By Cars.com EditorsAugust 27, 2012
About the video
After nearly a year without a full-size luxury sedan, Cadillac gets a new flagship called the XTS. The 2013 Cadillac XTS has a well-appointed interior with a new intuitive and functional multimedia system called CUE.
<v Announcer>Cars.com auto review. (upbeat music) Hi, I'm Dave Thomas with cars.com. When folks are shopping for luxury cars, they're gonna scrutinize the looks, the performance, and the interior.
Cadillac's all new XTS might not wow on all those points, but as a heck of a showstopper inside. Yes, don't worry, I'll tell you all about how this car drives in a minute, but first we're going to check out Cadillac's CUE system. It has nothing to do with James Bond's Q, it's actually spelled C-U-E. It stands for Cadillac User Experience, but after you use it you might feel a bit like James Bond. First things first, there are no physical buttons on this control panel, it's all digital. Other cars has similar systems but I like Cadillac's, it does it a bit better, mainly because it sends a pulse of physical feedback through the console when you touch a button. So, you hit your cooled seats, it actually pulsates and your cooled seats turn on to let you know you touched it, it activated, you don't have to take your eyes off the road quite as much. Even the trickiest of controls, like this slider for the volume, work really well in the Cadillac. I've tested Lincoln's version, it was hunting all over the place when I put my finger on it, I was trying to look at the road. Here you can put one or two fingers on the slider, just slide up and back and the volume goes up and down just like you expect. There's also an eight inch touchscreen. Now, lots of other cars have touchscreen navigation units like this one, but Cadillac's is a bit different. Not only is it twice as bright as an iPad but the graphics are really crisp as well, and when you're driving along the screen is uncluttered. So, you want to look down, your album artwork looks awesome, the maps from the navigation system look really good, and when you want to change something, when you want to adjust the setting, you reach in, those controls pop up. There are two sensors built into the console, so they know when your hands come in and then you can just use the controls as you see fit. The touch screen also sends a pulse of vibration, so when you go in and you touch something, you know it's worked. However, you can't be tentative, you can't just tap lightly. You got to really press down pretty hard. Don't worry, you're not going to break the glass. Then you feel that sense of vibration come back through your finger. The only problem with this system comes with this sliding favorites bar at the bottom. Now, you can try and swipe it but sometimes you're going to select the preset you didn't want to begin with, you're swiping away from it. So, you kind of have to hold down and drag it, but if you hold it down too long you're going to change what your favorite preset is and you got something you don't want. Why am I spending so much time talking about preset bar? Because the presets are pretty cool. Now, for music, you can save your favorite artists, album, song, title, and kind of come up with some clever ones here. And that's really useful, but you can also save stuff from your contact list, like your wife's phone number, your boss's phone number, maybe your therapist's phone number. And, of course, navigation functions too, like finding your home or your office, but it also saves search. So, if you want to search for the closest Starbucks, you can just save that search on this preset. And anytime you want to find the nearest Starbucks anywhere you are, no matter what town, you just hit that search it'll find the closest one to you. And you can mix and match all these presets, you can store up to 60 of them. So, you spend most of your time around listening to Pearl Jam, calling your wife, finding the nearest Starbucks. You can have all those in one preset section. But, wait, there's one more feature that's going to wow your passengers, it's this hidden cargo compartment behind the controls. And it has a USB connection in there, so that's where you can plug in your iPod or your iPhone. You can throw in a wallet, sunglasses, it's pretty roomy. And then you just touch it again and it closes back up. There is a major flaw to this system, it collects a lot of fingerprints, but Cadillac gives you one of these so you can wipe it down. Okay, it seems we only have about 30 seconds left of this video, so let's find out how this thing drives. The XTS is not a speed demon, it only comes with a 304 horsepower V6 engine. And while 304 horsepower may sound like a lot, this is a large sedan, over 200 inches long. So, if you want a faster car look elsewhere. The XTS is also a front wheel drive car with all wheel drive optional, like the one we have here. And this (indistinct) really did handle well and the ride was quite comfortable. How roomy is it? Well, up front, it definitely takes on the competition. And, in fact, look at all this leg room, plenty of room back here. How nice is it? The materials are pretty nice, right up there with Lexus. The trunk has 18 cubic feet, fits golf bags. The last thing you need to know about the XTS, and probably the most important thing, is how much it costs. It starts at 44,000 and goes all the way to 61,000 for a fully loaded version, like the one we have here. But even at 44 grand, you get that CUE system standard. For a similar amount of money, you can Audi A6, Infinium 37, better driving machines but they don't have all this space. You can also look at a Lexus LS that has a space, costs more money. So, maybe the XTS will win because it plays a space in between. It also wins because it has that CUE system inside and the rest of the car is not so bad either. For more care related news go to cars.com, or our blog, kickingtires.net.