2013 Cadillac XTS: New Luxury Sedan Debuts At 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show

November 17, 2011

With the debut of the 2013 Cadillac XTS large luxury sedan at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, General Motors executives may now have one more product to compete against BMW.

At least, that’s what GM President Mark Reuss has said in recent media interviews from the show floor.

The XTS, though similar in size to the rear-wheel drive BMW 7-Series, is not likely to appeal to the same type of luxury car customer, since the XTS will be offered in front- or all-wheel drive configurations. Mr. Reuss indicated that GM would have a more direct competitor to the 7-Series in the future, as the company is currently working to develop one.

And, unseating BMW for the crown of top-selling luxury brand won’t be easy either, since BMW currently sells nearly twice as many vehicles as Cadillac.

2013 Cadillac XTS

2013 Cadillac XTS

Enlarge Photo

What’s all new about the 2013 Cadillac XTS? More importantly, what does it offer consumers looking for a luxury family car that might cause them to switch from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, or even Lexus?

For one thing, the XTS is a completely new model for Cadillac, replacing two former models, the STS and the DTS. In the Cadillac lineup, the XTS is positioned above the CTS. The XTS certainly looks the part of a new offering from GM’s luxury division, with exterior styling closely resembling the XTS Platinum Concept first shown at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show.

But there’s more to a luxury car than just looks. Family car buyers need more if they’re going to shell out the extra money for a premium sedan.

2013 Cadillac XTS

2013 Cadillac XTS

Enlarge Photo

Spacious interior, smooth ride

Going back to the Cadillac models of years past, the wreath and crest signature was always the spacious interior and the smooth boulevard ride. Now, with the all-new 2013 Cadillac XTS, Cadillac returns to what it always did best: offering a premium family-size car that makes you feel good riding or driving in it.

As covered in our sister publication TheCarConnection, the new XTS arrives at all this space because it’s position atop a stretched version of the Epsilon II platform that underpins the current Buick LaCrosse and the upcoming 2013 Chevrolet Malibu. By design, the XTS features “generous” headroom, legroom and knee space for all passengers.

How generous? Try 40 inches of legroom in the rear. The trunk space is also an impressive 18 cubic feet of storage.

About that ride, it’s accomplished through GM’s Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension, performance struts and Brembo brakes.

Power comes from a 300-horsepower 3.6-liter V-6 that delivers 264 pound-feet of torque. At least, that’s the initial powerplant offering. The engine will be mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is estimated at 17 mpg city/28 mpg highway in front-wheel drive and 17/27 mpg with all-wheel drive.

Advanced safety technology

The XTS will be the first Cadillac to debut an advanced vision and sensing system using a “control and alert” strategy that will both bolster driver vision and awareness of road hazards and intervene when necessary to help avert crashes.

One example of the visual and audible alerts is the new safety alert seat. Should there be an impending concern on the road, a vibration on either the left or the right side of the driver’s seat cushion, depending on the location of the concern, will alert the driver of a potential collision threat.

Intervening features such as automatic braking can take immediate action if the driver fails to react in time. The XTS features front and rear automatic brakes which use short-range radar technology and ultrasonic sensors along with a progression of alerts that continue to full automatic braking, if necessary, to help prevent low-speed front and rear collisions.

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