The sub-compact crossover is the new defacto entry-level vehicle for oodles of brands. General Motors knows this well after it took a gamble on the Buick Encore years ago. Now, the Encore essentially replaces the Verano as a stepping stone into the mid-tier premium brand. So, what about Cadillac?
The brand is in dire need of new product, and it will start next year with the compact Cadillac XT4 crossover, which will likely measure in with Chevrolet Equinox-like dimensions, perhaps slightly larger since it will ride on GM’s E2 platform. It will be smaller than the Cadillac’s only crossover, the XT5, though.
We mention the sub-compact crossover for one very important reason: sales are exploding. According to WardsAuto, sales of sub-compact crossovers boomed 52.1 percent in November, and there are no signs of the segment slowing down. The segment includes the Mercedes-Benz GLA, BMW X1, Audi Q3, and the new Volvo XC40, and each has posted sales gains or stability in a market shying away from sedans. As we mentioned, GM already knows how to do a successful sub-compact crossover in the Encore, so why is Cadillac seemingly dragging its feet?
We’ve haven’t heard a peep on a potential Cadillac sub-compact crossover, and we have reason to believe an XT6 or XT7 may not happen after all. That leaves Cadillac with two crossovers and two new sedans in the future to “replace” the ATS, CTS and XTS. Cadillac has basically missed the boat thus far in the crossover market, but there’s still time.
Some luxury marques haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, including Lexus, but it too is studying a sub-compact UX as a new entry-level vehicle. There’s no denying the XT4 will be a good thing for Cadillac, but as the new-car market begins to subside from its record-setting levels, it’s only going to make it that much more difficult to win over buyers for GM’s luxury brand.