The 2014 Cadillac XTS remains priced about in line with the Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E 350. And if it doesn't quite match the pedigree of those models, you do indeed get your money's worth in features--with more standard than those models, as well as some noteworthy packages.
Essentially, there are still four different models of the XTS on offer: base XTS, Luxury Collection, Premium Collection, and Platinum Collection versions. All models include a Bose eight-speaker sound system, power front seats, power-adjustable steering, remote start, a universal garage-door opener, and dual-zone climate control.
Also included is CUE, a capacitive touch-screen-based system. It has the first use of proximity and gestural sensing, which allows the system to show more menu options only as your hand approaches. It's one of the most attractive, most intuitively laid-out interfaces yet, but it's not without issues. We appreciated how the system has a depth of customization possibilities once you get into the submenus, yet on the surface it simplifies the choices. You can simply say things like “Take me to Starbucks,” or “Let's go to Starbucks,” which some people will find refreshing, as you don't need to learn nested commands or particular words. Screen scrolling is smooth and glitch-free, and the live-traffic features that have been cause for frustration in so many other vehicles seemed to work flawlessly here, with good detail.
There's also a big reconfigurable gauge cluster, which offers several layouts plus lots of customization, that's included only in Premium and Platinum models. So is the much-improved Head-Up Display, which projects critical information onto the windshield; premium sound; and navigation functionality for CUE. So if you want to take advantage of the technology, you'll want one of those two top models.
New for 2014, there's a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, with screens that fold out of the backs of the front seats; also, a new rear-seat armrest design includes wood trim, radio controls, and controls for the available sunshade (an opaque sunroof shade is newly offered). Intellibeam headlamps and a new front-seat memory feature are also among the new items.
Individual options are quite limited in the XTS. In addition to the Driver Awareness Package (a new set of active-safety features), available features include embedded navigation (for the Base model), an Ultraview sunroof, a compact spare, and an engine block heater.