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5 Great Features on the 2019 Cadillac XT4 AWD

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We spent a week with the 2019 Cadillac XT4 AWD Premium Luxury, and used it as a daily driver. We commuted to work with it, went on shopping trips with it, and did just about anything you would do in an average working week. Here are some great features that stood out during its stay with us.

Disclosure: Cadillac lent us this 2019 Cadillac XT4 AWD Premium Luxury for a week. It was dropped off with a full tank of gas.

1. Shadow Metallic Paint/Sedona Leather

The blue/grey mixture in Cadillac’s Shadow Metallic paint is one of my favorite features of this compact SUV. When the sun hits it just right, the metallic flake sparkles and really brings out the blue. The wheels and satin accents also complement the exterior paint job well.

I’m a sucker for tan and brown interiors. Cadillac calls it Sedona and I’m a huge fan. The Nissan Rogue we reviewed also had a similar color combination and I loved that one as well. It is darker than a standard tan and has subtle differences in hues in it, which gives it a more worn-in look. It reminds me of the leather found in Ford’s King Ranch F-150, only with a lighter overall shade.

2. Cadillac’s intelligent Twin-Clutch AWD system

All-wheel-drive vehicles typically do not offer drivers the option to manually switch between 2WD and AWD; the vehicles that offer that capability are more commonly referred to as 4-wheel drive or 4WD. Cadillac takes a different approach with the optional AWD system in the XT4. Cadillac’s system has the ability to decouple the rear axle entirely to boost fuel efficiency. Since there's a lot less energy needed to drive only two wheels under light loads, the XT4 AWD gets decent fuel economy numbers: 22/29/24 (city/highway/combined). The highway figure gives up 1 MPG compared to the FWD version - we can chalk it up to the added weight of the AWD system. When the AWD system engages, it can independently move torque to each rear wheel based on road conditions.

3. Massaging seats

If you are a super commuter, you spend a lot of time sitting in your car every day. Heated seats, ventilated seats, and adjustable lumbar are must-haves, but I might have to add another feature to that list: massaging seats. Whether it was a 2-hour drive home from work or a 20-minute drive to the gym, I had the massage function on. It's not as robust as what you get from Audi or Mercedes-Benz; then again, if you are paying over $100,000 for a car, expectations are much higher. Cadillac’s system uses air bladders in the seat cushions to simulate different massage styles, and the directional pad and wheel can be used to adjust the pressure and areas covered. The system operates on a timer - probably to prevent drivers from getting too comfortable and falling asleep at the wheel. The driver and front passenger seats are fitted with this function, and can be controlled individually.

4. Hands-free tailgate

Power tailgates are convenient by themselves, but add hands-free opening and it’s a game-changer. Even better, Cadillac saves you the embarrassment of holding a large object while aimlessly swinging your foot underneath the rear bumper trying to get your tailgate to open. The trick here is that the XT4 projects the Cadillac emblem on the ground directly under where you need to hover your foot; it's right below the driver's side of the rear bumper. Even in bright sunlight, it is still visible. Genius.

5. 2.0L Turbo Engine

Decades ago, luxury car manufacturers would boast about the availability of the biggest engine options around, pushing the limits of what they could pack into the engine bay. Remember, Cadillac once sold a model that could be optioned with an enormous 8.2L V8 in place of the standard 7.7L V8. Meanwhile, the XT4 makes do with a 2.0L turbo 4-cylinder engine. It's rated at 237 horsepower at 5,000 RPM, which is fairly competitive for its class. In contrast, the 8.2L V8 offered in the Eldorado was rated at a paltry 190 horsepower by the end of its production run - no doubt choked down by all of the newly-mandated emissions equipment. The XT4's engine produces 258 lb-ft of torque at a low 1,500 RPM, meaning power comes on strong without requiring huge stabs at the throttle. Paired with GM's latest 9-speed automatic transmission, the XT4 offers great passing power with only a hint of turbo lag.

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