For quite some time now, Cadillac has lagged behind its competitors and has been in need of a drastic strategy to turn around its fortunes. The brand is now in a charm offensive that will see an array of new models including a compact crossover to join the already released XT5 crossover and CT6 sedan. The compact crossover is dubbed the “XT3” and will be a direct rival to BMW’s X1. Prototypes of 2019 Cadillac XT3 have already been spotted testing in Europe and here in the U.S. but under heavy camouflage.
2019 Cadillac XT3 Exterior
All we have as of now are heavily camouflaged images of the XT3 doing test runs in Europe and Us. However, from the camouflage, it is clear the model is an evolution of the automaker’s ‘Art and science’ design language. To a large extent, the XT3 looks like a smaller version of the XT5. At the front, the model appears to have a similar huge front grille that is flanked by sharp-pointed headlights whose LED strips stretch into the bumper.
The side profile has a wedge look as it features a 3-window design and ascending character lines just as is the case with the XT5.The rear features a flat rear window and vertical LED taillights. The model will likely have dual exhaust tips to add a sporty flavor to the fascia.
The interior is also a mystery. I expect Cadillac to use the same design as the latest crossovers such as the bigger XT5. The model will thus likely have a V-shaped center console with a huge touch-screen. I expect the automaker to bring in the CUE infotainment system as standard on higher trims and as an option on lower trims.
Due to the sporty nature and lower roof of this model, it will likely have a constrained space, especially for rear passengers but will offer sufficient legroom and headroom for average passengers.
Cadillac will equip the model with a host of luxury features to match if not exceed those offered by rival models. Leather may be the standard upholstery material even for the base model. Higher trims will feature aluminum trim and woodgrain inserts.
Expect a 4G hotspot, wireless charging, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay Smartphone integration to be offered as standard features. Higher trims will feature heated and cooled front seats, a rear camera and even a rear-seat entertainment system.
As for safety, the model will likely feature an array of autonomous features some as standard and others as options.
Engine and performance
There were rumors that the Cadillac would be the first automaker to offer RWD for this compact crossover segment but this is not to be as the model is based on the D2XX platform that only accommodates FWD although AWD is an available option on lower trims and standard on higher trims.
Cadillac is yet to reveal the engine that will power the XT3. However, according to rumors, a turbocharged 2.0 L, force-fed four-cylinder mill is likely. This mill currently powers the ATS. The presence of an intercooler behind the model’s lower front grille also hints at the possibility of the above mill. The engine will likely be hooked up to a 9-speed automatic gearbox that is used on the GMC Terrain and Chevrolet Equinox. On the ATS, the engine produces 272 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.
Performance and fuel economy details will be available when the model makes a debut at an international auto show later this year.
Price and release date
It is too early for the automaker to release official prices of the XT3. To gain a substantial market share in a market with some pretty impressive models, Cadillac will have to charge a competitive price for the XT3. Considering top rivals all have a starting price of between $31,000 and $ 33,500, I expect the Cadillac’s starting price to fall within the same range. The 2019 Cadillac XT3 is likely to hit sales dealerships in the first half of 2018.
Cadillac has entered this compact crossover market segment rather late as the market is already very competitive with all the top luxury automakers having a model. The XT3 will sweat it out with impressive models such as the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, Lexus NX and Audi Q3.