Our Best Look Yet At The 2019 Cadillac XT433
Less than two days ago, we brought you complete details on the features, options, and equipment of the 2019 Cadillac XT4. Now, we’re only hours away from the unveiling of the new crossover, which is as good a time as any to take a closer look the newest vehicle to join the Cadillac lineup.
To get a closer look at the XT4, our colleagues at Cadillac Society combed through the 2018 Cadillac Oscars ad – and here’s what they came away with.
Sport Trim Level
Based on the XT4 guide, it’s all but confirmed that the XT4 model shown during Cadillac’s 2018 Oscars ad is the new Sport trim level. The XT4 will also be available in Luxury (base) and Premium Luxury (above base) trim levels.
The new approach is part of Cadillac’s new “Y” trim level strategy that will offer Luxury and Sport trims of the same model, each with its own unique accents, design elements, features and characteristics. The trim level structure is first being introduced on the XT4 as well as on the refreshed 2019 CT6.
Cadillac’s Oscars spot shows the XT4 with a black mesh-style grille that the guide officially refers to as a “high-gloss, black mesh with galvano surround”. The black grille, which was first introduced on the Cadillac Escala concept, is standard on XT4 Sport models, while the Luxury and Premium Luxury models will get a bright grille design.
The Escala concept introduced a new set of headlights that have a new horizontal lighting element joining the vertical element, which has been a hallmark of Cadillac design since 2013. The XT4 incorporates these cues with new headlights that have both vertical and horizontal elements. Notably, the updated 2019 Cadillac CT6 features a similar kind of headlights.
Daytime running lights look particularly stunning on the XT4, with a boomerang-like signature that is bound to make other motorists take note that they’re looking at a Cadillac.
The hood of the XT4 has quite a chiseled appearance thanks to a raised center section that is reminiscent of the hood on the Cadillac ATS. The center point of the hood has that “center-line crest” common to current Cadillac models.
Moreover, the cut-line for the hood appears to be several inches higher (stern-side) of the front grille, a characteristic associated with more expensive vehicles that’s also present on the XT5, CT6, and third-gen CTS.
From the side, the XT4 looks compact and sporty. The front end takes on a “flat facia” stylistic. The vertical LED element of the headlamp cluster is clearly visible from the side, as is an amber front indicator light on the front wheel well, the creased chiseled hood, and pedestal-mounted wing mirrors. There are also blacked-out roof rails that are specific to the XT4 in Sport trim (the are finished in brushed aluminum in other models). The “fin” communications antenna is placed just aft of this spoiler, between the longitudinal roof rails.
The monochrome Cadillac crest logo also sits in its usual place on the front fender, just aft of the front door cutline. There’s also a small vanity window ahead of the primary window in the front door, just like in the XT5.
A roof-mounted rear spoiler creates a roof that appears longer, while also enhancing the vehicle’s aerodynamics. That spoiler is also hiding a ceiling-mounted rear window wiper that we noticed several months months ago.
One element that we can’t make out from the commercial is the area around the C-pillar. But based on spy shots, it seems that the XT4 will have no window space over small vanity window over the cargo are. It also looks like the vehicle will also do without a D-pillar, an element that’s become synonymous with prestige compact crossovers.
Like with the headlamps, the vertical portion of the XT4’s taillamps are also clearly visible from the side.
Cadillac’s Oscars featuring the XT4 doesn’t show too much of the XT4’s rear end, but we have enough to make a few observations. What’s crystal clear is that the XT4 will have an all-new taillight design that – much like the model’s headlights – will contain both vertical and horizontal elements.
The vertical portion will run from the top of the roof and transition into a horizontal element around the level of the license plate cutout. The newfound horizontal lighting elements are particularly intriguing, as they seem to wrap around the tailgate. Also, note the small dot-shaped lighting element located on the outside of the vertical light pipe.
Finally, the XT4 will get the dual exhaust treatment via two integrated outlets in a trapezoid-like shape, as seen in spy shots.
