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.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.