Or, as Johnny says, “You can’t beat the Cadillac ride!”
“Driving Me Crazy“ is “The only show where a couple talk cars and life and still love one another.”
You can’t beat the MSRP base price of $36,000 or, for a fully loaded 2019 Cadillac XT4 FWD Sport like we drove, $50,535 (the Sport has a base MSRP of $39,295.)
LAURIE: For the second week in a row, Johnny and I have solicited the help of our local dealerships here in Moore County, North Carolina to provide us with a vehicle to test-drive. As I explained last week, and on our weekly radio show, “Driving Me Crazy,” broadcast every Thursday from Manhattan and the Triboro area on “Westchester on the Level Radio, hosted by Hezi Aris” — I have been test-driving/reviewing cars for over 30 years. Johnny has partnered with me in marriage, life and, yes, cars, these seven years, but the difference between the two of us relative to cars is, I’ve driven a lot of them, and he’s owned a lot of them.
Yes, it is a dream job to drive a different car every week for three decades. But with it comes a heft responsibility. Many times we are asked, “How do you review a car you don’t care for?” Well, as our good friend, Bugsy Lawlor of Automotion International in Bridgewater, Massachusetts says, “There’s no such thing as a bad car these days.” And he is absolutely right. In fact, innovations, particularly in safety, that we first saw as options are now standard equipment. Not only is safety paramount, but so is styling.
Which brings us to Cadillac.
The luxury brand of General Motors, Cadillac dates back to 1902, when it was salvaged from the Ford Motor Company as an asset that was ultimately purchased by GM in 1909. (The famous Cadillac crest, above, is adapted from the family crest of Antoine de La Mothe (Motte) Cadillac, an explorer, trapper, trader, and commander of Fort de Buade in St. Ignace, Michigan before he founded Detroit in 1701.) The name itself is often used to describe the crème de la crème of almost any luxury item. And, of course, the brand itself is among the finest, most luxurious cars ever made. Custom-built bodies with V12 and V16 engines during the Great Depression of the 1930s managed to sell, even in those financially impoverished times in our country’s history, and by 1940, Cadillac sales soared tenfold compared to six years before. Then the storm clouds of the Second World War covered the world — and still, Cadillac prevailed.
Which brings us to today — this afternoon, in fact — when Johnny and I drove the 2019 Cadillac XT4. What’s there to say apart from “it’s a Cadillac.” Well, my dear husband put it best when he said, as he drove the XT4 out of the drive of Clark Chevrolet Cadillac in Pinehurst, North Carolina, “You can’t beat that Cadillac ride!”
The XT4 is brand-new in 2019 and Cadillac has incorporated much of the XT5, which has been around for about three years, in this luxury crossover SUV. You can dress up a Cadillac but you can never, ever dress it down, so to that end, determine whether a Luxury, Premium Luxury, or Sport model fits your lifestyle. Luxury, in any car, means space to me — and the XT4 has plenty of it, with great rear seat legroom. Fold down the 60/40 second seat and you have substantial cargo space; you have plenty of it even if you don’t fold down the rear seat.
The 2.0L turbocharged, four-cylinder engine boasts 237 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and although Cadillac refers to forward motion as “liftoff,” in “touring” mode you have perfect “get around town” acceleration but in “sport” mode you can feel the power surge — Johnny? What say you, honey?
JOHNNY: Finally, a word – that’s what I say. As to the car, there are three driving mode choices for the XT4, Touring, Sport, and Snow and Ice. We don’t need the third choice here much in the last few years, but in your old stomping grounds of New Hampshire, Mode 3, Snow and Ice could come in quite handy and quite often from September until May as I recall. The Touring mode is just that, for driving around or for the long haul. With a four-cylinder, turbo charged engine, you DO get considerable response from the 258 foot pounds of torque, even in Touring mode, but change the mode to Sport and you get, what seemed to me anyway, quicker response and a stiffer ride, more in keeping with one’s desire to go fast and ‘feel’ the road. Oh, and for the race car driver in some of us, there are paddle shifters as well. Personally, I prefer Touring – good old-fashioned comfort and slow speeds for our 25 mph housing areas and 35 mph on the main drag. With a nine-speed transmission and an overall average of 30 miles per gallon (mpg), it’s a lovely way to get from Point A to Point B in style and comfort. You know, honey, when it comes to style … what? You want to say something. I knew it was too good to last …
LAURIE: Words such as “chic,” “grand,” and “bold” are grand adjectives used by Cadillac in their promotional material but I gotta’ tell you — this is redundant. That’s what you always can expect, and get, from Cadillac. Name one model that hasn’t been distinctive. What I saw in the XT4, however, are more powerful lines, a somewhat beefier front body and understated trim which gives the body design that Cadillac refinement. But if you want to know what’s solid about Cadillac, just close the car door. That’s solid; that’s a hunk of metal; that’s what you want in a car that’s going to cruise through life with you for years to come.