About 2019 Cadillac XT4
The Cadillac XT4 is an upcoming compact crossover that will slot under the midsize XT5 as Cadillac’s second crossover utility vehicle (CUV). The XT4 will be underpinned by the front-drive-based GM E2 platform and will be produced at the GM Fairfax plant in Kansas City, Kansas.
From a business standpoint, the XT4 is of significant importance for Cadillac’s global sales growth plans, since it will fill a glaring hole in the brand’s vehicle portfolio. With just a single crossover (the XT5), Cadillac’s crossover lineup has been sorely lacking compared to competing luxury makes, all of which offer three models or more. In fact, some rivals, including BMW and Mercedes-Benz, offer up to seven CUVs/SUVs in their lineup as utility vehicle sales are experiencing rampant growth in the marketplace.
Cadillac XT4 Discussions
Discuss the XT4 in our Cadillac forum or in the XT4 forum of our sister site, Cadillac Society.
Cadillac XT4 News
Follow our coverage of Cadillac XT4 news.
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As popular as the XT4 will be, it’s very difficult to get excited about a front drive based crossover. The proportions in all the spy photos demonstrate how massive the front overhang actually is, and how “mainstream CUV” this thing looks in proportion. It has the same problem the Chevy Trax and Ford Escape have with the dash to axle ratio being so far off. The Cadillac Cimaron had a similar design handicap. It makes the design look cheap even if they nail every other styling element.
Why can’t Cadillac use the same chassis that underpins the CT6, CTS, and ATS for their crossovers? Or at least figure out how Audi an Volvo obtain attractive proportions with their front drive bias designs.
Cadillac should be competing with BMW in this segment. Not Acura, Buick, and Lincoln. I don’t see how that’s possible if they base it off an economy car.
Completely agree. This, like the XT5, will be a decent seller – but it will not have the same presence as Cadillac’s rear-drive-based sedans, or as the BMW and Benz rivals.
The reason they could not use the Alpha (ATS, CTS) is because it simply can’t support a crossover architecture. It’s a planning error that was made back when the platform was being developed… so they were stuck with using an existing architecture from the GM parts bin, hence the use of E2.
Volvo did something interesting by stretching that dash to axle ratio while keeping a front-drive/transverse-engine setup, but it’s not the best from an engineering standpoint.
Anyway, this should all change with the next iteration of the XT4, XT5, etc… when VSS-R finally launches. At that point, Cadillac crossovers will truly compete with those from Mercedes-Benz and BMW… leaving Buick to compete with the likes of Lexus, Acura, Lincoln, etc.
Here’s mor info on VSS-R:
And that’s the way it always is with GM; just wait, be patient, something amazing is coming. This thing hasn’t even been shown yet and already there are excuses. If XT4 isn’t it, when are we going to actually get an amazing production vehicle from Cadilllac?
If this is Cadillac’s entry point into the brand, it really needs to be outstanding and a no-compromises vehicle. Otherwise it doesn’t accomplish its ultimate mission of wowing folks and developing lifelong loyalty.
It takes a long time to right the wrongs that were done years ago by prior management. In the case of GM, they are writing those wrongs while also improving the business. That’s the theory.
In terms of the actual specifics: GM really got the forecast wrong for luxury crossovers/SUVs. This is why we’re seeing the Envision built in China and why Cadillac is so late to add more crossovers to its lineup. This is also why the new Blazer is only now arriving, and why there isn’t (yet) a model between the Envision and Enclave. At the end of the day, they simply dropped the ball on crossover forecasting and are now doing what they can to not suffer, and are doing relatively well, though not as well as they can be.
That forecasting error is why the amazing Alpha platform was never engineered to underpin crossovers. From what I understand, Omega can “kind of” underpin crossovers, but would still need some changes to do so. So they did what they could: use GM parts bin platforms for Cadillac crossovers. These platforms are not great and are not class-leading in any way… but they’re decent stop-gaps until the entire VSS project (which is massive) is up and running.
In the meantime, another generation of young consumers are buying their first Audi or BMW and becoming loyal fans. They’ll be hard for Cadillac to wrestle away come 2028 when GM finally builds a decent product and they’re on their third German CUV and shopping for its replacement.
