Cadillac's largest passenger car plays to the time-tested values of room, comfort, and features for the money. That said, the XTS also serves up all the technology you can handle and the chance to experience the most powerful V6 engine ever deployed in a luxury car.
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2016 Cadillac XTS Overview
What's New for 2016
A sport grille is now standard on most models, and a surround-view camera system is available for the first time. The infotainment system gains Apple CarPlay capability.
Choosing Your Cadillac XTS
The XTS is a true full-size luxury sedan with uncompromising room for five passengers and their luggage. The 3.6-liter V6 produces 304 horsepower in standard form and a stunning 410 when equipped with the optional twin turbochargers. All-wheel drive is available with the base V6 and mandatory with the turbo. Every XTS gets a six-speed automatic transmission and an adaptive suspension system.
The XTS comes in four main trim levels. Models with the turbocharged engine carry the suffix Vsport.
Both the Premium and Platinum offer a rear DVD/Blu-ray entertainment system with two foldout screens.
Options on the Standard model are limited, so we recommend upgrading to the popular Luxury trim if you want to do some customization. Not everyone needs the extra power of the Vsport models, but the twin-turbo engine does have a dramatic effect on the character of the car. You might insist on it after a test drive.
2016 Cadillac XTS Review
In the traditional sense of a luxurious American-made sedan, the Cadillac XTS is the epitome of combining the old school flavor of the brand with a nice mix of modern day technology and a dash of performance.
Pricing and Equipment
The 2016 Cadillac XTS starts at $45,295 for its Standard trim level. A total of six trim levels are available, while a nicely equipped mid-level Premium trimmed XTS in front-wheel-drive configuration starts at $55,705, which includes a bevy of standard luxury features such as:
- 19-inch polished aluminum wheels
- Embedded Navigation displayed on the CUE information and Media Control System's 8-inch touchscreen
- 14-speaker Bose Studio Surround sound system
- Configurable color heads-up display
- Driver assist and awareness packages
- Tri-zone automatic climate control
- Perforated leather seating, heated and ventilated front, heated rear outboard seats
- Adaptive Forward Lighting with LED daytime running lights.
Moving to the Premium trim opens up the availability to add several desirable luxury options like front and rear park assist with automatic braking, 22-way adjustable front bucket seats with massage feature, power rear and manual side-door sunshades, UltraView power sunroof, adaptive full-speed range cruise control, and 20-inch wheels.
The Cadillac XTS offers a choice of two engines, a 3.6-liter V6 with 304 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque, or our favorite, the peppy 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 with 410 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque in the VSport trim levels.
- Ample power from the VSport's engine combined with all-wheel-drive adds-confidence for the driver.
- The six-speed automatic transmission quickly adapts to your driving style.
- The standard magnetic ride suspension system smooths out road imperfections yet at the same time makes the XTS drive smaller than it appears.
- The VSport models exhibit some torque steer under moderate to heavy acceleration.
- EPA fuel consumption estimates for the VSport can be disconcerting at 16 mpg city and 24 mpg highway.
- The overall fit and finish -- combined with several soft-touch, accenting trim, and contrasted leather seat stitching -- exudes true luxury.
- Seating comfort is exceptional with the optional 22-way adjustable massaging front seats.
- Rear leg room, at 40 inches, rivals large luxury sedans that cost twice as much.
- The slow-to-respond CUE (Cadillac User Experience) infotainment system's 8-inch touch screen gets quickly smudged with fingerprints.
- The touch capacitive and haptic feedback control buttons below CUE infotainment screen fail to respond at times, taking the focus of the driver off of the road.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
The Cadillac XTS offers an exceptionally smooth ride that isn’t upset with unwanted body motion going over road imperfections. Additionally, the cabin is eerily quiet, isolating the driver and passengers from outside ambient noises even at highway speeds.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
Even with 410 horsepower from the Cadillac XTS VSport, it still lacks the expected driver confidence found in the rest of Cadillac's lineup of luxury sport sedans.
The Bottom Line
The Cadillac XTS, in any trim level, is more reserved for those who value luxury over overall performance. Although far from the traditional sense of a floaty Cadillac, the XTS remains a soft vehicle with the proper goods to appease the driver and four passengers in the true lap of luxury at a respectable price.