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The 2020 Cadillac XT4's interior. Photo: GM

Last week I drove to northern Michigan in the 2020 Cadillac XT4, a compact crossover utility.

The big picture: The XT4 is Cadillac's entry-level crossover. It was introduced in 2019, but adds important assisted-driving features as standard equipment for 2020.

Key takeaways: The XT4 is roomier than some other small luxury crossovers like the Mercedes GLA or BMW X1.

  • Its new infotainment system is well-designed, with reasonably easy controls, a characteristic that's often difficult to find in some luxury models.

The knock against the Cadillac XT4 is that the interior isn't fancy enough for a luxury car.

  • The dashboard and upper door panels are covered in a stitched, faux-leather wrap, and there are some plastic bits on the lower doors and center console.
  • I confess I was initially surprised by the Plain Jane dashboard, but the more I drove it, the more I liked its refined simplicity.

The 2020 XT4 adds standard safety features at all price levels, including forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, and front pedestrian braking.

  • Other popular features like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive cruise control cost extra.

You can buy an XT4 starting at $36,690, or jump up to the Premium or Sport trims, which both begin at $40,790.

  • But shop around. If you prefer being bathed in luxury, the XT4 might not be for you.

What to watch: Today's XT4 is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but Cadillac is going all-electric across its lineup in the future.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that the XT4 is roomier than some other small luxury crossovers like the Mercedes GLA, not the Mercedes GLE.

Go deeper

Parents in Michigan, Virginia sue AG over action on school board threats

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland during an October news conference in Mexico City. Photo: Hector Vivas/Getty Images

A group of parents in Michigan and Virginia accused Attorney General Merrick Garland in a federal lawsuit Tuesday of trying to "criminalize" free speech by directing law enforcement to review threats against school staff.

Why it matters: The lawsuit, filed by the conservative American Freedom Law Center on behalf of the parents in two school districts, accuses Garland of seeking to suppress free speech in his memorandum directing federal authorities to counter the threats spike.

Reading the fundraising tea leaves in Virginia

Terry McAuliffe (left) and Glenn Youngkin speak during a debate last month. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Democrat Terry McAuliffe may be trouncing Glenn Youngkin in fundraising, but when it comes to dollars from donors in Virginia — the state where they're battling to become governor — the Republican has the edge.

Why it matters: With tight polls between the two gubernatorial candidates less than two weeks before Election Day, the parties are also looking to fundraising as a predictor of success.

4 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes mix-and-match for COVID booster shots

Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday gave its approval for Americans to get booster shots that are different from the COVID vaccine they initially received.

Why it matters: The recommendation from the FDA, which also authorized booster shots for people who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Wednesday, paves the way for an expansion of booster shots.