Last I checked the XT5 was No. 2 in the segment even when put against the rear drive vehicles. It was beat out by Lexus. We all know that Lexus is the segment leader due to its supposed safety and reliability, but I have to also point out that it is FWD.
Build a reasonably priced car that is safe, reliable, comfortable, good looking, and fast (I would argue that Lexus is neither of the last two) and I’m sure that almost everyone will overlook the “fun” (or lack of) aspect of it.
Yeah, FWD proportions suck. Huge overhang…. Meh. Not just in Cadillacs. They suck everywhere, except for the last Volvos. Their fwd cars look almost like the RWD cars. If u make an FWD car u should learn from Volvo. In terms of proportions..
But thanks God, next gen XT4/XT5/XT6 will be truly rwd… XT7-XT8 will be rwd in their first gen.
Who are these tasteless idiots who gave me dislikes?? U like the fwd proportions?? Freaking tasteless dumb mofos. Go and get lost , *ickheads. Tasteless *ickheads))
I gave you a downvote because you asked for it. 😀
how will you sleep tonight?
You have to understand that there are folks here that love GM and cannot accept criticism of them. Cadillac has basically been on a downhill trajectory and losing market share for 35 years and yet, they see no problem. Everything GM does is wonderful in their eyes. However, based on metrics and market performance, there is obviously a problem.
Nobody loved GM more as a kid than me. I do not hate them now but I want to see them win again and when they are making the wrong moves, I say so and there are folks who vote me down too. I’d say don’t worry about it and continue to speak truthfully as you see it.
I don’t think FWD transverse-mounted engine vehicles built on corporate platforms and powered by corporate 2.0 liter fours and the workhorse 3.6 V-6 are the recipe for changing consumer perceptions and winning in the marketplace.
I am with you that GM’s front-drivers have an awkward look that is especially bad. If others don’t see that, so be it. They can down vote me as well but everything I say it intended as constructive criticism because I truly want to see Cadillac respected again and I want them to again have little boys, like I once was, dreaming of owning one again.
FWD vs RWD is a matter of personal taste. If a vehicle on a FWD platform is done right, style-wise, they can get away with it being FWD. IMO, some of the best looking cars are FWD currently.
There are some cars that are RWD that looks like turd like the Crown Vic and Grand Marquise for example. I also don’t care too much for Infiniti Q70 also. Not a bad looking car but not a better looking car also, but O.K.
Again, all a matter of taste to each his or her own. Nothing serious.
The CT6 uses a different platform than the ats cts . But I agree
Sure, but the concept is the same.
Also, it won’t be a different platform for long 🙂
I’m disappointed because it looks like it doesn’t have the LED door handles! My CTS has them and I love it; they really stand out at night.
It will have them on the Premium Luxury trim level. The sport will not have them, as the handles are body color on the sport models.
Cadillac’s new XT4 may prove to be more popular than the current XT5 given the XT4 will be less expensive and may offer superior performance given it’s smaller and lighter while still having nearly all the comfort features of the XT5 as it’s most likely will feature the 252 hp LTG 2.0L DOHC-4v 4-cyl turbo or the same 3.6L DOHC-4v V6 as the XT5.
Haven’t you heard? The XT4 will be powered by a new 2.0L turbo engine called LSY making 235 horses and 258 pound-feet of torque:
While i am super excited to see this model fully, i am more excited for the CUV/SUV that slots below the escalade. I desperately need one and… for some reason, Cadillac has my heart. If i was ready to buy today, it would be the x5… however, i know that in two years time, Cadillac is going to be pumpng out some beautiful models.
Everyone hated the guy for moving the base to New York, for changing the emblem and so forth… But i stood by him the entire time. Sometimes ya gotta ignore the haters to bring forth massive change… and boy, its coming!
Super excited for the future of Cadillac. The next escalade should be stunning as well. Gah…
While I’m a fan of rwd, I don’t see the hate for this CUV. It’s not pretending to be a sport CUV and probably sell in XT5 numbers, if you want a rwd vehicle look across the showroom or wait a few years for the rwd CUVs to arrive.
