2017 Cadillac XTS Review
Pros & Cons
- Spacious interior with high-quality materials throughout
- Impressive number of high-tech features
- Available all-wheel drive for cold-weather climates
- Optional twin-turbo V6 offers strong straight-line acceleration
- Standard V6 struggles to get the big sedan moving
- Surprisingly narrow trunk opening
- Touch-sensitive controls can be a hassle to use while driving
Edmunds' Expert Review
As imposing as the 2017 Cadillac XTS seems at the curb, it has a distinctly smaller feel from behind the wheel. Thanks to the standard adaptive suspension and feather-light steering, the XTS manages to shrink its big body around the driver.
Nonetheless, rival sedans are generally better bets in terms of driving dynamics. Comfort is king for a traditional Cadillac sedan, and the XTS doesn't disappoint. The same magnetically controlled adaptive suspension that keeps the body composed in corners provides a buttery-smooth ride on most surfaces. It's far from floaty, but when you're rolling down the highway in an XTS, there's no doubt luxury is its main mission.
When it comes to power, the V-Sport's turbocharged V6 completely transforms the driving experience. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with the base engine, but the standard V6 lacks the confident oomph Cadillacs are usually associated with. The V-Sport, on the other hand, feels more like an old, muscular Caddy V8 off the line. Springing for the upgraded engine is a no-brainer if you like the idea of having power to spare.
The Cadillac XTS provides the kind of passenger volume you expect from a nearly 17-foot-long luxury sedan. Rear passengers in particular will appreciate their ample accommodations. With 18 cubic feet of capacity, the XTS' trunk is one of the biggest on the market, but it's unusually narrow, so long items such as golf bags might need to be creatively positioned.
Of course, we're used to Cadillacs that give us room to stretch out. The XTS' futuristic dashboard, though, is something else altogether. For 2017 the standard gauge cluster gets a face-lift, but it’s the optional 12.3-inch gauge cluster that gets our attention. Then there's the CUE (Cadillac User Experience) infotainment interface, which integrates audio, phone, optional navigation and OnStar functionality into an 8-inch haptic touchscreen display. Cadillac has improved CUE’s response time significantly from when it was initially introduced, and the current system is finally something we’d call user-friendly. Those familiar with smartphone and tablet interfaces should feel at home with the CUE touchscreen because it uses similar touch, swipe and pinch gesture commands.
There are also touch-sensitive buttons beneath the touchscreen. These buttons control things such as the stereo and climate systems, and they can be a challenge to use if you're trying to drive at the same time. For efficient operation, you might need to look down at the panel to see what you're pressing, which of course requires you to take your eyes off the road. As slick as this control panel looks, we're not convinced that the touch controls are the way to go.