Caraganza First Drive Review 2021 Cadillac XT4: The right here and right now


On occasion we all like to wax nostalgic.  Think back to those days of our youth, Flock of Seagulls type haircuts, VCRs, or in my case bell-bottom jeans and peace signs.  When we look back, we’d like to think that those days of yesteryear, the days of yore, were somehow better than what today’s generation is going through right now.

That is of course untrue.

Back in my youth owning a Cadillac marked the pinnacle of success; a status symbol to show that you had arrived.  The top of the mountain parked in the driveway of your suburban split-level ranch home beside the carefully manicured lawn while you sipped Manhattan’s in the den.

Of course, times have changed.  Cadillacs are still around. But thanks to a market saturated with luxury vehicles of all kinds, the symbolism just isn’t the same.  The market is flooded with luxury models from BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Lexus.

I guess then we should just be grateful Cadillacs are still around at all.

Owing to these modern times, the Cadillacs of today aren’t the big four door sedans that took up an entire lane. Thanks to the desires of the automotive public everyone drives SUVs and crossovers.  Sure, Cadillac still has sedans, the CTs, and they are still very good, but it’s the SUVs and crossovers that sell.

Recently Cadillac sent me one of those crossovers, a 2021 Cadillac XT4.  The first XT came out in 2004 and was designated the XT5 in 2017. The XT6 the biggest of the bunch came out last year, and the XT4 was introduced in 2018.  The biggest difference between the XT4 can hold more passengers than the XT5 which has more room for cargo, while the XT6 can carry more passengers and more cargo.
2020 Cadillac XT4

I had a week behind the wheel of a 2020 XT5 earlier this year. I liked it very much. I wondered then, if I would like the Xt4 more, or less.

The XT4 is a bit shorter (181.1 inches to 189.6) but wider (83.5 to 75) and shorter (64.1 to 66.1).  The XT4 is also a bit lighter (3876 lbs. to 3915.4) despite having the same engine under the hood.   The interior of the XT4 is only slightly smaller than its big brother (100.6 cu. ft to 104.5 cu. ft of passenger volume).

The 2021 XT4 can be had in three trim levels: Luxury, Premium Luxury and Sport. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is available across the lineup. The only available engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder delivering 237 horsepower, and 258 lb-ft of torque through a nine-speed transmission.

Owing to the fact that it just came out, the 2021 XT4 carries over virtually unchanged though there are more standard and optional technology and safety features.  And starting with the Luxury trim, there’s a new standard power rear liftgate and the option of leather upholstery. There’s also an optional Driver Awareness package that includes automatic high-beam headlamps and lane-keeping assist has also been added to the Luxury trim. The Sport trim receives red-painted brake calipers, and both it and the Premium Luxury model come with new exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals.

My tester for the week was the XT4 Premium Luxury front wheel drive variant.  Like the week I spent with the XT5, the interior is a very nice place to be. I liked the leather upholstery, blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alert that comes standard on the Premium Luxury and the cabin is nice and spacious with plenty of room for passengers and/or cargo.  And my tester had my all time ever favorite option, a seat massager, so yes it was a good week.

So, which is better the XT4, or the XT5 I had earlier this year? That’s a hard question to answer, because c’mon man that was like six months ago, before the lockdowns, facemasks and social distancing.  That’s so long ago to me, that it’s ancient history. Like the days of yesteryear.

The truth is whether it’s the XT4 or the XT5 the inside of a Cadillac is a very nice place to be.  Cadillac has adapted, changed to meet these modern times. Bell-bottoms are out of fashion and the truth is there is no better time to be around then right here and right now.

Though, I still like to sip a Manhattan on occasion.

The 2021 Cadillac XT4 Premium Luxury
MSRP: $39,795
MSRP (as tested): $48,935
Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged I4 DOHC 237 horsepower @5000 rpm, 258 lb-ft. torque at 4000 rpm
Transmission: 9-speed shiftable automatic
Fuel Mileage (EPA):  24 city, 30 highway, 26 combined
Fuel Milage (as tested, mixed conditions): 32 mpg
Base Curb Weight: 3691 lbs.

Exterior Dimensions (ins)
Wheelbase: 109.4
Overall Length: 181.1
Overall Width: 83.5
Overall Height: 64.1 (with roof rails)
Track: 63.2 (front) 63.1 (rear)
Ground Clearance: 6.7

Interior Dimensions (ins)
Headroom: 39.4 (front) 38.3 (rear)
Legroom: 40.4 (front) 39.5 (rear)
Shoulder Room: 57 / 1448 (front) 55.1 (rear)
Hip Room: 54.5 (front)
EPA Passenger Volume (cu. Ft.): 100.6
Cargo Volume (cu. Ft.):  22.5 (behind rear seat) 48.9 (rear seat folded)

Powertrain: 70,000 Miles 72 Months
Full Warranty: 50,000 Miles 48 Months
Roadside: 70,000 Miles 72 Months

Greg Engle