The love for RWD and the hatred of FWD (including the look) by self-described “enthusiasts”, is massively out of proportion vs. the view of the general public. When the RWD replacements for the XT4 and XT5 eventually arrive, watch the sales numbers decline, while the RWD enthusiasts scratch their heads as to why that happened.
It’s a matter of understanding the market and the business behind it. Do that, and you’ll understand that you’re mistaken.
It’s been well-established that luxury cars with tell-tale FWD proportions simply don’t look as good as rear-drive-based cars. Here’s how it works in the real world:
– Enthusiasts can talk about this in specific details, such as FWD-based cars having short hoods, small dash to axle ratios, huge overhangs – all negative qualities that the XT4 will have.
– “Normal” car buyers will simply look at the XT4 in relation to their “properly-done” rivals on rear-drive architectures and “like” the latter more than the former… they won’t know why, but that’s how it works. I’ve seen this happen in clinics time and time again… that’s why Volvo artificially stretched the dash to axle ratio of its newest models – to give them rear-drive proportions that people simply like.
After the initial attraction, a buyer will drive the car. In most cases, they like the way the German cars feel when driven… an those German cars are based on (gasp!) rear-drive platforms. That’s what gives them that driving characteristic.
So now, the customer 1) likes the way the German cars look and 2) likes the way the German cars feel. Mind you, the German cars in question are still based on rear-drive platforms.
Then comes the time to talk figures, aka money. The Germans charge a premium for their vehicles compared to the rest of the second-rate luxury brands such as Cadillac, Lexus, Infiniti, Acura, Genesis, Lincoln. Yes, as much as I like Cadillac, it’s still not on a first-rate luxury brand compared to the BMW and Mercedes-Benz – though it will be if things continue going per plan.
So when it comes time for the money, some customers end up walking away from the German cars they like so much since they can’t afford it… and they move down to a second-tier brand and second-tier product like Lexus – which sells a similarly-sized and similarly-equipped model for $5-8 THOUSAND dollars less.
2018 BMW X3 starts at $42,650 USD
2018 Lexus NX sarts at $35,985 (let’s call it $36,000) USD
That’s a difference of $6,650 that most consumers simply don’t want to pay. This very circumstance enables models like the Lexus NX and Acura RDX to sell in higher volumes than the similarly-sized German rivals, while earning less in profit. I believe this same scenario will also come to fruition with the XT4, and that it will take share away from the likes of Lexus and Acura, but not from the German brands.
But here’s the kicker: from a business standpoint, Lexus, Acura and Lincoln (as well as Cadillac) would absolutely LOVE to do rear-drive crossovers… few things would make them happier than to do so. Problem is, neither one has an architecture to realize that dream (albeit Lexus is rumored to be developing one for a full-size CUV to replace the LX).
In conclusion, here’s what ends up happening:
Low-margin, front-drive crossovers sometimes outsell and sometimes sell more expensive, high-margin rear-drive-based crossovers, while earning less on every unit – all because the Germans don’t have a need to lower their prices. If the X3 or GLC lost $2,000-$4,000 (pure margin), the likes of the NX and RDX would really feel the pain and start selling in significantly smaller volumes.
So it’s all a matter of positioning: if rear-drive replacements for the XT4 and XT5 arrive with associated price increases to the tune of $5,000 per model, then the volume will obviously drop. But I suspect that this price increase won’t take place, and volumes will grow – as it will allow the delivery of much better vehicles that are actually appealing from a product standpoint, rather than just purchased because they are more affordable.
And for Cadillac as a business, building a rear-drive-based crossover will:
a) cost roughly the same as building a front-drive-based crossover
b) raise the potential price ceiling for the “normal versions” of these vehicles
c) allow the creation of high-performance derivatives, raising that price ceiling and transaction prices further
Scratch your head on that!
