The 2014 Cadillac XTS is not trying to be a sharply tuned sport sedan; yet given its more comfort-oriented mission, it's surprisingly athletic. And with the introduction of a new Twin-Turbo V-6 engine option this year, the XTS isn't likely to let anyone down in terms of acceleration and power.
A base 3.6-liter V-6 is underhood most models of the XTS, and its priority is a smooth ride at every turn. In our experience the base V-6 lacks grunt to take off the line sharply, but it accelerates up to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds. It's rated at just over 300 horsepower and its teamed to a 6-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional.
New for 2014 is a so-called Twin-Power V-6—a twin-turbocharged, 3.6-liter, making 410 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. According to GM, it's one of the most power-dense six-cylinder engines on the planet. We haven't driven any XTS with this engine yet, but it makes its peak torque from 1,900 all the way up to 5,600 rpm, so it should provide a very V-8-like responsiveness to this big luxury sedan.
The XTS feels heavy at takeoff, but not too many times after that. Its prodigious weight (about 4,000 pounds in base trim) piles onto the nose when under hard braking, but Cadillac's clever throttle mapping makes it feel more eager than it is. We suggest a long test drive to make sure it's not too nervous, but we've found that overall, the XTS is a smooth customer. There are two wheel sizes, 19 and 20 inches, but the differences between the two are minimal.
The XTS hides its weight well in cornering. The suspension loads and unloads in predictable, confident ways and the big Caddy stays surprisingly flat. It rarely feels flustered, and the electronically controlled MagneRide struts help with that impression, soaking up harshness and road noise without dulling responsiveness.