2019 Cadillac XT4 puts punchy 2.0 turbo in luxury crossover

Cadillac has taken the wraps off its smallest SUV, with the 2019 Cadillac XC4 making its debut in New York. The smaller sibling to the Escalade and XT5, the XT4 crossover aims to bring some of the presence – and American luxury – of its bigger siblings into the compact SUV segment.

On the outside that means a new design penned by a younger team within Cadillac. The brand's familiar, sharp crease lines are present and correct, joined by LED lights front and rear including the distinctive L-shaped signature lamps. They're stretched horizontally, however, helping to emphasize the width of the SUV.

Under the hood there's a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine, paired with a nine-speed transmission. It's good for 237 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, with Cadillac particularly proud of the "nearly flat" torque curve that adds up to more responsiveness whether you're at city speeds or overtaking on the highway.

Cadillac is estimating 30 mpg on that highway, too – in no small part down to cylinder deactivation – as well as 25 mpg in the city and 27 mpg combined, though final figures won't be confirmed until the car's closer to launch. Strut-type front suspension and five-link independent rear suspension are used, with a twin-clutch all-wheel-drive system an option. That can be switched manually into a front-wheel drive setup for economy if desired.

Driver Select Mode has carried over from Cadillac's other cars, and there's the option of Active Sport Suspension with Continuous Damping Control on the XT4 Sport. That uses sensors to track the motion of the road and adjust the dampers every 2 milliseconds. Electro-hydraulic braking assistance makes its debut on a Cadillac on the XT4 too, with the upside being improvements in fuel economy and a reduction in size.

Inside, some of the cues from the XT5 are evident, with sweeping lines across a tapering dashboard. There's a three-spoke leather wrapped steering wheel as standard, along with "sport-inspired" seats that have extra bolster support and optional massage. Ambient white lighting is available, and with the rear seats dropped there's up to 48.9 cubic feet of trunk space.

Three different trims will be offered: the 2019 XT4 Luxury, XT4 Premium Luxury, and XT4 Sport. All will use Cadillac's newest infotainment system, with voice control, optional 4G LTE with WiFi, and a new rotary controller that joins – rather than supplants – the 8-inch touchscreen. NFC has been added to making pairing smartphones easier, and there's a new 15W wireless charging pad that supports Qi and PMA standards.

Four USB ports and three 12V accessory ports are included as standard. Add navigation, and there's an SD card reader added, too. A second-gen rear camera mirror is optional, and there's surround vision and other active safety tech available as well. Dual zone automatic climate control is standard across the range, together with rear parking assistance, 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive remote start, and Cadillac's Teen Driver feature. Up to 20-inch wheels, a Bose audio system, and driver assistance are all available as options.

While the new 2019 XT4 may be a big deal in Cadillac terms, it's actually just the start of what looks set to be a big reinvention of the automaker's range for the next few years. Indeed, Caddy says that it plans to launch a new car almost every six months from now until 2021.

Before that, the 2019 Cadillac XT4 will show up in dealerships from fall 2018. Preorders will kick off from the end of this month, priced from $35,790 plus delivery.