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It’s not easy to compete in the small luxury SUV segments against the highly regarded European establishment, but the 2021 Cadillac XT4 really is a domestic model that can take on and beat the very best the Germans and Swedes have to offer. The first thing that hits you about the new XT4 is the way it looks as this is a model that will attract as many admiring glances at the Beaver Hills Golf Club as it will at the mall when you’re dropping off the kids.
As the 2021 Cadillac XT4 falls squarely into the realms of luxury compact crossovers it seems churlish to refer to any version of it as a base model, even though the trim levels have to start somewhere as there are currently three to choose from. The entry-level model is perhaps a better way to describe the first trim level of a crossover that’s as premium as the XT4, and that model is called the XT4 Luxury. The mid-range model is the XT4 Premium Luxury, and the range-topping model is the XT4 Sport.
All three trim levels are front-wheel-drive in standard form, but all three can also be upgraded to all-wheel-drive if you require that extra capability. There isn’t a massive chasm between the price of the XT4 Luxury and the range-topping XT4 Sport, but there’s an almost unnoticeable gap between the Premium Luxury and the Sport as they’re almost co-headline models that take the Cadillac down two slightly different routes.
It becoming quite normal for these smaller SUVs to stick with a single powertrain across all models and the Buick Encore is no exception. The engine powering the little Buick is a 1.4-liter turbo-four that puts out 138 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission sends the power to the front wheels in the Buick’s standard form, but the drivetrain can be upgraded to all-wheel-drive if you’d like the extra capability.
Small engines like this can sometimes be a little noisy when full loads are pushed under the hardest acceleration, but the ride quality and sound deadening of the 2021 Encore are excellent to produce a more comfortable and pleasurable experience than some might expect from a subcompact SUV.
The Encore is pretty good on gas with the EPA rating front-drive versions of the Buick at 25 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg combined, while the extra weight and capability of AWD see those numbers reduce slightly to 24/29/26 mpg, respectively. Whether you regularly travel up and down the 220 at highway speeds or spend most of your time in and around Stanleytown, Basset and Martinsville, you won’t be making too many stops at your local gas station.
It’s certainly not a case of take-it-or-leave-it with the features of the three different XT4 trim levels. Although you do get more standard features as you progress up through the three trim levels, you might also want to look closely at some of the a-la-carte features that become available to use as you go up through the trims. There’s no such thing as a basic XT4, of course, but you might need to go up a level if there’s a particular luxury feature that’s important to you.
An XT4 Luxury comes with standard LED headlights and taillights, 18-inch alloy wheels, HD rear vision camera, rear park assist, remote start, a power liftgate, an 8.0-inch diagonal color Driver Information Center, dual-zone climate control and an 8.0-inch Bluetooth touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
You could be tempted to add extras such as leather upholstery, heated seats and steering wheel, a Bose sound system and the Driver Awareness Package, but that’s then pretty close to the mid-range Premium Luxury which probably looks like the sweet spot in the range for value for money.
The 2021 Cadillac XT4 delivers everything you could want from a small luxury crossover SUV and then some. As well as a luxurious and well-equipped interior, powerful and punchy performance from a thoroughly contemporary turbo-four engine and fantastic connectivity, the XT4 also has exterior styling that will turn heads in any company. Come and see for yourself what the new XT4 has to offer with a test-drive from us here at GR Chevrolet today at 930 Fairystone Park Highway, Stanleytown, VA.