The XTS is a full-size luxury sedan intended to replace Cadillac's DTS and STS models. Though it shares its front-wheel-drive Epsilon II underpinnings with the Buick LaCrosse and the next-generation Chevrolet Impala, the XTS features completely unique sheetmetal and a sophisticated suspension setup in addition to a more comfortable and technology-packed interior than either of its platform mates.
Cadillac has upgraded the XTS for its second year on the market with an optional Vsport package that includes a 410-horsepower twin-turbo V6.
Also new is available automatic high-beam assist, a rear seat entertainment system and memory functionality for the front seats. Rear seat passengers benefit from a revised rear-seat armrest with wood trim and radio controls.
Befitting its status as a comfortable cruiser, the XTS wears a softer interpretation of Cadillac's "Art & Science" design language that debuted on the edgy original CTS. A bold egg-crate grille distinguishes the front fascia, while vertical taillights provide a visual link to tail-finned Cadillacs of yore.
Inside, the XTS is quite spacious - though priced against the competition's mid-size sedans, the XTS is definitely a full-sizer. Rear seat passengers get about four inches more legroom than in most other four-doors in this price bracket, while trunk space checks in at a commodious 18 cubic feet. The dashboard features a clean and modern look, while the materials are on par with the best the segment has to offer.
The big sedan is the first vehicle to get Cadillac's new Cadillac User Experience (CUE) infotainment system. CUE includes a 12.3-inch reconfigurable gauge cluster and a unique eight-inch touchscreen interface in the center stack that mimics today's tablets with capacitive-touch controls.
The XTS' standard engine is a direct-injection 3.6L V6 delivering 304 horsepower and 264 lb-ft of torque. Shifting duties are handled by a six-speed automatic, which routes power to the front wheels or all four wheels via an optional Haldex all-wheel-drive system. Fuel economy is rated at 17 mpg in the city and 28 mpg in FWD form and 17/27 mpg with AWD.
An optional Vsport package brings a twin-turbocharged version of the standard motor that cranks out 410 horsepower along with 369 lb-ft of torque while returning 16/24 mpg. The mill comes with AWD and the same six-speed auto as the standard sedan.
All XTS models are equipped with Cadillac's Magnetic Ride Control real-time damping system, which can adjust the dampers in the blink of an eye to mitigate body roll during hard cornering or keep the ride comfortable while cruising. Also included is GM's "HiPer" strut system, which reduces torque steer and improve steering feel, while front Brembo brakes help to quickly and smoothly trim velocity.
Standard and Optional Features
The XTS is available in Standard, Luxury, Premium and Platinum trim levels.
The base XTS is fitted as standard with a host of luxury features, including leather upholstery, genuine wood trim, the aforementioned CUE infotainment system, an eight speaker Bose AM/FM/CD stereo with Sirium XM radio, HD radio and an auxiliary input jack, adaptive remote start and Cadillac's elegantly named Twilight Sentinel automatic headlight system.
The XTS Luxury adds heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, upgraded wood trim 19-inch aluminum wheels, memory seats with adjustable thigh support, dual stainless steel tailpipes, auxiliary daytime running lights and LED spotlights.
Stepping up to the XTS Premium brings a navigation system, a 14-speaker premium Bose surround sound system, a color heads-up display and tri-zone automatic climate control. Also standard are addition safety features, including a front and rear ultrasonic parking aid system, a rearview camera, forward collision alert, a rear cross-traffic system alert, blind zone alert and a lane departure warning system.
The top-spec XTS Platinum coddles with Opus full-leather seats, a leather-wrapped interior with color-contrast stitching and a microfiber sueded headliner, an UltraView panoramic sunroof, a rear-window power sunshade and side-window manual sunshades, 20-inch polished aluminum wheels and chrome grille accents.
Optional on Premium and Platinum models is the Vsport package, which brings the more powerful twin-turbocharged motor along with unique 20-inch grilles and a special grille.
Standard safety features on the XTS include dual front, side, side curtain and knee airbags, brake assist and traction and stability control systems.
A plethora of additional safety systems can be had with the optional Driver Awareness package (which is standard on the Premium and Platinum trim levels), which adds: Lane Departure Warning, which uses cameras to alert the driver if the vehicle unintentionally drifts into the adjacent lane; Side Blind Zone Alert, which employs radar technology to alert the driver to other vehicles in XTS' blind spots when making lane changes; Rear Cross Traffic Alert, which warns the driver of oncoming traffic while backing out of a parking spot, including angled parking; and, finally, Forward Collision Alert, which warns the driver of a possible rear-end collision ahead.
Though it has the space, luxury and technology features of a full-size sedan like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, the XTS is closer in price and engine power to midsizers such as the BMW 5-Series, Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Other competitors include a diverse range of rides such as the Hyundai Equus, Lexus ES and Acura RL.