Cadillac’s downsized XT4 SUV aims to give people what they want

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The next Cadillac will be a small SUV called the XT4, and it will debut at the 2018 New York Auto Show next month, according to Automotive News. The new model will help Cadillac feed U.S. buyers’ insatiable appetite for SUVs as the market moves away from traditional sedans.

The XT4 has been gestating for quite a while, with reports of its existence going back over two years. Per Cadillac’s alphanumeric naming scheme, the XT4 will sit below the XT5 in both size and price. Likely competitors for the XT4 include the Lincoln MKC, Acura RDX, and other small luxury SUVs. Other than that, information on the XT4 is being kept under wraps. Full details will be revealed at the XT4’s Big Apple unveiling.

Cadillac has spent almost two decades perfecting sedans that could measure up to BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi, but it achieved that goal just as buyers starting shifting to utility vehicles. Cadillac now has an impressive lineup of sedans, including the ATS, CTS, and CT6, which should be a good thing. But the market seems to have lost interest: sales of compact luxury SUVs rose 5.6 percent last year, according to Automotive News, and they now represent one of the biggest luxury-car market segments.

The XT4 is one of five new models Cadillac plans to launch through the end of 2020. Another new model will be the CT5, a sedan that will replace both the current CTS and ATS. Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen said last year that a smaller sedan aimed at the Audi A3 is also in the works. The fourth new model will likely be a three-row SUV slotting between the XT5 and Escalade in Cadillac’s lineup. That vehicle is expected to arrive in 2019.

Meanwhile, the XT4 will be unveiled at Cadillac House, the automaker’s Manhattan headquarters, on March 27, just ahead of New York Auto Show press days. While Cadillac is still part of General Motors, it moved its headquarters from Detroit to New York in 2015 to gain some independence. Cadillac brass don’t want people thinking of its cars as gussied up Chevys, after all. We’ll see if Cadillac can make the most of its home-field advantage when the XT4 debuts next month.

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