The 2019 Cadillac XT4 AWD Sport is small … but not too small

Our Opinion: My expectations for vehicles in this class have always been fairly low. There’s just not that much about a compact crossover, even a well-executed one, to quicken an enthusiast’s pulse, right? Slowly but surely, however, the bar has been raised — given the popularity of the crossover, it was a given that effort and resources would flow into this segment — and while the utilitarian results are never going to be tantalizing in the same way that, say, an Audi RS6 Avant will be, the latest crop is admittedly very solid. They’ve earned my respect, if not my admiration.
But what of Cadillac’s effort? My fear was that the XT4 would be a tarted-up Buick Encore, which is itself a tarted-up Chevrolet Trax. Maybe a certain number of buyers wouldn’t have cared, but to me, that move would have signaled total, soul-crushing apathy on Cadillac’s part.
Fortunately, that’s not the case. The Cadillac XT4 rides on the GM E2XX platform, which in non-engineer speak means that it has more in common with the excellent, current Buick Regal family than it does with small crossovers further down the GM brand ladder. You don’t need to know about platform codes to appreciate the significance of this: You can tell that this is a well-sorted ride as soon as you get underway.
Another benefit of the new bones? More room inside. Cadillac’s models have always fit somewhat awkwardly between vehicle size classes; here’s one case where that works in the marque’s favor. I assumed the XT4 would have a cramped rear seat, but there’s actually a claimed 39.5 inches of rear legroom back there. I climbed in to check it out and, at 6 feet even, fit just fine. The 36.1 inches in the Audi Q3 or Lexus NX aren’t totally punishing for an average-size adult rear passenger, but the XT4 is the clear winner.