Cadillac recently introduced the 2019 XT4 compact luxury SUV at the New York International Auto Show, where we’ll be reporting from in just a few days. The XT4 builds on the design language seen on the CT6 and influenced by the Escala concept car.
In analyzing the design it seems rather nondescript and it would be very difficult to distinguish which manufacturer produced it when viewed from the front or side. It seems that Cadillac as intentionally excluding much of the “bling” that makes the Escalade its most recognizable, not to mention best-selling, model in its lineup. That is truly a shame because the lack of adornment makes the styling of the XT4 suffer. In fact, certain models of the Audi Q5 have more chrome and shiny bits than than the XT4. For heaven’s sake, no Audi should ever be covered in more chrome than a Cadillac.
Instead, Cadillac should be fully leveraging the success of the Escalade by offering the same self-confident design in this smaller package. Make the grille massive and reflective, make the wheels chrome, add brightwork to the mirrors, door handles, lower doors and roof rails and remove all black plastic trim. Then suddenly the XT4 will not only out style its competitors, it’ll also look like a proper Cadillac. Why not take it a step further an even resurrect some wheel designs from Cadillac’s 100+ years in the car business and offer an “Eldorado” wheel package and a “Fleetwood” grille treatment. Vintage is in and the brand has so much vintage material to work with, unlike many of its competitors.
Unfortunately, Cadillac chose the safe route and made a crossover that looks nice, but not special. It’s a missed opportunity. Cadillac should embrace its heritage of producing bold and elegant designs that stand out from the crowd.
With this in mind, I took to Microsoft paint and made a rudimentary update of the 2019 Cadillac XT4 while on a flight yesterday. I updated the front to incorporate more brand characteristics like a large grille and a more luxurious bumper treatment and added chrome detailing to the lower valance.
The changes are simple but they collectively have a major impact on the vehicle’s identity; it just looks more like a Cadillac.
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