The interior…well, I don’t want to get too effusive. It’s gorgeous. Top grain leather and the car we drove had that glorious contrast of charcoal grey leather and butterscotch, trimming the doors, the console, the seats all in butterscotch with beautiful stitching, finishing, and gorgeous wood interior trim.
I’m going to hand this over now to my better half to give you his manly point-of-view. But before I do, let me just say: available air ionizer to reduce airborne contaminants in the cabin, such as dust, pollen and odors. And to think, husband, you just had your allergy test this very morning with the result that…yes, you are allergic to dust and pollen! Does that mean our next car is a Cadillac XT4?
JOHNNY: Before I get out the checkbook, I want to talk a little about the safety features of the Cadillac, probably the most important factor of all in my opinion. My wonderful Laurie has already said two things that are significant – 1.) They just don’t make bad cars anymore, and 2.) The solid feel in the doors. Cadillac – wonderful, solid cars. That’s a base anyone can work from. The you add safety, and styling, and luxury, and quiet, and room, and comfort – and, voila, you have a Cadillac. And notice, I put safety right after solid. Not many years ago, after seat belts, but before the rest, if you were looking for safety, you looked for solid, preferably big and solid. I owned primarily two types of car during that period – the big solid K5 Blazers and some variation of the 300 D Mercedes. Big and solid vehicles that at least gave you a chance in an accident, or so we felt. I never had to test that thinking and am very thankful for that. Now the new cars have many, many features to both keep you out of an accident, and protect you if you are in an accident, and this move to ‘keep you out of an accident’ is an incredible, positive step toward saving lives. Cadillac is right there loaded with safety features for any driver. Most of our readers and listeners know about Forward Collision Alert, which, with Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control (monitoring the speed of the cars in front of you and adjusting your speed accordingly), really serve as a warning system for traffic in front of you and keeping you on the ‘straight and narrow’. There is also Side Blind Zone Alert, which, and we all know there are blind spots on a vehicle, monitors those blind spots and alerts you using the side mirror icon to warn you when a car is coming upon or in your blind spot area. Okay, that’s front and sides, how about rear? Cadillac comes with a HD Rear Vision Camera that both shows you what is behind you with a larger field of vision than you could see looking in the mirrors or over your shoulder, and also helps plot the trajectory of your backing effort, letting you know well in advance if you are backing toward and object or person. Rear Cross Traffic Alert warns you when a car is approaching while you are trying to back up, and at the low speeds you would have while backing up, there is also automatic braking in case you the camera sees something imminent of which you are unaware – a pedestrian, a cyclist, or a car whose driver who suddenly is going to cross behind you. Cadillac is a great example of what I would call the Surround Safety Measures (yes, I just coined that before someone steals it)
Now regarding the checkbook, I am not sure one check for one Cadillac would be enough. Let’s look at CT5, CTS and XTS Sedans too, and maybe a CT6 or an ATS, or an XT5 or XT6, or an Escalade – I think I am going to need a bigger check book. Cadillac – gotta love ‘em.
The Pinehurst Garage has been the home of Clark Chevrolet Cadillac, Inc., in Pinehurst, North Carolina since August 2, 1971, when Bill Clark purchased the dealership. Originally a garage, service station, and dealership, the historic building was constructed in 1923 by the Tufts family, which founded Pinehurst in 1895 and owned Pinehurst Resort until 1970. The main level was originally a Packard dealership and automobile service station, and the second floor had nine bedrooms for the chauffeurs of Pinehurst’s seasonal guests, who stayed at Pinehurst Resort from November to April. Bill Clark expanded the enterprise in 1976, 1985, and 1988 by building two body shops, offices, and two new car showrooms while tastefully preserving the original building with his heart of pine floors and brickwork. Bill’s son, Troy, manages the business today and, like his father, sees himself as a caretaker of one of the most recognized buildings in this lovely New England village south of the Mason-Dixon Line. We would like to thank Clark Chevrolet Cadillac, Inc. for allowing us to test drive the 2019 Cadillac XT4.
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Listen to John and Laurie Wiles’ review of the 2019 Cadillac XT4 FWD Sport “Live” or “On Demand” by way of the Internet on the Fourth of July from 10-10:30am EST using the following hyperlink: http://tobtr.com/s/11383983
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For our listeners in the New York Metropolitan area, stop in at the following dealers for sales, service, and parts.
Mount Kisco Cadillac at 175 N. Bedford Road, Mount Kisco, NY 10549. Sales: 1-866-233-3089. Hours: 9:00am-8pm (Monday-Friday); 9am-5pm (Saturday); and 11am-4pm (Sunday).
Pepe Cadillac at 15 Water Street, White Plains, NY 10601. Sales: (877) 504-5165. Hours: 9:00am-7:00pm (Monday-Thursday); 9:00am-6:00pm (Friday and Saturday). Closed on Sunday.
Potamkin Cadillac of Manhattan at 706 11th Avenue, New York, NY 10019. Sales at (917) 267-2776 or 1-855-569-7960. Hours: 9:00am-8:00pm (Monday-Friday; 10am-6pm (Saturday). Closed on Sunday.