- Quiet, refined interior
- Sprawl-out backseat space
- Near-ideal ride and handling
- Awesome safety set
- Capacitative 'buttons'
- Front seats could have better support
- Expensive for what it is
For those focused on safety, technology, and comfort—but not necessarily performance—the 2014 Cadillac XTS is everything a big luxury sedan should be.
The 2014 Cadillac XTS isn't just larger than the luxury brand's ATS and CTS sport sedans; it follows a different set of priorities—appealing to those who might just prefer to rock the Hush Puppies instead of flaunt the Fratelli Rossettis. And if you're looking for comfort and technology as much as performance, the XTS is a nice fit.
Taking aim at the meat of the luxury market—"large luxury," as they call it—there's the softer, smoother Cadillac XTS. It has the boxed-out look of the other models, yet smoothly styled sides and a softly arched roofline. It's a truly good-looking car on the outside, although you might see some semblance to the Buick LaCrosse and Chevrolet Impala it's related to.
Cadillac would prefer that you view the XTS from the inside out. The dash and instrument panel are packed with the latest and greatest tech: an 8.0-inch touchscreen and an available configurable instrument cluster. The materials are top-notch too: a swoopy look, soft touches, and quality material all wrap the well-crafted dash.
The 2014 Cadillac XTS doesn't have sporting intentions, although it's surprisingly athletic. The base XTS comes equipped with a 3.6-liter V-6 that makes 304 horsepower teamed to a 6-speed automatic. It's a little lacking off the line, but has plenty of pull on the interstate. To comfort any traditional Cadillac buyers looking for V-8 power, the XTS can be fitted with a turbocharged V-6 that makes 410 hp and 369 pound-feet, comparable to big engines found in others.
In all other respects, the XTS ends up feeling surprisingly athletic, considering its comfort-oriented mission. Magnetic ride control and air springs keep the ride in the XTS well-sorted and isolated without numbing the steering beyond control—the big Caddy is sharper than you might expect.
That doesn't take away from its overall mission. If keeping company comfortable, the XTS is the right place to start. The back seat is roomier than other comparably sized sedans, and head and leg room are more than ample. Front seats are spacious and big for most body types, although we'd like just a little more support from the seats.
The XTS boasts one of the most impressive lists of safety features we've seen in a new car. Alongside stellar independent and federal results, the XTS can be equipped with a forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking system that can prevent low-speed crashes, or reduce the severity of higher-speed crashes.
The centerpiece of the XTS's instrument panel is a state-of-the-art 8.0-inch touchscreen, similar to what you might find on a tablet and the first of its kind to be planted into a new car. The system, which Cadillac calls CUE, is standard on all models, which helps clean up the dashboard of physical buttons, and most XTS models won't have instruments either—those have been replaced by a configurable screen with simulated dials. That's one of our peeves, as the simulated ones don't happen to work as well as real ones; although we like most of what we've seen from CUE.
The XTS is offered in several different trims, starting with the base model and moving up to Luxury Collection, Premium Collection, and ending at Platinum Collection. All models include the slick CUE system, and the two top trims include standard navigation and premium audio.
New for 2014, rear-seat passengers get the lion's share of goodies. A rear-seat entertainment system can be fitted for long hauls, and a near rear-seat armrest boasts wood trim, sunshade and radio controls.