Used 2013 Cadillac XTS Sedan Review & Ratings | Edmunds

Used 2013 Cadillac XTS Sedan Review

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Edmunds Expert Review of the 2013 Cadillac XTS Sedan

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • The 2013 Cadillac XTS replaces both the DTS and STS luxury cruisers. A spacious, high-tech cabin and available all-wheel drive make the XTS a strong contender in the full-size luxury segment.

  • Safety | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Spacious cabin; top-notch materials; cutting-edge multimedia interface; available all-wheel drive; many available safety features.

  • Cons

    Lackluster acceleration; narrow trunk; tech overload could turn off traditional buyers.

  • What's New for 2013

    The 2013 Cadillac XTS is an all-new model.

Full 2013 Cadillac XTS Review

What's New for 2013

The 2013 Cadillac XTS is an all-new model.


Given the style and dynamic character of the 2013 Cadillac XTS, we'd say Cadillac has completely shed any remnants of its former reputation as a maker of billowy soft land yachts. Riding atop the same platform used to reinvigorate the Buick LaCrosse, the all-new XTS looks to extend Cadillac's youthful style into the upper reaches of its model lineup by replacing the aged DTS and STS sedans. And though Cadillac insists that the XTS is not its flagship sedan -- that car will come later to compete with the top German cruisers -- for now, it represents the pinnacle of a luxury brand that has transformed itself from staid to striking within a decade.

Outside, the XTS expresses Cadillac's current styling vocabulary with its prominent grille, vertical headlamps and taillights, and sharply creased surfaces. The cabin speaks of modern refinement with its use of aluminum, leather and wood, and it's also highlighted by CUE, Cadillac's new electronics interface. It features a touch-sensitive display on the center stack to control navigation, climate systems and connected communication apps like Pandora.

The 2013 Cadillac XTS offers only a single engine choice, a slightly detuned version of the same silky direct-injected 3.6-liter V6 found in the Cadillac CTS sedan. In this application, it generates 304 horsepower, which isn't really enough to allow the large XTS to keep up with similarly priced and powered luxury sedans. On the upside, its estimated 28 mpg on the highway is quite thrifty. The XTS can also be had with all-wheel drive for improved all-weather capability.

In terms of features, the XTS comes pretty well equipped, as even the base model has adaptive suspension dampers, xenon headlamps, leather upholstery and dual-zone climate control. Safety is also at the forefront, with an optional package that includes a number of monitoring systems plus a driver seat that vibrates on one side or the other if the XTS' radar systems detect an errant lane change or potential sideswipe.

With plenty of luxury features, available all-wheel drive and an expansive trunk and rear seats, the 2013 Cadillac XTS earns its place among large luxury-oriented sedans like the Chrysler 300C, Hyundai Genesis and Lincoln MKS. As the XTS offers such a leap beyond its Cadillac predecessors, we can understand why mature buyers returning to the brand might feel overwhelmed by the aggressive styling and all the technology packed within. But the only question should be when, not why, they should make the XTS their next Cadillac.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Cadillac XTS is a five-passenger luxury sedan. There are four trim levels: base, Luxury Collection, Premium Collection and Platinum Collection.

Standard equipment for the base XTS includes 19-inch wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, xenon headlamps, heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power front seats (with power lumbar control), a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and leather/faux-suede upholstery. Standard electronic features include Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an 8-inch center touchscreen, OnStar and an eight-speaker Bose sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, HD radio, iPod/USB connectivity and an auxiliary input.

The XTS Luxury Collection adds a heated steering wheel, driver memory functions, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, interior ambient lighting, front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera and rain-sensing wipers.

The Premium Collection package builds on those offerings with adaptive headlamps, a head-up display, tri-zone automatic climate control, a 110-volt power outlet, a navigation system, voice controls, a 14-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system and a suite of safety features that include blind spot detection, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert and front collision alert.

Finally, the Platinum Collection offers 20-inch wheels, unique exterior styling, a sunroof, a power rear sunshade and additional cabin leather trim. Optional for the Premium and Platinum is the Driver Assist package, which includes adaptive cruise control with low-speed automatic braking.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2013 Cadillac XTS is powered by a 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 304 hp and 264 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels is standard. All-wheel drive is available and is specified by the moniker XTS4. In Edmunds testing, an XTS4 Platinum went from zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds -- adequately quick, but still a second or so behind similarly priced and powered luxury sedans. Fuel economy stands at an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined with front-wheel drive, while all-wheel-drive models are rated at 17/26/20.


The 2013 Cadillac XTS comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control and traction control, front- and rear-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. Also standard is OnStar, which includes automatic crash notification, on-demand roadside assistance, remote door unlocking, stolen vehicle assistance and turn-by-turn navigation.

In Edmunds brake testing, an XTS4 Platinum came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet, which is average for a car in this class wearing all-season tires.