Alex Luft, I certainly respect your views, and I appreciate that you put a lot of thought into your posts, rather than denouncing others as “idiots” as some here choose to do. Realize, however, that while you know a lot of facts about the car industry, you seem to blur the line between fact and opinion. I don’t think I’m “mistaken” in observing that as Cadillac has shifted from FWD sedans to RWD sedans, sales of those sedans have declined. I don’t think I’m “mistaken” in observing that Cadillac’s one FWD sedan currently in production outsold each of the RWD Cadillac sedans in 2017. And I’m not mistaken in noticing that the best selling luxury CUVs (by far) are Lexus FWD models.
I also don’t think I’m “mistaken” in observing that FWD cars yield more legroom than RWD, better gas milage than RWD, and perform better in snow and slippery conditions than RWD. And I think a large segment of the public understands those advantages, possibly larger than the group that thinks RWD is more “fun” to drive on dry pavement, and those who think FWD visually “looks bad” (there could be Freudian issues behind those who prefer the look of RWD, but there’s no real basis for it otherwise).
Furthermore, it’s unavoidable that RWD costs more to produce, thus a FWD vehicle can be sold for less, for more profit, or with more luxury content for the same price. For those who care about value for their dollar, even in luxury cars, FWD has this advantage as well. And it seems likely that in a smaller/cheaper vehicle like the XT4, value will matter, otherwise the consumer would presumably buy an XT5 or Escalade. Unless of course they preferred a physically smaller car, but in that case the XT4 should not be as wide as it is.
We can argue our opinions all day long, but opinions aren’t facts, aren’t sales, aren’t profits. We’ll see if Johan will improve Cadillac’s sales and profits per model, as he fully Johan-izes and fully BMW-izes Cadillac over time. I’m predicting that as JdN moves Cadillac to fully RWD, sales will continue to decline, just as they have been doing as Cadillac sedans have moved to RWD. You apparently think sales will increase once Cadillac is fully Johan-ized. Only time will tell who is correct in their prediction.
It could also be argued that as Cadillac transitioned to an all transverse-mounted engine FWD lineup in the mid 80s, sales declined. In fact, in some cases they very dramatically declined. I would argue that’s when the real damage was done. Cadillac has never recovered.
FWD has many advantages, as you have noted, but the problem for Cadillac is that they are competing against BMW with a purpose-built lineup of cars designed from the ground up to be positioned as premium vehicles and as ‘Ultimate Driving Machines’. Every nut, bolt, and screw in those cars is designed for a BMW. It’s hard to win against a thoroughbred product like that with a rebodied Chevrolet like the awkward XTS.
i think Cadillac needs RWD because it is dynamically better, looks far better, and mostly because it establishes that Cadillacs are no longer just plusher Chevrolets. It sets them apart and, like it or not, sets them on a higher plain in terms of how cars are perceived. FWD is seen as a value-oriented configuration, which I believe you’ve acknowledged.
There is one point on which we agree. I see Cadillac as a sort of RWD sedan that straddles the space between Jaguar and Rolls Royce; a sort of opulent, elegant car that is lithe yet supremely comfortable. I think that kind of persona plays to Cadillac’s strengths and their historical hallmark values. I do agree that the hard-charging Nurembergring-developed cars are not what most buyers truly want even if the little carmaker from Bavaria may make it seem that way. Cadillac needs to be an original and authentic. Nobody is going to beat BMW at their game so they should quit trying to dethrone Bimmer and instead be true to themselves. I suspect that’s how they can win again.
Ci2Eye, I gave you a thumb up because your post is well-reasoned and well-written. And I do agree with you that Cadillac should not be trying to out-BMW BMW, and that most luxury buyers don’t really want track (Nurburgring Nordschleife) “performance” cars for their daily driving.
It’s possible that US luxury car buyers like BMW for their well-executed interiors, or for their alleged cachet as a great car, without really caring (or even knowing) about the “performance” side. In other words, a lot of BMW’s US success may be due to interior feel and perceived status-symbol appeal, which is why Cadillac can’t understand the reason that their sedans like the ATS don’t sell very well, even though they can out-perform BMW on the track. They THOUGHT it was all about the track, but actual sales tell another story.
