For the longest time, Cadillac was at a disadvantage relative to its competition by not having a trim level structure that correlated to market trends and desires: whereas other luxury automakers offered a choice of Luxury and Sport trim levels that included appropriate levels of differentiated features and equipment, new Cadillac models did not offer anything to those who desired a sportier trim level. Luckily, that all changed with the introduction of the 2019 XT4 and 2019 Cadillac CT6, which introduce the Cadillac’s new Y trim level strategy. That approach splits out the vehicle trims by Luxury and Sport models, finally giving new Cadillac models the appropriate trim level structure to be competitive. And while the Sport trim does a very good job at differentiating models from vehicles in the Luxury trim, it seems to come up short by missing one key detail.
In all, the new Cadillac Sport trim level doesn’t do anything that the competition hasn’t been doing for years: it takes a well-equipped model and gives it a sportier suspension along with more aggressive exterior design characteristics such as a blacked-out grille, black window moldings, black roof rails (on crossovers), unique front and rear fascias with clear taillight lenses, and larger wheels with a more sinister design pattern. The entire point of Sport models can be summed up in two words: more black. Following that logic and value proposition, the Cadillac Sport models should also go the extra step and black out the badging… but they don’t.
Meanwhile, Cadillac’s direct rivals offer blacked-out badges. Lexus, for instance, offers the option to black out the badges on its vehicles, either as a standalone package or as part of the F-Sport model line, which is what Cadillac seems to have modeled its Sport trim level after.
And though the color of the badges might seem trivial, it’s difficult to argue against the notion that a dark set of badges would complete the Sport trim. Hence, we bring forth the notion that new Cadillac models should offer a blacked-out badge option, especially on models with the Sport trim.
After all, when it comes to luxury automobiles, it’s the details that matter. Ultimately, customers notice when a product maker pays attention to the details, and become even more satisfied with the product in question. In Cadillac’s case, its Sport models are 95 percent there, which is good enough… but the brand should aim a little higher, or risk that its offerings become less attractive to a certain subset of the car-buying public.