Over the years, consumers have by and large become accustomed to a pretty predictable, linear automobile trim-level hierarchy – i.e. one in which there is a clear, straightforward progression from least- to most-premium model, with each successive step above base bringing with it more premium content. This hierarchy is sometimes thrown off by special packages and other derivations, such as the Chevrolet Camaro’s sporty 1LE package, or the Silverado’s off-road-oriented Z71, but with few exceptions, the ladder from base to range-topping is often a straight line.
However, for the past decade or so, Cadillac’s model ranges lacked such straightforward clarity, encompassing names like Luxury, Premium, Premium Luxury, Premium Performance, and others that refused to make obvious exactly where in the hierarchy a given model sat. Yet as reported by our sister site Cadillac Society, the luxury General Motors brand is set to change all that, with a more structured “Y” trim-level strategy that branches off into two separate hierarchies – one for luxury, and one centered on performance. Here’s what that looks like:
As you can see, above the base “Luxury” model, the Cadillac vehicle range splits into two tiered paths, one for the luxury customer, and one for the performance customer. On the luxury side are “Premium Luxury” and “Platinum” models, which deliver successively more premium content – things like more advanced seat ergonomics, seat ventilation/heating/massage/other functions, more chrome-appearance exterior accents, advanced convenience/safety features, etc.
Some of that content also occupies the performance side of the trim-level structure – for instance, the Cadillac XT4 Sport features the same eight-way power passenger seat adjuster, driver seat massage, hands-free liftgate, etc. that the XT4 Premium Luxury comes equipped with. Yet in general, Cadillac’s sportier models will aim for more of an aggressive aesthetic, and at the higher end – i.e. with “V-Sport” and hardcore V-series models – bolstered performance.
The all-new, 2019 Cadillac XT4 and refreshed 2019 Cadillac CT6 will be the first vehicle lines to follow the new “Y” trim-level strategy, although not every product line will receive all models. Case in point: as far as we know, there are no current plans to build Platinum or V-Sport versions of the XT4. Higher-tier models will be limited to the Premium Luxury and Sport trims.
Stay tuned for the latest on GM’s premium Cadillac brand, including more Cadillac XT4 news.