Road Test Review – 2023 Cadillac XT4 Premium Luxury – Aging Contender Can Still Hang In The CUV Ranks

The luxury compact luxury CUV market has emerged as a hot battleground for sales for many automakers. As a result, we have seen many automakers go all in on the segment, with some of them even ditching their sedan models in the process. The 2023 Cadillac XT4 aims to show that the brand can still compete with the segment’s best. However, with the updated 2024 model poised to make its way to dealerships and the competition sharpening their game, can the current generation XT4 hold down the fort and still be a sales leader for Cadillac?


Crisp Design Still Makes XT4 A Handsome Offering

The exterior styling of the Cadillac XT4 is still a sharp and handsome presentation. The front fascia embodies the boldness that Cadillac wanted to put into the design, with the front grille and headlights having an athletic look. Our Premium Luxury grade tester had the optional Onyx package, which replaces most of the chrome pieces with darkened accents, including blacked-out wheels. The Onyx Package is also the one we would go for if we had the chance to buy an XT4 for ourselves since it allows the XT4 to have a sinister yet elegant character.

The rear fascia is just as striking as the front, with the crisp taillights snaking their way along the rear and into the liftgate. The exterior styling is also where the outgoing model gains some ground over the 2024 model. Those models have reworked front headlights and a tweaked grille that attempt to add more polish to the XT4, but they also sacrifice some of the outgoing model’s character in the process and also cause the XT4 to fall behind German rivals.


XT4 Interior Falls Behind Segment

Slip behind the wheel of the 2023 Cadillac XT4, and you’ll discover a mixed bag when it comes to execution. The interior itself is handsome and comes with plenty of equipment, including an 8.0-inch infotainment system, wireless phone charging, and even a built-in WiFi hotspot. However, get yourself comfortable in the seats, and you’ll quickly notice that the space is neither as glamorous nor as upscale as some of its rivals. Numerous buttons and switches come from GM’s vast parts bin, and the faux-leather accents on the door panels and the sharp-edged plastics in the lower portions of the cabin don’t project a premium personality. The black-on-black color scheme also lacks any contrast color, and there were times when it felt rather dreary inside our tester.

That’s a shame because the front and rear seats offer commendable space for passengers, with the rear seats providing good amounts of legroom. Fold them down, and the XT4 has enough room to swallow a day’s worth of groceries or even luggage for a vacation. Our tester’s 13-speaker Bose audio system delivers good sound quality, but while these items and more help enhance owner enjoyment, they do little to address the sharp contrast to rivals from BMW and Mercedes. These models have interiors that do a better job of going by the premium theme and have fewer compromises than the Cadillac.


Turbocharged Four-Cylinder Performance Reigns Supreme

Performance for all 2023 Cadillac XT4 models comes from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 235-horsepower and is mated to a nine-speed automatic with front-wheel drive standard (all-wheel drive is optional. Our all-wheel drive equipped Premium Luxury tester jogged its way to 60 mph in 7.8-seconds which is over a second behind the BMW X1. While that might make it seem the XT4 is a paper tiger, there were moments when our tester felt assured and sure-footed, especially when navigating through town or even on the freeway.

That said, contrary to Cadillac’s assertions that the XT4 is a sporty little CUV, the XT4 is not as precise in this role as others. Instead, the XT4 prefers to cruise with the suspension in our tester, doing a good job muting bumps and divots while also delivering a reasonable amount of quiet when doing long-distance freeway driving. Steering in the XT4 remains a prominent weakness, with the tiller in our car feeling like it was going through a mass of bland apple sauce. Braking, on the other hand, was direct, and it was easy to modulate the pedal to find the perfect amount of bite for smooth and stable stops.

Fuel economy is pretty good, but it won’t set the segment on fire either, with front-wheel drive models getting 23/30/26 mpg in city/freeway/combined driving. Meanwhile, all-wheel drive models, like our example, see their figures dip slightly, with our tester rated for 22/29/24 mpg in the same categories.


Value Quotient

Pricing for the 2023 Cadillac XT4 starts at $37,490, which gets you into a front-wheel drive Luxury model. The $41,390 Premium Luxury version is the most opulent one, with the optional all-wheel drive system, adding $2500 to the cost of an XT4. AWD-equipped Premium Luxury models like our tester start at $43,890, with the Onyx Package requiring you to see your dealer for official pricing. When that package (and several others) were blended in, our tester had a final as-tested MSRP of $56,685. That pricing is within striking distance of many rivals but also highlights the Cadillac’s compromises in interior quality and equipment.

The 2024 Cadillac XT4 will be entering the market very soon, but in the meantime, look for the 2023 Cadillac XT4 lineup to continue luring in CUV buyers and holding down the fort as well.


Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as

Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.

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