Large Cadillac sedans have developed a reputation over the years for putting comfort above all else. Though they floated and glided along the road like a cloud, they were also quite bland to drive and behind the times in terms of design. With the Cadillac XTS, however, that reputation has been put to rest. The XTS is sharper and more responsive to drive, yet it still maintains plenty of amenities and seating comfort.
Built on the same platform as the current Buick LaCrosse, the Cadillac XTS is powered by a detuned version of the V6 sourced from the current CTS. The XTS doesn't feel asleep or lethargic from behind the wheel, giving it the sensation that it is much smaller than its 17-foot-long and 6-foot-wide dimensions would seem to indicate. Overall, we like how the XTS separates itself from those lethargic Cadillac behemoths of the past. It's a savvy choice for a modern American large luxury sedan.
Current Cadillac XTS Specs
The Cadillac XTS is a new model for 2013 that is available in four trim packages: Base, Luxury, Premium and Platinum. All trim levels are equipped with the same 3.6-liter V6 engine that produces 304 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with front-wheel drive in the Base model, while all-wheel drive is an available option in other trim levels.
The all-wheel-drive system is said to be intended only to improve all-weather capability, and Edmunds tests have found this to be the case. The AWD XTS doesn't show any handling advantages over its front-wheel-drive counterpart. More power would be a welcome change, but the sensation of driving this Cadillac has been updated to convey a more controlled and precise nature.
The Base XTS comes with a host of standard equipment including the Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker Bose sound system, 10-way power front seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and leather/faux-suede upholstery. Upgrading to the Luxury Collection adds a few extra features, including heated rear seats, parking sensors and a rearview camera. The Premium Collection adds extra safety features such as blind spot and lane-departure warning. At the XTS's highest trim level, Platinum, you get 20-inch wheels, some changes to interior and exterior styling and the Driver Assist package, which adds low-speed automatic braking and adaptive cruise control.
Although it can be slightly distracting and unresponsive at times, CUE (available across all Cadillac models) has the potential to be a very good system. While all of this technology may feel like a welcome luxury for most buyers, someone accustomed to Cadillacs of yesteryear will have a slight adjustment to make.
You won't have to make any adjustments in terms of being comfortable. Inside, the XTS is expansive and, no matter who you've got as a passenger, there will be plenty of headroom to spare. Legroom and interior space are ample in the XTS and the trunk has an impressive 18 cubic feet of capacity.
In our tests, the XTS accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. Although it isn't a slouch, it definitely isn't as quick as most other similarly priced luxury cars. The XTS doesn't feel big and lumbering from behind the steering wheel, and our editors found it quiet and firm on the highway.
The XTS is large, but not vast and it doesn't wallow under its mass. The car is plush, but not soft and boring. While there are several upsides to this new Cadillac, one of the biggest benefits is the value it provides for its cost. The Cadillac XTS will afford you with refinement and relaxation without a hefty price tag, and for that alone it's worth your time.
Read the most recent 2014 Cadillac XTS review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Cadillac XTS page.