And as we know, there already is a BMW in the marketplace. Cadillac needs to offer something different, not a copy. And why not have that “something different” reflect Cadillac’s own celebrated history, in terms of ride quality and styling (angular, vertical taillights, etc), among other things. This seems obvious to me, but clearly JdN doesn’t see it that way. When I point out that this is probably because he didn’t grow up with Cadillac in his country, I get accused of bigotry, but what is wrong with pointing out that JdN doesn’t have the same reference point as most Americans?
As to BMWs being “all BMW” (not sharing parts with other brands), I don’t think Cadillac needs to follow that same pattern. Audi shares parts and platforms with VW. The advantage to GM of having a premium brand like Cadillac, is to be able to develop and engineer cars for both the “everyman” driver and the luxury driver, sharing some parts, platforms, costs, and even engines. I personally see no problem with that, as long as the Cadillac parts are up to Cadillac standards.
If Cadillac were to completely go its own way, including exclusively Cadillac dealers, what is the point of GM even owning the brand? They might get a few more sales from snobs who can’t stand that their car might share something with a plebian brand, but the profit picture would greatly change. GM did try to keep Saturn mostly separate from their other brands, and where is Saturn today?
This point is similar to the RWD/FWD distinction. If Cadillac goes all RWD (as is planned by Johan, apparently), will that further reduce the crossover from other GM brands, thus further increasing the costs for Cadillac exclusively, and lowering the profits? Alex Luft makes a good point that a RWD platform enables offering of super-performance cars, but is that market big enough (especially with the existing players in it), to justify losing sales they would have as FWD vehicles, as well as incurring greater costs due to further separation from GM’s other brands?
I do personally prefer FWD, I know that most here prefer RWD, but in looking at this strictly as a business case, I still think FWD is the path to greatest profitability for GM. And I also think that Cadillac sharing parts and platforms with other GM brands is the path to greatest profitability, even though I realize that it will mean the loss of a few car snobs who don’t want some jerk to tell them “Hey buddy, you are driving a glorified Chevy”.
Regarding profit margins per vehicle sold, you have to factor in the fixed costs of designing, engineering, testing, tooling, and marketing for that vehicle. There is no such thing as a luxury car with X-amount of profit per unit, if you don’t know how many units will be sold. The more units sold, the lower the fixed costs per vehicle. Thus a higher volume model can also have a higher profit margin per vehicle, when counting all costs.
I think too many think it’s possible to make big profits on lower-volume models, if they charge high prices per vehicle. As an example, consider the Cadillac XLR. While that might have helped Cadillac as a “halo” car, it’s unlikely that it was profitable as a vehicle, despite a price of $110k, 10 or so years ago. Even the current Ford GT is of doubtful profitability, at roughly $500k/vehicle. Whether the GT helps sales of other Fords, I don’t know – I have my doubts there too.
The first Gen. SRX sold not nearly as well as the second Gen. and IMO the first Gen. was MUCH better.
Nothing beats a V8!
Henry, the 2nd generation SRX certainly outsold the 1st generation SRX, by a wide margin. Need I point out that the 1st generation SRX was RWD and the 2nd generation SRX was FWD? Also the replacement for the SRX, the XT5, is also FWD and also outsells the 1st gen SRX by a wide margin.
I don’t see why the 2nd generation SRX and current XT5 couldn’t have a V8. The DTS had a V8 in all versions, even the base model. The 1st generation SRX V8 was slightly more powerful than the DTS V8, but it can be done.
I sure hope the non Sport trim levels do not have black window surrounds and belt moldings like in the picture. It looks cheap on a luxury trim level. I also really hope they get more than 235 HP out of a new 2.0T engine. GM needs to start hitting more home runs instead of being happy with second or third base.
Real picture in the article of the autumn metallic sport version I believe
Its ok, but looks like a small XT5… I think XC60 is a much better lookin’ car…
This pic proves that JDN’s real first product will be the CT5 and not this one, as many of u think.
I still like the looks of the XT4. Priced correctly this Cadillac will sell. It’s getting the model out there in numbers for people to see. I don’t believe moving the headquarters to New York is going to help Cadillac it’s the product that will help Cadillac sell. Not where their headquarters are located.
How do I start my own personal website and how much does it cost?