2014 Cadillac XTS Comfort & Quality

On Comfort & Quality

The 2014 Cadillac XTS is a large sedan, at more than 200 inches long and with a wheelbase of nearly 112 inches. It slots right alongside standard-wheelbase versions of the Audi A8 and BMW 7-Series, along with the Lincoln MKS, in length, while it's actually better than most of those cars for backseat space, because of its upright cabin proportions. If you want to make a client happy, the ride quality and seating space is about perfect in the XTS; it's spacious and quiet, yet never boatlike or queasy. 

Consider the XTS's back seat to be its secret weapon. While a number of luxury models are a bit disappointing back there, the XTS has enough space to fit any passenger in comfort. The headliner includes carved-out areas for even more headroom behind the sunroof housing, so even those well over six feet tall will have extra space. The only gripe, however slight, is that back seats aren’t quite as contoured as we expected them to be, although the middle backseat position, which can be too confined or thinly padded in some rival models, is entirely useful here.

With standout materials; a supreemely roomy back seat; and leading-edge technology and refinement; the 2014 XTS has a true luxury-car cabin.

The front accommodations in the XTS aren't quite the standout that they are in back, but they're up to luxury-car standards. You tend to sit a bit higher in the XTS than in other large luxury cars—which means that you get great outward visibility; on the other hand they're not in the same super-supportive, carved-out, adjustable-in-every-way class as those of some flagship models.

Interior materials are excellent, though, and definitely a step above those used in Cadillac's former comfort model, the DTS. There's real wood trim; available soft Opus leather with perforated inserts (Platinum); a leather-wrapped instrument panel; and soft-touch surfaces virtually everywhere. Step up to Platinum models and you'll get a headliner made of Alcantara (faux-suede).

Superb ride quality is part of the XTS package. And by that we don't mean cushy, boatlike motions--just a relatively firm yet surprisingly absorbent ride. Thank the MagneRide system for that; it uses electromagnetically adjustable dampers that can quickly adjust for varied road harshness; and it helps make the XTS feel more nimble without being any less comfortable. MagneRide works together with a leveling air suspension to stay composed, even when you have the whole family loaded in.

Active noise cancellation also helps keep the XTS cabin quiet, cancelling out road noise and any boom from the powertrain; you only hear the engine when pressing it hard.

Ergonomically, some might be shocked or surprised to find out that there are no physical buttons for the climate control or audio (other than what's on the steering wheel). Capacitive patched just above tabbed (ridged) areas replace mechanical buttons--although we've found that these don't always inspire confidence, or deliver the desired effect.

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