SUV, so you can think of it as the XT4's big brother. It has more passenger space, a larger cargo area, and a stronger base engine. For its part, the XT4 has a better infotainment system, comes with more standard safety features, and costs several thousand dollars less than the XT5.

Compare the XT4 and XT5 »

Cadillac XT4 vs. Jaguar E-Pace

Neither the Jaguar E-Pace nor the XT4 challenge for a top spot in our luxury subcompact SUV rankings, though both are good SUVs. Both have powertrains that are lackluster at times, but the Jaguar is more agile and fun to drive than the Cadillac. The E-Pace has lots of cargo room, but its back seat is much smaller than the XT4's, making the Cadillac the better choice if you plan to ferry extra passengers on a regular basis.

Compare the XT4 and E-Pace »

Compare the XT4, XT5, and E-Pace »

XT4 Interior: Enough Space to Leave Room for Improvement

XT4 Cargo Space

The XT4 provides 22.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, one of the best totals in the luxury subcompact SUV class. Maximum capacity isn't quite as impressive, however. Fold the rear seats down, and this Cadillac gives you 48.9 cubic feet of room. That's nothing to sneeze at, especially for a small crossover, but several competitors provide 50-plus cubes.

How Many People Does the XT4 Seat?

The XT4 seats five people. The front seats are roomy and provide ample support, even on longer drives. The rear seats have a good amount of space as well, and there's enough legroom for most adults to ride comfortably.

XT4 and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the XT4’s rear outboard seats and a tether anchor for the rear middle seat.

XT4 Interior Quality

This Cadillac's cabin feels a step behind many rival interiors. The styling is a bit bland, and there are some hard plastics that diminish the luxury feel. On the bright side, the interior is pretty spacious for such a small SUV.

XT4 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The XT4’s infotainment system is user-friendly for the most part, but it still has a couple of issues. The touch screen responds quickly to inputs, has crisp graphics, and is easy to reach from the driver's seat. There are also physical controls for some functions. However, the central infotainment knob and the controls on the steering wheel are unnecessarily difficult to use. Fortunately, you can avoid these controllers if you prefer.

  • Standard infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen, seven speakers, satellite radio, Bluetooth, USB ports, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto
  • Available infotainment features: a rear-seat entertainment system, wireless device charging, a 13-speaker Bose audio system, and navigation
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control and remote start
  • Other available features: a sunroof

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

XT4 Performance: Playing Catch-Up

XT4 Engine

The XT4 comes with a 237-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated with a nine-speed automatic transmission. While not slow, the XT4 never feels overly energetic. The engine is noisy and sometimes feels overworked at higher speeds, and acceleration from a stop is merely acceptable.

XT4 Gas Mileage

The front-wheel-drive XT4 get roughly the class average in fuel economy, with ratings of 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. All-wheel-drive models get slightly lower ratings of 22/29 mpg city/highway.

XT4 Ride and Handling

If you're looking for a sporty crossover with a cushioned ride, you should look somewhere else because the XT4 delivers neither. Several rivals are more engaging than this Cadillac, which has vague steering and so-so handling. Some critics say the XT4 rides smoothly, but others argue that the suspension isn't great at absorbing road imperfections.

Read more about performance »

XT4 Reliability

Is the Cadillac XT4 Reliable?

The 2021 XT4 has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Cadillac XT4 Warranty

The XT4 comes with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

XT4 Safety

XT4 Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 Cadillac XT4 an overall safety rating of five out of five stars, with five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests.

At the time of writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2021 XT4.

XT4 Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Teen Driver (lets you do things like set speed and audio volume limits for secondary drivers)
  • Safety alert seat
  • Rearview camera
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Forward collision warning
  • Forward automatic emergency braking
  • Front pedestrian braking

Available advanced safety features:

  • Head-up display
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Lane keep assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Rear camera mirror
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Rear pedestrian detection
  • Reverse automatic emergency braking
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Surround-view parking camera system
  • Parallel and perpendicular park assist

Read more about safety »

XT4 Dimensions and Weight

The XT4 is 15.1 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,660 to 3,896 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Cadillac XT4 Built?

Cadillac builds the 2021 XT4 in Kansas.

Which Cadillac XT4 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Cadillac XT4 comes in three trims: Luxury, Premium Luxury, and Sport. All models offer the same powertrain: a 237-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. You can add all-wheel drive to any trim for $2,500.

The base Luxury trim will suit most people just fine, especially since you can add some additional comfort and driver assistance features. Still, the Premium Luxury is worth a look, as it doesn't raise the price by all that much, and it offers many features that aren't available in the base trim.

Cadillac XT4 Luxury

The XT4 Luxury carries a base price of $35,795. Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, and the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, seven speakers, satellite radio, Bluetooth, USB ports, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Standard driver assistance features include Teen Driver, a safety alert seat, rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, and front pedestrian braking.

The Cold Weather package ($850) adds heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel. The Driver Awareness package ($470) adds lane keep assist and lane departure warning. Individual options include a rear-seat entertainment system ($2,195), wireless device charging ($295), and a 13-speaker Bose audio system ($875).

Cadillac XT4 Premium Luxury

The XT4 Premium Luxury starts at $39,795. In addition to the Luxury trim's features, the Premium Luxury comes with a hands-free power liftgate, front parking sensors, rear cross traffic alert, and blind spot monitoring.

The Comfort and Technology Preferred package ($2,600) adds wireless device charging, a head-up display, and massaging front seats. The Enhanced Visibility package ($1,500) adds a rear camera mirror, rear pedestrian detection, a surround-view parking camera system, and parallel and perpendicular park assist. The Driver Assist package ($1,100) includes adaptive cruise control and reverse automatic emergency braking.

The Cold Weather and Driver Awareness packages and several individual options are also available.

Cadillac XT4 Sport

The XT4 Sport costs $39,995. The Sport trim features a sport steering wheel, sport pedals, power-adjustable front seat bolsters and lumbar controls, and unique interior and exterior styling elements.

The Sport trim offers the same packages and individual options as the Premium Luxury trim, though the pricing is slightly different for some of them.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Cadillac dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Cadillac deals page.

See 2021 Cadillac XT4 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Cadillac XT4 is spacious and loaded with technology, but that's not enough to keep it afloat in our luxury subcompact SUV rankings. Many competitors surpass the XT4 when it comes to power, handling, and cabin quality, and when you factor in the Caddy's above-average starting price, it becomes next to impossible to recommend this Cadillac over its more well-rounded brethren.

Don't just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "With distinctive styling and a sleek interior, the XT4 does a good impression of a compact luxury SUV. But its performance and refinement come up short compared to European and Asian rivals, which are quieter, ride smoother and offer more dynamic performance. There's just not a lot of compelling evidence to land on the XT4. It's a solid choice for buyers who prefer to buy American. Although at this price, we'd give serious thought to a fully loaded Buick Encore instead." -- Edmunds
  • "… with a long list of available features, expressive exterior design, usable backseat and excellent drivetrain, the XT4 should do well. However, the XT4 isn't without faults. The XT4's interior is fine, but we wish it was better -- both in terms of design and materials. And although you do get a larger vehicle for the money, the XT4 is priced at the top of the segment." -- Left Lane News (2019)
  • "… Cadillac has … aimed for more traditional entry-luxury crossover stuff: quietness, sumptuousness, and user-focused technology. Sure, it's too bad that the honey of an engine, which revs so smoothly you'd swear its cylinder liners were spun silk, must work through a transmission that positively neuters its output with lackadaisical responses. But the competent yet uncommunicative suspension and steering? That's par for this class." -- Car and Driver (2019)
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