- Competes with: Lincoln MKS, Chrysler 300, Lexus GS, Infiniti M
- Looks like: A cushy Caddy from the days of yore
- Drivetrain: 300-hp, 3.6-liter V-6; six-speed automatic transmission; front- or all-wheel drive
- Hits dealerships: Spring 2012
Cadillac has been busy reinventing itself for the better part of a decade, trying to reposition itself as a competitor to German luxury sports cars. Those efforts have worked to some degree, but even so, there’s a large contingent of Cadillac buyers who just want a cushy and comfortable cruiser. The 2013 Cadillac XTS was built with these car shoppers in mind.
The XTS is more of a modern replacement for the DTS sedan rather than a replacement for the also-defunct, performance-minded STS large sedan.
The XTS will be the largest passenger car available at Cadillac, and it will come with a bevy of available luxury, safety and tech features. Despite what some critics will say, this is Cadillac’s flagship sedan for the time being.
The XTS’ exterior features are more rounded and less aggressive than the Cadillac CTS and SRX, and it’s one of the first Cadillacs to feature the company’s new MyFord Touch competitor, called Cadillac CUE.
Unlike the CTS and the upcoming compact ATS, the XTS is a front-wheel-drive car — the model shares its underpinnings with the Buick LaCrosse. As such, the XTS’ wheelbase is identical to the LaCrosse’s; suspension components such as a sophisticated H-arm rear suspension and a HiPer Strut front suspension, steering components and brake types are shared with top-line Buicks, too. What isn’t shared with Buick are Cadillac’s standard magnetically controlled dampers (GM calls it Magnetic Ride Control), a rear air suspension and Brembo-brand brakes, all of which are standard on the XTS. A Haldex all-wheel-drive system is optional; a similar system was offered on the 2011 Saab 9-5, which also shares the XTS’ platform. Nineteen-inch wheels come standard, with 20-inch wheels available.
A 300-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 is standard, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission to achieve 17/28 mpg city/highway with the front-wheel-drive model and 17/27 mpg with all-wheel drive. For those of you accustomed to seeing a huge V-8 under the hood of a large Caddy, there isn’t one available. The XTS uses a capless refueling system, too, as standard.
Despite sharing the LaCrosse’s underpinnings, the XTS has been stretched, mostly out back. The extra length opens up interior space: There’s more than 104 cubic feet of interior passenger volume, which is 5 cubic feet more than the LaCrosse and about par with what’s offered on the Lincoln MKS, Chrysler 300 and Infiniti M37, but it’s significantly less space than what the DTS had. A lot of the interior space goes to the backseat, which has 40 inches of rear legroom. The lengthened rear allows for a massive trunk that measures 18 cubic feet, exceeding what’s offered in everything but the MKS.
Safety tech features include available warning systems for lane departure, forward collision, rear cross traffic and blind spots. Also available are adaptive cruise control, automatic collision preparedness, front and rear automatic braking, and Safety Alert Seat, a feature that vibrates either the left or right side of the driver’s seat depending on the location of the impending concern.
A color head-up display and a 12.3-inch reconfigurable LCD driver’s cluster are also available.
An XTS Platinum trim level will feature a satin-chrome grille, 20-inch wheels with chrome inserts and fully wrapped leather interior with Alcantara headliner and more.
The XTS goes on sale this spring.
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