New & Used Cadillac XTS: In Depth
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The large Cadillac XTS four-door sedan continues the luxury brand’s effort to return to its former “standard of the world” status, but it's not destined to be the company's flagship forever. There's a larger and even more luxurious Cadillac sedan coming within a couple of years, to flesh out a lineup that now consists of the XTS at the top, the redesigned mid-range CTS lineup in the middle, and the smaller ATS sedan and coupe as the entry level.
Available in front- or all-wheel-drive models, the XTS is more affordable than German or Japanese luxury entries. It effectively replaces the former full-size DTS four-door--which itself supplanted the longstanding DeVille name. The XTS, built in Ontario, Canada, is derived from some of the same underpinnings as the current Buick Lacrosse and Chevrolet Impala models. But the XTS offers full-size interior room to keep Cadillac in the town-car game, blended with the latest Art & Science design vocabulary to bring it more into line with the rest of the Cadillac family.
The carmaker says the interior space of the XTS matches many full-size sedans, though its dimensions are more comparable to some mid-size four-doors. In the rear seat, for example, the XTS has 40 inches of leg room--less than today's VW Passat but more than a short-wheelbase Jaguar XJ. The XTS's trunk is large, at 18 cubic feet, though it's down a few cubes on the storage bin on the Ford Taurus, which checks in at 20 cubic feet.A size class larger than today's mid-size CTS, the XTS is initially offered with a single drivetrain, a 3.6-liter V-6 with 300 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque, coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission. It's similar to the one coming in the 2014 Impala. Fuel economy is estimated at 17/28 miles per gallon for the front-drive XTS, while all-wheel-drive models should be rated at 17/27 mpg.
As for ride and handling, the XTS bridges the gulf between the old DTS and the crisper Caddys with a new suspension that features standard Magnetic Ride Control, an adaptive set of shocks that use a magnetically charged fluid that changes shock rigidity according to road conditions. Performance struts and Brembo brakes are also be included.
The XTS has some of GM's most advanced infotainment technology built into its cabin. It was the first Cadillac to offer CUE, which uses a fully capacitive touchscreen with proximity sensing and multi-touch gestures like those used with smartphones and tablets to control secondary functions. Though CUE has received some criticism for its complexity, Cadillac is already planning a range of updates to improve the experience.
Along with the in-cabin electronics, Cadillac is introducing new short and long range radar systems with the XTS. These systems are used for adaptive cruise control, front and rear automatic brakes, and rear cross traffic alert. Another new feature is a safety alert driver seat that vibrates to alert the driver. Combine these electronic safety features with the standard 10 air bags, and we can see Cadillac is looking to satisfy both the gadget loving and safety conscious crowd.