Cadillac’s rival to the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA premium compact crossover SUVs has finally been spotted.
The prototype is heavily disguised but the general shape is similar to the Cadillac’s XT5, albeit on a smaller scale. The C-pillar treatment and design of the lower part of the rear bumper and exhaust tips are also identical to what we see on the XT5.
The vehicle, likely to be called an XT3 (XT4 is also possible), was confirmed by Cadillac boss Johan de Nysschen in 2015. At the time, he said we can expect it on sale in the second half of 2018 or early the following year, which suggests it will arrive as a 2019 model.
The underpinnings are borrowed from the latest Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain, which means powertrains and transmissions will likely be as well. Look for a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 to be paired to a 9-speed automatic in standard spec. Drive will be to the front wheels, though all-wheel drive should be available.
2018 Cadillac XT3 spy shots - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-MedienEnlarge Photo
Pricing should start at a bit more than $30K which is right in line with the competition. That will also provide a nice buffer with the XT5 which starts at $40K. Further down the track Cadillac will finally add a three-row crossover to its lineup.
Production is expected to take place at General Motors’ Orion Assembly plant located just outside of Detroit.
Compact crossovers are typically targeted to a younger, hipper audience, a segment Cadillac needs to tap. A compact, fuel-efficient crossover would also be attractive to buyers in other markets, including every automaker’s favorite land of opportunity, China. It could even help relaunch Cadillac in Europe, assuming the economy there improves enough to sustain another luxury manufacturer.
Stay tuned for updates as development continues.