Optional safety features include blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, forward collision alert, rear cross-traffic alert and a vibrating driver seat that alerts the driver to an impending collision on either side of the vehicle.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Cadillac XTS slots right in between its DTS and STS predecessors, a little shorter than the former and a little longer than the latter. The XTS is also shorter than the Lincoln MKS, yet offers more front and rear legroom and a larger trunk. With 18 cubic feet of capacity, the XTS's trunk offers plenty of space, though it's somewhat narrow, so golf clubs will likely need to be creatively positioned alongside other luggage.

Ample space is nothing new for a large Cadillac. But it's within the front dash panel that the XTS sets itself apart. The CUE infotainment system -- which stands for Cadillac User Experience -- integrates audio, phone, optional navigation and OnStar functionality into an 8-inch touchscreen display. Those familiar with smartphone and tablet interfaces will feel at home with CUE, as it uses similar touching, swiping and pinching commands.

We've criticized similar interfaces that forgo traditional knobs and buttons for virtual counterparts, as they've proven lifeless and distracting while driving. But Cadillac's unique haptic feedback for its touchscreen sends a small vibration in response to common commands such as climate control adjustments. It's a unique and reassuring feature that helps you keep your eyes on the road.

Driving Impressions

At nearly 17 feet long and 6 feet wide, the 2013 Cadillac XTS is a big car. But improbably, it never feels that big from behind the wheel. With its standard adaptive suspension, sharp steering and precise throttle response, the XTS manages to shrink its big body around the driver and corners more like Cadillac's CTS than the two legacy sedans it replaces. On the highway, the Cadillac XTS is impressively quiet and provides a firm but comfortable ride without a compromise in the feeling of control.

Unfortunately, the XTS needs more power than its V6 engine can provide. Though far from slow, it nevertheless lags in terms of acceleration compared to smaller midsize luxury sedans as well as more expensive flagship models with turbocharged six-cylinder or V8 engines.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 19 reviews) Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Waste of money

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Cadillac XTS Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

The worst car I have ever had. 12 warranty claims in 24 months. Dealer wont allow me out of lease. Would never buy another Cadillac ever.

Follow up to my september 2014 review

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Cadillac XTS Luxury 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

Please see my email below. While I will never argue this is not a beautiful car, I must give it poor marks for reliability. For the third time, the rear suspension has collapsed. While my local service department is helpful and sympathetic, this is a defective car. I'm hoping Cadillac does the right thing and relieves me of the remaining months on my lease and takes the 2013 XTS Luxury edition back. Cadillac, please do the right thing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great car!

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Cadillac XTS Premium 4dr Sedan AWD (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

Gosh I love this car! This is one of the best cars I have owned and I have owned everything from a Chevrolet, Honda, Nissan, Lexus, Mercedes, Volvo, BMW and so on. The overall style and ergonomics really fit what I was looking for and I looked at many cars to compare for this purchase from Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, Audi and Lincoln. I read all the reviews and while some I agree with and some i disagree with, that is why they make so many brands and models. As far as the CUE system, it took a little time to get the hang of it, but when you do it works great! Some critics say the car is under powered and they need to get a life, you want that much power, buy a sports car, this is luxury!

2013 xts luxury edition

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Vehicle: 2013 Cadillac XTS Luxury 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

This car has a beautiful design inside and out. I have had problems. The car came without wheel locks which led to my rims being stolen 3 months into my lease. On two occasions the rear suspension has dropped, literally bottomed out. The local dealer was kind but not equipped with the training to deal this problem. Third time, they replaced rear compressor which seems to have done the trick. At 24,000 miles, one of the battery cables became completely corroded. Is technology taxing the battery too much? Great car on the road, but leaving someone stranded three times in less than 18 months won't win reliability points. I hope the kinks are out in 2014. Nothing rides like a Cadillac.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Gas nozzle clicks off continuously

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Vehicle: 2013 Cadillac XTS Luxury 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I have two Cadillac's a 2010 SRX cap gas tank and a 2013 XTS a cap less design and yet I can't fill them both up at the same gas station because the nozzle repeatedly clicks off. After I contacted the dealer, and GM TAC I was told that it's operating as designed. Dealer and GM smart guys say it's the station pump pressure and the vapor bellows on the nozzle and go to other gas stations .. real nice solution!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

One year review

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Cadillac XTS Premium 4dr Sedan (3.6L 6cyl 6A)

I love to drive this car. It is just the right size to give comfort while being small enough to be able to maneuver. The vehicle is great. The CUE electronics are horrible, however. Why is it that some engineer decided that a sleek touch pad appearance trumped function? I have learned, after difficulty with the touch, that the system (like an Ipad) does not respond well to fingertip touch but instead needed a finger pad touch. Okay on an Ipad, but awkward at best while driving. Certain things, like climate control and radio controls, just are easier with knobs. Also, voice recognition is terrible. I was told the noise canceling system interferes.

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Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Cadillac XTS Sedan in VA is:

$139.25 per month*

Identifix Reliability Ratings

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