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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A blue 2020 Cadillac XT4 is driving past a bridge and mountains after winning the 2020 Cadillac XT4 vs 2020 Volvo XC40 comparison.

Comparing the 2020 Cadillac XT4 and 2020 Volvo XC40

When looking in the compact-crossover SUV segment, you might notice that there are a lot of options. And a lot of good options. But one SUV stands out, especially when looking for a premium SUV that comes with all of the luxury amenities you would expect from such a class, but at an affordable price. The 2020 Cadillac XT4 is the often-overlooked SUV since it slots between the subcompact and compact segments. But it is surprisingly competitive with the luxury SUVs priced above it. A good example of this can be seen when looking at the Cadillac XT4 to one of its competitors in a comparison: the 2020 Cadillac XT4 vs 2020 Volvo XC40.

Both the Cadillac XT4 and the Volvo XC40 joined the crowded segment with the 2019 model year and showed strong sales numbers, proving to be good competition in a segment where prices can quickly spiral out of control. But for the consumer looking for luxury amenities at a more affordable price, the Cadillac XT4 is one of the better choices on the market now. Let’s take a look at how this is true.

A First Glance

One of the thrills of owning a Cadillac is the ride quality. You won’t find this even with many of the SUVs priced above the XT4. With the XT4, you will appreciate how well this SUV handles and the acceleration of a powerful engine. And if you find yourself in different driving situations, there are four settings to help get you through any condition: Touring, All-Wheel Drive, Off-Road, and Sport. For the Off-Road mode, all available torque is sent to the wheel or wheels with the best traction. The XT4 also comes with something else Cadillac is known for: excellent suspension and build quality. With the XT4’s super-rigid body structure, you will be amazed by how this premium crossover performs on twisting roads, how easily it absorbs bumps in the road, and how well it transitions to off-road surfaces.

The 2020 Cadillac XT4 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 with 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. This is significant because the power in this engine, especially when compared to the Volvo XC40’s standard engine, is immense. To find an engine almost as powerful for the XC40, you will have to spend money on an upgraded engine. This nearly prices the XC40 out of the XT4’s class. The XC40, for example, features a standard engine that has significantly less power. A 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 with 187 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque powers the base model for the XC40. That’s fifty fewer horses, and for about the same starting price, you can see how much value the Cadillac XT4 has managed to fit into its base model.

Fuel efficiency is another area where the Cadillac excels. Even with all of that power, the XT4 returns 24/30 mpg, while the XC40 returns 23/33 mpg, which is good as well, but when comparing it to the next engine option’s 22/30 mpg, the XC40 falls short. The Cadillac XT4’s engine is the perfect combination of power and efficiency and a clear winner. You will find nearly as many horses and the same low-end power, along with better efficiency, for a more affordable price with the XT4.

A silver 2020 Volvo XC40 is shown from the side in front of a dark grey building.

Features and Tech

Another one of the great things about shopping for a Cadillac is how simple the trim levels tend to be. Cadillac generally goes all-in on the trim levels, meaning that each level is loaded with features, including the base model. And this applies to the XT4 as well, as it has many features included in the Luxury trim. Features for the Luxury trim include 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated side mirrors, rear parking sensors, an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat and a 6-way power-adjustable front-passenger seat, LED headlights, simulated leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, the selectable driving modes, Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and forward-collision mitigation and Safety Alert Seat.

That’s a lot of standard equipment just to get started. The XC40 counters with 18-inch alloy wheels, lane-keeping assist, a power tailgate, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a digital dash, and LED headlights. And, of course, it also features the engine with significantly less power.

Moving up in trim levels tests these two premium crossovers’ capacity for luxury amenities. The XT4 moves into the Premium Luxury trim, which brings a hands-free power tailgate, self-dimming mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, front parking sensors, ambient cabin lighting, and roof rails.

All models of the XT4 are also eligible for all-wheel drive, 20-inch alloy wheels, navigation, Bose audio upgrade, sunroof, rear-seat DVD system, and a trailer package, among other options. The options seem endless, as there is also a rearview camera, and a 360-degree camera system with self-parking, head-up display, leather seating surfaces, and wireless charging. The Sport trim also adds Active Sport Suspension, which monitors road conditions continuously and makes 500 damping adjustments every second.

Both the Cadillac XT4 and Volvo XC40 offer a lot of value for premium SUVs, and both do so at prices that undercut many rivals in the segment. Depending on what premium amenities and tech features you are looking for, it’s important to look at the price point for each trim level and see how they compare; most of the time, the XT4 will come out on top.

A hand touching the infotainment screen in a 2020 Cadillac XT4 is shown from inside the vehicle.

Safety, Safety

Both Cadillac and Volvo are known for their advanced safety equipment, and with both of these vehicles being newer models, you will find a plethora of safety features to choose from. The Cadillac XT4, for instance, features stability and traction control, a collision warning system with auto brake, a parental control system, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, standard forward-collision warning, and automated emergency braking, available blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and available adaptive cruise control.

The Volvo XC40 also features many advanced safety features, including city safe collision avoidance, which can detect and alert the driver to other vehicles, as well as pick out pedestrians, cyclists, or large animals. Driver alert control is another feature where the system will monitor your driving habits, and if it detects anything wrong can suggest fatigue by alerting you with an audible tone and message on the instrument display. It will suggest that you pull over and take a break. Other features include a lane-keeping aid and pilot assist. And really, with all the features in mind, both of these vehicles are very safe.

Style and Substance

When shopping for a premium SUV, there are always certain intangibles you look for in your next vehicle. You might want a vehicle that emphasizes safety above all else, or you might want a vehicle that has a powertrain that gets off the line. Whatever you are looking for, a premium crossover SUV should be stylish, and it should have superior handling. And that’s where the Cadillac XT4 falls in the segment, as a uniquely styled premium SUV with a great engine. And with lots of standard tech features.

The XT4 is Superior

The Cadillac XT4 carves a niche between subcompact and compact crossovers, offering the experience of German luxury vehicles at a more affordable price. This is the luxury vehicle consumers can actually fit into their budget without having to sacrifice modern amenities. The Cadillac XT4 just has it, and you’ll know it as soon as you drive it, as soon as you lean into the first turn and hit the gas as you emerge onto the open road.

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