Founder of HER Certified and co-founder of Smart Women Series USA, Cathy Droz has test driven over 520 cars for manufacturers and reviewed them on, radio, TV, YouTube and in print.

I have owned a Cadillac; bought it from my dad. It was a big ol’ car with flashy wheels and faux roof that looked like a convertible, but not really. It held three children comfortably as well as all the music and sports equipment we needed. The kids were a tad embarrassed when carpooling, as most of their friend’s families had Suburbans, station wagons or mini vans. Owning a Cadillac was not very prestigious in the 80s; to them is was their “grandfather’s car.”


However, in 1999 when the Cadillac Escalade was introduced, those kids were now of driving age and started adding the Escalade on to their car wish list. Cadillac finally had a luxury vehicle with some style and pizzazz. The grille and crest of the Cadillac were “in your face opulence.”

The introduction of the Cadillac SUV/Crossover series helped move the consumer buying age from 55 to 35 enabling the brand to compete in this marketplace with their sister GMC products. They could also finally compete price wise with Land Rover, Range Rover Sport, Porsche Cayenne, Mercedes Benz GL Class, Lincoln Ford Navigator, and the Toyota Land Cruiser.

Well, it is now 2020 and for the last several years Cadillac has taken their Escalade model and sized it to fit the needs of many families and price range. The Cadillac XT4 FWD Sport (check out the video below) as you can see, is a small luxury SUV. However, it seats five, and offers a generous cargo area with a 60/40 rear seat split.

I like its short but athletic stance with its oversized large rear lights. This XT4 had four-wheel disc brakes, all leather interior, including the side doors, with 4-way power lumbar seat support for driver and passenger, and mirrors that fold in for tight spots (like my garage parking). Many of the vehicle’s performance information could be accessed via the steering wheel, i.e., tire pressure, engine temperature and mileage to empty. The audio and navigation system were quite easy to operate with icons allowing for immediate changes. The climate control buttons are a push up and down variety, which I found rather easy to manipulate. The backseat has good legroom and the pull-down center row cushion for drinks and armrest were very well done. The cargo area has ample space to hold all the music and athletic equipment that was talked about in Grandpa’s Cadillac.

I was fortunate to drive my favorite color called Red Horizon with Jet Black Interior. Living in Arizona, I would not choose black, as it really does retain the heat more than other color choices. When I was a kid Cadillac meant quality and luxury and many celebrities drove them. Today’s generation knows them as baby Escalades that are comfortable, luxurious, and prestigious. General Motors looks at the XT4 as an entry level Luxury SUV. I consider it to be the SUV I want at retirement so I can travel around the USA and Canada with style, reliability, and luxury. Full circle I would say.

For more information, go to and

Owner Benefits:

  • 4 Year/50000 Mile B to B
  • 6 Year /70,000 Mile Powertrain Limited
  • 18” 10-spoke Alloy Wheels
  • Selective driving modes
  • AM/FM Stereo with 8’ diagonal display apple
  • Carplay capability and android auto capability
  • Lamps, Front Cornering
  • 8-Way and Pass 6-Way
  • Driver Memory Package
  • Adaptive Remote Start
  • Rear Seat, 60/40
  • Hands Free Liftgate
  • Rotary Infotainment Controller
  • Front Pedestrian Braking, Lane Change Alert
  • Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • HD Rear Vision Camera
  • Forward Collision Alert

MSRP: $39,795

As Tested: $46,585

24 mpg City; 30 mpg Highway

Founder of HER. Certified and co-founder of Smart Women Series USA, Cathy Droz has test driven over 520 cars for manufacturers and reviewed them on her website,, radio, TV, YouTube and print.  She is a consumer advocate for women car buyers and training expert for the auto industry.  Her book, A Woman’s Guide to Buying a Car with Confidence and Street Smarts — Don’t let these High Heels fool you, is an easy and informative guide to car buying. 

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