The XTS is no longer Cadillac's top-of-the-line car, and maybe that's for the best: This big, front-wheel-drive cruiser seems out of place among the brand's rear-drive sport sedans. With its softly sprung suspension and library-quiet ride, the 2017 Cadillac XTS may be something of a nod to yesteryear, but we still think there's a place for it among buyers who value comfort over cutting-edge handling.
We certainly don't mean to imply that the XTS is bad to drive — it's actually very impressive for its size. This is a big car, nearly 17 feet long, but once you're behind the wheel the XTS feels smaller. With a standard adaptive suspension and light steering feel, the XTS feels more nimble than you might expect. Thanks to General Motors' magnetic shock absorbers (which use a fluid that thickens instantly when a magnetic field is applied, allowing near-instant changes in damping), the XTS can provide a pillow-soft ride and yet still maintains its composure around corners.
While the XTS drives small, it certainly doesn't feel cramped. There's plenty of room to stretch out up front and even more in back. The 18-cubic-foot trunk is generous, but the narrow opening means that loading long items like golf bags will take some creativity.
We love the XTS's futuristic dashboard, especially in higher trim levels where traditional analog gauges are replaced by a video screen. And we appreciate the improvements Cadillac has made to its CUE touchscreen system — it now responds faster, and the swipe and pinch gestures will be familiar to anyone who uses a smartphone or tablet. Then again, the glossy screen is a magnet for fingerprints, and the touch-sensitive buttons below the screen, which control the stereo and climate system, are not our favorite. They require too much attention to be taken from the road, and since they sense the proximity of your finger, it's easy to press a "button" you didn't want.
The base engine for the XTS is a 3.6-liter V6, which produces 304 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque. It's available with either front- or all-wheel drive. We clocked the latter model to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds, slower than what we expect in this class. EPA-estimated fuel economy for the front-drive version is 22 mpg combined (18 city/28 highway), and AWD drops that by 2 mpg. Cadillac offers a twin-turbo version of this engine in the V-Sport model. It produces 410 hp and 369 lb-ft and comes standard with all-wheel drive; and its zero-to-60-mph time of 5.4 seconds is much closer to that of its rivals. The V-Sport's EPA rating is 18 mpg combined (16 city/23 highway).
Cadillac offers the XTS in Base, Luxury Collection, Premium Collection, and Platinum Collection models, with the V-Sport only offered in the upper two. Base models are best left to taxi services and limo builders; the Luxury model has more luxury must-haves, but it's the Premium and Platinum that really tempt us. Let Edmunds help find the perfect 2017 Cadillac XTS for you.
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 large luxury sedan that's available in six trim levels: Base, Luxury, Premium, Premium Vsport, Platinum and Platinum Vsport.
All trim levels other than the Vsport have a 3.6-liter V6 engine with 304 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional on all but the Base trim. The Vsport variants feature a turbocharged version of that engine that packs 410 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive (AWD) is standard with the turbo V6, as is a six-speed automatic.
The Base XTS comes equipped with an adaptive suspension, keyless ignition and entry, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, an eight-speaker Bose sound system and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Upgrading to the Luxury version adds heated rear seats, front parking sensors, a rearview camera and an automated parallel-parking system. The Premium's highlights include tri-zone automatic climate control, a navigation system, a 14-speaker Bose audio system and electronic driver aids. With the Platinum version, you also get 20-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control, a panoramic sunroof and some changes to interior and exterior styling. The sport versions include 20-inch wheels and the more powerful engine.
Although it looks pretty slick, the CUE (Cadillac User Experience) infotainment touchscreen interface can be slightly distracting and unresponsive at times. While this technology greatly reduces button clutter, 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, however, as the cabin is expansive and provides headroom and legroom to spare. The trunk has an impressive 18 cubic feet of capacity.
In reviews, we noted that the base Cadillac XTS accelerates respectably, but the potent Vsport provides sports car-like acceleration. The XTS is large, yet doesn't feel big and lumbering from behind the wheel. There is some noticeable body roll when it's pushed harder, but the XTS doesn't wallow under its mass. At speed on the highway, the XTS is composed and impressively quiet. While there are several upsides to this relatively new Cadillac, the most notable is the value it provides compared to its full-size European rivals. The Caddy offers you refinement and relaxation without a hefty price tag, and for that alone it's worth your time.
Used Cadillac XTS Models
The XTS was introduced for 2013 when it effectively replaced the DTS and STS sedans in Cadillac's lineup. The Vsport version didn't arrive until 2014.