Whether it’s 16-cylinder engines in the 1930s or massive tailfins in the 1950s, Cadillac has long been an automotive trendsetter. They certainly started something with the huge Escalade sport ute back in 1999, and today are known more for their SUVs than the few sedans still in their lineup. But, keeping pace with the rapidly changing luxury crossover utility trend is a challenge. So, let’s find out if an updated XT4 is up to the task.

Cadillac’s XT family of crossovers are designed for people who either don’t need the utility that the full-size Escalade delivers or don’t want the sheer size that comes with it. Yet, like the Escalade, the XTs are big on style and features. This Cadillac XT4 is the smallest member of the family and has gotten some updating for the 2024 model year. Its most impressive update greets you immediately when you hop behind the wheel; the big 33-inch LED screen that stretches across the dash, similar to the one we first saw in the LYRIQ EV.

As with most new GM’s, the software behind it is Google-based, that is still compatible with your Apple or Android phone. Buyers can also now get a 14-speaker AKG audio system. As for the rest of the interior, it improves on what we felt was already a very inviting and spacious environment in our test of the original XT4 in 2019. There is a new dash layout, but except for the big screen, it doesn’t look vastly different.

While materials have been upgraded throughout, including our test car’s leather seats, we’re not quite sure it quite lives up to the “so nice, they named it twice” Premium Luxury trim signifier, which is a step up from just Luxury trim. The other trim option is Sport which comes with expected sporty metallic accents.

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Cargo capacity remains good for the segment with 22.5 cubic-ft. of space in back, expanding to 48.9 with the rear seatbacks folded.

Exterior tweaks for ’24 include new front and rear fascias, a redesigned grille, updated LED lighting, and new alloy wheel designs in either 18 or 20 inches. Together the changes succeed in making the XT4 appear more substantial and more elegant than before.

All XT4s roll with a 2.0-liter turbo I4 that returns unchanged from last year, outputting 235 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. From there, a 9-speed automatic handles power output, with standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive for all trims. Our all-wheel drive tester showed more than adequate power for the street, but overall drivetrain operation is not quite as smooth or quiet as its best European competitors.

But once we got rolling, we could feel more power coming into play.

Likewise, there wasn’t much excitement at our test track either, really struggling to get off the line. But, once we got rolling, we could feel more power coming into play; enough to get us to 60 in a longish 7.4 seconds. Power delivery continued in this moderate fashion through the quarter-mile, accompanied by unhurried transmission shifts, as we tripped the clock in 15.8 seconds at 86 mph.

The XT4 shares its platform with the Buick Envision but tuning for the MacPherson strut front and five-link rear suspension is clearly unique, as the XT4 felt even more nimble through our handling course. The 20-inch wheels, which made the ride a little choppy on the street, paid big dividends here, combining with all-wheel drive to deliver fantastic grip. Steering was light and never vague, with minimal body roll. An Active Sport Suspension with Continuous Damping is also available, but only with Sport trim. Braking performance was also quite good, with a nicely firm pedal, minimal nosedive, and a 118-foot average stopping distance. Upgraded standard safety for ’24 includes Blind Zone Steering Assist and Rear Cross Traffic Braking.

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Government Fuel Economy Ratings with all-wheel drive are 23 City, 28 Highway, and 25 Combined. We averaged a fine 27.2 mpg on Premium. That’s an average Energy Impact Score; 11.9 barrels of annual oil use with 6.0 tons of CO2 emissions.

Pricing starts at $39,090 and tops out at $43,190 for Sport trim; plus, this Premium Luxury starts just below at $42,690. All-wheel drive is a pricey $2,500 for all trims.

There’s no way that Henry Leland could have predicted where Cadillac would be today when he founded the company back in 1902. But much like in those early years of the auto industry, no one’s really sure how things will shake out in the long term, with SUVs taking over the luxury market, and Cadillac pushing to become an all-electric brand. But for now, Cadillac has made sure that the nicely updated 2024 XT4 remains a highly competitive premium crossover utility, and that’s something that would make Henry proud!