Don't Let the Base Price Fool Ya: Cadillac XT4 Gets High in a Hurry

2019 Cadillac XT4

Cadillac's 2019 XT4 SUV, due on sale in the fall, starts at $35,790 for a front-wheel-drive base model, including a $995 destination charge, and you can order one now. But a check of Cadillac's online configurator shows that even the base Luxury trim level quickly climbs past $40,000 with just the limited options available for that model — and that still might not get you some features on your must-have list for such an SUV.

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That's not unusual for luxury brands, with their frequently interlocking available packages and a la carte options. They can quickly pad the check as you try to configure one with your non-negotiables. But the XT4 luxury compact SUV is a good example of how that luxury math works, starting with an attractive base price that is competitive even with some upscale rivals' subcompact SUVs but easily growing to mid-size SUV levels, including its Cadillac XT5 sibling.

On the XT4, all trim levels offer just one color (silver) that is included in the price — and on the base Luxury, leatherette upholstery is your only choice, period. As for some popular options for the Luxury, heated seats and steering wheel add $850, a tow hitch package is $300, a moonroof is $1,700, and the Cadillac User Experience multimedia system with navigation and premium audio adds $1,500.

With those options, the Luxury is up to $40,140 — and add $2,500 more if you need all-wheel drive. And if you really want leather seats or a package with Cadillac's most advanced safety and driver aid technology, including a front collision system with automatic braking, you need to move to the next-tier trim levels.

The XT4 marked the debut of a new Cadillac trim level setup with a base Luxury model and then Premium Luxury and Sport trim levels. These trim levels build on the Luxury in different ways, adding more upscale features and feel, such as standard leather upholstery with the former, and a sportier appearance as well as more upscale features with the latter.

For the XT4, either of these more premium trim levels starts at $40,290 with destination for front-wheel drive, $42,790 with all-wheel drive. And checking all the factory option boxes on the Sport trim level showed that you could spend a whopping $57,850 for this luxury compact SUV — $22,060, or about 62 percent, more than that base price.

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